Amateur Radio (Ham) Glossary

Compiled by Dick Oakes


This is a supplement to my ham glossary. It has only abbreviations, acronyms, contractions, initialisms, symbols, and synonyms (such as ARRL meaning "American Radio Relay League") and their translations.

To go to the FULL Ham Glossary, please click HERE.


# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

To the top! = "Top of page"

To the top!   #

Ø - zero with a stroke

To the top!   A

A - ampere
A-to-D - analog-to-digital
a.m. - ante meridian
A/B - "A" display/"B" display switch
A/D - analog-to-digital
AARS - Army-Amateur Radio System
AC - alternating current
AC - Affiliated Club Coordinator
AC hum - alternating-current hum
ACC - accessory (ACC)
ACI - adjacent-channel interference
ACSB - amplitude-compandored sideband
ADC - analog-to-digital
ADIF - Amateur Data Interchange Format
ADN - advanced digital network
AF - audio frequency
AF-gain - audio-frequency gain
AF signal - audio-frequency signal
AFC - automatic frequency control
AFSK - audio-frequency shift keying
AGC - automatic gain control
AGL - above ground level
AGS - antenna ground system
AGWE - agw packet engine
ALC - automatic level control
AM - amplitude modulation
Amp - ampere
AMSAT - Amateur Satellite
AMTOR - amateur teleprinting over radio
ANARC - Association of North America radio Clubs
ANC - active noise control
ANF - automatic notch filter
ANL - automatic noise limiter
ANR - active noise reduction
ANT - antenna
anti-VOX - anti-voice operated
AP - antenna pattern
APC - automatic power control
APCO - Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International
APO - accessory power outlet
APRS - automatic position reporting system
APS - automatic packet reporting system
AQS - acquisition of signal
ARA - Amateur Radio Association
ARC - Amateur Radio Club
ARDF - amateur radio direction finding
ARDS - Amateur Radio Disaster Services
ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service
ARISS - Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
ARQ - automatic repeat query
ARRL - American Radio Relay League
ARS - Amateur Radio Society
ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASL - above sea level
ASR - automatic send-receive
ATS - automatic transfer switch
ATT - attenuator
ATV - amateur television
AVC - automatic volume control
AWG - American wire gauge
Az/El - azimuth/elevation

To the top!   B

B - bel
balun - balanced-to-unbalanced
BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation
BBS - bulletin board system
BCB - broadcast band
BCD - binary-coded decimal
BCI - broadcast radio interference
BCL - broadcast listener
Bd - baud
BER - bit error rate
BIPM - International Bureau of Weights and Measures
BPL - Brass Pounders League
BFO - beat frequency oscillator
BPF - band-pass filter
bps - bits per second
BPSK - binary phase shift keying
BNC - bayonet Neill-Concelman
BJT - bipolar-junction transistor

To the top!   C

c- - centi-
C - coulomb
call signal - (See call sign)
CAP - Civil Air Patrol
CATV - cable television
CATVI - cable television interface
CB - Citizen's Band
CBA - callbook address
CBR - cross-band repeater
CC&R - covenents, conditions, and restrictions
CCW - coherent continuous wave
CCW - counterclockwise
CD - compact disc
CE - chief engineer
CEPT - Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
CG - Channel Guard
CI-V - computer interface version five
CIPM - International Committee for Weights and Measures
CGPM - General Conference on Weights and Measures
CLAR - clarifier
cm - centimeter
CMOS - complementary-symmetry metal-oxide semiconductor
code - Morse code
COR - carrier-operated relay
CPO - code practice oscillator
CPU - central processing unit
CPS - cycles per second
CQ - seek you
CQ DX - seek you foreign country
CSCE - Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination
CTCSS - continuous-tone coded squelch system
CW - clockwise
CW - continuous wave, Morse code
CW filter - continuous wave filter
XTAL - crystal

To the top!   D

d- - deci-
da- - deca-
da- - deka-
D-to-A - digital-to-analog converter
D/A - digital-to-analog converter
DAC - digital-to-analog converter
dB - decibel
dBc - decibels to a carrier
dBd - decibels above a dipole antenna
dBi - decibels above an isotropic antenna
dBm - decibels of the measured power
dBμV - decibels microvolt
dBo - decibels optical gain
dc - direct current
DC - direct current
DC ground - direct current ground
DC voltage - direct current voltage
DCHP - dynamic host configuration protocol
DCS - digital-coded squelch
DFQ - dead full quieting
DMM - digital multimeter
DPDT - double-pole, double-throw
DPSK - differential phase shift keying
DPST - double-pole, single-throw
DRM - digital radio mondiale
DSB - double sideband
DSB-SC - double sideband with suppressed carrier
DSP - digital signal processing
DTCS - digital tone coded squelch
DTMF - dual-tone multi-frequency
DVM - digital voltmeter
DX - distant station
DXCC - DX Century Club
DXer - distant station operator
DXpedition - distant station expedition
dyn - dyne

