I still encourage my radio crews to tune into the various VOLMET stations to check their antennas and propagation. They are very reliable, simple SSB plain speech, good signal quality and you can set your watch by them. If you are in Germany, for example, and can pick up Shannon VOLMET, then your antenna is good for skywave. Once they start to pick up transmissions from far (and even further) flung places, they tend to get a bit geeky at it. Estimating when they will be able to pick up Novosibirsk on 3MHz or Luanda on 6MHz from Denmark on a broadband dipole, for example. Yes, this is officially beardy now.Q codes predated WW1, they originated with some of the early CW radio systems to abbreviate complex messages eg QRK5 is much shorter than “the readability of your signal is perfect”. Given that for long range aircraft ops, they would have to use WT - ie Morse, it made sense to extend the Q-code series beyond radio procedures to include weather, runways, pressure etc. I don’t know if aviation uses Z-codes, but there are also a series of Z-codes, that were used extensively on RATT (teleprinter) circuits.
This thread deviation is reminding me of years ago on MAOTs sitting there listening to some stuffy bloke that sounded like he’d previously been narrating the Pathe Newsreels. ”This is Royal Air Force Volmet. Airfield colour states as at 1000Z - Abingdon Blue, Brize Norton Blue, Brüggen Yellow”. I think those ran for 15 minutes, then it would switch to a sequence of actual weather - “Wildrenrath - light rain, temperature one four, dew point one one, QNH one zero zero four decreasing, eight oktas“ etc. Being a Scaley, none of this made sense to me initially, but fair dos, the RAF team leaders would explain it. Then it became interesting hearing anomalies. UK could be clear weather, high pressure, all stations blue, then you’d hear “Waddington, black”. Someone had an oopsie at Waddo?
Thanks for taking me back thirty years!