Foundations of Amateur Radio   /     Some Amateur Radio ABCs ...


Foundations of Amateur Radio A is for Antenna, the eyes and ears of any amateur station. You'll spend eighty percent of your life attempting to get twenty percent improvement for any antenna you'll ever use. B is for Balun, bringing together the balanced and unbalanced parts of your antenna system. C is for Coax, the versatile conductor that snakes into your station, one roll at a time. D is for Dipole, the standard against which all antennas are measured, simple to make, simple to use and often first in the many antenna experiments you'll embark on in your amateur journey. E is for Electron, source of all things RF, the beginning, middle and end of electromagnetism, the reason you are an amateur. F is for Frequency, the higher you go, the faster it happens. G is for Gain, measured against a baseline, you'll throw increasing amounts of effort at getting more, one decibel at a time. H is for Hertz, Heinrich to his mother, the first person to transmit and receive controlled radio waves in November of 1886 proving that James Clerk Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism was correct. I is for Ionosphere, the complex and ever changing layers that surround Earth which led radio amateurs to discover HF propagation in 1923. J is for JOTA, the Jamboree On The Air where radio amateurs, guides and scouts come together on the third full weekend of October to share global communications. K is for Kerchunk, the sound caused by the local repeater that brings a smile to the operator and a grimace to the listener, created by pushing the talk button and not saying anything. L is for Logging, the only way you'll ever remember who you spoke to and when and the perfect excuse for bragging to your friends after you managed to collect contacts all over the globe. M is for Modulation, adding information to a radio signal by varying the amplitude, frequency, or phase. N is for Net, a social excuse for getting on air and making noise with your friends. O is for Oscillator, making repeating currents or voltages by non-mechanical means. P is for Prefix, the beginning part of an amateur callsign that identifies your country or region of origin. Q is for QRP, the best way to make just enough noise to make yourself heard, low power is the way to go! R is for Resonance, the point where a circuit responds strongly to a particular frequency and less to others, used every time you tune a radio or an antenna or both. S is for Shack, the space you call home, where you live your radio dream. The size of the corner of the kitchen table, the back-seat of your car or a purpose built structure with never enough space, no matter how much you try. T is for Transceiver, a single box that contains both a transmitter and receiver that share a common circuit. U is for UTC, Coordinated Universal Time, the only time zone that radio amateurs should use for any activity that goes beyond their suburb. V is for VFO, the Variable Frequency Oscillator that provides radio amateurs with frequency agility, the means to listen anywhere, any-time. W is for Waterfall, which displays radio signals across multiple frequencies at the same time. X is for XIT, Transmit Incremental Tuning, changing your transmitter frequency whilst listening on the same frequency, helpful when you're trying to break through a DX pile-up. Y is for Yagi, or Yagi-Uda antenna, the most popular directional antenna invented in 1926 by Shintaro Uda at the Tohoku Imperial University in Japan and popularised to the English speaking world by his boss Hidetsugu Yagi. Z is for Zulu, the last word in the phonetic alphabet that every amateur should know and use. 73 is for best regards. Saying goodbye is hard to do, this says so without fanfare and clears your station from the air. I'm Onno VK6FLAB

A is for Antenna, the eyes and ears of any amateur station....
Publishing date
2023-02-19 00:00
  Onno VK6FLAB