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A Glossary of radio, electronic, military, and other terms used in Monitoring Times®

Compiled by Larry Van Horn, MT Assistant Editor. Although we strive to keep the "alphabet soup" to a minimum, abbreviations serve a purpose in conserving space and avoiding repetition. The following are not necessarily the most common, but they were recently used in MT, sometimes without explanation. If you see a phrase or acronym that has you puzzled, give us a query at mteditor@grove-ent.comand we'll add it to our list.


The Radio Spectrum

ULF - Ultra Low Frequency (3-30 Hz)

ELF - Extremely Low Frequency (30-300 Hz)

VF - Voice Frequencies (300 Hz-3 kHz)

VLF - Very Low Frequency (3-30 kHz)

LF - Low Frequency (30-300 kHz)

MF - Medium Frequency (300 kHz-3 MHz)

HF - High Frequency (3-30 MHz)

VHF - Very High Frequency (30-300 MHz)

UHF - Ultra High Frequency (300 MHz-3 GHz)

SHF - Super High Frequency (3-30 GHz)

EHF - Extremely High Frequency (30 GHz and above)

// - Indicates a Parallel Frequency

uF - Microfarad

uH - MicroHenry

us - microsecond

uV - Microvolt

10-11-11 MFSK - See Crowd-36

73 - Best Regards


@ - At

A - Saturday

AB - Air Base

ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corporation/American Broadcasting Company

ABU - Asia Broadcast Union

AC - Alternating Current/Adult Contemporary (light rock) music

ACA - Australian Communications Authority (Australia's FCC)

ACARS - Aircraft Communication and Reporting System

ACE - Association of Clandestine Enthusiasts

ACM - Air Combat Maneuvering

A/D - Analog-to-digital

ADC - Analog-to-Digital Converter

Admin - Administration

Aero - Aeronautical

Af - Africa

AFB - Air Force Base

AFC - Automatic Frequency Control

AFN - American Forces Network

AFRTS - Armed Forces Radio and Television Service

AFTN - Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network

AIR - All India Radio

AKM - Apogee Kick Motor

ALE - Automatic Link Establishment

Am - The Americas

AM - Amplitude Modulation

AMASS - Airport Movement Area Safety System

Amb - Ambulance

Amps - Amperes

AMPS - Advanced Mobile Phone Service (800 MHz)

AMRAD - Amateur Radio Research Development Corporation

AMSAT - Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation

AMTOR - Amateur Teleprinting Over Radio

AMVER - Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue System

AMW - Air Mobility Wing

ANG - Air National Guard

AOC - Air Operational Control

AP - Associated Press

APRS - Automatic Packet Reporting System

APT - Automatic Picture Transmission (weather satellites)

AR - Air Refueling

ARCP - Air Refueling Control Point

ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service

ARG - Air Refueling Group

ARINC - Aeronautical Radio, Inc

ARIP - Air Refueling Initial Point

ARQ - Synchronous transmission and automatic repetition teleprinter system

ARQ6-90 - Six-character blocks simplex ARQ teleprinter system

ARQ-E3 - Single channel ARQ teleprinter system

ARRL - American Radio Relay League

ARS - Amateur Radio Service/Adventure Radio Society

ARTCC - Air Route Traffic Control Center (FAA)

ARW - Air Refueling Wing

As - Asia

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ASDE-3 - Airport Surface Detection Radar System

ASDL - Asymmetrical Digital Subcriber Line

ASECNA - Agence pour la Securite de la Navigation Aerienne en Afrique et a Madagascar

ASP - Application Service Provider

ASOS - Automated Surface Observation System

ASR - Airport Suveillance Radar

Assoc - Association

AT&T - American Telephone and Telegraph

ATA - Airport Traffic Area

ATC - Air Traffic Control

ATIS - Automatic Terminal Information Service

ATS - Applications Technology Satellites

ATTRIB - Attribute

ATU - Arab Telecommunications Union

ATU-A - Arabic ATU-80 alphabet

Au - Australia

Autodin - Automatic Digital Network

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (weather satellites)

