Glossary of often used terms:

  1. 3G – 3rd Generation voice and data network that offers peak data rates of 14.0 Mbits/s download and 5.8 Mbits/s upload capability
  2. 4G – 4th Generation voice and data network that offers peak data rates of 100 Mbits/s download and 50 Mbits/s upload capability
  3. AC – Could mean: Alternating Current; Air Conditioning, as in HVAC; or Adult Contemporary, a common format for FM stations
  4. AM – Amplitude Modulation.  Lower case indicates before noon.
  5. AOIP – Audio over IP (Internet Protocol).
  6. ASRN – Antenna Structure Registration Number, required by the FCC for all towers over two hundred feet tall, with some exceptions made for proximity to airports or terrain shadowing.
  7. ATA – Analog Telephone Adaptor.  A device that when connected to an IP network, can send and receive telephone calls using a DID line.
  8. AV – AudioVault automation system, manufactured by Broadcast Electronics.
  9. BE – Broadcast Electronics, transmitter and automation system manufacturer.
  10. BER – Bit Error Rate, error measurement on a digital circuit, usually given in parts per million, sometimes as a percentage.
  11. CAP – Common Alert Protocol, a message forwarding method used to disseminate EAS messages
  12. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations.
  13. CHR – Contemporary Hit Radio, aka Top 40
  14. CODEC – COde DE Code, a device or software program that translates analog audio to digital data bits and back again.
  15. COFDM – Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing.  A digital modulation scheme using multiple digital sub carriers.
  16. COL – City of License.
  17. DA – Directional Antenna.  Variations: DA-1 directional antenna, 1 pattern.  DA-2 directional antenna, 2 patterns (day/night).  DA-N directional antenna night time only.
  18. DID – Direct Inward Dialing telephone line.  A type of phone line that was developed to allow several phone numbers to use the same pair of wires.  Works well with VOIP service
  19. DRM – could mean Digital Radio Mondiale (pronounced “mon-de-al” means “worldwide” in French) or Digital Rights Management, a encoding scheme used by record companies to prevent theft of music off of CD’s.
  20. DS-1 – Same as a T-1, digital telephone circuit that carries 1.44 mbps bi-directionally.  Can carry up to 24 DS-0, which is a normal (POTS) telephone circuit.
  21. DVM – Digital Volt Meter.
  22. EAS – Emergency Alert System, a mandated system for all broadcasters and cable operators that is supposed to alert the public in case of an emergency.
  23. EBS – Emergency Broadcast System, predecessor to EAS.
  24. Eb/No – The ratio of Energy per Bit (Eb) to the Spectral Noise Density (No), a measure of signal to noise ratio for a digital communication system.
  25. EMP – Electro-Magnetic pulse.  A strong energy pulse generated by lightning or nuclear explosions.  Responsible for most lightning related equipment damage.
  26. ERP – Effective Radiated power.  The power transmitted from an antenna.  Does not take into account the Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT).
  27. FAA – Federal Aviation Administration.  Organisation that is interested in broadcast towers in as much as they are hazzards to aerial navigation.
  28. FCC – Federal Communications Commission.  Organisation charged with regulating all broadcasting (and other communication) operations.
  29. FM – Frequency Modulation
  30. GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.  A computer programming term that defines quality and effort with the end product
  31. HAAT – Height Above Average Terrain.  The height of a location compared to the terrain that surrounds it.  Computed by taking 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.
  32. Hard Line – large diameter rigid coaxial cable, comes in 20 foot sections with diameters between 7/8 and 6 inches.
  33. HD radio – digital radio scheme by Ibiquity.  (HD does not stand for “High Definition” that same way as HDTV.  Nor does it stand for “Hybrid Digital” as some have suggested.  HD is merely two letters chosen by Ibiquity for their system, to call it “High Definition” would be misleading)
  34. Heliax – Large diameter semi-rigid coaxial cable used as transmission line between transmitter and antenna.
  35. HVAC – Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
  36. IBOC – In Band On Channel digital radio, also known as HD radio.
  37. IFB – Information Fold Back.  Sending programming information with mix minus back to a remote broadcast to facilitate coordination of broadcast.
  38. ISDN – Inter State Digital Network, a digital phone service used in radio applications to relay broadcast quality audio between two distant points.