To the top!   E

e-FCR - Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
e-mail - electronic mail
e.g. - for example
EAS - Emergency Alert System
EBCDIC - extended binary coded decimal interchange code
EBS - Emergency Broadcast System
EC - Emergency Coordinator
ECIA - Electronic Components Industry Association
ecomm - emergency communications
ECSS - exalted-carrier single sideband
ECSSB - exalted-carrier single sideband
EHF - extremely high frequency
EIA - Electronic Industries Association
EIA232 - Electronic Industries Association 232
ELF - extremely low frequency
email - electronic mail
EME - earth-moon-earth
emf - electromotive force
EMI - electromagnetic interference
EMI sleeves - electromagnetic interference sleeves
EOC - Emergency Operation Center
EMP - electromagnetic pulse
EMU - electronic-message unit - Electronic QSL Card Centre
EPROM - electrically programmable read-only memory

To the top!   F

F - farad
F/B - front-to-back ratio
F/S - front-to-side ratio
FA - Friendship Award
fax - facsimile
FCC - Federal Communications Commission
FDM - frequency-division multiplexing
FEC - forward error correction
Feld-Hell - Hellschreiber
FET - field-effect transistor
FFT - fast Fourier transform
FM - frequency modulation
FOC - First Class CW Operators Club
FRC - Federal Radio Commission
FRN - Federal Registration Number
FRS - Family Radio Service
FSK - frequency-shift keying
FSTV - fast-scan television

To the top!   G

G- - giga-
G.I. galvanized iron, Government Issue
G-TOR - Golay-teleprinting over radio
GaAs - gallium arsenide
GCR - General Certification Rule
geocodes - geographical codes
GFCI - ground-fault circuit interrupter
GFI - ground-fault interrupter
GFO - Government Printing Office
GHz - gigahertz
GMRS - General Mobile Radio Service
GMT - Greenwich Mean Time
GOTA - Get on the Air
GPS - Global Positioning System

To the top!   H

h- - hecta-
h- - hecto- H - henry
Hz - hertz
HAAT - height above average terrain
HASL - height above sea level
HDX - half-duplex
HDTV - high-definition television
Hell - Hellschreiber
HF - high frequency
HF bands - high-frequency bands
HPF - high-pass filter
HSMM - High Speed Multimedia
HSMS - high-speed meteor scatter
HT - high tension
HWA - hot-wire ammeter

To the top!   I

I - intensity
i.e. - that is
I/O - input/output
IARP - International Amateur Radio Permit
IARU - International Amateur Radio Union
IC - integrated circuit
ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization
ICAO spelling alphabet - International Civil Aviation Organization spelling alphabet
ICW - interrupted Morse code
ID - identification
IDC - insulation-displacement connector
IF - intermediate frequency
IF shift - intermediate-frequency shift
IFK - incremental frequency keying
IMD - intermodulation distortion
indirect FM - indirect frequency modulation
intermod - intermodulation
IOTA - Islands On The Air
IP - Internet Protocol
IP&E - interconnect, passive and electro-mechanical
IPK - International Prototype Kilogram
IRC - International Reply Coupon
IRLP - Internet Radio Linking Project
ISS - International Space Station
ITA2 - International Telegraph Alphabet number 2
ITU - International Telecommunications Union
ITU phonetic alphabet - International Telecommunications Union phonetic alphabet

To the top!   J

J - joule
JFET - junction field-effect transistor
JOTA - Jamboree On The Air
JT65 - Joe Taylor 65 (JT65)
JT65-HF - Joe Taylor 65-High Frequency

To the top!   K

k- - kilo
kc - kilocycle
kg- kilogram
kHz - kilohertz
km - kilometer
KW - kilowatt
kWh meter - kilowatt-hour meter (kWh meter)

To the top!   L

LAN - local area network
LED - light-emitting diode
LCD - liquid-crystal display
LD - ling distance
LF - low frequency
LGL - Local Government Liaison
Li-ion - lithium ion
Litz wire - Litzendraht wire
LO - local oscillator
LORAN - long-range navigation
LOS - loss of signal
LPDA - log-period dipole array
LPF - low-pass filter
lsb - least significant bit
LSB - lower sideband
LUF - lowest usable frequency
LW - long wave