AVHRR/2 - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/2 [5 channels] (weather satellites)

AVHRR/3- Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/3 [6 channels] (weather satellites)

AWACS - AirborneWarning and Control System

AWOS - Automated Weather Observation Station

AWR - Adventist World Radio


Bandscan - A list of stations normally received at a given location (not DX)

Barefoot - Unamplified

BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation

BBCM - British Broadcasting Corporation Monitoring Service

BBC-WS - British Broadcasting Corporation - World Service

BBG - Broadcasting Board of Governors

BBS - Bulletin Board System

BCB - Broadcast Band (Refers to the 530-1705 kHz AM band)

BCNU - Be Seeing You

Bcst - Broadcast

Bd - Baud

BFO - Beat Frequency Oscillator

BIOS - Basic Input/Output System

Bldg - Building

BLM - Bureau of Land Management

BNC - Coax connector commonly used with VHF/UHF equipment

BSKSA - Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

BUD - Big Ugly Dish (C-band TVRO setup)


Ca - Central America

CAMSLANT - Communications Area Master Station, Atlantic

CAMSPAC - Communications Area Master Station, Pacific

CAP - Civil Air Patrol

CAP - Combat Air Patrol

Caracol - Primera Cadena Radial Colombiana

Carib - Caribbean

CARMA - Chicago Area Radio Monitors Association

CB - Citizen Band

C-band - The spectrum from 3.7-4.2 GHz where satellite TV and other fixed satellite services are broadcast.

CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

CBS - Columbia Broadcasting Company

CCD - Charge coupled device

CD - Compact Disc

CDMA - Coded Division Multiple Access

CD-ROM - Compact Disc Read Only Memory

CE - Chief Engineer

CES - Consumer Electronics Show

CG - Coast Guard

CIA - Central Intelligence Agency

CIB - Compliance and Information Bureau (FCC)

CID - Call-letter identification with Morse code/Criminal Investigation Division

CIS-36 - See CROWD-36

CI-V - Radio computer interface made by Icom

CJCS - Chairman, Joints Chief of Staff

CL - Call Letters

CLA - Cuban Coastal Radio Station

CMA - China Meteorological Administration

CMOS - Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor

C/N - Carrier-to-Noise Ratio

CNN - Cable Network News

CO - Commanding Officer

Co. - County

COM 1 - First Serial Port (Asynchronous Port)

COM 2 - Second Serial Port

COM 3 - Third Serial Port

COM 4 - Fourth Serial Port

Comm - Communications

COMSAT - Communications Satellite, Inc.

COMSUBGROUP - Commander, Submarine Group

CONUS - Continental United States

COQ-8 - Eight-tone multi-frequency shift keyed teleprinter system (Coquelet)

Coquelet-8 - See COQ-8

CP - Command Post

CPC - Courtesy Program Committee (a group that arranges DX Tests)

CPU - Central Processing Unit

CQ - General call to all stations

CR - Croatia Radio

CRI - China Radio International

CROWD-36 - A multi-frequency shift keyed communications system. (Also known as URS Multitone, CIS-36, 10-11-11 MFSK)

CRTC - Canadian Radio-Television Commission (The Canadian FCC)

CRW - Clandestine Radio Watch

CSQ - Carrier Squelch

CTCSS - Continuous Tone Controlled Squelch System

CW - Continuous Wave (Morse code)

C&W - Country and Western music

CX - Conditions


DA - Directional Antenna

DAB - Digital Audio Broadcast

dB - Decibel

dBi- Decibels over isotropic

DBS - Direct Broadcast Satellite

DC - Direct Current

DCII - DigiCipher II

DCS - Digital Coded Squelch

de - Morse code prosign meaning "from"

DEA - Drug Enforcement Administration

Dead Air - Station is on the air but broadcasting silence (no programming)

