Abbreviations and Glossary

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Morse code abbreviations are at: Morse Code Abbreviations

Active -- A device or circuit that requires a supply voltage to operate.

AGC -- Automatic Gain Control

ARRL -- American Radio Relay League. The USA amateur radio society.

Amateur Radio -- The great following that allows international and local communication by transmitting and receiving radio signals.

Amateur satellites -- Satellites that service amateur stations.

Ampere (A) -- The unit of current measurement.

Atom -- An assembly of protons, electrons, and neutrons making up the smallest particle of an element.

Balun -- An abbreviation of--Balanced to unbalanced.

Bandpass -- A circuit that allows a single band of frequencies to pass but not allowing frequencies above and below the single band of frequencies to pass.

Bandwidth (BW) -- The frequency width of a circuit, usually measured between the half-power or -3 dB points.

Break-In -- The monthly magazine produced by The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters Inc.

Bridge -- To place one component in parallel with another, or to electrically join components or conductors. Also a measuring instrument that compares values by ratios.

Callbook -- An annual NZART publication that lists all New Zealand and Pacific Island amateurs. The book also contains valuable reference information important to amateurs.

Chip (IC) -- A common term used to describe integrated circuits. Also used to describe devices that have special construction features.

Clamp -- To hold a voltage waveform at a predetermined level.

Converter -- A circuit used in receivers to convert one frequency to another by mixing it with a third frequency--also called a mixer. Also used for conversion of a DC voltage to a higher value.

Common -- Common point for radio circuits (same as ground, return, and earth).

Communication -- The exchange of information.

Core -- A magnetic material that is the centre piece of a transformer or inductor.

Damped or damping -- A progressive decrease in amplitude.

Decay -- The decrease in a quantity to a predetermined value usually measured in time units.

Decibel (dB) -- A logarithmic measurement of values that corresponds to the response of the ear. Decibels convert large values to understandable values.

Digital -- Signals that have two levels--on and off is an example.

Dip oscillator -- A meter that shows the frequency of a resonant circuit by a dip in its meter reading.


Discrete -- Not in an integrated circuit form.

Drift -- A gradual change from the desired effect.

Drive -- In transmitters it is the output signal from the previous stage to the input of the next stage.

Dummy load -- A device that is connected to the antenna output of a transmitter which can absorb the full RF output power of the transmitter.

Duplex -- Uses two frequencies for transmission and reception.

Duplexer -- Used as a combining device for amateur repeater antenna, so that the repeater's transmitter and receiver can use one common antenna.

DX -- Amateur radio expression for long distance.

Dynamic range -- The range over which a device can produce useful results.

Earth -- Common point for radio circuits (same as ground, return, and common).

Electrons -- The smallest part of any atom.

Electronics -- The technology of conduction of an electric current in a vacuum, gas, or semiconductor.

Examination -- A test for an Amateur Radio operators' certificate, thus allowing the operation of radio transmitting equipment.

Excitation -- Another name for drive.

Feedback -- Output signal fed back to the input to alter the input signal.

Ferromagnetic -- Iron magnetic material.

Finite -- Has an end.

Gate -- A circuit that allows signals to pass when permitted by another similar signal of an independent source.

Ground -- Common point for radio circuits (same as earth, return, and common).

Ground plane -- Used in antennas as an artificial earth surface.

Ground wave -- A wave that is propagated along the surface of the earth.

GURL -- General User Radio Licence.

Half-power point (-3 dB point) -- A point that is used to measure bandwidth. It is measured at the -3 dB power points or 0.707 of the voltage points.

HAMS -- Term used generally for Amateur Radio operators.

High current -- Usually when currents are over 1 ampere.

High fidelity (Hi-Fi) -- The range of audio frequencies from below 100 Hz to above 20 kHz.

High frequency (HF) -- The amateur bands between 3 MHz and 30 MHz.

High gain -- Usually obtained at greater cost than the normal or standard gain circuits or devices.

High power gain -- A device that has both a high voltage and a high current gain.

High grade -- Pure--similar to high purity.

High impedance -- Normally values over 1 M?.

High losses -- Heating of components or other abnormal effects occurs.

High permeability -- Magnetic core multiplying factors of over 10.


High power -- Values over 10 watts.

High purity -- Pure--similar to high grade

High Q -- Quality factor value of a tuned circuit over 100

High reactance -- Values greater than 100 k?.

High resistance -- Values over 1 M?

High stability -- Tolerances less than 1%.

High value -- Values over 1 M?.

High voltage -- Values over 100 V.

High-pass -- Passes all frequencies over a specified frequency.

IARU -- The International Amateur Radio Union (the world-wide union of amateur radio societies).

IC -- An abbreviation for integrated circuit.

Integrated circuit (IC) -- An electronic package that contains many electronic devices.

International Radio Regulations -- Regulations from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

ISM -- Industrial, Scientific, and Medical.

ITU -- the International Telecommunication Union (the source of the International Radio Regulations).

