2 minute read

I'm often asked what in the world "cqwww" means, and why I would have picked that for my twitter handle. I've been an amateur (ham) radio operator since around 2002; one of the seemingly fewer newer generation to get into the hobby. Mind you, it's come in handy! I've been involved in arguably one situation where it may have saved a couple lives, and I've also been in two states of emergency already in my life (Ice storm of '98 and East coast power outage of 2003). When regular communication networks fail, ham radio operators come to the rescue as it doesn't rely on infrastructure, allowing emergency workers to communicate with each other.

When not in an emergency situation, ham radio is used for fun, a very exciting hobby with new advancements every day. Starting back from when ham radio meant only morse code (in the industry we call this continuous wave (CW)) , the less you have to key, the better. Instead of typing out, "Is anyone out there?" or "Any operators listening on this frequency, please respond." They came up with a short form, "cq" to mean this.

When you're listening on a frequency, even to this day where people can use voice instead of CW, you don't hear people using the full sentences where there is a known short form to replace it. "cq cq cq" is often heard while spinning the dial, obviously a lot easier than saying the sentence three times. This is why I chose cqwww as my twitter handle, it's an old school radio reference meaning, "Is anyone out there listening on the world wide web?".

Some other radio slang; 73 has meant "Best regards" since ~1908, and de means "this is", and finally VE7BNE is my uniquely identifying callsign. VE (or VA) means you're in Canada, 7 means you're in British Columbia (3 means you're in Ontario, for example), and BNE is my unique suffix. I chose BNE as my suffix, as it is a play on words for bunny hunting (which is also known as fox hunting) which I'll write about some time in the future. Thanks for reading!

73 de VE7BNE


If you're Canadian, and interested in amateur radio, check out the Radio Amateurs of Canada website. If you're American, try the ARRL website. I look forward to chatting with you on the radio waves, or on the www in the interim!