Towers & Such 2021

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  • #49199

    Happy New Year!


    So. Another decade, another goabout with last year’s obstinate software problems. Dan, you said you fixed the SPAM filter issue. Would you like to explain why it just ate my posting of the Jargon File of a few minutes ago?

    Jargon File, externally hosted, since WordPress (as usual) can’t be counted on to display it:

    Wrapped: (for viewing in browsers)

    Non-wrapped: (for copying and pasting into bulletin boards)

    It’s the 20s now. Time to finally put this shoddy, unreliable, bug-ridden blawrging platform trying to masquerade as a CMS out to pasture and upgrade to a proper BBS platform like Simple Machines or PunBB. Make it your new year’s resolution.

    Dan Packard

    Probly because link is not https 🙁


    That’s a good idea! Even if you aren’t having problems, any url should begin with “https”, not “http”. It’s much safer. You might check all of your bookmarks.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by semoochie.

    On January 31st (not sure of the time), Stadium on KATU 2.4 will be swapping with TBD on KUNP-LD 47.2 (KUNP 16.2).

    I have no idea if/when TBD will be leaving KRCW 32.4.


    Probably because the link is not HTTPS

    Plaintext or secure HTTP doesn’t matter as the links posted fine, as you discovered. But that’s entirely irrelevant.

    Posting the entire Jargon File, as a post (#49202 or 49203), as I’ve done in years past, is what failed as was happening after the last software “upgrade” a year ago.


    What I meant was that if you had this site bookmarked before the switch to “https”, you might have trouble.


    The FCC has approved KGW-TV move from VHF 8 to UHF 26

    Jeffrey Kopp

    For some reason KNMT 24 (RF 32) comes in strongest of all the stations here in Milwaukie. It’s the only one that gets four bars on my TV. I looked on Rabbitears and it’s at Skyline, with the others, I presume.


    You might need a signal amplifier or higher gain antenna.

    Jeffrey Kopp

    I have a Terk amplified Yagi on the living room TV and it works great. They don’t make this one any more. I just bought another identical Terk on eBay but to my surprise it is not amplified. I have it on my bedroom TV and though it requires some adjustment, it works better than the plain rabbit ears I had.


    Happy new decade!

    Let’s see if this thing actually posts this time.


    Okay, here is the complete official Jargon File for 2021 updated with new entries by Andy_Brown, semoochie and others.

    The jargon file (version 2.2.2021)

    (Diff: grep post #40635–
    2014 edition: #48
    2015 edition: #5216
    2016 edition: #16587
    2018 edition: #33885
    Unofficial fork of 2018 edition for 2019: #40627
    2019 edition: #40635
    2020 edition: was not posted due to software issues)

    NOTE: Antirevisionistic policies prevent entries from being removed from this file (a.k.a. “Raymond’s Syndrome”) except in the case of an extremely glaring error. Old or technically obsolete entries are retained for historic perspective.


    GLOSSARY OF TERMS in U.S. unless otherwise noted:

    0.5 and 2.0 mV/m contours = In AM broadcasting, contours based on the standard ground wave field strength pattern, frequency and ground conductivity in the area. They represent a series of contours showing the coverage of a mediumwave broadcast signal, reflecting a pattern that shows how topography effects coverage and in the case of DAs how the pattern of coverage looks with regards to city of license, the region being covered and in the case of MW directional arrays the protection being implemented for other transmissions on co- or adjacent channels.

    60 dBu = 1 mv/M In FM broadcasting, the distance from the antenna where the propagated signal has attenuated to this value is considered in FM broadcasting as the limits of your Primary coverage or Protected contour. dBu references dB above 1 microvolt per meter (uV), that is to say 60dBu is 1,000 times the voltage at 0dBu ( 1 microvolt). In Zone I and I-A, Class B1’s primary protected contour is 57 dBu and for Class B’s it is 54 dBu. For all other stations in FM broadcasting, 60 dBu is the primary protected contour.

    A or Grade A (dBu) = television broadcast field strength contour of 68, 71, and 74 (dBu) for channels 2-6, 7-13 and 14-69 respectively.

    AC = (1) Alternating current, the form in which electric mains power is delivered to customer premises. In alternating current (AC, also ac), the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction. Alternating current is the type of electrical signal used to drive loudspeakers (2) In radio programming, a format known as Adult Contemporary

    AC-3 = Acoustic Codec 3; formerly-proprietary, lossy audio codec originating at Dolby Labs in the early 1990s and originally intended for film soundtracks. The base of Dolby Digital audio technologies. (The original photographic “Dolby Digital” product uses a series of small data matrices between the left-hand run of perforations on 35mm movie film, next to the analog sound tracks. Supposedly a 70mm variation had been planned but it was never developed.) It was later mandated as the audio sytstem used in GI/Motorola/Arris’ Digicipher system (and later ATSC), is specified as an optional audio format in DVB (thus, most DVB-Sx receivers worth spending money on support it) and is the most widely used of several audio codecs in DVD-Video disks. There was a period of time in the early-mid 2000s when it seriously looked like AC3 was going to kick MP3’s ass as a general-purpose codec for consumer audio files, due to its favorably high performance (especially at lower bitrates) relative to file size compared to MP3, and its multichannel support, but Dolby’s anal-retentive licensing policies pretty much killed that off and it remained a niche format amongst a small (but dedicated) user base, mainly through the open-source liba52 project (look it up; it’s basically the equivalent of what LAME is to Fraunhofer MP3). As of 2017 all relevant patents concerning AC3 (along with MP2 and MP3) are expired and is now considered free to use and develop, so maybe this will finally come to fruition to some extent. AC-3 was extended as the “Dolby Digital Plus” format which supports up to 16 channels at maximum 6.144 Mb/s bitrate, which is not compatible with conventional AC-3 decoders (but DD+ decoders are compatible with conventional AC-3 files).

    AC-4 = Acoustic Codec 4; proprietary lossy audio coded originating at Dolby Labs. The successor to AC-3. AC-4 is proposed as one of the codecs in the 3.0ATSC project and is specified in recent revisions of DVB standards.

    AGC = Automatic Gain Control, a technique in electronic circuits whereby the output is used to adjust the gain of an amplifier.

