CW Shorthand - Cut Numbers

Have you ever heard someone send a signal report of 5NN? Perhaps you knew it was the same as an RST of 599. Sending the letter 'N' for a figure '9' is called sending a cut number.

While the N for 9 is the most common, there is a shortcut or "cut" number for each digit 0 through 9, except for 4 and 6. Another common use of cut numbers is sending a 'T' for a '0' as in "am running 1TT watts" meaning 100 watts power.

Another place where cut numbers are common is in large cw contests such as the CQ WW DX contest. The contest exchange is RST and CQ zone number. A report of 599 in CQ zone 12 might be sent as "5NN AU".

Here are the cut numbers:

Number Cut # Code
1 A di dah
2 U di di dah
3 V di di di dah
4 4 di di di di dah
5 E dit
6 6 dah di di di dit
7 G dah dah dit
8 D dah di dit
9 N dah dit
0 T dah

Posted: December 4, 2014

Last Update: October 2, 2022