QTT - Quality True Telegraphy / True Telegraphists

Note: this website is no longer being updated. This QTT page is in its original form from many years ago and now there have been recommended changes, such as using "TOP 9" — please see the 30CW website which has a more up-to-date QTT page. The below is retained for the purposes of history and more background information to QTT.

For QTT Hour please see here: QTT Hour

QTT CQ - Calling all True CW Operators

  • Fed up of not being able to find enough real human CW contacts, just CQ expecting only a "5NN TU"?
  • Fed up of having your CQ replied to by a single call sign, unsure he's calling you, a pile up, or modern CQ?
  • Longing for proper QSO with an honest RST, QTH, Name and maybe a little more? Fed up with Digital CW?

Then you can add /QTT to your call sign and/or use QTT for CQ. If you've arrived at this page from QSO with a QTT, welcome.

Why QTT?

  • Recognition for those who embrace the original CW amateur radio principles and don't use decoders
  • The QTT designation shows other amateurs that you embrace the QTT core values in CW operations
  • To push back the 5NN-TU and Digital CW trends and encourage and defend true human CW operation

What is QTT?

  • It qualifies you as being a True Telegraphist looking for True Telegraphy QSOs
  • Confirms that you will endeavour to give an honest report for a contact made
  • Confirms that you don't use a CW decoder or machine for the reception of CW

QTT Core Values

  • I do not use decoders as the human brain and ear is the superior and most effective CW decoder
  • I do not encourage "5NN TU" activities, I try to give honest RST reports even in contests, DX activation's
  • I do not engage in unnecessary unspecified split activities greater than UP 1, nor any split on 30m band*
  • I generally consider a good QSO to contain at least honest report, ideally name, QTH, even PWR, ANT etc

By engaging in QSO with at minimum a greeting and an honest RST report, and ideally at least a name, and more often QTH, PWR and ANT information exchange, and adhering to the values of a QTT which are part of the original and core spirit of Amateur Radio with CW at its heart, QTT maintain the real and human CW that is increasingly being interfered with by DCW (Digital CW).

QTT defines DCW (Digital CW) as CW that is decoded by non-human means. Any means of transmitting CW can be used including pump, keyer, bug, keyboard, what matters is the proper use of abbreviations and ideally the use of QSK (full break-in).

How to Qualify?

QTT is not a club with membership fees. Qualification is simple, there is no application or sponsorship process, and it is completely free. You simply self-qualify. By using the QTT code you declare that you adhere to the above-mentioned QTT values. You can refer people to www.vkcw.net/qtt for further information about QTT.

Searching Google for QTT CW should already find this page at the top, so using QTT after your call sign will help spread QTT.

  • By using the QTT code you declare you adhere to the QTT Values and the traditional spirit and code of Amateur Radio
  • There are no fees or application or sponsorship processes, you simply use QTT during calling, or during QSO as qualification
  • You are encouraged to display a NO-DECODER badge on your QRZ page, see https://www.qrz.com/db/5T0JL for example (English and other languages coming soon, please check back in future).

Those who would like to receive emails from time to time about QTT activities and QTT experiences, please Join this email list
Your Email list is NOT visible to the public, will NOT be shared, and your Email won't be visible to other QTT.

How to use QTT on air

  • You can call CQ QTT or QTT, you can add QTT or /QTT after your callsign, before or after your name, during QSO
  • If you respond to a CQ and get as response simply your callsign and "5NN" you can respond with "QTT" instead of giving RST
  • Use of QTT signals that you enjoy true human CW QSO and not digital CW and that you do not use a decoder to receive CW
  • You can use QTT followed by any other callsigns used now or in the passed, and/or any CW club memberships (see below)

QTT Activities

QTT is simply having Quality Telegraphy Time with Quality True Telegraphy: any activity not using a decoder, and beyond the dry "5NN". Anytime you engage in a full QSO without the use of decoder, this is QTT. QTT is becoming rarer on the bands with so much "5NN" split DX and contest activity with true human telegraphic contacts often being minimised. To assist in finding QTT there are some optional aids that can be used:

  • You may call in the format QTT CALLSIGN, OR CQ QTT DE CALLSIGN, or CQ DE CALLSIGN QTT or just normal CQ
  • Use of the traditional CW bands when quiet, centered on number of kHz from band edge corresponding to UTC date
  • Use of the top ends of the bands (top of shared SSB section) especially during 5NN contests/DX
  • Use of QTT during QSO to highlight previous calls held (amateur or professional) and club memberships

E.g. QTT VIS indicates you worked at VIS (Sydney Coastal Radio), QTT 9X5AB 9Q5LJ ON8RA that you also hold or held callsigns 9X5AB, 9Q5LJ and ON8RA, QTT UFT or QTT UFT176 that you are member of a club (with its optional membership number) — this all assists to generate possible conversation and to find out if the other operator was in a similar service or is membership of the same CW clubs you belong to.

There is also a daily "QTT Hour" which is intended to be a fun activity eventually supported by many CW Clubs with many CW Operators participating. See QTT Hour for details.

Q Code Meaning

QTT means: "The identification signal which follows is superimposed on another transmission". This is the original reason we chose QTT because it allows us to use another callsign during transmission such as a former professionally held call sign, so long as we identify with our licensed callsign according to our amateur radio license. You may use a CW Club and membership number after QTT as that also identifies you! E.g. QTT FIST1124 or QTT HSC1437 etc.

QTT Frequencies

Although any frequency in the amateur HF bands is available to CW, to make it easier to find other QTT contacts you can use either the centre of activity frequencies which change each day of the month UTC date whereby the centre of activity frequency matches the date. So on the 7th of the month, this would be 7 kHz from bottom band edge, e.g. 3507, 7007, 10107, 14007, 18075, 21007 etc., and the 30th of the month (during UTC date 00:00-23:59 UTC) would be 30 kHz from band edge e.g. 1830, 3530, 7030 etc. Also, clear frequencies the top end of the bands are encouraged for QTT activity on busy bands as an alternative, e.g. 14349, 18167 etc. During QTT Hour there is an increased chance of making QTT contacts but activity is encouraged at all times.

QTT activity is especially encouraged on 30m, this gives a greater chance of finding QTT contacts given the propagation characteristics and being in general by default a QTT telegraphy frequency band.


*) Split operations are generally unnecessary, contesters don't use split, yet contests are banned from our secondary 30m band for risk of causing QRM to primary users while split DX operations QRM risk is greater as split stations don't listen on their transmit frequencies when calling DX. Split generally causes QRM to other DX QSOs. A good DXer knows how to control pile ups. See http://www.qrz.com/db/5T0JL for good information on why split operations should not be encouraged.

More information: qtt-more

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