Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ham terms...

So I just realized, I have been using some terms that some of you may not be familiar with. So I guess I will list as many as I can, to give you a better understanding of what I am saying.
  • 73: best regards, usually used at the end of a conversation.
  • MARS/CAP: Military Affiliate Radio System/Civilian Air Patrol
  • Mod: Modify, usually used when talking about modifying a radio. Also Modulate/Modulation, which is basically making a radio emission that contains information.
  • Mobile: A Ham that is moving while transmitting. Or a mobile radio which is one that is used in an automotive, runs off of 12V.
  • Mic: Microphone, converts sound waves to electrical signal
  • Call Sign: The FCC license that is given to every amateur radio operator that passes their exam. Calls signs generally are in a few different formats, for simplicities sake I will say that it begins with a letter has a number and ends with a letter. Such as XX6XXX. The number of letters will vary.
  • CW: Morse Code, also Continuous Wave which is an unmodulated signal. Mainly it will refer to Morse Code, which oddly enough is an interrupted wave.
  • Cross Band: Transmitting on one band, and receiving on another. Usually used when you are mobile, more on this later.
  • CTCSS: Short for Continuous Tone-Controlled Squelch System. basically subaudible tones that, usually, activate a repeater, another radio, or some other device.
  • DTMF: Dual Tone Multi Frequency, Which are commonly known as touch tones. Sent via a touch pad on the transceiver, also used for controlling or activating devices.
  • DCS: Digital Code Squelch/Disaster Communications. used for controlling devices, like CTCSS, except digital uses a code with a 23-bit frame transmitted at 134.4 bps (bits/secs) basically a subaudible tone.
  • DB: It is a unit to measure the ratio of two power measurements. usualy used in conjunction with Gain, to indicate the amount of power gain an antenna gives you.
  • Wavelength: The length of any given radio wave.
  • Band: Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Boston, you know band. Just kidding, the band, such as 2 meters, is where a certain frequency is located. The 2m band is called that because of the physical wavelength of the signal being emitted.
  • Frequency: Often abbreviated as "Freq," this is the measure of the oscillation of a given radio wave. Frequency is measured in Hertz which is cycles per second.
  • MHz/KHz/Hz: Megahertz, Kilohertz, and Hertz. Megahertz is a million Hertz, Kilohertz is a thousand Hertz.
  • Duplex/Dual receive: Duplex is where a radio transmits on one freq and receives on another the difference in freqs is determined by the radio's step (see Step). Dual receive is where a radio receives, or listens to, two freqs a once.
  • Simplex: Single freq transmitting, where the radio transmits and receives on one freq only.
  • Repeater: A device that receives one freq, and retransmits what it receives on another freq.
  • Step: Step refers to the Step, like walking forward, that a radio takes to advance the freq that it is monitoring. This is measured in Hz, such as 5, 10, 12.5, 20, 40, 100 KHz steps. The Ham freqs, usually, take 20 KHz, where as FRS/GMRS take 12.5 KHz
That is all for now, I can't think of any more that I will use, but if I do use some terminology that you don't understand you can always google "Ham radio terms" this will bring a few sites that will contain the needed information.


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