    AM = (1) amplitude modulation, the oldest form of modulation whereby the amplitude of the transmitted signal is varied in relation to the amplitude of the information being sent (2) the standard broadcast band (530 to 1700 kHz in the U.S.) (3) Ancient Modulation; broadcast band carrying programming targeted mainly at right-wing extremists, bible wavers and other people over 80

    AMSL = the height of a tower or antenna above mean sea level

    amp = (1) amplifier (2) the fundamental measure of electrical current

    ATSC = (1) Advanced Television Systems Committtee, an industry group established in the 1940s (defunct 1950s) to establish standards for NTSC electronic color television. (The failed CBS electromechanical color system existed around the same time but was not administered by the ATSC.) The name was revived in the mid-1990s for the cabal behind digital television but has little resemblance to its predecessor. (2) Suite of proprietary standards developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable and (sometimes) satellite networks, used across North America (mainly US/US territories and Canada [though reluctantly]) and small portions of Asia. (3) Acronym for “Always the Signal’s Crappy” because of its inability to compensate for terrain, distance, weather, physical obstructions, cosmic background radiation and the current astrological cycle, things NTSC and DVB have little trouble dealing with. Frequently ATSC signals arrive at the receiver corrupt and show up a blocky, unintelligible mess. It often takes the ritual waving of a dead chicken above the TV/receiver just to get an ATSC signal to lock.

    ATSC-MH = [ATSC-Mobile/handheld] Variation of the ATSC-T standards used for transmissions to portable, rather than fixed, devices. (Wave dead chicken as necessary.) A kludge meant to sort of accomplish what NTSC-M didn’t have much trouble doing on its own.

    ATSC-QAM = ATSC transmissions modulated using various sizes of quadrature amplitude modulation constellations (64, 128 and 256-level are common) instead of 8-level vestigial sideband modulation. This is done primarily to improve bandwidth usage, thus enabling more program streams to occupy the same 6 MHz channel width than over the air. ATSC-QAM is mostly used on cable TV systems where it is frequently associated with in-the-clear channels and sometimes on closed- circuit (non-broadcast) over-the-air television systems. What most cable TV users mean when they generically say “QAM”.

    ATSC-T = [ATSC-Terrestrial] Terrestrial ATSC-standard 8VSB digital television broadcast transmissions in North America, Mexico and parts of Asia conducted in 6 MHz channels conforming to the standard NTSC-M bandplan. What most people in North America mean when they say “DTV” or “OTA”.

    B or Grade B (dBu) = television broadcast field strength contour of 47, 56, and 64 (dBu) for channels 2-6, 7-13 and 14-69 respectively.

    Black Beauty = Brand name of an oil-filled electrolytic capacitor line manufactured by Sprague Electrical in the 1950s/1960s/1970s. Black Beauty capacitors are easily recognised by their black plastic cylindrical construction and colored bands indicating value. In the 2010s, they are almost always found failed or defective in some way due to age, usage and storage conditions, and are known to produce distorted or low audio in amplifier circuits, or a myriad of other malfunctions and should be replaced. Some extremely faulty examples have been known to overheat and explode or combust, causing substantial damage to the device they are installed in. Also known as “bumble bees” because of their appearance.

    BUD = a Big Ugly Dish; West Virginia’s state flower.

    Bumble bee = see Black Beauty.

    Bumble bomb = see Black Beauty.

    C = (1) the speed of light in a vacuum (2) Capacitance (the ability to store charge) (3) microwave radio frequency band between 4 and 8 GHz; commonly used on communication satellites for delivery of television programming by networks to TV stations and cable headends (hope you still have your old BUD!); also occasionally used by more recent wireless computer networking equipment and cordless wireline home telephones (4) Series of weak, verbose, and flabby programming languages used by card wankers to do boring mindless things under UNIX on dinosaur mainframes. Introduced by Dennis Ritchie in the 1970s as a reminder to be thankful for things like assembly languages. C deliberately takes many (if not most) of the more irritating aspects of COBOL and (dare I say it?) INTERCAL and compresses them into one easy-to-use, hard-to-forget suite. Due to its inclusion in the original UNIX kernel as, in Ritchie’s words, “a sick joke”, C and its variants are now used in just about everything with and without a central processing unit today. (Will the insanity ever end?) Hackers believe that C programmers are suits or code millers, and no self-respecting hacker would ever admit to having learned the language. Its very name is seldom uttered without ritual expressions of disgust or horror. Only Brainfuck is slightly less intuitive.

    CAM = Conditional Access Module; part of a satelite (or cable) receiver’s decryption system. In the past (think analogue C-band Videocipher era) this was a big cage about the size of a large trade paperback that slid into a bay in the back of the receiver. These days a CAM is a large PCMCIA cartridge that plugs into a small slot (which there may be 2 or 3 of, depending on the manufacturer’s decision) on the front panel, or it may even be integrated with the motherboard. A CAM is a two-part system consisting of the decryption hardware itself plus a credit-card sized smart card, inserted into the module, containing the access keys and other data needed to decode the signal. CAMs are needed to gain (well, “legal”…) access to certain satellite feeds such as cable channels and pay-per-view services.

    CAM-D = /kam-dee/ Compatible Amplitude Modulation Digital; proposed system developed by Leonard Kahn as a reaction to Ibiquity’s DAB system (NRSC-5). It effectively is an “hybrid” system that sends the high-frequency audio along a narrowband digital side-channel of a conventional analog AM signal. It was developed from Kahn’s earlier independent-sideband stereo transmission system. CAM-D was advertised as causing less interference to adjacent channels than NRSC-5 and its ability to be added directly to an existing transmitter site without having to upgrade (expensive) existing equipment. Only a half-dozen stations in the USA broadcast using CAM-D on an experimental basis in the mid-late 2000s and no receiver products were known to have been introduced to the market. It was quietly discontinued after Kahn’s death in 2012. (Compare “HD Radio”)

    cart = shorthand for “cartridge”. (1) A tape cartridge; usually any of various 2- or 3-track, 1/4 or 1/2-inch endless loop tape systems used in broadcast automation and similar applications; commonly one of several variants of George Eash’s Fidelipac format. Earl Muntz’s consumer-oriented 4-track system of the 1960s (which the more familiar Lear 8-track tape evolved from) is a standard size “A” Fidelipac broadcast cart with a different track configuration and lower tape speed (2) A phonograph cartridge; a small container holding the electrical audio transducer elements (usually either coils of fine wire and a small magnet or piezoelectric crystals) mechanically coupled to a diamond, sapphire or steel pickup needle which tracks the analog audio signal embossed into the record’s groove. The component mounted on the end of the tone arm. Electronically a magnetic/coil cartridge is just a specialized type of dynamic microphone.

    CATV = (1) (generically) cable television. (2) (specifically) informal name for a variant of the standard NTSC-M bandplan used on cable television systems in North America. So-named to differentiate it from the similar, but less common HRC (harmonically-related carrier) and IRC (incrementally-related carrier) frequency plans. Portions of the CATV plan can be received using regular non-cable ready equipment, if the headend carries programming on those channels (particularly 2-13 and 65-139 (UHF broadcast 14-83). The current standard plan ranges from 7 MHz to 1 GHz near-continuously. (3) community antenna television; early type of cable TV first deployed in Astoria, OR. CATV, in its most primitive form, literally involves a number of receivers over a wide area (such as a city or an apartment building) connected directly to a central antenna, with possibly an amplifier or distribution hub, receiving terrestrial broadcast signals.