Dept. - Department

DGPS - Differential Global Positioning System

DJ - Disc Jockey

DMA - Direct Memory Access

DME - Distance Measuring Equipment

DMSP - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program

DMX - Digital Music Express

Do - Domestic

DOAS - Department of Administrative Services

DoD - Department of Defense

DOS - Disk Operating System

DPL - Digital Private Line

DPS - Department of Public Safety

DSC - Digital Selective Calling

DSL - Digital Subscriber Line

DSN - Defense Switching Network

DSP - Digital Signal Processing

DSR - Digital Satellite Radio

DSS - Digital Satellite System

DSWCI - Danish Shortwave Clubs International

DTB - Digital Television Broadcasting

DTH - Direct to Home

DTMF - Dual Tone Multi Frequency

DTRS - Digital Trunk Radio System

DTV - Digital Television

DUP-ARQ - Hungarian diplomatic simplex ARQ teleprinter system

DVB - Digital Video Broadcast

DW - Deutsche Welle

DX - Distant Station Reception

DXCC - ARRL DX Century Club for working at least 100 countries

DXer - A person who engages in the hobby of distant radio/television reception

DXing - The hobby of listening to distant radio or television signals

DXpeditions - DX Expeditions (trips to the boonies by radio listeners)

DX Test - A special program put on by a radio station to make it easier for DX enthusiasts to hear that station


E - Voltage (measured in volts)

EAM - Emergency Action Message (U.S. military forces)

ECFS - Electronic Comment Filing System

ECM - Electronic Countermeasures

ECPA - Electronic Communications Privacy Act

ECS - Emergency Communications System

ECSS - Exalted Carrier Selectable Sideband

EDACS - Enhanced Digistal Access Communications System

EE - English language

EEPROM - Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory

EIRP - Effective Isotropic Radiated Power

ELT - Emergency Locator Transmitter

EMA - Emergency Management Agency

EME - Earth-Moon-Earth

Emerg. - Emergency

EMS - Emergency Medical Service

ENIGMA - European Numbers Information Gathering  and Monitoring Association whose shorthand codes became the standard to identify "numbers" transmissions

EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal

EPIRB - Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon

EQT - Equatorial

ER - Emergency Room

ERP - Effective Radiated Power

ERT - Elliniki Radiophonia Teleorassi (Greece)

ESA - European Space Agency

E-skip - Sporadic E-layer ionospheric propagation

ET - Eastern Time

E-Trax - A DOS based utility which allows tracking of the Ericsson EDACS trunking systems.

Eu - Europe

EW - Electronic Warfare

EZL - Easy listening music


F - Friday

FAA - Federal Aviation Administration

FAC - Forward Air Controller

FAPSI - Federal Agency for Communications and Intelligence (Russian Agency)

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

FAX - Facsimile

FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBO - Fixed Base Operator

FCC - Federal Communications Commission

FD - Fire Department

f/D Ratio - Focal Length-to-Diameter Ratio

FE - Far East

FEBA - Far East Broadcasting Association

FEBC - Far East Broadcast Company

FEC - Forward error correction teleprinter system

FEC-A - One-way traffic FEC teleprinter system

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

Feng Yung - Chinese series of geostationary weather imaging satellites

FF - French language

FFH - Fast Frigate Helicopter

FGS - Federal German Ship

FHWA - Federal Highway Administration

Fig. - Figure

FM - Frequency Modulation

FM2 - FM Squared

Freq - Frequency

FRS - Family Radio Service

FRW - Free Radio Weekly

FSS - Flight Service Station (FAA)

Ft. - Fort

FTA - Free-to-Air

FTP - File Transfer Protocol

FTW - Flying Training Wing

FUNC - Function

FW - Fighter Wing

FY - Fiscal Year


GANTSEC - Greater Antilles Section (US Coast Guard)

GB - GigaByte

GHFS - Global High Frequency System (U.S. Air Force)

GHz - Gigahertz

GI - General Instrument

GID - Group Identifications

GMDSS - Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

GMRS - General Mobile Radio Service

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite, Japanese geostationary weather imaging satellite

GMT - Greenwich Mean Time (has been replaced in most applications by UTC)

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, US geostationary weather imaging satellite constellation

