The use of 10 codes & Q codes in Amateur Radio

I hear a lot of “10 codes” used on the ham radio frequencies. These “10 codes” (10-4, 10-20, 10-100) were used in the CB language back in the 70’s when CB was the “Craze”.

CB radio still uses “10 codes” in their daily language. These codes are not really acceptable in amateur radio communities. As a matter of fact anyone using these “10 codes” or any other CB slang really defines the user of these languages as someone who has not “graduated” into ham radio.

Ham radio operators do not use “10 codes” or any other slang. We use every day language on the air like we are speaking to each other face to face.

When someone uses “10-4” or “10-20”, or similar CB language we know that they come from the unlicensed, unregulated CB channels. This is not to say that we don’t appreciate the CB bands…many of us came from there (me included).

What I am saying is that we as hams do not use 10 codes or any other “coded” language. We are going to “plain language” as the emergency communications folks are doing. When you say “10-4” on the ham radio bands you are identifying yourself as a CB operator who has not moved on to professional communications.

Q codes are meant for CW as they reduce time and effort.  They have no place in the phone bands.

We are always looking for professional communicators…if you’re one of these we would love to have you in our ranks.

George Mudd,  KK4F,  ARES,  Auxcomm ,  Sumter Amateur Radio Association