    Class = (1) Deceptive marketing buzzword often thrown around by widescreen TV and monitor companies. Euphemism for “not the actual size of the panel you’re buying”. E.g. a unit marketed as “58-inch class” probably does measure 58 inches in total if you count the 55 1/2 diagonal inches of actual visible display panel plus the 2 1/2 inches of plastic bezel that surround it. (2) In radio and television broadcasting, how much power and coverage a licensee may implement is determined by Zone and Class. Zones (see below) are geographic. Zones determine what classes will be licensed within that zone.

    Classes for FM are:
    Classes for AM are:
    Classes for TV are:

    clear channel = a frequency on the AM band which provides the radio station with the highest protection from interference from other stations. A long story. It no longer means that only one transmitter operates on that channel

    Clear Channel = (note capitalisation) The company that ruined radio. See also “I Heart Radio”.

    Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 47: Telecommunications = the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Within title 47 the most discussed parts are normally Part 73 Radio Broadcast Services, but also may refer to Part 0, Part 1, Part 2, Part 15, Part 17, Part 74, Part 95, Part 97.

    contour = a series of points at which the signal of a radio or television broadcast is at a referenced field strength. On flat land a non directional (omnidirectional) antenna will exhibit near circular contours, ideally. Contours are either “protected” contours or “interference contours.” In FM, the actual numerical values of these contours depends on Zone and Class. Also, when you are within 320 km of either Canada or Mexico, different spacing distances and contour values must be observed. Stations in Zone II that are not within 320 km of the Canadian border have their 60 dBu protected contour and three interfering contours, 40 dBu for co-channel, 54 dBu for 1st adjacent and 100 dBu for 2nd adjacent protection.

    CP = (1) construction permit (2) circular polarization

    CPS = Cycles Per Second; see “Hertz”

    CQAM (also “C-QuAM”) = Compatible Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, a system developed by Motorola for stereophonic broadcasting on mediumwave (AM)

    Critical hours = the first two hours after local sunrise and the last two before local sunset. It only applies to clear channels to protect the primary or primaries on those channels. The amount of power etc. authorized is listed on the license.

    DA = (1) directional antenna,an antenna which radiates greater power in one or more directions or exhibits greater receive sensitivity in one or more directions (2) distribution amplifier, an amplifier that provides multiple outputs from one input

    DA-N = directional antenna at night

    DA-2 = directional antenna 24 hours, different patterns day and night

    DAB = digital audio broadcasting, the method for audio broadcasting digitally in many countries, principally in Europe.

    dB = decibel, a logarithmic unit used to express the ratio between two values of a physical quantity, often used to express the gain of an amplifier or the loss of signal strength as a signal propagates away from the antenna.

    DBS = Direct Broadcast Satellite (or Service); basically, pay-cable TV over satellite and may carry video+audio programming (television), audio-only programming (radio simulcasts; specialty programming) or both. What the scammy MMDS “wireless cable” thing of the late 80s/early 90s probably could have been had it been managed more responsibly. Currently in the US, DBS cable consists/consisted of the major companies Direct TV (AT$T) and DiSH Network (Echostar), leased-bandwidth subsets of the two majors (e.g. Muzak via Echostar) and a handful of niche companies (e.g. Globecast World, Sky Angel, DMX Music.). DBS services may go out scrambled, in the clear or a mix of the two. Former major pay DBS cable systems in the US included Alphastar, Primestar and USSB.

    DC = (1) direct current, the unidirectional flow of electricity (2) Digicipher, digital TV system originally developed in the early 1990s by General Instruments (3) publisher of Batman, Superman and Justice League comic books (4) popular brand of skateboard hightops (next to Vans, Etnies and Converse)

    Dead air = Unmodulated carrier; condition occurring when a transmitter is on the air but there is an absence of modulation (no information being broadcast).

    Digicipher = Two proprietary early digital TV/audio broadcasting systems developed and originally marketed by General Instruments (which was bought out by Motorola and now owned by Arris Group) and which about 90% was worked into the ATSC standards. Digicipher II is the system encountered today and used mostly over satellites though a variant also exists for cable systems. Contrary to popular belief Digicipher is *not* an encryption system (though it does include optional encryption built-in) but a full MPEG2- or 4-based digital TV system, thus DC services can go out scrambled or in the clear. DCII predated DVB by a few years and coexists with it on North American satellites though the two are completely incompatible. DCII’s encryption system had been considered uncompromised, until a controversial seminar given at the Chaos Computer Conference in 2016 shot that all to hell ( The concept of “virtual channels” that all terrestrial TV users know and love today originated in Digicipher.

    DOCSIS = /DOK-siss/; /DOK-sees/ Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, international standards that specify how packet (TCP-IP) data are to be sent over coaxial, hybrid fiber-coaxial and straight fiber cable TV networks. Systems based on DOCSIS are frequently used by cable TV headends to provide two-way Internet connectivity, pay-TV addressing and other telecommunications services like voice telephony.

    DRM = (1) Digital Radio Mondiale (fr./it. Worldwide Digital Radio), European MPEG4-based digital audio broadcasting system used on shortwave and (sometimes) the mediumwave and FM bands that’s sweeping the globe. DRM is an open system like DAB, but not related to and incompatible with DAB. (2) digital restriction management, any of various proprietary and sometimes illegal methods of blocking access to payware (downloaded or on disk) by those who paid, sometimes dearly, to access it. DRM methods vary from simply requiring the user type an “unlock” code on installation, to filesystem tricks, to more unethical and illicit means such as rootkits, and any number of variations and repetitions thereof. DRM has been the source of considerable headaches, confusion and user-inflicted physical damage to computer hardware for millions of computer operators the world over for many years, although most (if not all) systems in use (to date, as of this reading) have been defeated. Somebody who knows what they’re doing can defeat most popular software-based DRM systems in maybe an hour.[citation needed]

    DSS = Early digital television multiplexing system today used exclusively by Directv. Acronym for “Digital Satellite System”. DSS and DVB-S are similar except for the way they handle EPG, PIDs and other information, thus making them completely incompatible. “Classic” MPEG2 DSS is rapidly becoming obsolete as Directv converts to the more spectrally-efficient (and HD-capable) MPEG4 system.

