Ham Terms

Here are some terms that Hams use. Most here are for new Hams or non-Hams.

Access Code- Some Numbers and/or Symbols and/or letters that are keyed into the repeater to make it do a certain function. This is done by the D.T.M.F. tone pad on a radio.
Autopatch- A device that interfaces a repeater to a telephone. This allows repeater users to make phone calls using the repeater. Sometimes called "patch."
Break- Used to interrupt a conversation indicating that there is an emergency. Some repeaters and places this term break for emergency may vary.
Capacitance- The ability for a capacitor to store energy in a electric field.
Capacitor- An electronic component composed has two or more conductive plates separated by an insulating material. Also see capacitance
Closed Repeater- A repeater whose access is limited. Usually to a club or a group of people.
Control Point- The location(s) where the control operation is performed.
Courtesy beep- A tone beep(s) that indicates the other user of the repeater is finished with his transmission a the other user can go ahead and transmit. Not all repeaters have this.
Coverage-A geographic area were a were a repeater covers. If the repeater don't cover you can't communicate with it.
CQ- Calling any station.
C.T.C.S.S.- C.T.C.S.S. means Continuous-Tone Coded Squelch System. It is a subaudible tone in a carrier. Its so that a repeater receiver will only respond to signals that carry this subaudible tone. This helps some unwanted signals activating the repeater. Sometimes called "P.L."
Data- Computer based modes, such as Packet, RTTY, and Amtor.
DX- Long distance, foreign countries.
Farad- The basic unit of capacitance.
Feed Line- The wire/cable that connects the transceiver, transmitter or receiver to the antenna. Also call transmission line.
Filter- A device that allows some signals to pass through it but some but will greatly reduce or stop the strength of others.
Frequency- The number of cycles a alternating current occurs per second.
Frequency Coordinator- A group or individual that assigns frequences to repeaters so they do not interfere with each other.
Full Quieting- A receiving signal with NO noise. "Loud and clear signal."
H-T- A portable transceiver that you can carry around. Sometimes called hand-held or handie-talkie.
Henry- The basic unit of inductance.
Hertz (Hz)- An alternating current frequency of one cycle per second. The basic unit of frequency.
Inductance- The ability of a coil to store energy in an electric field.
Inductor- An electronic component usually composed of a coil wound on a central core. Also see Inductance.
Insulator- A material that does not allow electric current to follow thought it. Some good examples of a insulator are air, glass, plastic and porcelain.
Key up- To start transmitting with on a radio or to make a repeater start transmitting.
Linear Amplifier- A device that amplifies a signal. Such as 10 watts in and 100 watts out.
Magnet mount- A mobile antenna with a magnetic base that you can stick on a steel part of your car. This allows you to be able to put up and take down very fast.
Open Repeater- A repeater whose access is unlimited.
Oscilloscope- Gives a lot of information about a signal in a short amount of time. The second most use of test equipment. Also called scope.
P.L.- Refer to C.T.C.S.S.
Receiver- A devise that converts radio waves into signals where we hear or see them.
Repeater- A machine that takes a signal on one frequency and transmits it on another. Usually transmitted on a top of a hill or mountain. Sometimes called "machine."
RF- Radio Frequency.
RF burn- A burn caused by a strong exposer to a RF signal.
Rig- A Ham's term for his radio.
S meter- A devise that show the received signal strength on a receiver or transceiver.
Shack- The room were a Ham/Amateur keeps his or her radio equipment.
Signal generator- A piece of test equipment that produces a low strength radio signal on a specific frequency that's used to trouble shoot RF equipment.
Simplex- A type of communication were you transmit and receive on the same frequency.
Skip Zone- A area too far for ground waves and to close for sky waves.
Timer/Time-Out- A repeaters timer that times the length of a transmission. If the transmission goes over a certain length of time the repeater "Times-Out."
TNC- Terminal Node Controller, converts computer information into packets and visa versa.
Tone Pad- 12 or 16 keys that generate standard telephone dial-tones. Usually placed on the back of the microphone or the face of an H-T. Sometimes called "D.T.M.F." dial tones.
Transmitter- A device that produces radio frequancy signals.
Yagi- A popular direction/beam antenna.

Any more terms you would like to see here e-mail me at [email protected].
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