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.
VLOS – VISUAL LINE OF SIGHT
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.