    DSSC = double sideband suppressed carrier, a form of modulation used in analog FM (and sometimes AM (e.g. WWV/H)) broadcasting

    DTV = (1) Direct TV, American pay DBS service. (2) digital television; generic blanket term for any of various packet video broadcasting standards. “DTV” is NOT the name of any digital television broadcasting standard!!!

    DVB = Suite of largely open standards for MPEG2 and MPEG4 digital television transmissions via wire (DVB-C), air (DVB-T) and satellite (DVB-S) used around the world. DVB can support video, audio and two-way data communications. Way too complicated to go into technical details of here. Had big money not yet again had its way with the FCC, we could be enjoying DVB-T as our digital TV system instead of proprietary, crappy ATSC. DVB-S is the system Americans are most directly familiar with (especially if they use DiSH Network) since as of 2018 it makes up the bulk of satellite signals over North America that aren’t Digicipher II.

    EMI = (1) electromagnetic interference. (2) defunct major record label and media conglomerate based in England. Capitol Records was EMI’s North American subsidiary.

    EOM = end-of-mark; in tape automation systems, a subaudible tone used to signal the automation controller to stop the current tape and cue the next reel or cart in the playout chain. The typical EOM (e.g. as widely used in easy-listening FMs) was 1 second of 25 Hz (sometimes, though rarely, 35 Hz) tone at -0 VU/-18 dBFS in the audio track (or the left channel, in the case of stereo recordings), at the end of the selection, followed by 1 second of silence to allow the next deck time to get up to speed. This usually created a silence gap between selections; while suitable for easy listening and and light music formats, it would make for a sloppy presentation on faster-paced pop music formats. Drake-Chenault got around this by putting the tone one second *before* the end of the song to form a tight segue more suitable for a pop format. Tone automation was effectively made obsolete in industry by the early 1980s when more sophisticated computerised playout controllers became available.

    ERP = Effective Radiated Power, in FM radio and television broadcasting, the amount of power you are licensed to transmit, it is equal to transmitter power output (TPO) minus transmission line loss times the antenna gain.

    FM = (1) frequency modulation, the encoding of information in a carrier wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of the wave. (Compare with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier wave varies, while the frequency remains constant.) (2) the FM broadcast band (87.5 to 108.1 MHz throughout most of the world, in either 100 or 200 kHz increments.)

    FM/FM = See FM squared.

    FM2 = See FM squared.

    FM squared = Analogue satellite audio system developed in the 1980s by Wegener Communications. Also known as “FM2” or “FM/FM”. The FM squared format sent audio as a frequency-division multiplexed bouquet of discrete monophonic audio channels of varying bandwidths (30 kHz was common) in transponder space replacing the video carriers, between 100 kHz and 9 MHz. 2 or more mono channels could be used to create a stereo or multi-channel broadcast (5.1 anybody?). This was a much more efficient usage of bandwidth, especially for a company transmitting multiple formats of audio and using multiple conventional 5-8 MHz or SCPC subcarriers across multiple transponders was impractical, costly or undesirable. Thus it was used extensively by satellite business music programmers (e.g. Muzak and AEI) and radio content syndicators. (Had Sirius and XM existed in the early 1990s, it was the format they probably would have used.) Now considered obsolete, having been replaced by DVB and other digital formats.

    free to air = A broadcast not requiring a subscription be paid to use it and (usually) transmitted without encryption/scrambling; for example, public-access channels on cable TV or DVB satellites. Note that some free-to-air services, particularly via satellite, are encrypted (usually for technical reasons) and require a CAM to access; however access keys are made available by request at little to no one-time cost (generally to cover postage) from the broadcaster; such arrangements are uncommon. Compare “in the clear”.

    frequency = the number of occurrences of an electromagnetic field, usually referring to audio or radio signals, per unit time. Also see period and wavelength.

    Gm = transconductance, the ratio of the current change at the output port to the voltage change at the input port, usually in reference to a vacuum tube.

    HAAT = Height above average terrain, used in the prediction of coverage by television stations, FM radio stations and some wireless radio services, HAAT value is determined by taking 50 evenly spaced elevation points (above mean sea level [AMSL]) along at least 8 evenly spaced radials from the transmitter site (starting at 0 degrees [True North]). The 50 evenly spaced points are sampled in the segment between 3 to 16 km (formerly 2 to 10 miles) along each radial. The elevation points along each radial are averaged, then the radial averages are averaged to provide the final HAAT value. Terrain variations within 3 km (2 miles) of the transmitter site usually do not have a great impact on station coverage.

    HAGL = height above ground level

    HD Radio = Suite of proprietary standards for digital audio broadcasting used primarily in North America including Canada and in small portions of Asia and Europe. Also known as NRSC-5. The HD Radio system was developed by Ibiquity Digital, a cartel of Lucent Technologies (AT$T) and a couple others, but as of 2015 was owned and administered by Digital Theatre Systems (DTS) (movie sound-on-CD; those guys), which was in turn purchased by Xperi in 2016. The currently accepted method is an hybrid mode transmitting redundant data streams in sidebands of an analogue FM (rarely AM) station’s composite audio signal though a full-digital mode does exist. Codec used is HE-AAC. HD Radio marketing toss boasts “near CD-quality” audio (whatever the hell that means) but due to the low bitrate and sample rates tends to fall short of that goal. It can yield very good results under the right conditions. Its real strength is its multicasting capability, providing a service similar to SCA but with relatively higher fidelity. The term “HD” is simply a brand name and not an acronym for anything although it is often (unofficially) defined as “Hybrid Digital”. A non-hybrid “revitalisation plan” for the mediumwave band was approved, somewhat controversially, by the Trump FCC in late 2020, authorising mediumwave stations to operate full-digital transmissions with no analogue component. Hypothetically this should provide service similar of what is already in place on the FM bands. As of 2020, no plan to authorise full-digital transmissions on FM has been announced. (See IBAC; IBOC)

    HDTV = high-definition television; generic term for various specific optional high-resolution (today, often widescreen) image formats given in most current digital TV broadcasting systems (ATSC, DVB, ISDB…) and several obsolete analog systems (CCIR systems A [for its time], E & F; MUSE/Hi-Vision; HDMAC). Mostly due to expense and high bandwidth requirements, high-definition services presently comprise a small minority of terrestrial digital TV broadcasts operating in the US. Do not confuse “HDTV” with the acronym of any digital television broadcast standard (e.g. ATSC) or digital TV in general as they are not synonymous. It is not possible for anyone, including the most seasoned of professionals, to use the term in such a manner without making oneself look like a complete and total idiot!!!

    Hz = Hertz, the standard for measuring sinusoidal electricity. Also known as CPS or cycles per second

    I = electrical current, the flow of charge (measured in amperes or amps) (2) singular first-person pronoun used by most people to refer to themselves individually

    IBAC = in-band adjacent channel; what people really mean when they say “IBOC”.