GOMS - Geostationary Operational Meteorological Satellite, Russian geostationary weather imaging satellite

Golay - Golay Sequential Pager Signaling System

Goniometer - Direction finder

GOS - Gospel music

GPO - General Post Office

GPS - Global Positioning Satellites

Graveyard Stations - AM radio stations on 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450, 1490 kHz

GSM - Global System for Mobiles (900 MHz)

GTO - Geostationary Transfer Orbit

G/T Ratio - Gain-to-(noise) Temperature Ratio

GVAR - GOES Variable Format (Weather Satellites)

GWEN - Ground Wave Emergency Network (USAF project, no longer operational)


H - Thursday

ha. - Hectares

HAARP - High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program

HAR - Highway Advisory Radio (see TIS)

HBO - Home Box Office

HCDX - Hard Core DX

HD - High Density

HDTP - Handheld device transfer/transport protocol

HDTV - High Definition Television

HEMT - High Electron Mobility Transistor

HF - High Frequency (3-30 MHz)

HFDL - High Frequency Data Link

HHS - Health and Human Services

HM - Her Majesty

HMCS - Her Majesty Canadian Ship

hp - Horsepower

HQ - Headquarters

HRIT - High Rate Information Transmission (satellite)

HRPT - High Resolution Picture Transmission (weather satellite)

hrs - Hours

HS - High School

HT - Handi Talkie/Handheld Transceiver

HTML - HyperText Markup Language

HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol 

HWD - Height, Width and Depth

Hydrolant - U.S. broadcasts of Atlantic and Mediterranean Ocean navigational warnings

Hydropac - U.S. broadcasts of Pacific and Indian Ocean navigational warnings

Hz - Hertz


I - Current (measured in amperes)

IARU - International Amateur Radio Union

IBB - International Broadcasting Bureau

IBC - International Broadcasting Corporation

IBM - International Business Machines

IBOC - Inband Onchannel

IC - Integrated Circuit

ICS - Internet Connection Sharing

ID - Identification

IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering

IF - Intermediate Frequency

IFF - Identification Friend or Foe

IFR - Instrument Flight Rules

ILS - Instrument Landing System

Info - Information

Inmarsat - International Maritime Satellite Organization

INSAT - Indian National Satellite, a geostationary satellite launched by India that provides communication and weather imaging.

INTERPOL - Organisation Internationale de la Police Criminelle

Intl/Int'l - International

I/O - Input/Output

IPX - Internetwork Packet Exchange

IRC - International Reply Coupon

IRCA - International Radio Club of America

IRQ - Computer Interrupt Request

ISA - Industry Standard Architecture

ISB - Independent Sideband

ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network

ISP - Internet Service Provider

ITA - International Telegraph Alphabet

ITU - International Telecommunications Union


JIATF-E - Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-East

JIATF-S - Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-South

JStars - Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System


KBC - Kenya Broadcast Corporation

kbps - Kilobytes per second

KBS - Korean Broadcasting System

kHz - Kilohertz

km - Kilometer

Knot - A nautical mile per hour, one mile is 1.15 statue miles or 1.85 kilometers

Ku-band - The spectrum from 11.7-12.2 GHz were satellite TV and other fixed satellite services are broadcast. Also in North America the spectrum from 12.2-12.7 GHz were the small dish (18-inches) antenna systems operate.

kW - Kilowatt


LAm - Latin America

LAN - Local Area Network

LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department

lbs. - Pounds

LCD - Liquid Crystal Display

LDOC - Lond Distance Operational Control

LED - Light Emitting Diode

LF - Low Frequency

LNA - Low Noise Amplifier

LNB - Low Noise Block Downconverter

LNBF - Low Noise Block Downconverter Feedhorns

LNBS - Lesotho National Broadcasting Service

LORAN - Long Range Navigational System

LOWFER - Low Frequency Experimental Radio

LP10 - Proposed catagory of low power FM station with power at 10 watts

LP100 - Proposed catagory of low power FM station with power at 100 watts

LP1000 - Proposed catagory of low power FM station with power at 1000 watts

LPF - Low Pass Filter

LPFM - Low Power FM (United States)

