Acronym Definitions

This page provides a list of acronyms which you may encounter in Software Defined Radio projects. The list was initiated by Alan, W6ARH in collaboration with Ron, KU7Y.

1E Internet client/server application
ABPF Auto Band Pass Filter
ADCAnalog to Digital Converter
AFSK Audio Frequency Shift Keying (Base band Modulation)
APRSAutomatic Packet Reporting System
AVRAtmel low power, high performance microcontroller
BOMBill of Materials - a list of the materials and quantities required to build/construct a kit
BPFBand Pass Filter - a device that passes frequencies within a certain range and rejects (attenuate s) frequencies outside that range
CDCompact Disk media format and form factor
CFGSRSoftware to program the Si570 using a USB interface
CodecA codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding and/or decoding a digital data stream or signal. The word codec an abbreviation for 'compressor-decompressor' or, more commonly, 'coder-decoder'. A codec (the program or device) should not be confused with a coding or compression format or standard – a format is a document (the standard), a way of storing data, while a codec is a program (an implementation) which can read or write such files. In practice "codec" is sometimes used loosely to refer to formats, however.
DACDigital to Analog Converter
DDSDirect Digital Sampling
DFU Device Firmware Update
DILDual In-line circuit
Dimension 4Software for Microsoft Windows that synchs PC time to internet time at chosen intervals (important to programs such as WSPR)
DIPSDual In-line Package
DLLdynamic linked library (Microsoft program support)
DMM Digital Multi-Meter
DOSDisk Based Operating System for Personal Computers
Dragonan FPGA development board that plugs into a PCI and/or USB port
DreamOpen-source application to run DRM
DRMDigital Radio Mondaile a set of digital audio broadcasting technologies used for AM HF; Digital Rights Management
DSPDigital Signal Processing
DttSPLinux based SDR management software
EIAElectronics Industries Alliance (Standards)
EMIElectro-Magnetic Interference
EMU0202Creative Labs Sound Card for PCs
EVKAlereon Ultraband prototype development platform
FCCUS Federal Communication Commission
FCC-1Frequency Meter kit from the Northern California QRP Club
FECForward Error Correction
FELD HELLFacsimile protocol for HF images (AKA "HellSchreiber")
FETField Effect Transistor
FPGAField Programmable Gate Array
FSKFrequency Shift Keying
HEXhexadecimal numerical presentation. Also used to describe a file of computer instructions in hexadecimal notation.
HID Human Interface Device
HRDHam Radio Deluxe
HVSHigh Voltage Serial (has something to do with programming Atiny AVR processors)
I,QSignals used in SDR. The I (in-phase) and Q (quadrature) signals are identical in all respects except phase (there is 90 degree phase difference between them - "quadrature")
I2C(Inter-IC) bus is a bi-directional two-wire serial bus
ICIntegrated Circuit
ICE In Circuit Emulation (used to diagnose IC behavior)
IDCInsulation Displacement Connector (e.g., ribbon cable D9 IDC)
IDCIntegrated Distribution Circuit
IFIntermediate Frequency
ISPIn circuit serial programming (aka, In System Programming)
ISPinternet service provider
JTAGJoint Test Action Group; Programmable Methods of Interface Testing; type of soldering technique
KGKSDRM0KGK SDR Decoder Software
LCDLiquid Crystal Display
LEDLight Emitting Diode
LO Local Oscillator
LPT(Line Print Terminal) Parallel Printer I/O port on PC
LVPECL Low Voltage Positive Emitter Coupled Logic (associated with FPGA)
MCU(Micro Controller Unit) Microcomputer on a chip; Motor Control Unit
MMESoftware Application Programming Interface for managing audio streams (Introduced by Microsoft in 1991)
MoboThe 9V1AL Motherboard (MoBo) is a plugin addition to the Softrock RxTx v. 6.3 transceiver kit
Panadapter A device designed to operate with a search receiver to provide a visual presentation on an oscilloscope screen of a band of frequencies extending above and below the center frequency to which the search receiver is tuned.
PCPersonal Computer
PCBPrinted Circuit Board
PCIPersonal Computer Interface (device I/O card form factor)
PIC(Programmable Interface Controller) Microcontroller/microprocessor
PowerSDRFlexradio’s software interface to their products and other SDRs.
PowerSdr-IQPowerSDR-IQ is a program for homebrew SDR designs. A variantof PowerSDR designed for use with homebrew IQ SDRs. Ported by Christos, SV1EIA
PowerSdr-SR40A variant of PowerSDR designed for use with the Softrock line of SDR radios.
PSDR Programmable Software Defined Radio
PSKPhase Shift Keying
PSK31Phase Shift Keying, 31 Baud developed by English amateur radio operator Peter Martinez (G3PLX)
QDEQuadrature Direct Exciter
QRPLow Power Communications
QSDQuadrature Sampling Detector (the heart of an SDR receiver)
QSEQuadrature Sampling Exciter (the TX opposite of RX QSD)
QUCS Quite Universal Circuit Simulator (Open Source Unix/Linux program)
RTTYRadio Teletype
RXTXTransceive (RX and TX in same radio)
SDRSoftware Defined Radio
SDRDLL.dllsoftware routines to handle USB interfaces to software designed radios
SFDRSpurious-free Dynamic Range
SILSingle In-Line
SIPSystem In Package (multiple instances in a group)
SMDSurface Mount Device
SMTSurface Mount Technology
SSTVSlow Scan Video over HF
SVNSubversion Software Version Management System
UBWUSB Bit Wacker, An inexpensive board to expose USB signals to other home brew projects
UMDFUser Mode Driver Framework: device-driver development platform first introduced with Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, and is also available for Windows XP. It facilitates the creation of drivers for certain classes of devices.
USBUniversal Serial Bus I/O specification (computer interface port)
USRP Universal Software Radio Peripheral (Open Source/Gnu FPGA Software Radio)
VACVirtual Audio Connection
VCOVoltage Controlled Oscillator
VCXOVoltage Controlled Crystal Oscillator
VDDINInput Voltage for Digital Devices
VDDIOI/O Buffer for VDD
VFOVariable Frequency Oscillator
VNAVector Network Analysis
WinRadA windows software-defined radio program modeled on Leif, SM5BSZ's Linrad software.
WSPRWeak Signal Propagation Reporter
XO/VCXOCrystal Oscillator/Voltage Controlled Crystal Oscillator
ZIFZero Insertion Force (type of socket for ICs)