    IBOC = in band on channel, the current method for broadcasting audio digitally on the AM and FM bands in North America

    IF = intermediate frequency,

    IFB = interruptible foldback (or feedback); one-way feed of a TV station’s audio used by the TV station’s producer, director or engineer to communicate instructions (such as cues and camera directions) to remote news gathering personnel in the field. Local IFBs are usually, though not exclusively, found in the 450 and 455 MHz bands, frequently during news broadcasts, and can be monitored on most basic narrowband FM (5-12 kHz) police scanners.

    I Heart Radio = Lipstick on a proverbial pig. A polished turd. “I Fart Radio”.

    IMD = intermodulation distortion

    In the clear = generally, transmitted without any encryption or scrambling; can be received on ordinary unmodified equipment. The main difference between “free-to-air” and “in-the-clear” is whether or not a subscription or permission is required to use the signal in certain applications. For example, Muzak and DMX broadcast music via satellite in-the-clear that can be (and often is) listened to by people in their private homes with off-the-shelf DVB equipment. It isn’t free-to-air because it still requires a subscription be paid to use it in businesses (such as stores and restaurants). Thus free-to-air transmissions are often (usually) in the clear, but transmissions in the clear may not necessarily be free to air.

    ISDB = Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting, Japanese standards for data broadcasting; used mostly for digital audio and video broadcasting in Japan and South America. ISDB’s high-definition video mode replaced the analogue MUSE standard for high-resolution video transmissions in Japan.

    K = (1) Kilo; SI prefix for thousand (2) Series of three microwave radio frequency bands between 12 and 40 GHz; the Ku-band (12-18 GHz) in particular is commonly used for foreign satellite television broadcasting, backhauls, business music services, commercial direct-broadcast satellite TV services (including pay packages like Echostar and Direct TV, and in-the-clear ethnic and religious TV/audio broadcasting.) The K-bands don’t require as large an antenna as C-band to reliably receive, making them practical for fixed-dish, direct-to-home television broadcasting and computer networking uses.

    Kirchoff’s Law = Two equalities that deal with the current and potential difference in the lumped element model of physical electrical circuits. First described in 1845 by German physicist Gustav Kirchhoff. This generalized the work of Georg Ohm and preceded the work of James Clerk Maxwell. As taught, the first law states that the sum of currents at a node sum to zero (current in must equal current out). The second law states that the sum of all voltage drops around a closed loop with the circuit must sum to zero. In combination with Ohm’s Law, these three laws of physics enable almost all circuit parameters to be calculated as either a hard number or an expression in terms of the currents, voltages and stated variables given.

    L inductance = the property of an electrical conductor by which a change in electric current through it induces an electromotive force (voltage) in the conductor.

    Longley-Rice = An alternate method to the FCC method of predicting coverage that addresses the difficulty of determining exactly where a contour line falls when in fact the signal from a given transmitter may rise and fall above and below a given signal level numerous times along the path.

    Loumaag = See frankberry.

    LPFM = Low Power FM, a class of service in FM broadcasting

    LPTV = Low Power TV, a class of service in TV broadcasting

    MAC = Multiplex Analog Components; series of various hybrid analog/digital color television systems used mostly for broadcasting in Europe and Asia. MAC systems transmit video as an analog baseband with sequential color information (similarly to SECAM) with digital audio tracks. Audio format is a minor (and compatible) variation of the British NICAM standard. A 525/60 version of D2-MAC was used in the initial versions of the Primestar DBS system in North America (later switched to DSS). A variation called “S-MAC” was used in NTSC areas to move video around inside TV studios due to its resistance to generational quality degradation. Outside North America it was used as a broadcasting format over cable and satellite links and a high-resolution format (HD-MAC) also exists. Because of various major technical issues MAC never really caught on as a terrestrial broadcasting standard (though several European and Asian countries did propose it) but it was, and still may be in a few areas, used on analog cable TV systems. Most if not all MAC broadcasts over satellites have been replaced by DVB.

    macOS [sic] = A 64-bit graphic shell for a 32-bit patch to a 16-bit kernel written for an 8-bit processor on a 4-bit bus, sold by a two-bit company that can’t tolerate one bit of competition. Something that reminds you to be thankful for things like Linux. No, that weird capitalization is not my error.

    MP2 = MPEG 1 audio layer II, industry-standard lossy audio codec originating at Fraunhofer Gesselschaft/Thomson IIS used mostly in (but certainly not limited to) professional applications. Probably the most widely-deployed codec in broadcasting today. Extended from (and often confused with) the earlier, obsolete MUSICAM codec. MP2 was what the later MP3 system was based on and there are several differences (most notably MP2’s simple 32-subband timebase encoding method versus MP3’s bizarrely complex 576-component hybrid frequency/double time-transform method) though they are similar enough that most MP3 decoders can handle MP2 data. MP2 is the predominant audio codec in DVD-Video titles and DVB satellite broadcasts when AC3 isn’t being used, is the mandated codec used in EU147 DAB, is used for audio backhauls to radio and TV networks, and one of many audio file formats supported by most consumer audio players that are worth spending money on. Encoders like twolame can be used to generate local MP2 files or audio streams. The development of MP2 earned CCETT, IRT and Philips an Emmy award for engineering in 2000. A form of the related MPEG 2 audio layer II encoding is used as an extension of MP3, mainly when the source PCM file is of lower sampling rate than 32 kHz (since MP3 only supports 32, 44.1 and 48 kHz sampling rates natively). Standardized in ISO/IEC 11172-3 and 13818-3.

    NABTS = North American Broadcast Teletext Specification; fork of EIA-608 captioning technology (but standardized as EIA-512) that defines the teletext mode presently used in the US and Canada. A subset of the World Standard Teletext (WST) specification originally adopted in the UK by the BBC and ITV then the rest of the 625/50 world, with modifications to make it 525/60 compatible. Responsible for that black box that takes up the lower half of your TV screen but mostly doesn’t do anything. Some off-air video tapes recorded from ABC and PBS in the late 80s/early 90s will show (now historic) TV scheduling and other information in this format if you set the closed caption decoder to text service #1 or 2 while the tape is playing. NABTS was used until fairly recently (early 2010s) to enclose ancillary TV show data (URLs and crap) used by Microsnort’s “Web TV for Windows” package (text #3 I.I.R.C.). It still sees occasional use today as a way of sending internal messages to network affiliates and for leased low-speed data services, some of which are known to leak out onto local affiliates during network broadcasts. NABTS also specifies how NAPLPS packets are to be encoded for one-way broadcast over television stations (see NAPLPS). NABTS is directly related to closed-captioning for the hearing impaired, and transmitted/decoded in a similar way using basically the same hardware.