LPON - Low Power Open Narrowcasting (Australia)

LRIT - Low Rate Information Transmission (satellite)

LSB - Lower Sideband

LSR - Local Sunrise

LSS - Local Sunset

LW - Longwave (150-300 kHz)

LWCA - Longwave Club of America


M/S - Merchant Ship

M - Monday/meter

mA - Milliampere

mA/h - Milliampere-hours

MAC - Multiplexed Analog Components

MAG - Marine Air Group

MARCS - Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (Ohio)

MARS - Military Affiliate Radio System

MAW - Marine Air Wing

mb/MB - meter band/MegaByte

Mbps - MegaBytes Per Second

MBTA - Massachusetts Bay Tranportaion Authority

MCAS - Marine Corps Air Station

MDR - Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Germany)

MDT - Mobile Data Terminal

Me - Middle East

Med - Medical

METAR- Meterological Aviation Routine report

Meteo/Metro - Meteorological

Meteor - Russian series of polar orbiting weather imaging satellites

Meteosat - European geostationary weather satellite constellation

MF - Medium Frequency

MFA - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MFSK - Multi Frequency Shift Keyed

Mgt - Management

MHz - MegaHertz

MI6 - Military Intelligence, group 6 (U.K. spy agency)

Minrex - Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cuba

MINURCA - Mission des Nations Unies en Republique Centrafricaine

mm/MM - Millimeter/Mass Media

MNO - Merlin Network One

MOA - Military Operating Area

Mode C - IFF mode used by civilian aircraft

MPEGII - Digital video compression technique

ms - milliseconds

MS-DOS - Microsoft Disk Operating System

MSK - Minimum Shift Keying

MSL - Mean Sea Level

MT - Monitoring Times

MTR - Military Training Route

MUF - Maximum Useable Frequency

MV - Motor Vessel

mW - Milliwatt

MW - Medium Frequency (0.3-3 MHz)

MW - Medium Wave (typically 530-1710 kHz)

MW - MegaWatts


N - North

NAB - National Association of Broadcasters

NAf - North Africa

Na - North America

NAM - Narrowband Amplitude Modulation

NAMPS - Narrowband Advanced Mobile Phone Service (800 MHz)

NAS - Naval Air Station

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASWA - North American Short Wave Association

NAT - Network Address Translation

Natl - National

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NAVAREA - Navigational Area (defined by IMO & IHO)

Navrad - Naval Radio

NAVTEX - Navigational Text (broadcast on 518 kHz)

NBC - Nambian Broadcasting Corporation

NBC - National Broadcasting Corporation

NCC - National Coordination Center

NCS - National Communications System

NCS - Net Control Station

NDB - Non-Directional Beacon

NE - Northeast

NECN - National Emergency Coordination Network

NESDIS - National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service

NESS - National Earth Satellite Service

NetBEUI - NetBIOS Extended User Interface

NetBIOS - Network Basic Input/Output System

Nexrad - Next Generation Doppler Radar

NFM - Narrowband Frequency Modulation

NFM - Narrowband Frequency Modulation

NHK - Nippon Hoso Kyokai

NIC - Network Interface Card

NiCd - Nickel Cadmium Battery

NiMH - Nickel Metal Hydride battery

NIRC - National Interagency Fire Center

NIRSC - National Incident Radio Support Cache

nm - Nautical mile

NOAA - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

No Joy - Station did not answer call

NORAD - North American Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

NOS - Nostalgic music (mostly 1940s-1950s)

NPR - National Public Radio

NPRM - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

NRC - National Radio Club

NRCS - Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRK - Norsk Rikskringkasting

NSAm - North South America

NSMC - Chinese National Satellite Meteorological Center

NSW - New South Wales

NTIA - National Telecommunications and Information Administration

NTSC - US and Japanese TV broadcasting standard utilizing 525 scanning lines

NU - Numero Uno

NVIS - Near Vertical Incidence Skywave

NWR - National Wildlife Refuge

NWR-SAME - National Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding

NWS - National Weather Service/News

Nx - News


OC - Open Carrier (see Dead Air)

