Radio Scanner, Electronic, Military & Other Common Radio Acronyms

We created this list to provide new users with a list of all the terms they will be hearing. As you can see there is quite a bit of jargon.


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)


Radio Scanning Acronyms in Alphabetical Order


Quick Jump

A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z

Additional Terms


@ – 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ECSS – Exalted Carrier Selectable Sideband

EDACS – Enhanced Digital 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

EOD – Explosive Ordnance Disposal

EQT – Equatorial

ER – Emergency Room

ERP – Effective Radiated Power

ERT – Elliniki Radiophonia Teleorassi (Greece)

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

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

G/T Ratio –

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

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

HDTV – High Definition Television

HEMT – High Electron Mobility Transistor

HF – High Frequency (3-30 MHz)

HHS – Health and Human Services

HM – Her Majesty

HMCS – Her Majesty Canadian Ship

hp – Horsepower

HQ – Headquarters

HRPT – High Resolution Picture Transmission (weather satellite)

hrs – Hours

HS – High School

HT – Handi Talkie/Handheld Transceiver

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)

IBB – International Broadcasting Bureau

IBC – International Broadcasting Corporation

IBM – International Business Machines

IBOC – Inband Onchannel

IC – Intergrated 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

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 – Intergrated Services Digital Network

ISP – Internet Service Provider

ITA – International Telegraph Alphabet

ITU – International Telecommunication 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

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)

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 – Meteorological

Meteor – Russian series of polar orbiting weather imaging satellites

Meteosat – European geostationary weather satellite constellation

Metro – Meteorological

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

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

N.B.C. – National Broadcasting Corporation

NCC – National Coordination Center

NCS – National Communications System/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 to Proposed Rulemaking

NRC – National Radio Club

NRK – Norsk Rikskringkasting

NSAm – North South America

NSMC – Chinese National Satellite Meteorological Center

NSW – New South Wales

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

NU – Numero Uno

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

W – Wednesday

WAM – Wideband Amplitude Modulation

WEFAX – Weather Facsimile

WFM – Wideband Frequency Modulation

WG – Wing

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

WMO – World Meteorological Organization

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

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)


Additional Radio Scanning Terms


// – Indicates a Parallel Frequency

uF – Microfarad

uH – MicroHenry

us – microsecond

uV – Microvolt

10-11-11 MFSK – See Crowd-36

73 – Best Regards

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