Top 21 Two-Way Radio Terms You Should Know (Part 3 of 3)

In my first and second blog posts in this series, I highlighted the fight against the dreaded scourge of AJD (Acute Jargon Disorder) by unveiling the first 14 of the top 21 two-way radio terms that everyone interacting with wireless communications should know. This week, I wrap it up with the final seven:

  • Amateur radio (ham radio): Amateur radio—often called ham radio—is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called hams, use various types of radio equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation, and self-training. An estimated six million people worldwide are regularly involved with amateur radio.
  • P25: P25, Project 25, and APCO-25 refer to a suite of standards for digital radio communications for use by federal, state, and local public safety agencies in North America to enable them to communicate with other agencies and mutual-aid response teams in emergencies.
  • Frequency band: A frequency range or frequency band is a range of wave frequencies (low band: 30-100 MHz, VHF: 100-300 MHz, UHF: 300-600 MHz, 800MHz, or 900MHz). It most often refers to either a range of frequencies in sound or a range of frequencies in electromagnetic radiation, which includes light and radio waves.
  • MHz: Symbol for megahertz. The hertz (symbol: Hz) is a measure of frequency per unit of time, or the number of cycles per second. The most common uses for hertz are to describe radio and audio frequencies, more or less sinusoidal contexts in which case a frequency of 1 Hz is equal to one cycle per second.
  • Narrowband: Generally, narrowband describes telecommunications that carry voice information in a narrow band of frequencies. More specifically, the term has been used to describe a specific frequency range set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for mobile or radio service from 50 cps to 64 Kbps.
  • Interoperability: Two-way radio interoperability systems enable the cross-connection of different two-way radio networks, as well as the connection of those networks to telephone systems, satellite systems, or network RoIP/VoIP talkpaths. The FCC has fostered interoperability—primarily in the public safety sector—by requiring or promoting common technical standards and designating radio channels in 700 MHz and other spectrum bands specifically for “mutual aid” or interoperability purposes.
  • Intrinsically safe: The intrinsically safe (IS) standard denotes two-way radio equipment manufactured to explosion-proof specifications. This is required for transceivers used in such places as coal mines and oil refineries, where the risk of triggering an explosion is high.

So that wraps up my list of the top 21 two-way radio terms you should know. As always, I would love to get your feedback. Are there any biggies I left out? Are there any I need to elaborate on? If so, please let me know. Meanwhile, until next time, onward and upward!

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