Leakage -- An unwanted current flow because of imperfect materials.

Licensing -- A requirement for Amateur Radio operators because of their ability to transmit RF signals world-wide.

Linear -- The output signal is the same wave-shape as the input signal but the output signal is greater in amplitude.

Load -- The device where an output, such as a transmitter's RF output power,or a power supplies' DC output power, is used for useful purposes.

Long distance (DX) -- Usually means overseas or can be out of line-of-sight range.

Long wire -- When the length of the antenna is greater than a half-wave length long.

Low frequency (LF) -- Frequencies less than 300 kHz.

Low impedance -- Less than 1 k?.

Low level -- Powers in the milliwatts and microwatts ranges. Also voltages and currents in the microvolt and microamp range.

Low-pass -- Passes all frequencies below a specified frequency.

Mean value -- An average value.

Microwaves -- Frequencies over 1 GHz.

Ministry of Economic Development, Radio Spectrum Management Group -- The New Zealand administration and radio licensing authority.

Mixer -- Has two input frequencies and two output frequencies. The output frequencies are the sum and the difference of the input frequencies.

Mode -- In radio, it refers to choice of phone (AM, SSB, FM etc.), Morse code (CW), Digital (PSK31 etc.)

Modulation -- Placing information on RF waves.

Morse code -- An on-off code developed by Samuel Morse in 1837.

Morse code abbreviations

Narrowband -- Less than 1 kHz bandwidth.

Network -- A group of components connected to form a circuit.

Noise bridge -- A radio frequency bridge using a radio frequency noise source to measure and indicate antenna resonance and impedance.

NZART (The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters Incorporated) -- The group that looks after Amateur Radio interests in New Zealand.

Parameters -- The characteristics of a device.

Parasitics -- Unwanted signal.

Passive device -- A device or circuit that does not require a supply voltage to operate.

PEP (Peak envelope power) -- A measurement of transmitted power when using SSB modulation.

Permeability -- The ability of a magnetic material used as a core in an inductor, to increase the magnetic properties of an inductor compared with no core being present.

Phase locked loop (PLL) -- A combination of circuits used to generate variable stable RF signals--usually for the VFO in amateur receivers and transmitters.

Radio shack -- The place where the Amateur Radio operator operates!.

Repeater -- A transmitter and receiver arranged to receive and retransmit amateur signals.

Resonator -- Usually a coil or tuned circuit.

Return -- Common point for radio circuits (same as earth, ground, and common).

Ripple -- The unwanted component resulting from rectification of an AC wave.

Rise time -- The time taken for a current or voltage to rise to a predetermined value.

RMS (Root-mean-square) -- The equivalent heating value of an AC wave when compared to a DC value.

Saturation -- Occurs when any increase in input signal causes no increase in output signal.

Shunt -- Placed in parallel with the component or device (see Bridge).

Silicon chip (IC) -- A common term used to describe integrated circuits (see chip).

Solenoid -- A coil of wire wound on a cylindrical former.


Standing wave ratio (SWR) -- The ratio of the maximum power to the minimum power measured on a transmission line when the load at the end of the transmission line does not absorb all the power supplied by the transmitter.

Syllabus -- The guide to the contents of the Amateur Radio Examination.

Tank -- Usually the last tuned circuit in a radio transmitter.

Toroid -- A magnetic core that is formed into a loop.

Transceiver -- A piece of amateur equipment containing both the transmitter and receiver in one cabinet.

Transformer -- A device with two or more windings on a magnetic core.

Transmission line -- The line between the transmitting equipment and the antenna.

Transmitting equipment -- Equipment that is capable of generating and transmitting an RF signal.

Transverter -- Usually an external device to extend the frequency range of a receiver or transmitter.

Trap -- A tuned circuit that can be adjusted to remove unwanted frequencies.

Ultra high frequency (UHF) -- The range of frequencies between 300 MHz and 3000 MHz.

VCO (Voltage controlled oscillator) -- Part of a phased locked loop (PLL).

Very high frequency (VHF) -- The range of frequencies between 30 MHz and 300 MHz.

VSWR (Voltage standing wave ratio) -- The ratio of the maximum voltage to the minimum voltage measured on a transmission line when the load at the end of the transmission line does not absorb all the power supplied by the transmitter.

Wave -- The RF wave that radiates from an antenna.

Wavelength (l) -- The distance measured between two similar points on consecutive cycles of the RF wave radiated from an antenna.

Wideband -- Bandwidths greater than 3 kHz.

X -- The symbol used for reactance.

Yagi -- A beam antenna.

Z -- The symbol used for impedance.

Zener diode -- A voltage regulator diode.


Further details about NZART can be obtained from the web at  NZART. There are several categories of NZART membership which include Transmitting and Non-Transmitting. Anyone interested in radio can join. E-mail enquiries to will bring details about NZART Membership. On-line details about  Joining NZART - Membership has advantages.
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Compiled Thu Jan 20 2011 at 9:15:25pm

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