    NAPLPS = North American Presentation Level Protocol Standard, Telidon’s and AT&T’s (mostly) method of implementing sort of “BBC-like” teletext used on NTSC television systems. Based on the Canadian “Telidon” system. One of three competing teletext systems implemented in North America alongside NABTS and a slightly modified form of World Standard Teletext (WST) (used by the BBC and just about everybody else). NAPLPS could do some really cool shit (for its time) that the other systems couldn’t, like vector graphics and a primitive form of “interactivity”. Unlike NABTS teletext, and like WST, NAPLPS’ big black window that does nothing takes up almost the entire screen area. NAPLPS was never widely used for broadcast services and was considered dead in that application by the end of the 1980s because AT$T couldn’t get enough TV manufacturers to buy into its very expensive and complex technology, though it did see considerable use on dialup computer services (e.g. the original Prodigy network and some hobby bulletin board systems) into the early 2000s. Standardised under ANSI-X3.110-1983/CSA-T500-1983, ISO 2022 and ISO 2375.

    NDA = non directional antenna

    NIR (pron. “near”) = Proposed Soviet color TV format developed in the 1950s but never deployed. Named for the Nautchno-Issledovatelskiy Institut Radio; a Russian telecommunications research institute. Basically an incompatible variation of SECAM. The motivation of this development was mostly political, to prevent satisfactory reception of outside color TV signals behind the Iron Curtain. (Similar to how the 62-75 MHz “OIRT” FM broadcasting band was used across the eastern bloc in lieu of 87.5-108 MHz as used in the West.) PAL was not in wide use yet and it was thought that SECAM would become the dominant color system across Europe and Asia. By the early 1960s, once PAL was being deployed en masse across the eastern hemisphere, the NIR system was considered unnecessary and expensive to implement and conventional SECAM was deployed across the Soviet Union instead. (SECAM-III is still used today to transmit television to remote areas of the Russian Federation (e.g. Siberia) and The Ukraine that would be difficult or impractical to reach using DVB-T or -S.) As with SECAM and PAL, NIR would have been used with a conventional 625/50 baseband video signal. Two versions of NIR were proposed, with (“non-linear”) and without (“linear”) dynamic gamma correction. The linear version was tentatively named “SECAM-IV”.

    NTSC = (1) National Television Systems Committee Specification A/47; analog television engineering standards and video transmission system used mostly in the Americas and parts of eastern Asia (mainly Japan and South Korea; major exporters of television equipment to the United States) and pretty much anywhere else a 60 Hz power system is used….. except Brazil. Initially standardised as a black-and-white system in 1941 then revised to allow for color transmissions in 1953. The final technical specification was published as 47 CFR 73.682 and by the ITU as recommendation ITU-R BT.470-7. Also known as CCIR system “M”. NTSC’s color encoding method was briefly experimented with in the 1950s by the BBC to add colo(u)r to its 405-line TV system, but was eventually considered unnecessary and cancelled because PAL broadcasting in the UK was soon to begin. (2) The two subcommittees of the FCC that the standards were named for. (3) Acronym for “Never Twice the Same Color”; referring to NTSC’s inability to accurately reproduce a color image, particularly in the high-yellow/green/low-blue spectrum.

    NFG = what happens to all vacuum tubes after a while

    NFM = narrowband FM; frequency-modulated radio signals with bandwidth usually less than 50 kHz (25 kHz deviation). NFM signals between 5 and 25 kHz are commonly used for two-way voice and FSK data communications. Compare WFM.

    Ohm’s law = The current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage across the two points. Usually stated as V = iR (voltage equals current times resistance). One of two laws that form the basis of all electrical calculations within a circuit. See Kirchoff’s Law.

    OS/X = Deprecated. See macOS.

    P = Electrical Power, measured in watts, the product of current and voltage at the same point.

    PA = (1) power amplifier (2) public address

    PAL = (1) Phase Alternating Line, an analog color video subcarrier system developed in Germany in the early 1960s, that became common in many countries that use monochrome systems with a 50 Hz refresh rate (there is a 60 Hz 525-line implementation of PAL, called PAL-M, used primarily in Brazil). Both PAL and NTSC use quadrature amplitude modulated subcarriers carrying the chrominance information added to the luminance video signal to form a composite video baseband signal. The name “Phase Alternating Line” describes the way that the phase of part of the color information on the video signal is reversed with each line, which automatically corrects phase errors in the transmission of the signal by cancelling them out, at the expense of vertical frame colour resolution. This is why European TV sets, unlike NTSC sets, don’t have hue (tint) adjustment controls – it simply isn’t needed. A phenomenon known as “Hanover bars” is sometimes observed in the event of major phasing errors, such as poor reception conditions, in the form of negative-color horizontal striping every other line. (2) Perfection At Last; common reaction to the system’s technical merits after having previously dealt with NTSC and SECAM. (3) Informally, any 576I 50Hz analog video recording or transmission regardless of color encoding, as how “NTSC” is used to informally describe any 480I 60Hz broadcast or recording.

    Phasor = In AM directional antennae systems (multiple towers) the transmitter output is connected to the phasor where there is a separate output for each tower. The purpose of the phasor is to adjust phase and magnitude of the radio frequency current being sent to each tower in the directional array. The differences in these parameters are what creates the directional pattern. (take a cookie baking sheet pan, fill with water, drop a stack of 4 pennies in one place near the center of the tray and then 4 quarters in another place near the center. Observe the interference patterns. This is a very basic way to explain how directional patterns are created using multiple towers). This applies to AM broadcasting only. FM directional antenna are done differently.

    POL = polarization (also polarisation), in antenna theory the polarization is the orientation of the electric field, and is always 90º from the magnetic field. See

    Q = (1) in electrical and electronic circuits, bandwidth relative to its center frequency; the Q or quality factor is a dimensionless parameter that describes how under damped an oscillator is. A high Q indicates a lower rate of energy loss (2) the head of R&D in the British Secret Service in the James Bond series (3) Captains Picard/Sisko/Janeway’s immortal nemesis

    QAM = (1) Quadrature amplitude modulation, a form of single-sideband-like modulation used for analogue (i.e. AM stereo) and digital (e.g. cable) information. (2) what most cable TV users call it when referring to in-the-clear transmissions (even though the entire system might be QAM).

    Quieting = A signal that is strong and clear, free of static, and easily receivable by others. Generally “full quieting” provides enough carrier presence to mute interfering signals and the IMD artifacts that they cause even in quiet or low modulation level passages.