OCF - Off-Center Fed

OEDP - Operational Error Detection Patch

Okean - Russian low earth orbit earth resources imaging satellite series

OLD - Oldies rock music

Om - Omnidirectional

Op-amp - Operational Amplifier

Ops - Operations

ORTB - Office de Radiodiffusion et Television du Benin

OTHR - Over The Horizon Radar


P - Power (measured in watts)

Pa - Pacific

Packet - Amateur radio error correcting mode

PACTOR - Teleprinter system that combines certain aspects of Packet and SITOR.

PAL - European TV broadcasting standard utilizing 625 scanning lines

PAL - Precision Approach and Landing system  or radar

PBS - Public Broadcasting System

PC - Personal Computer/Printed Circuit

PCFM - Personal Computer Frequency Manager

PCI - Peripheral Component Interconnect/Interface

PCS - Personal Communication System/Satellite

PD - Police Department/Primary Data

PDA - Personal Data Assistant

PDUS - Primary Data User Station

PETRA - Jordan News Agency

PFC - Prepared Form Card

PIP - Picture in Picture

PL - Private Line

PLL - Phase Locked Loop

PNG - Papua New Guinea

POCSAG - Digital Pager Code

POL-ARQ - Polish diplomatic ARQ teleprinter system

POW - Prisoner of War

PPI - Plan Position Indicator

PROM - Programmable Read-Only Memory

PS/2 - Programming System 2

PSA - Public Service Announcement

PSAP - Public Safety Answering Points

PSK - Phase Shift Keying

PSRA - Pre-sunrise authorization

PSSA - Post-sunset authorization

PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network

PTT - Post, Telegraph and Telephone Administration

PTT - Push to Talk


Q - Performance rating regarding selectivity or bandwidth, with highest Q being sharpest or most narrow

QBS - Qatar Broadcasting Service

QFH - Quadrifillar Helix Antenna

QRA - The name of my station is ...

QRM - Interference from another station

QRN - Interference from natural sources (i.e. lightning, etc) or from man-made sources other than radio stations (ignition noise, vacuum cleaners, etc)

QRP - Low power operation

QSL - A card or letter confirming reception of a radio station

QSO - Communications between two or more stations

QTH - Location


R - Resistance (measured in ohms)

R. - Radio

R3E - Upper sideband reduced carrier

RACES - Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

RAE - Radiodifusion Argentina Al Exterior (Argentina)

RAF - Royal Air Force

RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana

RAM - Random Access Memory

RCI - Radio Canada International

RCMP - Royal Canadian Mounted Police

RCS - Radio Communication System

RCV - Radio Christian Voice

Rcvr - Receiver

RDA - Radio Democracy for Africa

RDF - Radio Direction Finding

RDP - Radiodifusao Portuguesa EP

REACT - Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams

REE - Radio Exterior de Espana

Rel - Religious

Rep - Republic

Resurs - Russian earth resources imaging satellite series

RF - Radio Frequency

RFA - Radio Free Asia

RFE - Radio Free Europe

RFI - Radio France International

RFPI - Radio For Peace International

RG-6 - Low loss 75 ohm coax (highly recommended by Grove Ent for scanner/shortwave antenna installations)

RHC - Radio Havana Cuba

RKI - Radio Korea International

RL - Radio Liberty

RMI - Radio Moldovia International

RMS - Royal Majesty Ship

RN - Royal Navy

RN - Radio Netherland

RNI - Radio Norway International

RNZI - Radio New Zealand International

ROM - Read Only Memory

rpm - Rotations per minute

Rptr - Repeater

RRI - Radio Republik Indonesia

RS - Radio Shack

RSA - Republic of South Africa

RS-ARQ - (WUN term) Automatic link set-up simplex ARQ teleprinter system by Rohde and Schwarz. Klingenfuss calls this ALIS. Also known as Merlin.