  39. IP – Internet Protocol
  40. ISP – Internet Service Provider
  41. IT – Information Technology, fancy name for computers
  42. Lossy – Generally refers to a digital compression scheme that deliberately looses data to reduce file size.  Can also be used to describe a transmission path over less than ideal conditions
  43. LAN – Local Area Network, networking system usually based on Ethernet (802.x) topography
  44. MATRIX – a POTS codec made by Comrex used to relay broadcast quality (?) audio for remote broadcasts.
  45. Metal Whisker – Microscopic filaments of metal such as zinc, tin, and silver that grow out of coated metal surfaces.
  46. Mix Minus – a mix of audio signal less the signal you are sending the mix to.  Prevents echo and feed back.
  47. MMA – Mast Mounted Amplifier, used in the high UHF frequencies to cut down on transmission line loss.
  48. NAL – Notice of Apparent Liability.  The FCC’s polite way of saying “you owe us money due to a rules infraction”
  49. NEMO – Not Emanating from Main Origination, old school name for Remote Broadcast
  50. NOI – Notice Of Inquiry.  First step in a NPRM.
  51. NOTAM – NOtice To AirMen.  A notice generated by the FAA to specific airports regarding changes to the operations near the airport.
  52. NOUO – Notice of Unauthorized Operation.  Usually a letter sent to the address of a pirate broadcaster telling them that they are breaking the rules and might be subject to a fine if they continue.
  53. NOV – Notice of Violation.  The FCC’s way of saying clean up your act, or you’ll get a fine.
  54. NPRM – Notice of Proposed Rule Making.  Method by which the FCC proposes then adopts new rules and regulations.
  55. Payola – Pay for play scheme where somebody gets cash (or other items of value) for playing a certain song or artist.
  56. Part ##.  Refers to a FCC regulations, e.g. Part 73 covers AM, FM and TV broadcasting.  Part 15 covers low power license free operation such as garage door openers and wireless ethernet routers.
  57. Pink Noise – Also known as 1/f noise, noise that has the same power in each octave.
  58. Plugola – Similar to payola, only cash (or other items of value) is paid for mentions of a product or event on the air.
  59. PM – Preventative Maintenance.  Lower case indicates after noon.
  60. POS – Piece of Shit
  61. POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service, a regular dial tone telephone line.
  62. PPM – Arbitron’s Portable People Meter method of ratings data collection
  63. PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network; the dial tone phone system, aka POTS
  64. Remote – Any broadcast not originating from the studio, AKA live on location.  Old times would call this “NEMO” which stands for Not Emanating from Main Origination”
  65. QoS – Quality of Service; in an IP network, QoS determines which packets have priority.  Normally assigned to AOIP or VOIP packets
  66. RFI – Radio Frequency Interference.  Reception of radio signals on things that are not supposed to receive them, such as telephones and answering machines.  Most noted nearer to high power installations.
  67. RPU – Remote Pickup Unit, AKA Marti, a transmitter used for remote broadcasts.
  68. SAS – Sierra Automated Systems, a manufacturer of audio routers, switchers and consoles
  69. STA – Special Temporary Authority.  Granted by the FCC in some circumstances to allow stations to operate at a variance from authorized facilities or current regulations.
  70. STL – Studio to Transmitter site link, often via 950 mhz radio, sometimes by T-1 circuit.
  71. SWR – Standing Wave Ratio.  The Ratio of reflected power to forward power in a transmission line or antenna system, usually measured in units of power.  1:1 is a perfect match.
  72. T-1 – digital telephone circuit also known as a DS-1.  Carries 1.44 mbps bidirectionally.
  73. TDR – Time Domain Reflectometer.  Cable testing tool, finds bad spots in coax and other cables.
  74. TELCO – Telephone Company
  75. TPO – Transmitter Power Output
  76. TSL – Transmitter to studio link, often via 450 mhz radio path or T-1, carries telemetry data from transmitter, off air monitor and other misc utility audio.  Could also mean “Time Spent Listening” when used in a programming context.
  77. VOIP – Voice over IP telephony
  78. VSWR – Voltage Standing Wave Ratio, the ratio of forward vs. reflected RF voltages in an antenna system.  Like SWR, 1:1 indicates a perfect match.
  79. VPN – Virtual Private Network, a method for creating a WAN via the internet using specialized routing equipment that generates encrypted “tunnels” through the public data network.
  80. Voice Tracking – A method of pre-recording DJ breaks into an automation system.  Makes it sound like there is someone live in the studio when there is not.
  81. WAN – Wide Area Network, a method of linking LANs in separate locations to create one larger network, often linking facilities within the same company.  Linking can occur by private, leased data circuits (T-1 or frame relay) or via public networks (internet) via VPN routers.
  82. WLAN – 802.11 Wireless Local Area Network.
  83. WiFi – Same as WLAN.
  84. White Noise – flat, full spectrum audio, especially useful in equalizing a circuit or room (room aka studio or performance venue)