Abbreviations and acronyms

This is a non-exhaustive list of acronyms, abbreviations and conventions used in RadCom.

At the bottom of the page you will also find some of the conventions used in GB2RS Local News and RadCom Club Calendar plus an explanation of common symbols used in RadCom and other RSGB publications. Some of the definitions may vary slightly from those published elsewhere: the meanings listed here reflect their usage in RadCom.

We welcome any suggested amateur radio-related additions to this list: if you would like to contribute new entries (or corrections), please email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with the subject line Acronyms and if possible format your additions as acronym <tab> expansion.

 

Abbreviations and acronyms list

Note: the abbreviations are capitalised correctly as they should appear and the expansions use capitals only where they are technically required – eg

k                  kilo (multiplier, x 1,000)
K                  kelvin
RSGB           Radio Society of Great Britain

 

 

A                 amp (ampere)

AC               activity contest

ADC             analogue to digital converter

ADIF            Amateur Data Interchange Format

AF               audio frequency (about 20Hz to about 20kHz)

AFS             Affiliated Society (contest)

AGC             automatic gain control

AGL             above ground level

Ah               amp-hour (eg battery capacity)

ALC             automatic level control

ALE             automatic link establishment

AM              amplitude modulation

AMTOR        amateur teleprinting over radio

AMU            antenna matching unit

AOTA          Airfields on the Air

APF             all pass filter

APRS           automatic packet reporting system

APSK           amplitude and phase shift keying

ARA            amateur radio association

ARC            amateur radio club

ARDF          amateur radio direction finding

AREDN        Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network

ARG            amateur radio group

ARI              Associazione Radioamatori Italiani (Italian national society)

ARISS         Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

AROS           Amateur Radio Observation Service

ARRL           American Radio Relay League

ARS            amateur radio society

AS              aircraft scatter

ASCII          American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ASK            amplitude shift keying

ASL            above sea level

ATC            Air Training Corps

ATC            air traffic control

ATC            amateur transmitting club

ATS             amateur transmitting society

ATT            attenuator (radio panel marking)

ATU            antenna tuning unit

ATV            amateur television

b                bit

B                byte

BARTG         British Amateur Radio Teledata Group

BATC          British Amateur Television Club

BC              broadcast

BCI             broadcast interference

BEAMA        British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers’ Association

BERU           British Empire Radio Union (contest) (now known as the Commonwealth Contest)

BM              balanced modulator or balanced mixer

BNC             Bayonet Neill-Concelman (connector)

BPF             band pass filter

BPSK           binary phase shift keying

BVWS          British Vintage Wireless Society

BW             bandwidth

BWO           backward-wave oscillator

BWO           Bridge Wireless Office (eg aboard HMS Belfast)

C               Celsius (centigrade)

C               coulomb (unit of electric charge)

C&G            City and Guilds

CAN            controller area network (bus)

CAR            carrier [level] (radio panel marking)

CASHOTA     Castles and Stately Homes on the Air

CAT            computer-assisted transceiver (or computer-aided)

CB              Citizen’s Band

CC              club contest

CC              Contest Committee

CCC            Commonwealth Century Club (operating award)

CDXC          Chiltern DX Club

CE              chip enable (control signal)

CEPT          European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations

CHU           Canadian government standard time station on 3330, 7850 and 14670kHz

CLAR          clarifier (radio panel marking)

CLK            clock (control signal)

cm             centimetre (0.01m)

condx         condition(s)

CoTY          Club of the Year

cps            characters per second

cps            cycles per second (Hz) (deprecated)

CQWW        CQ worldwide (contest programme)

CRC            cyclic redundancy check

CRT            cathode ray tube

CSC            Contest Support Committee

CTCSS        continuous tone coded squelch system

CV             curriculum vitae

c/w            complete with

CW            continuous wave (usually meaning Morse code)

DAC            digital to analogue converter

DARC          [and] district amateur radio club

DARC          Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club (German national society)

DARS          [and] district amateur radio society

DATV          digital amateur television

dB              decibel

dBd            decibels relative to a dipole

dBi             decibels relative to an isotropic radiator

dBm           decibels relative to one milliwatt

DBM           double-balanced mixer

dBW           decibels relative to one watt

DC             direct current

DCC           Data Communications Committee

DCS           digital coded squelch

DDS           direct digital synthesiser

DIN            Deutsches Institut für Normung (German standards institute)