RTBF - Radio-Television Belge de la Communiaute Francaise

RTE - Radio Telefis Eireann (Ireland)

RTG - Radiodiffusion Television Guineenne

RTI - Radio Taipei International

RTTY - Radioteletype

RTV - Radiodiffusion Television

RTVM - Radiodiffusion Television Malienne (Office of, ORTM)

RVI - Radio Vlaanderen International

RVW - Review

Rx - Receiver


S - Sunday

Sa - South America

SA - Scientific Atlanta

SAM - Special Air Mission (U.S. Military VIP flight)/ Surface to Air Missile

SASE - Self Addressed Stamped Envelope

S-band - Microwave frequencies above UHF

SCA - Subsidiary Carrier Authorization (now known as SCS)

SCOPE - System Capable of Planned Expansion (U.S. Air Force)

SCPC - Single Channel Per Carrier

SCS - Subsidiary Carrier Service

SCSI - Small Computer Systems Interface

Sec. - Second

SECAM - French TV broadcasting standard, also used by some (former) communist countries

SECURE - State Emergency Capability Using Radio Effectively

SELCAL - Selective Calling

SELSCAN - Selective Scanning

Sesqui - A sesquipedalian word used by Glenn Hauser, commonly known as a Hauserism

Sesquihour - One and a half hours

Sesquiminute - One and a half minutes

SETI - Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

SHARES - Shared Resources (U.S. government traffic network)

S.I.B.C. - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

Sich - Russian earth resources imaging satellite series

SID - Sudden Ionospheric Distrubance/Singing Identification

Silent - Station off the air

SIM - Subscriber Identity Module

SINAD - Signal to noise and distortion ratio

SINPO - A code system used by radio hobbyists to indicate how well a station was received: S=Strength, I=Interference, N=Noise, P=Propagation, O=Overall

SIO - A code system used by radio hobbyists to indicate how well a station was received: S=Strength, I=Interference, O=Overall

SIS - Secret Intelligence Service (United Kingdom)

SITA - Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques

SITOR-A - Simplex teleprinting over radio system, mode A

SITOR-B - Simplex teleprinting over radio system, mode B (FEC mode)

SLBC - Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

SLR - Side Looking Radar

S-Meter - Signal Strength Meter

SMIS - Russian Space Monitoring Information Support

SMR - Specialized Mobile Radio

SMS - Synchronous Meteorological Satellite

S/N - Serial Number

S/N Ratio - Signal-to-Noise Ratio

SNG - Satellite News Gathering Unit

SNOTEL - Snowpack Telemetry

SO - Sheriff Office

SPST - Single Pole Single Throw (switch)

SPT - Sports

SPX - Sequenced Packet Exchange

SQL - Squelch

SRS - Sunrise Skip

SS - Spanish language

SSAm - South South America

SSB - Single Sideband/ U.S. National Anthem: Star Spangled Banner

SSN - Sunspot Number

SSR - Secondary Surveillance Radar

SSS - Sunset Skip

SSTV - Slow Scan Television

STRATCOM - U.S. Strategic Command

STS - Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle)

SVGA - Super Video Graphics Adapter

S-VISSR - Stretched Very High Resolution Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer

SW - Shortwave (high frequency - HF)

SWBC - Shortwave Broadcast

SWED-ARQ - Swedish diplomatic ARQ teleprinter system

SWL - Shortwave Listener

SWNet - Shortwave Net

SWR - Standing Wave Ratio

SWRL - Shortwave Reception Log (DXtreme Software Product)


T - Tuesday

Tac - Tactical

TACAN - Tactical Air Navigation

TACTS - Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System

TC - Time Check

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

TDF - Telediffusion de France

TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access

TECG - Tactical Exercise Control Group (US Marine Corps)

Tent - Tentative

TI - Terrestrial Interference

TIAWR - Costa Rica Adventists World Radio

TIP - Tiros Information Processor (satellite data mode)