    Reactance = the imaginary resistance part of impedance. It isn’t “imaginary” at all. It represents the resistance equation as a function of frequency for capacitance and inductance. In general, capacitance will have a negative reactance and inductance will have a positive reactance so that Z = R + jX is inductive and Z = R – jX is capacitive.

    RF = radio frequency energy, electromagnetic signals that have a frequency greater than 3,000 Hz (3 kHz). Up to about 20 kHz RF overlaps the audio frequency range. (NB. Audio is mechanical energy, not electromagnetic.)

    RF Spectrum Ranges include:

    Very Low Frequency VLF 3 – 30 kHz
    Low Frequency LF 30 – 300 kHz
    Medium Frequency MF 300kHz – 3 MHz
    High Frequency HF 3 – 30 MHz
    Very High Frequency VHF 30 – 300 MHz
    Ultra High Frequency UHF 300 MHz – 3 GHz
    Super High Frequency SHF 3 GHz – 30 GHz
    Extremely High Frequency EHF 30 GHz – 300 GHz

    RFI = radio frequency interference

    RFR = radio frequency radiation,

    Safe Harbor = time period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., local time. During this time period, a station may air “indecent” and/or “profane” material. In contrast, there is no safe harbor for the broadcast of “obscene” material. Obscene material is entitled to no First Amendment protection, and may not be broadcast at any time. For a full explanation of indecency, profanity and obscenity (they are all different as pertaining to broadcasting) see (And yet, as blatantly obscene and offensive as it is, there never seems to be any shortage of right-wing Christian holy roller programming and political vitriol being barfed out over the Amerikkkan airwaves today. Why is this? Ahem. -Ed’r.)

    SAP = Secondary Audio Programming; analog multiplexed FM audio channel similar of SCA but used with the NTSC television system. Specified in the BTSC multichannel television sound standards. At a minimum, SAP is nearly identical to SCA except for the frequency offset (+78.67 kHz vs. +67/+92 kHz as is the case with SCA; fifth harmonic of the 15.734 kHz stereo pilot tone frequency) and wider bandwidth, and are of comparatively higher fidelity. SAP subcarriers are frequently used for foreign-language dubs of program audio but are also used to send alternative audio programming (NOAA/EC weather, college radio simulcasts, reading for the blind, etc). A “second” narrowband SAP channel, informally known as the “pro” or “professional” channel at +102.271 kHz (6 1/2th harmonic), is sometimes used to send interruptible foldback, telemetry and other information used internally by the TV station and most tuners (except modified FM/TV radio sets) can not tune the “pro” channel. Analog SAP’s function was replicated and largely replaced by AC3 multicasting in ATSC broadcasting, where the old terminology is still informally used. See also Subsidiary Communications Authorisation.

    S/N = Signal to noise ratio of either the RF, visual or audio signal with reference to the associated noise floor.

    SCA = see Subsidiary Communications Authorisation.

    SCMO = Subsidiary Carrier Multiplex Operation; see Subsidiary Communications Authorisation.

    SCS = Subcarrier Communication Service; see Subsidiary Communications Authorisation.

    SECAM = Séquentiel couleur à mémoire (Sequential Colour And Memory), analog color video subcarrier system developed in France. Usually used with 625/50 baseband video systems. SECAM transmits each color line sequentially and stores each in delay lines until they can be writen to the screen raster. The other systems use the phase difference between two subcarrier components relative the baseband monochrome picture to obtain full color. Also “System Entirely Contrary to the American Method” since chronologically it follows NTSC, predates PAL and is mechanically a total departure of either. A 525/60 variant called “SECAM-M” was used in Cambodia and parts of Viet Nam starting in the late 1960s. SECAM-M had also been proposed in North America around the same time as a “professional” intermediate format, intended to losslessly move color video around studios and production facilities with NTSC workflows, but how widely its uptake was is unknown.

    skin effect = The tendency for alternating current (AC) to flow mostly near the outer surface of an electrical conductor, such as metal wire. The effect becomes more and more apparent as the frequency increases.

    SOL = the prevailing attitude of employees when they learn Clear Channel/Iheartradio has automated their station (see above)

    SPARS code = Those three little “A”s and/or “D”s you sometimes see on audio CD documentation. Specified in 1984 by the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services to (some would argue, over-simplistically) describe the recording and mastering workflow used to produce the final recording. The format is studio take-mix and edit-master. Since CDs are a digital medium the final letter is always “D”, though “A” is also (albeit rarely) used for analogue end media (cassettes/reels/records) struck from an analog manufacturing master.
    The most common combiations are:
    AAD – Analogue studio recording/analogue mix/digital manufacturing master
    ADD – Analogue/digital/digital
    DAD – Digital/analogue/digital
    DDD – Digital/digital/digital
    Oddly, some LP releases produced near the end of the format’s lifespan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which had simultaneous CD releases, were also coded with a “D” suffix despite being an analogue format. Although confusing, this combination is entirely plausible since a digital manufacturing master tape or disk recording, when decoded to analogue audio, can be (and today, often is) used to drive a cutting head.

    SSB = single side band, a form of amplitude modulation

    STA = Special Temporary Authority. When a broadcast station cannot operate in accordance with its license due to equipment failure, damage to licensed transmission systems, or other causes, the station may request an STA. Section 73.1635 of the rules governs STA operation; other related rule parts are 73.1680 (emergency antennas); 73.1560 (reduced power); 73.62 (AM directional antennas) 73.1740 (reduced hours).

    Standing Wave Ratio = or Voltage Standing Wave Ratio. In radio engineering and telecommunications, standing wave ratio (SWR) is a measure of impedance matching of loads to the characteristic impedance of a transmission line or waveguide. In lay terms, the SWR indicates the amount of reflected power as measured at a specific point in the system. No reflected power is an SWR of 1.0 although in most non laboratory situations that is impossible to achieve. An SWR of 1.2 is considered very good. An SWR of 1.0x is considered excellent. The SWR is usually thought of in terms of the maximum and minimum AC voltages along the transmission line, thus called the voltage standing wave ratio or VSWR (sometimes pronounced “vizwar”). For example, the VSWR value 1.2:1 denotes an AC voltage due to standing waves along the transmission line reaching a peak value 1.2 times that of the minimum AC voltage along that line. The SWR can as well be defined as the ratio of the maximum amplitude to minimum amplitude of the transmission line’s currents, electric field strength, or the magnetic field strength. Neglecting transmission line loss, these ratios are identical.