To the top!   M

μ- - micro-
μF - microfarad
μs - microsecond
m - meter
m- - milli-
M- - mega-
mA - milliampere
mag mount - magnetic mount
magnetron - (See vacuum tube)
MARS - Military Affiliate Radio System
Mc - megacycles
MCW - modulated continuous wave
MF - medium frequency
MFSK - multi-frequency-shift keying
medfer - medium-wave-frequency experimental radio
mic - microphone
mic gain - microphone gain
mike - microphone
MHz - megahertz
MOPA - master oscillator, power amplifier
MOSFET - metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor
MPC - multiple-protocol controller
MPE - maximum permissible exposure
MPR - mass-produced rig
MR - memory mode
MUF - maximum useable frequency
MURS - Multi-Use Radio Service
mW - milliwatt
MW - medium wave
MW - megawatt

To the top!   N

N - newton
n- - nano-
NAQCC - North American Low-power Morse-code Club
NARA - National Archives and Records Administration
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO phonetic alphabet - North Atlantic Treaty Organization phonetic alphabet
NB - narrow band
NBFM - narrow band frequency modulation
NBS - National Bureau of Standards
NCJ - National Contest Journal Magazine
NCR - Naval Communication Reserve
NCS - net control station
NEC - National Electrical Code
nF - nanofarad
NiCad - nickel-cadmium
NiCd - nickel-cadmium
NiMH - nickel-metal hydride
NIMS - National Incident Management System
NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology
NFM - narrow frequency modulation
NM - Net Manager
NMO - new Motorola mount
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPN - negative-positive-negative
NR - noise reduction
NRQZ - National Radio Quiet Zone
NTS - National Traffic System
NVIS - near-vertical-incidence-skywave
NWS - National Weather Service

To the top!   O

Ω - Ohm
OES - Official Emergency Station
OFC - off-center-fed antenna
OFDM - orthogonal frequency division multiplexing
OM - old man
OO - Official Observer
OOC - Official Observer Coordinator
op-amp - operational amplifier
ORS - Official Relay Station
OT - old timer
OTS - Official Traffic Station
OTC - Old Timer's Club
OSC - oscillator
OSCAR - Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio

To the top!   P

π pad - pi pad
p- - pico-
P-P - peak-to-peak
p.m. - post meridian; after noon
PA - power amplifier
PAL - phase alteration line
PBBS - Packet Bulletin Board System
PBT - passband tuning
PC - personal computer
PCB - printed circuit board
PCM - pulse-code modulation
PDF - Portable Document Format
PEV - peak envelope voltage
PEP - peak envelope power
pF - picofarad
PIC - programmable interface controller
PIC - Public Information Coordinator
PIN - positive-intrinsic-negative
PIO - Public Information Officer
PIV - peak inverse voltae
PKT - packet radio
PL - private line
PL-259 - plug-259
PLL - phase-locked loop
PM - phase modulation
PM - power meter
PMR446 - personal mobile radio at 446 MHz
PNP - positive-negative-positive
PRB - Private Radio Bureau
preamp - preamplifier
PROM - programmable read-only memory
PS - power supply
PSK - phase shift keying
PSK31 - phase shift keying version 31
PTO - permeability-tuned oscillator
PTT - push-to-talk
PWR - power
PX - press release

To the top!   Q

Q - quality
QC - Quiet Channel
QCWA - Quarter Century Wireless Association
QPSK - quadrature phase shift keying
QSLL - reply card

To the top!   R

R/C - radio-control
RAC - Radio Amateurs of Canada
RACES - Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
radar - radio detection and ranging
RAM - random access memory
RCC - Rag Chewers Club
RCV - receive
rcvr - receiver
RDF - radio direction finding
RF - radio frequency
RF burn - radio frequency burn
RF carrier - radio frequency carrier
RF choke - radio frequency choke
RF exposure - radio frequence exposure
RF feedback - radio frequency feedback
RF gain - radio frequency gain
RF ground - radio frequency ground
RF interference - radio frequency interference
RF radiation - radio frequency radiation
RF safety - radio frequency safety
RF signals - radio frequency signals
RF overload - radio frequency overload
RFI - radio frequency radiation
RG - radio guide
RI - Radio Inspector
RIT - receiver incremental tuning
RMS - radio message servers
RMS - root mean square
RMS voltmeter - root mean square voltmeter
ROM - read-only memory
RSGB - Radio Society of Great Britain
RST - readability, strength, tone
RTMA - Radio-Television Manufacturers Association
RTTY - radioteletype
RWOP - RW open protocol
RX - receive