TIS - Traveler Information Service

TL - Tower Location

TLA - Three Letter Acronym

TLK - Talk

TOSS - Television Ordnance Scoring System

TP - Test Point

TRACON - Terminal Radar Approach Control

Tropical Shortwave Bands - 2300-2495 kHz, 3200-3400 kHz, and 4750-5060 kHz

TRS - trunked radio system

TRT - Turkiye Radyo-Televizyon Kurumu

TV - Television

TVRO - TV Receive Only

TVI - Television Interference

TW - Test Wing

TWEB - Transcribed Aviation Weather Broadcast

TWC - Two-way communications

Twinplex - Four-frequency duplex teleprinter system also known as F7B4 Twinplex SITOR-A

TWR - Trans World Radio

Tx - Transmit

Txt - Text


UART - Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter

UC - Urban Contemporary

UFE - User Defined Field

U.S. - United States

UHF - Ultra High Frequency

U.K. - United Kingdom

UKoGBaNI - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

ULS - Universal License System

UN - United Nations

Unid - Unidentified

UNITA - National Union for the Total Independence of Angola

UPI - United Press International

UPN - United Paramount Network

URL - Universal Resource Locator

URS Multitone - See Crowd-36

U.S. - United States

USA - United States of America

USAF - U.S. Air Force

USB - Upper Sideband

USCG - U.S. Coast Guard

USIA - U.S. Information Agency

USMC - U.S. Marine Corps

USN - U.S. Navy

USS - United States Ship

USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

UT - Universal Time

UTC - Universal Time Coordinated

UTP - Universal Twisted Pair

UV - Ultraviolet

UWB - Ultra-wideband


v - variable

V. - Voice

Va - Various

Vac/VAC - Volts Alternating Current

VC - Voz Christiana

VCII - VideoCipher II

VCR - Video Cassette Recorder

Vdc/VDC - Volts Direct Current

VF - Voice Frequencies (3-30 kHz)

VFO - Variable Frequency Oscillator

VFR - Visual Flight Rules

VFT - Voice Frequency Telegraph teleprinter system

VIP - Very Important Person

VHF - Very High Frequency

VHRR - Very High Resolution Radiometer (weather satellites)

VID - Spoken call letter identification

VIP - Very Important Person

VISSR - Very High Resolution Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (weather satellites)

VK - Amateur callsign prefix for Australia

VLF - Very Low Frequencies (10-100 kHz)

VOA - Voice of America

VOIRI - Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran

VOLMET - Aviation Weather Broadcasts (on HF)

VON - Voice of Nigeria

VOR - Voice of Russia

VOR - VHF Omnidirectional Range

VOT - Voice of Turkey

VOV - Voice of Vietnam

VOX - Voice Operated Relay

VP - Vice President

VRT - Vlaamse Radio en Televisie

VSWR - Voltage Standing Wave Ratio

VTO - Voltage Tuned Oscillator

VTR - Video Tape Recorder

VTS - Vessel Traffic Service


W - Wednesday

WAAS - Wide Area Augmentation System (corrects errors in GPS system)

WAM - Wideband Amplitude Modulation

WAP - Wireless application protocol

WARC - World Administrative Radio Conference

WEFAX - Weather Facsimile

WFM - Wideband Frequency Modulation

WG - Wing

WLM - Coastal Buoy Tender (Medium Endurance US Coast Guard cutter)

WMO - World Meteorological Orgranization

wpm - Words Per Minute

WRN - World Radio Network (via satellite)

WRTH - World Radio TV Handbook

WS - World Service

WTB - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (FCC)

WTI - Weapons Tactical Instructor

WTFDA - Worldwide TV/FM DX Association 

WUN - World Utility News (

WWII - World War Two

WWV - National Bureau of Standards Time Station, Ft. Collins, CO

WWVH - National Bureau of Standards Time Station in Hawaii

WWW - World Wide Web

Wx - Weather

WXSAT - Weather Satellite


X-band - Expanded AM broadcast band (1610-1700 kHz)


YLE - Yleisradio Oy (Finnish Non-commercial broadcast service)


ZBC - Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation

ZBS - Zambia Broadcasting Corporation

ZL - Amateur callsign prefix for New Zealand

Zulu - Military time zone (same as UTC)

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