Glossary of Important Amateur Radio Terms

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Glossary of Amateur radio Terms
Glossary of Amateur radio Terms

Glossary of Amateur Radio Terms

  • 73
    • 73 stands for “Best Regards” So the answer the “which is the correct way, 73 or 73s?” question? The correct way is 73. As you can see the word Regards is already a plural form, so by adding the “s” after 73, it makes it a double plural, “Regardses”. Link to be added.
  • ARES
    • The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.
  • Elmer
    • An Elmer is the Ham Radio term for a mentor, a helpful Ham that provides advice, encouragement, and assistance to fellow Hams. Most Hams have an Elmer at some point to help them get started and guide them on their first steps in Amateur Radio.
  • Morse Code / Continuous Wave (CW)
    • Morse Code, either of two systems for representing letters of the alphabet, numerals, and punctuation marks by an arrangement of dots, dashes, and spaces.
    • The codes are transmitted as electrical pulses of varied lengths or analogous mechanical or visual signals, such as flashing lights.
    • One of the systems was invented in the United States by American artist and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse during the 1830s for electrical telegraphy. This version was further improved by American scientist and businessman Alfred Lewis Vail, Morse’s assistant and partner.
    • Soon after its introduction in Europe, it became apparent that the original Morse Code was inadequate for the transmission of much non-English text, since it lacked codes for letters with diacritic marks.
    • To remedy this deficiency, a variant called the International Morse Code was devised by a conference of European nations in 1851. This newer code is also called Continental Morse Code.
  • OM (Old Man)
  • PL Tone / Sub audible tone
    • CTCSS stands for Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System. Basically what it does is this: it adds a tone into your transmission at a certain frequency. Other radios must have the same CTCSS tone or code set to hear the transmission. It will also be heard if the radio has CTCSS and DCS off. Different CTCSS codes have different frequencies, and this is how it filters out other people – as long as they have a different CTCSS, or no CTCSS, then your radio will not pass any audio to the speaker. A radio with CTCSS enabled will only pass audio for the tone it has set.
  • Silent Key
    • When referring to a person, the phrase Silent Key, and its abbreviation SK, is a euphemism for an amateur radio operator who is deceased.
    • The procedural signal “SK” (or “VA”) has historically been used in Morse code as the last signal sent from a station before ending operation,[28] usually just before shutting off the transmitter.
    • Since this was the last signal received by other operators, the code was adopted to refer to any amateur radio operator who is deceased, regardless of whether they were known to have used telegraphy in their communications.
  • SWR (Standing Wave Ratio)
  • SWR and Watt Meters
    • Measures power out in watts and the SWR (standing wave ratio). Higher SWR is bad, as most modern radios will reduce their output if the SWR is too high, so it’s a good idea to monitor the SWR. They can also be used to tune your wire or mobile antennas.
  • The Amateur’s Code
    • The Radio Amateur is:
      • CONSIDERATE….. never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
      • LOYAL….. offering loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
      • PROGRESSIVE….. with knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.
      • FRIENDLY….. with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
      • BALANCED….. Radio is an advocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.
      • PATRIOTIC….. with station and skill always ready for service to country and community.
    • Watt
    • Watt Meter

Terms used on Resonant Frequency and Richard’s Radio Adventures

  • Anti-Elmer
    • The Anti-Elmer is distinguished by the following characteristics
      • Treats other radio operators like they are stupid when they ask simple questions because they want to learn
      • Uses advanced terminology instead of simple English to explain simple concepts
      • Does his best to belittle new radio operator so he can feel self important
      • Not to be confused with the Clueless Extra that has his own particular stick up his butt
  • Clueless EXTRA
    • Operator that decided to get his / her Amateur Radio License because they had to get off Citizens Band for whatever reason
    • Operator that decided to get his / her Amateur Radio License because they thought it would be a fun little hobby like Golf, Needle Point, Fishing, Rubber Band Collecting, Developing New Make-up Tips, etc.
    • Operator that decided to get his / her Amateur Radio License because the entry level test was so easy they that they figured “Why not?”
    • Operator decided to get his / her Amateur Radio License because they
    • The operator that advanced to extra without having to do any real work to get there so he thinks Amateur Radio is Just a hobby
    • Have less knowledge or skill than a newly licensed Technicial
    • Are the first to put others down and treat them like they are stupid concerning their operating or when they asks questions about Amateur Radio thinking they are talking to an “Elmer”
Contact Info For Richard KB5JBV:
Website:    www.rfpodcast.info
Email:         kb5jbv@gmail.com
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Discord:     https://discord.com/channels/758866379104845856/758866379104845860
Reddit:        https://www.reddit.com/user/Richard_KB5JBV

About the Author

Richard KB5JBV has been an Amateur radio operator since 1988. He has held positions with the America Radio Relay League including but not limited to Assistant Section Manager, Official Observer, Official Relay Station, Official Emergency Station, ARES Emergency Coordinator for Kaufman County Texas, Volunteer Examiner and Technical Specialist in the North Texas section.

Richard has also served as RACES assistant radio officer for the city of Mesquite, Tx. and among numerous other duties Including club president for the HAM Association of Mesquite Texas.