DMR           Digital Mobile Radio

DNR           digital noise reduction

DSB           double sideband

DSC           digital selective calling

DSB-SC       double sideband suppressed carrier

DSP            digital signal processing (or processor)

DSSC          dual sideband suppressed carrier

DSSS          direct sequence spread spectrum

D-Star         Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio

DTMF          dual tone multi frequency (Touch-Tone)

DVB-S         digital video broadcasting – satellite

DVB-S2       digital video broadcasting – satellite, second generation

DVB-T         digital video broadcasting – terrestrial

DVB-T2       digital video broadcasting – satellite, second generation

DX              long distance

DXCC          DX Century Club (award programme)

DXpedition   one or more amateurs going to an (usually infrequently activated) location to activate the square, country, island (or whatever) for a short time for the benefit of those wanting to work that place

e                base of the natural logarithm (2.71828…)

ECSS           exalted-carrier selectable-sideband (zero beat tuning to receive AM on SSB mode)

EDR           Experimenterende Danske Radioamatører (Danish national society)

EIRP           effective isotropic radiated power

ele             [antenna] element(s)

ELF             extremely low frequency (300Hz to 3kHz)

EMC            electromagnetic compatibility

EME            earth-moon-earth (Moonbounce)

EEPROM       electrically erasable programmable read-only memory

EHF             extremely high frequency (30GHz to 300GHz)

EMP            electromagnetic pulse

EPROM        erasable programmable read-only memory

EQAM         Examination Quality Assurance Manager

ERP            effective radiated power

Es              Sporadic-E (propagation)

ESC            Examination Standards Committee

ESM            Examinations Standards Manager

ETCC          Emerging Technology Co-ordination Committee

EU              European Union

EUV            extreme ultraviolet

EW             electronic warfare

EZNEC®      NEC-based antenna modelling software

F               farad

F               noise factor (note italic F)

f                frequency (general)

foF2           critical frequency (highest frequency returned by the F2 layer)

FAQ            frequently asked questions

FCC            Federal Communications Commission (USA regulator)

FDM           frequency division multiplexing

FDIM          Four Days In May

FEC            forward error correction

FET            field-effect transistor

FFTW          fastest Fourier Transform in the West

FH              frequency hopping

FIR             far infrared

FM             frequency modulation

FMAC         FM activity contest

FOSS          free open-source software

FP              floating point

fps             feet per second

fps             frames per second

FS             full scale

FS             field strength

FSD           full scale deflection

FSK           frequency shift keying

FSTV         fast scan television

ft              foot (about 305mm) (or feet)

FWHM        full width half maximum

G               giga (multiplier, x 1,000,000,000)

g               gram

GAREC        Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference

Gb             gigabit (conventionally 1,073,741,824 bits or 1024Mb)

GB             gigabyte (conventionally 1,073,741,824 bytes or 1024MB)

GC             good condition

GE             General Electric (business)

GEC           General Electric Company

GHz            gigahertz (thousand million cycles per second)

GIRO          Global Ionospheric Research Organisation

GM            General Manager (RSGB)

GM            group mode

GMDX         Scottish DX Association

GNU           GNU’s Not Unix! [sic – Ed]

GP             ground plane

GPIO          general purpose input / output

GPO           General Post Office

GWO          good working order

H              henry

h              hour

HAAT         height above average terrain

HAREC        Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate

HD             high definition

HDTV         high definition television

HF             high frequency (3MHz to 30MHz)

HFC           HF Convention (now RSGB Convention)

HFCC          HF Contest Committee

HPF            high pass filter

HPWPT       high power wireless power transfer

HS             heatsink

HVDC          high voltage direct current

Hz              hertz (cycles per second)

I                current (A)

I                in-phase component of a signal or magnitude

I/O             input / output

I/Q             in-phase and quadrature components of a signal

IC               integrated circuit

Ic               collector current

Id               drain current

ID (or id)      inside diameter

IDE             integrated development environment

IDE             integrated drive electronics

ISB             independent sideband

I2C             inter integrated circuit (digital communication)