    STL = studio-transmitter link, a system to deliver the program audio chain to the transmitter site from the studio

    Subsidiary Communications Authorisation = SCA; method of transmitting narrowband (<= 8 kHz, usually) analogue FM audio programming alongside wideband FM radio transmissions in the upper portion of an FM broadcast band channel, at +67 and/or +92 kHz offset the baseband (determined relative the +19 kHz stereo pilot tone). Also known in Canada as “SCMO” (Subsidiary Carrier Multiplex Operation). SCA transmissions are/were frequently (though not always) used for pay-subscription programming such as background music and leased-access data services. They are still occasionally used for free programming such as ethnic broadcasts and radio reading services for the blind. SCAs go out at maximum 10% modulation relative the main wideband carrier and are prone to multipath distortion, crosstalk, fading and similar effects. SCA audio almost always goes out in the clear. This method is becoming increasingly obsolete as newer technologies capable of delivering higher-fidelity audio and tighter access controls, such as ATSC or Ibiquity multiplex channels and Internet streaming, continue to replace them. SCA was initially proposed by Muzak Corporation to transmit local relays of its easy-listening instrumental music programming to businesses starting in the early 1950s, initially at +67 kHz offset. The +92 kHz channel was established in the mid-1980s when Muzak desired to simulcast its then-new all-vocal, original-artist satellite program “Foreground Music One” via SCA, alongside their existing instrumental format. The late author and publisher of the DX guide “FM Atlas”, Bruce F. Elving PhD., was a proponent of using SCA to transmit supplemental material to the station’s main broadcast. SCA was officially deregulated by the FCC in the 80s, to Muzak’s chagrin, and became the method of choice for libraries and blindness advocacy groups to send out recorded readings of books and magazines. A related technology, SAP, was used by NTSC television stations to send alternative audio programming (Spanish dubs, NOAA/EC weather, college radio simulcasts, etc). An alternative term, “SCS” (Subcarrier Communication Service) was coined and advocated by Dr. Elving after SCA’s deregulation in the late 1980s, but it has not gained widespread acceptance.

    SWR = see Standing Wave Ratio.

    T = Period, the inverse of frequency or the time for the electric wave to go through one full cycle.

    TPO = transmitter power output

    THD = total harmonic distortion

    THX = how’d that get in here?

    translator = a low power class of service in FM broadcasting intended to repeat programming from an originating full power class station

    V = voltage, the electrical potential (difference) between two points

    Vestigial sideband = (or VSB) A form of amplitude modulation where one sideband is transmitted along with a carrier. An odd variation of single-sideband meant to be compatible with conventional AM sets; often used on shortwave. It has no real power savings advantage over conventional double-sideband AM but it is a significantly more efficient usage of bandwidth and can avoid interference to adjacent transmissions. The Canadian speaking clock CHU is an example of VSB modulation with audio on the upper sideband ( VSB is also used in some digital radio systems and for the video portion of analog television signals.

    VSB = see Vestigial sideband

    VSWR = Voltage Standing Wave Ratio; see Standing Wave Ratio

    wavelength = in a sinusoidal wave, the distance over which the wave’s shape repeats

    WE = (1) Western Electric, defunct American producers of the most reliable telephones ever made. Former division of AT&T and the manufacturing component of the Bell System. (GTE’s unrelated equivalent was Automatic Electric (AE), which resulted from General Telephone purchasing Strowger Automatic Electric Switch Company in the 1890s.) Western Electric had several foreign subsidiaries, particularly Northern Electric (Canada) (now Northern Telecom/NORTEL Networks) and Nippon Electric Corporation (NEC) (remember the Turbo Graphics 16?). (2) first-person collective pronoun that individual ham radio operators refer to themselves as because personal individuality is not a recognised tenet of the ham radio religion’s forced-assimilationism doctrine (contrast “I”)

    Weather band = In North America, seven narrowband VHF FM channels between 162.400 and 162.550 MHz (25 kHz spacing) used for automated NOAA/National Weather Service and Environment Canada radio broadcasts consisting primarily of weather reports, forecasts and various other public safety information. Virtually all police scanners, most VHF HAM radio transceivers, and many other devices such as car stereos and boomboxes can receive these broadcasts. Dedicated weather radio receivers also exist. Weather radio transmissions are simulcast over conventional AM stations and television SAP (see SCA) broadcasts in some areas. The band’s 162 MHz position was selected because of its proximity to the marine VHF communications band. The length of a typical NOAA broadcast cycle can run anywhere from about 10-15 minutes (e.g. a station in a predominantly urban inland area) to well over an hour (e.g. a network of stations simulcasting to cover a large coastal region). In the USA alternate languages (e.g. Spanish) are provided in a few areas (particularly in California and the New York City area), sometimes on separate frequencies; Canadian broadcasts typically alternate between English and French programming cycles on the same frequency. A related (but different) service in Canada, “continuous marine broadcast”, transmits recorded safety and navigational announcements to mariners on several frequencies between 161.55 and 162.0 MHz.

    WFM = wideband FM; frequency-modulated radio signals with bandwidth equal to or greater than 50 kHz (25 kHz deviation). WFM signals of 100 or 200 kHz bandwidth, depending on region, are found between 70 and 108 MHz where they are used for composite one-way audio/data transmissions. Some types of relatively narrowband FM signals between about 25 and 50 kHz bandwidth (such as those used sometimes by ham radio operators and formerly by AMPS cellular telephone service) are confusingly referred to as “wideband” because they are wider than others of similar nature.

    XTAL = Crystal

    XMTR = Transmitter

    XFORMER = Transformer

    Z = impedance = the measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied (DC resistance plus AC resistance)

    Zones = In FM and TV broadcasting, for the purpose of allotments and assignments, the United States is divided into three zones. A map of zones can be found on

    \lambda; = wavelength

    \omega; = Resistance in Ohms

    \pi; = pi, mathematical constant. The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159265358979323846+; often shortened to 3.14159 or fewer, depending how much precision is desired. Circumference can be easily calculated using the formula \pi;R\sq; (pi-R-squared), or 3.14 * radius * 2. Sometimes approximated as the fraction 22/7.

    Ø = (1) the null set, (2) undefined (3) diameter (4) the sum and total of your enemy’s knowledge . . . depending on which side of this board it appears.


    Deliberately plagiarized and ripped off from Andy Brown’s post from a few years ago with various additions made and liberties taken by me. (Live with it. Laugh a little.)

    The opinions and views expressed in this post may not necessarily represent those of nosignalallnoise or anybody else in particular. Or maybe they might. Who knows. Who’s keeping track? Who cares?

    Dan Packard

    I found the jargon file. It had been flagged by the system because of the extraordinary long content. Thanks Nosignal!


    DXers have been happy with this preamp.
    Televes T-Force Dual Input Antenna Preamp Review

    Jeffrey Kopp

    Thanks. But I ordered a 15db indoor amplifier that’s powered by the USB port on the TV and was well reviewed at Amazon, an RGTech Monarch.

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