|Acronyms and Definitions|

Acronym Definitions:

1S, 2S, 4S…etc. – Sizes of LiPo RC style batteries. The number is indicative to quantity of cells.

AC – Alternating Current. Form of electric power that is in the walls of your house, it’s in your kitchen, it’s in your charger, its everywhere!!!…except in your drone.

A – Amps or Amperes. Unit of electric current. See “mAh” and “Ah” definitions.

Ah – Ampere-Hour. Unit for electric charge over 1 hour. Relation to battery capacity. Example: “A motor requires 10 amps, so that 10,000 mAh (10Ah) battery will end up supplying one hour”.

AI – Artificial Intelligence. Could be used in autonomous flying one day, involves the machine making decisions. Not gonna happen anytime soon. Relax, Skynet is not active….yet.

ARF – Almost Ready to Fly. Kit planes regularly advertise this. “Almost” is subjective. Plan on adding plenty of $ and time.

AUW – All up weight. The whole flight weight including batteries and cameras.

BEC – Battery Elimination Circuit. A simple down switching transformer to make big volts into little volts. Switching types are noisy (but tiny), so filtering with a toroid or L-C filter may be needed for FPV.

C – also “C – Rating”. Discharge rating for batteries. Higher C ratings are better.

CAD – Computer Aided Design. Requires a dude or dude’et in a chair with a pot of coffee.

CAP – Capacitor. Like a battery kinda, but with more zap at once. Electrostatic in nature, not chemical like a battery.

COTS – Commercial Off The Shelf. Stuff you can buy in stores.

CCD – Charge Coupled Device, image sensor – camera.

CCTV – Closed Circuit Television. Smile.

CA – Adhesive, 1-10 second quickset glue. Good for pranks too! Don’t.

CF – Carbon Fiber, fabric. Worth its weight in gold, thankfully it’s lightweight.

CG – Center of Gravity. Teeter-totter at equilibrium.

CMOS – Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor, image sensor – camera. CCTV cams.

dB – In general terms a measure of radio power. dBi is for antennas and dBm is for transmitters.

DC – Direct Current

EIRP – Total transmission power including antenna focusing.

EM – Electro-Magnetic (field)

EMP – Electro-Magnetic Pulse. OMG.

EPO – Expanded Polyolefin foam. Stiff, durable.

EPS – Expanded Polystyrene foam, coffee cups, surfboard foam. Blue or pink are Extruded (XPS) versions available at home improvement stores. Brittle, lightweight.

EPP – Expanded Polypropylene foam. Commonly used in electronics packaging. Durable, flexible.

FCC – Federal Communications Commission

FPV – First Person View. Inexpensive and non-resource intensive SD. Live video feed RC airplane.

GHz – 1 Gigahertz =109 Hz. A unit of frequency measurement. WiFi is on the 2.4GHz frequency.

GPS – Global Positioning System. Optional onboard hardware that feeds back to a laptop ground station.

g/W – Grams per Watt. A motor can carry ___ grams with ____ prop using ____ watts. AKA efficiency.

HAM – Licensed Amateur Radio Operator

HD – High Definition. Digital video of 720p or 1080p or greater resolution.

HUD – Heads Up Display. Video overlay of data: speed, altitude and other telemetry. See “OSD” definition.

Kv – RC motors use Kv to mean Rotations per Minute. Can be easily confused with KV.

KV – Kilovolts. 1KV = 1000 Volts. See “Volt” definition.

LHCP – Left Hand Circular Polarized, antenna. Not common, use RHCP.

LiPo – Lithium Polymer, battery chemistry.

mA – Milli Amp. Unit of electric current. 1000 mA = 1A. See “A” definition.

mAh – Milli Ampere-Hour. Unit for electric charge over 1 hour. Relation to battery capacity. Subunit of Ampere Hours (Ah). 1000 mAh = 1Ah

MHz – 1 Megahertz=106 Hz. A unit of frequency measurement. Example: Baby monitors are on the 900MHz frequency.

mW – Milliwatts. See Watt, wut.

nm – Nano-meter, unit of measure. Example: describing electro-optical wavelength; 900nm laser is in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Ohm – Measure of electrical impedance.

OSD – On Screen Display. Onboard hardware for visually overlaying telemetry on your video feed, AKA “HUD”.

RC (R/C) – Radio Control

RCrx – Radio Control Receiver (on the plane).

RCtx – Radio Control Transmitter (in your hands or base station).

RF – Radio Frequency, radio “waves”.

RHCP – Right Hand Circular Polarized, antenna.

RSSI – Received Signal Strength Indicator

RTF – Ready To Fly, yay!…but are usually junky toy planes.

Rx – Receive(r) (radio).

SD – “Standard” Definition, interlaced analog video. Fine for FPV, but not for YouTube.

SD Card – Memory Card, for storing video or picture files.

SDHC – High Capacity memory card.

SDR – Software Defined Radio. A broad spectrum radio that displays raw data on your computer screen. RTLSDR FTW!…oh FTW means For The Win…derp. I won’t explain derp.

Tx – transmit(r) (radio).

UAS – Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Newspeak for UAV. Encompasses all systems such as ground control.

UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Drone. A passé term? See “UAS” definition.

V – also “Volt”, – A unit of measure of AC or DC electrical potential, often described as VAC or VDC or V AC or V DC.

VAC – Volts Alternating Current, V AC. See “AC” definition above. Volts, a unit of measure of electrical potential.

VDC – Volts Direct Current, V DC. See “DC” definition above. Volts, a unit of measure of electrical potential.


VRx – Video receiver (on your base station).

VTx – Video transmitter (on your plane).

W – also “Watt”. – A unit of power measurement. Ex: Measuring radio power output.

WiFi – Wireless internet/network.

XPS – Extruded Polystyrene foam. See “EPS” definition above.

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