IARP           International Amateur Radio Permit

IARU           International Amateur Radio Union

IF               intermediate frequency

IGBT           insulated-gate bipolar ransistor

ILLW           International Lighthouses and Lightships Week(end)

IMD             intermodulation distortion

in                inch (about 25.4mm)

IOTA           Islands On The Air (awards programme and contest)

IP3             third-order intercept

IPO             intercept point optimisation

IR               infrared

IRC             international reply coupon

IRC             internet relay chat

IRLP            Internet Radio Linking Project

IRQ              interrupt request

ISB              independent sideband

ISBN            international standard book number

ISCAT          ionospheric scattering

ISM            Industrial, Scientific and Medical

ISS             International Space Station

ITU             International Telecommunications Union

ITS             Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (USA)

J                 joule

JARL            Japan Amateur Radio League

JFET            junction field effect transistor

JOTA           Jamboree on the Air

JPL               Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA)

JTDX           [K1]JT modes for DXing

K                kelvin (NB: never °K)

K                (Morse) invitation to transmit

k                 kilo (multiplier, x 1,000)

kb               kilobit  (conventionally 1024 bits)

kB               kilobyte (conventionally 1024 bytes)

kc/s             kilocycles per second (kilohertz) (deprecated)

kg               kilogram (1000g)

kHz             kilohertz (thousand cycles per second)

km              kilometre

ksps            kilosymbols per second

kW              kilowatt

kWh            kilowatt-hour (3,600,000 joules)

LAN             local area network

lb                pound

LCD             liquid crystal display

LDPC           low density parity check

LED             light-emitting diode

LF               low frequency (30kHz to 300kHz)

LHS              left hand side

LiFePO4        lithium iron phosphate (battery technology)

Li-ion           lithium-ion (battery technology)

LiPo            (also Li-Po) lithium-polymer (battery technology)

LO              local oscillator

LotW           Logbook of the World

LP               log periodic

LPF             low pass filter

LSB             least significant bit

LSB             lower sideband

LVDS           low voltage differential signalling

LW             long wave (about 150kHz to 300kHz)

LWIR           long wavelength infrared

M               mega (multiplier, x 1,000,000)

m               metre

mA             milliamp (0.001A, 1000µA)

mAh           milliamp-hour (eg battery capacity)

MARL          Malta Amateur Radio League

Mb              megabit (conventionally 1048576 bits or 1024kb)

MB              megabyte (conventionally 1048576 bytes or 1024kB)

MC              master of ceremonies

Mc/s           megacycles per second (megahertz) (deprecated)

MER            modulation error rate

MF             medium frequency (300kHz to 3MHz)

MFSK          multiple frequency shift keying

MGM           machine-generated modes (or machine-generated Morse)

MHz            megahertz (million cycles per second)

mm             millimetre (0.001m)

MO             multiple operator

MoD            Ministry of Defence

MOSFET      metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor

MOTA          Museums on the Air

MOTA          Mills on the Air

MPEG          Moving Picture Experts Group

MR              moonrise

MS              meteor scatter

MS              moonset

MSF            UK NPL standard time service broadcast on 60kHz

MSHV          meteor scatter [software by LZ2]HV

Msps           megasymbols per second

MSB            most significant bit

MUF            maximum usable frequency

mult            multiplier (contesting)

MW            medium wave (roughly 525-1600kHz)

MW            megawatt

MWIR          medium wavelength infrared

n               nano (multiplier, x 0.000,000,001)

NASA          National Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA)

NB             noise blanker

NB             nota bene (note well, take note of)

NDB          non-directional beacon

NEC           Numerical Electromagnetics Code

NF             noise figure

NF             noise floor

NOAA         National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (USA)

NFD            National Field Day

NiCd           nickel-cadmium (battery technology)

NiFe           nickel-ion (battery technology)

NiMH          nickle-metal hydride (battery technology)

NIR            near infrared

nm             nanometre (1×10-9m)

NPL            National Physical Laboratory (UK)

NRC            National Radio Centre

NRRL           Norsk Radio Relæ Liga (Norwegian national society)

NTSC           National Television Standards Committee (USA)

