Questions tagged [jargon]

Questions about acronyms, words, phrases, or other terminology specific to amateur radio.

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3
votes
1answer
92 views

What is “up” and “down”, and is it consistent with “top band”?

If I understand things right if you go "down" to "lower bands" you eventually get to "top band", which is 160 meter band. Since this doesn't make any sense to me, is there something I'm missing? You ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Why is the band scope called panadapter?

This feature that some radios have seem to have various names: band scope spectrum scope water fall panadapter I understand the first three names, but not panadapter. Where does it come from?
7
votes
5answers
669 views

Is a 5 watt UHF/VHF handheld considered QRP?

QRP doesn't have a strict definition, though 5W or less seems to be a common threshold. So would "QRP operation" usually be considered to include UHF/VHF handhelds?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is homebrew?

My question is the title itself: what is homebrew (or home brewing)? And how do homebrews differ from ordinary ham radios?
3
votes
2answers
285 views

What does CI-V stand for?

In the context of controlling a radio from a computer, what does CI-V stand for? I've noticed in relationship to a jack as well as USB. For example, from the Icom IC-7300 manual:
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What is “Busy Channel Lockout”? Why do I want to control this feature?

I was reading up on a radio review, and it mentioned something I was not familiar with, "Busy Channel Lockout". Unfamiliar with the term, I did an Internet Search, but didn't get back much, and for ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Can someone help record a specific radio signal at a specific time to help solve a radio based puzzle? [closed]

I'm not a radio expert and I've never posted on this forum before. My request might also seem odd but hopefully someone can help me. I am pretty much a total layman on this subject so will probably ...
6
votes
2answers
249 views

I was told to check the cluster. What does that mean and how do I do that?

A comment on this question says to "check the cluster". What does it mean to "check the cluster"? I'm guessing it's a website. I did an internet search and http://www.hamcluster.net/Map.aspx seems to ...
3
votes
3answers
331 views

What is RF hash?

Ok, I get that "RF hash" is some sort of slang for "RF interference" (think CB), but does it refer to a particular type or source of interference? Do tell.
10
votes
1answer
136 views

Is there a special name (and if so what is it) for this flush-style SMA variant?

I have some radios that have a special antenna connector. It looks like an SMA connector, but the dielectric is flush with the end of the connector: rather than recessed the way "normal" SMA ...
0
votes
1answer
988 views

LoRa Radio RFM96/98 SX1276/8 configuration settings for Longest Range

I have a pair of HopeRF LoRa RFM98 Radio Modems(based on Semtech SX1278) and I want to configure them for the longest range possible, without taking care about any second factor like transmission time ...
4
votes
1answer
855 views

Pirate Radio vs Ham Radio

I've recently came across the terms "Pirate Radio" and in the URL of this page, "Ham Radio". What is the difference between these terms? And what is the difference between the transmission of a Pirate ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a panadapter?

To what does the term "panadapter" refer? (Physical hardware or software?) How did the term "panadapter" originate as related to radios or electronics? How is the term "panadapter" different from ...
5
votes
2answers
739 views

4NEC2 - Radiat-eff. vs. Radiat-power

In the output from 4NEC2 the input power is 100 W. On the left, in blue text, is Radiat-eff. which equals 15.41%. On the right is Radiat-power which equals 94.88 W. I would expect either the first ...
4
votes
2answers
998 views

How to determine a serial number in cq contest?

What serial number is referred to in a cq contest? How do I determine that serial number?
3
votes
1answer
6k views

In amateur radio conversation, what does “hihi” mean?

A common phrase/word I've seen used in text and I've heard on air in conversation is "hihi" or "hi-hi". What does this mean and in what contexts is it appropriate to use?
6
votes
2answers
7k views

What is a “calling frequency”?

Doing some study for the ham test, I read a question asking about a certain “national calling frequency”. What is a “calling frequency”? What is meant by “calling” in this instance?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin, history behind “Ben's Best Bent Wire”?

Bens Best Bent Wire My uncle, who was a Merchant Marine in WWII used to tell me this. He was a ham, and said it would develop my fist musically. I was a small child at the time, and through his ...
6
votes
2answers
581 views

Antenna length in relation to lambda length

I'm pretty new with antenna stuff. I'm not sure how to understand antenna length in relation to lambda with dipole antennas. If a simple dipole antenna is lambda/4, has it a total length of lambda/2 (...
9
votes
4answers
33k views

What is the difference between channel & frequency & band in RF?