To the top!   S

S&R - search and rescue
S-meter - signal-strength meter
S-unit - strength unit
S/N - signal-to-noise ratio
SAR - search and rescue
SAR - specific absorption rate
SAREX - Space Amateur Radio Experiment
SASE - self-addressed stamped envelope
SD - standard-definition television
SDR - software-defined radio
SEC - Section Emergency Coordinator
SET - Simulated Emergency Test
SF - standard frequency
SFI - Solar Flux Index
SGL - State Government Liaison
SHF - super-high frequency
SI - International System of Units
SINAD - signal to noise and distortion
SINPO - strength, interference, noise, propogation, overall
SITOR - simplex teletype over radio
SK - Silent Key
SK - straight key
SKCC - Straight Key Century Club
SM - Section Manager
SMA - subminiature version A
SMIRK - Six Meter International Radio Klub
SMT - surface-mount technology
SNP - shared non-protected
SNPF - shared non-protected frequency
SNR - signal-to-noise ratio
SO-239 - socket-239
SOS - distress call
SOS - distress call
SOTA - Summits On The Air
SP - loudspeaker
SPAR - Society for the Preservation of Amateur Radio
SPDT - single-pole, double-throw
speaker mic - speaker microphone
sporadic E-skip - sporadic E-layer skip
SPST - single-pole, single-throw
SQL - squelch
SS - spread-spectrum emissions
SSB - single sideband
SSB-SC - single-sideband suppressed-carrier
SSN - sunspot number
SSTV - slow-scan television
STM - Section Traffic Manager
SW - shortwave
SWL - shortwave listener
SWL - shortwave listening
SWOT - Side Winders On Two
SWR - standing-wave ratio
SWR meter - standing-wave ratio meter

To the top!   T

Τ - period
T- - tera
TC - Technical Coordinator
TCP - Transmission Control Protocol
TCP/IP - transmission control protocol/Internet protocol
TCXO - temperature-compensated crystal oscillator
TI - talk-in
TNC - terminal-node controller
TNC - threaded Niell-Concelman
TOR - telex-over-radio
TOT - time-out timer
TP - test point
TPTG - tuned plate, tuned grid
T-R switch - transmit-receive switch
T/R switch - transmit-receive switch
TR switch - transmit-receive switch
TRX - transceiver
TS - Technical Specialist
TS - tuning step
TSQL - tone squelch
TTL - transistor-transistor logic
TV - television
TVI - television interference
TX - transmit
TXP - transmit power switch

To the top!   U

UHF - ultra-high frequency
UHF connector - ultra-high frequency connector
UHF mobile - ultra-high frequency mobile
ULS - Universal Licensing System
UN - United Nations
unun - unbalance-unbalance
UPS - uninterruptable power supply
URL - universal resource locator
USB - universal serial bus
USB - upper sideband
UTC - Universal Time Coordinate
UV - ultraviolet
UV protection - ultraviolet protection

To the top!   V

V - volt
ΔV - voltage
VA - volt amperes
VAC - volts alternating current
VCO - voltage-controller oscillator
VDT - video-display terminal
VE - Volunteer Examiner
VEC - Volunteer Examiner Coordinator
VIS - vertical-interval signaling
VFO - variable-frequency oscillator
VHFK - very-high frequency
VHF high band - very-high frequency high band
VHF low bands - very-high frequency low bands
VLCA - very limited coverage area
VLFK - very-low frequency
VMOS - vertical metal-oxide semiconductor
VOA - Voice of America
VoIP - voice over Internet Protocol
VOM - volt ohm meter
VOX - voice-operated transmission
VOX - voice-operated transmit
VPO - pinch-off voltage
VSC - voice scan control
VSC - voice squelch control
VSO - variable crystal oscillator
VSWR - voltage standing wave ratio
VTVM - vacuum tube voltmeter

To the top!   W

λ - wavelength
W - watt
wannabe - want to be
WAB - Worked All Britain
WAC - Worked All Continents
WAN - Worked All Neighbor
WARC - World Administrative Radio Conference
WARC bands - World Administrative Radio Conference bands
WAS - Worked All States
wave - wavelength
WAVE - Worked All VE
WAXE - Worked All XE
WAZ - Worked All Zones
WEFAX - weather facsimile
WFWL - work first, worry later
WCS - Wireless Telecommunications Services
wilco - will comply
WN - wideband/narrowband switch
WOLF - Weak-signal Operation on Low Frequency
wpm - words per minute
WRC - World Radiocommunication Conference
WSJT - weak-signal Joe Taylor
WSPR - weak-signal propagation reporter
WX - weather

To the top!   X

X Section - Experimenters' Section
XCVR - transceiver
XLR - x-series, latch, resilient
XMTR - transmitter
XVTR - transverter

To the top!   Y

To the top!   Z

Z - Zulu Time


# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

To the top! = "Top of page"

To go to the FULL Ham Glossary, please click HERE.