NVIS           near vertical incidence skywave

NZART         New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters

OCXO          oven controlled crystal oscillator

OCFD          off-centre fed dipole

OD (or od)   outside diameter

ODX            longest distance (best DX)

OEM             original equipment manufacturer

OIRO            offer(s) in the region of

OLED            organic light-emitting diode

ONO             or near offer

OOK             on-off keying

OQPSK         offset quadrature phase-shift keying

OQRS           online QSL request

osc              oscillator

OTA             on the air

OVNO           or very near offer

oz                ounce

p                 pico (multiplier, x 0.000,000,000,001)

PA               power amplifier

PAL              phase alternating line

PBT              passband tuning

PCM             pulse code modulation

PD               potential difference

PD               product detector

pk               peak

pk-pk          peak to peak

PLL             phase-locked loop

PM              phase modulation

PMG            Postmaster General

PMR            private mobile radio

PN              phase noise

PRNG           pseudo-random noise generator

PROM           programmable read-only memory

pp              peak to peak

p-p             peak to peak

P&P             packing and postage

PPM            pulse position modulation

PSK            phase shift keying

PTT            push to talk

PV              photovoltaic

PVC             polyvinyl chloride

PW             Practical Wireless

PZK            Polski Zwiazek Krótkofalowców (Polish national society)

Q               quadrature component of a signal or magnitude

Q               quality factor

QAM            quadrature amplitude modulation

QPSK          quadrature phase shift keying

QRA            callsign

QRA            Q-ary repeat-accumulate

QRM            interference from artificial sources

QRN            interference from natural sources

QRO            high power

QRP            low power (usually <5W)

QRPp          very low power (often well under 1W)

QRS            please send slower

QRS            slow Morse code

QRSs          extremely slow Morse code (seconds to hours per dit)

QRT            cease operating

QRV            (ready to) operate

QRX            wait

QRZ            who is calling me?

QSB            fading

QSK            listening (or interrupting) between transmissions

QSL             confirmation of contact

QSO            communication

QST             general call to all stations (also,

QST             ARRL monthly magazine for members

QSX             I am listening on [frequency]

QSY             change frequency

QTH             position (eg address)

QTHR           ‘registered’ position (eg, address as listed in callbook)

Qu               unloaded quality factor

QUCS           Quite Universal Circuit Simulator

RAC             Radio Amateurs of Canada

RadCom        RSGB monthly magazine for Members

RAFARS         Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society

RAOTA          Radio Amateurs Old Timers’ Association

RAYNET        UK Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network

RBN              reverse beacon network

RBTV            reduced bandwidth television

RC               radio club

RC               resistor-capacitor (network, time constant etc)

RCF             Radio Communications Foundation

RDRc           Russian Digital Radioamateur Club

REF              Réseau des Émetteurs Français (French national society)

REP              Rede dos Emissores Portugueses (Portuguese national society)

RF               radio frequency

RFI              radio frequency interference

RHS             right hand side

RIT              receiver incremental tuning

RL               return loss

RMDR           reciprocal mixing dynamic range

RMS            root mean square

RNAS          Royal Naval Air Station

RNLI            Royal National Lifeboat Institution

ROA            Radio Officers’ Association

RoLo            Rolling Locators (contest)

ROM            read-only memory

RS              readability, signal

RSARS         Royal Signals Amateur Radio Society

RSGB           Radio Society of Great Britain

RST            readability, signal, tone

RTTY          radio teletype

Rx              receive (or receiver)

s                second

S                siemens (unit of conductance)

SCART        Syndicat des Constructeurs d’Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs (French Radio and Television Receiver Manufacturers’ Association)

SCC           special contest callsign

SCL           serial clock (I2C)

SD             Secure Digital

SD             standard definition

SDA           serial data (I2C)

SDR            software defined radio

SECAM        Séquentiel couleur à mémoire

SFDR          spurious-free dynamic range

SFI             solar flux index

SHF            super high frequency (3GHz to 30GHz)

sic              sic erat scriptum, “thus was it written” (meaning “this is a exact quotation, not a transcription error”)

SK              silent key (the person is dead)

sked           scheduled contact (eg Alice calls Bob every Monday at 2pm on 145.450MHz)