I am reading about wireless networks basics. I found three terms I cannot find exact definition for: channel, frequency band, frequency. Can anyone give exact definitions for them?
5
votes
1answer
187 views

What do hams mean when they refer to “higher bands”

For example, the Ultimate3S kit info page says: Produces 250mW RF output on 30m (lower output on higher bands) Would bands "higher" than 30m mean: bands with higher frequency e.g. 20m/17m/15m? ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

DAB/DAB+ and AAC-LD/AAC-ELD

Does anyone know the protocol compatibility with regard to DAB and Low Delay AAC codecs? Is AAC-LD data or AAC-ELD data compatible with AAC and AAC+ decoding. Or how likely is it that an AAC/AAC+ ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

History and significance of term “lid”

What is the history on the term “lid” when referring to a telegrapher’s capability? How did it originate and what is the significance if any of each letter?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

“Repeater” vs. “reflector”

In various topics on repeaters, IRLP, D-Star and EchoLink, I see people refer to these 'nodes' (for lack of a better word) as reflectors. A quick Internet search for these terms comes up with all ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the difference between “minimum SWR” and “resonance”?

Is the point of minimum SWR equivalent to resonance? Exactly what does resonance mean, anyway?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are Amateur Radio operators so obsessed about and hostile towards violation of the rules? [closed]

Please don't downvote just for the title, I'm not trolling, and honestly looking for an answer. I'm not directly involved with Amateur Radio, but have friends who are. They're always by the book. The ...
8
votes
5answers
13k views

What's the difference between saying “CQ” or “QRZ” in a contest?

I'm listening to (or let's say I'm trying to participate in) a contest (or perhaps Field Day), using SSB. I noticed that a station would, after completing a contact, sometimes say “CQ” and sometimes ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a fixed digital message forwarding system?

What is a fixed digital message forwarding system? I noticed this on the lower end of the 222MHz allocation in the US but it's not explained on the band chart:
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between a scanner and a receiver?

What is the difference between a scanner and a receiver?
3
votes
1answer
202 views

What is radio pollution?

In a slide on calculating link budget, detrimental effects to a link included “Radio pollution (selectivity, blocking, IP3)”. What is radio pollution? Specifically, what are selectivity, blocking, ...
10
votes
1answer
744 views

What does a lightning bolt symbol next to an antenna connector mean?

On the back of my Yaesu FT-897, next to each of the antenna connectors, there are lightning-bolt-ish symbols. What do these mean, and is there something I ought to be doing because of that? I have ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

What is dBm and why is it used rather than watts?

Reading through an RF power amplifier datasheet, I found the sheet only referenced dBm output power, rather than watts. What is dBm? How do I convert it to watts? Why, or when, would you use dBm to ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

What is a shallow/deep QSB?

Probably all amateurs recognize QSB as the q-code to represent 'fading'. I recently encountered the terms Shallow QSB Deep QSB A quick google search failed to yield fruit; What do the above terms ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What does TX/RX Exchange refer to?

I am using the Aether logging software and it has two fields I do not understand: TX Exchange and RX Exchange. I know TX and RX refer to transmit and receive, but I'm not sure what to populate in ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

What do the three-letter modulation codes (emission designators) stand for?

I've seen these weird three-letter modulation codes like J3E, A3F, A1A, F3E and so on. Someone even wrote 2K40J3E or 12K5F3E. What do these codes stand for?
25
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a link budget, and how do I make one?

Like the question title says, what is a radio link budget? For what is it useful, and how do I make one?
31
votes
6answers
39k views

Why do hams often conclude messages with “73”?

Looking at amateur radio forums and email threads, oftentimes amateur radio operators will use "73" or "73s" where one might otherwise expect to find "Sincerely" or "Regards". Why?
1
vote
2answers
185 views

What are amateur radio bands? [closed]

I'm new to radio and would like to know what amateur radio bands are. I'm also wondering about the range of these bands/how many there are.
14
votes
3answers
5k views

What does Ham mean?

Amateur radio operators are always referred to as Hams, it's basically the most common term for the hobby, at least around here. Where does the term come from? I heard that it's an acronym for ...
12
votes
2answers
18k views

What do “QRM” and “QSB” refer to?

An answer on Basic QSO format? mentions things like "QRM" and "QSB". What do those terms mean?
10
votes
1answer
262 views

What is Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)?

What does this term mean? I'm not good with radio terms at all, but I was especially curious about this one...