QTT Flow Chart


Get on the air at any time without worrying about schedules and other aids to increase probability of success => always start from the top of the CW band going down, whether looking for stations calling CQ to answer, or calling CQ. If calling CQ use the first available frequency from the TOP of the CW band.


1: Increased chances of QTT since most QTT activities take place on the high end and most 5NN-TU activities take place on the low end.

2: Antennae are almost always cut to be resonant higher up in the band if not even in the SSB section, so signals will likely be stronger at both ends of QSO.

3: The top end (TOP 9 but particularly TOP 5) are under strong threat of being removed in yet further encroachment into traditional CW sections of the band. Keeping the TOP 5 active will severely minimize this threat from succeeding.


When getting on the air, if able to use multiple HF bands, glance at the clock to decide which band to use, to increase chances of QTT:

If it is in the first quarter between H+00 and H+14, use 10m or 12m or 60m, sticking to the TOP 5 (28065-28070 or 24910-24915), certainly the TOP 9 (or 10 if QRP). On 60m use the usual band plan.

If it is in the second quarter between H+15 and H+29, use 15m or 17m, sticking to the TOP 5 (21065-21070 or 18090-18095), certainly the TOP 9 (or 10 if QRP).

If it is in the third quarter between H+30 and H+44, use 20m or 30m, sticking to the TOP 5 (14065-14070 or 10125-10130), certainly the TOP 9 (or 10 on 20m if QRP, 10126 being QTT QRP CoA on 30m.

If it is in the fourth quarter between H+45 and H+59, use 40m or 80m, sticking to the TOP 5 (7035-7040 or 3565-3570), certainly the TOP 9 (or 10 if QRP).

30m QSO PARTY: simply call with /QTT added to your callsign on the 30m General Roaming Calling Frequency 101xy.5 kHz where "xy" is the current UTC date, e.g. if it is the 4th of the month, 10104.5kHz. Immediately on establishing QSO please QSY to leave the GRCF free for others, e.g. "UP 1" etc. Also please keep it to maximum 3 CQ calls within any 5 minute period if directly on the GCRF. Exchange RSN Reports (see 30cw.net/rsn), QTH, NAME, PWR, ANT, KEY, and "QTT" followed by one or more CW Clubs that you are member of along with membership number(s), and/or former callsigns used (amateur or commercial).

Any day, any time, just remember: 101xy.5 kHz where xy is the current UTC date!


There are additional things you can do to increase your chances even further of QTT if you are willing to go about things in a more organized fashion.

Here are some ideas:


Look at the current UTC Date. At the same UTC hour as the date, is when "QTT HOUR" takes place. For example, if the date today is the 2nd, at 0200UTC for one hour. If the date is the 24th, at 2400 UTC (0000 UTC) for one hour.

QTT Hour is prioritized for WARC bands. However, all bands can be used. The frequencies to use on bands except 60m, are the TOP 5. On 60m, the usual CW band plan for your country.

You should aim to exchange RSTN report, QTH, name, on the first over, PWR, ANT, KEY on the 2nd over ending 2nd over with QUA?, the other station responds in their 2nd over by sending QUA list, which you send on your 3rd, otherwise the 3rd and any subsequent overs may consist of any other information exchange of your choice or chat. (Details about QUA are below).

You are invited to use these and indeed any and all QTT that take place within TOP 9 to report at the end of the month to the TOP 9 submission website.


If you are doing other things but within earshot of your radio, you may opt to monitor QTT CoA frequencies, or the roaming calling frequency on 30m (see below), or even program several QTT CoA frequencies (3567.5, 7032.5, 10127.5, 101xy.5, 14067.5, 18092.5, 21067.5, 24092.5 and/or 28067.5) into your memory bank and have them on scan, even with narrow filter switched in and squelch masking background noise if it is disturbing.


You may make use of the worldwide 30m CW General Roaming Calling Frequency (101xy.5kHz) whereby xy is the UTC date, thus, on the 1st of the month it is 10101.5, on the 31st of a month it'd be 10131.5kHz.

On establishing contact please QSY e.g. "up 1" or "up 2" etc, to keep the GRCF free. It is also requested not to make more than 3 calls within any 5 minute period on the GRCF. You may call CQ or call to specific stations.

GRCF is encouraged to be used so that radio amateurs not only have greater chances of establishing contacts but also so that in the event of any emergency, the go to frequency for CW operators is known.

The reason it is a "roaming" one (changing each day according to 101xy.5kHz whereby xy is the current UTC date) is because 30m is allocated to amateur radio on a secondary basis and so in various parts of the world, QRM from primary services is frequent and also QRM to primary services must be avoided. By using .5 the chances are further minimized as most non-amateur (and indeed these days also amateur) stations use frequencies ending in .0.

This also allows stations to standby on the GRCF with narrow CW filter and optionally to squelch any background noise.

4: QUA "Chinese Whispers"

QUA is a fun activity which may take place during QTT Hour (or indeed at any time, it is not a competition, not a contest and there are no prizes). It takes place on any HF band, within the TOP 5 kHz (see TOP 5).

It is designed to test our skills at accurate conveying of messages (in this case using the simple QUA message, see below) and also brings us news about the activity of other CW friends.

QUA is initiated, optionally, by either one of the stations during a QTT QSO especially during "QTT Hour" (see above). It is initiated by sending QUA? If the other station understands this then can respond with a QUA message (see below) and both stations will exchange their current QUA message.

QUA is a Q-code QUA? meaning "Do you have news of …" and QUA meaning "I have news of …" so for example, if one was inquiring if you have news of G1ABC they would send QUA G1ABC? but in our case we use a "QUA Message" as follows:

<CT> signals the start of the message, followed by "QUA" followed by a list of callsigns, ending with <AR> which signals the end of the message.

The list of callsigns, starts each month, with your first QUA message of the month being your callsign followed by the one you are sending the QUA message to. Thus, if you are G1ABC and your first QUA exchange of the month is with G0ZZZ you would send the following to G0ZZZ: <CT> QUA G1ABC G0ZZZ <AR>

If you, G1ABC, are also the first QUA exchange of the current calendar month with G0ZZZ they would send you <CT> QUA G0ZZZ G1ABC <AR>

After this, on your second QUA exchange, you will send the LAST (previous) QUA Message received, adding the callsign of the current station you are sending it to, at the end. For example, if you are G1ABC and exchanging QUA with HB9XYZ and the last QUA you received was QUA DL2DLF HA4CW GM6JK ON3PQ G1ABC you would send <CT> QUA DL2DLF HA4CW GM6JK ON3PQ G1ABC HB9XYZ <AR>

When you receive a new QUA Message it must always have YOUR callsign at the end, and the station you received it from second from the end. If not, it is not valid, and you should correct it. You must not change any of the sequence and callsigns that you received in a QUA even if you think a callsign is incorrect. You should pass it on just as you received the last QUA Message, but adding the callsign of the one you are sending it to, at the end.

In the event that you do not receive a QUA message due to loss of contact, or do not receive a confirmation when sending one, due to loss of contact, you will ignore the last one and carry on from where you left off, with the next one.

The QUA Message thus contains a string of callsigns, showing the path that that particular message has taken. After the 24th of the month (the last day of QTT Hour within any month, see "QTT Hour" above) you can upload your last sent QUA message to the website and it will be interesting to compare with others, as to which was the longest and most often relayed message chain, and also to spot any errors that accumulated during one or more relays.

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