SLALIB        Subprogram Library A

SMA           sub miniature version A connector

SMB           sub miniature version B connector

SMC           sub miniature version C connector

SMD           surface mount device

SMT           surface mount technology

S/N            signal to noise (ratio)

S/N            serial number

SNR           signal to noise ratio

SO              single operator

SO2R         single operator two radios

SO2V         single operator two VFOs

SOTA          Summits on the Air (awards programme)

SPI             serial peripheral interface

SR              symbol rate

SS              spread spectrum

SSB            single sideband

SSN            smoothed sunspot number

SSTV          slow scan television

STARS        Support to the Amateur Radio Service (IARU programme)

STEM          science, technology, engineering and mathematics

SW             short wave (roughly 2-30MHz)

SWL            short wave listener

SWR            standing wave ratio

T                tera (multiplier, x 1,000,000,000,000)

T                turns (on an inductor)

TCXO          temperature compensated crystal oscillator

TD              time division

TDM            time division multiplexing

TEC            Training and Education Committee

TEC            total electron content (propagation)

TL              transmission line

TNC            threaded Neill-Concelman (connector)

TNC            terminal node controller

TOR            teleprinter over radio

TOR            The Onion Router (internet anonymity network)

tropo          tropospheric propagation

TS              transport stream

TV              television

Tx              transmit (or transmitter)

µ                 micro (multiplier, x 0.000,001)

µA               microamp (0.000,001A)

UBA             Royal Union of Belgian Radio Amateurs

UHF             ultra high frequency (300MHz to 3GHz)

UK               United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

UKAC           UK Activity Contest

UKSMG        United Kingdom Six Metre Group

UKuG           United Kingdom Microwave Group

uPVC          unplasticised polyvinyl chloride

URE            Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles (Spanish national society)

URL            uniform resource locator

US              United States

USA            United States of America

USB            Universal Serial Bus

USB            upper sideband

UTC            Temps Universel Coordonné (Coordinated Universal Time)

V                volt

VCO            voltage controlled oscillator

VERON        Vereniging voor Experimenteel Radio Onderzoek Nederland (Dutch national society)

VFO            variable frequency oscillator

VGC            very good condition

VHF             very high frequency (30MHz to 300MHz)

VHFCC         VHF Contest Committee

VLF             very low frequency (3kHz to 30kHz)

VNA            vector network analyser

VOACAP       Voice of America Coverage Analysis Program

VoIP            voice over internet protocol

VOX            voice operated switch

Vs               supply voltage

VSWR          voltage standing wave ratio

VXO            variable crystal oscillator

W               watt

WAB           Worked All Britain (awards programme)

WAC           Worked All Continents (award programme)

WAS           Worked All States (awards programme)

WARC          World Administrative Radio Congress

WAZ            Worked All Zones (award programme)

WDM           wavelength division multiplexing

WHY           what have you? (what do you have [to offer])

Wi-Fi           type of wireless networking

WIA            Wireless Institute of Australia

WLAN          wireless local area network

WPM           words per minute

WPS           Wi-Fi Protected Setup

WPT           wireless power transfer

WRC           World Radiocommunication Conference

WRPSA        World Radio Propagation Study Association

WSPR         Weak Signal Propagation Reporter

WWV          US Government standard frequency and time station on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25MHz

WX            weather

X               impedance

xcvr           transceiver

xmtr           transmitter

xtal            crystal

XYL            ex YL (wife)

yd              yard (about 0.914m)

YL              young lady

YOTA         Youth on the Air

Z               impedance

ZHR            zenithal hourly rate

Zo             characteristic impedance

 

 

GB2RS Local News and RadCom Club Calendar conventions

Club net       Members of a club having a turns-based conversation under a Net Controller

Club night     General, un-themed meeting at normal club meeting-place

On the air     Club members operating the club radio equipment, normally on club premises unless specified otherwise

Open net      Open to all turns-based conversation under a Net Controller

Radio night   Club members operating the club radio equipment, normally on club premises

 

A list of common symbols such as pi, greater or equal to, lambda, etc, that unfortunately due to the way WordPress works are very hard to ensure they appear correctly on the page