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Vintage Radio Glossary - Page Two

The meaning of a word or phrase is sometimes hard to come across, especially on websites or other media sources that have a world-wide audience. Not only do those from a non-english-speaking background have to grasp English to communicate universally on the Internet, English speakers are sometimes hampered by different dialects, even in what is regarded as 'The Queen's English' there are differences in terminology caused by the distances between international borders. Hopefully pages like this make life easier for people who want to absorb information about a specific subject but also highlight where a perceived difference is actually a similarity. Vintage Radio utilises The Queen's English where-ever possible.

Please choose a letter or simply scroll down the page.


Lima: Represents the letter L in the phonetic alphabet.


Microfarad: A one-millionth of a Farad. A Farad is the unit of capacitance. The Microfarad is often used to describe the value of larger condesners, constructed using metal foils wound into cylinders with each layer of foil seperated by paper soaked in an insulating electrolyte. Such condensers are used for filtering recitified power supplies and power factor correction.

Mike: Represents the letter M in the phonetic alphabet.


Nanofarad: A one-billionth of a Farad. A Farad is the unit of capacitance. The Nanofarad is often used to describe the value of very small condensers, often made of polyester or ceramic materials.

November: Represents the letter N in the phonetic alphabet.


Oscar: Represents the letter O in the phonetic alphabet.

Oscillator: An electronic circuit that generates a waveform, often either a squarewave or sinewave, though other types can be generated, depending on the complexity of the circuit.


Papa: Represents the letter P in the phonetic alphabet.

Picofarad: A one-trillionth of a Farad. A Farad is the unit of capacitance. The Picofarad is often used to describe the value of very small condensers, often made of polyester or ceramic materials.

Potentiometer: A veriable resistor with three terminals. Two terminals will usually connect across a fixed value resistor, made of a carbon deposit or in wire-wound form, of several thousand Ohms accompanied by a contact which can move across the resistor, commonly used to control volume, though used in other parts of a vintage radio too.


Q Code: A system of codes used by radio amateurs to quickly transmit commonly used phrases or sentences.

Quebec: Represents the letter Q in the phonetic alphabet.


Radio wave: Any form of radiation. Can represent sound or light or other radiation not audible or visible.

Rheostat: A type of variable resistor, sometimes used to vary the current flow to the grid of a valve which controls the flow of current through the valve from the anode to the cathode. Rheostats also have other common uses.

Romeo: Represents the letter R in the phonetic alphabet.


Sierra: Represents the letter S in the phonetic alphabet.


Tango: Represents the letter T int he phonetic alphabet.

Tube: See Valve


Uniform: Represents the letter U in the phonetic alphabet.


Valve: The thermionic valve was the invention of Sir John Ambrose Fleming. Sir John discovered that the flow of current could run from an anode installed inside an electric light globe to the hot filament.

Victor: Represents the letter V in the phonetic alphabet.

Volt: The unit of measurement representing electromotive force.


Watt: The unit of measurement representing apparent power in an AC circuit and true power in a DC circuit or a purely resistive AC circuit. True power can be calculated in inductive or capacative AC circuits by measuring the power factor which is a representation of inefficiency in such circuits and is always a number between 0 and 1.

Whiskey: Represents the letter W in the phonetic alphabet.


Xray: Represents the letter X in the phonetic alphabet.


Yankee: Represents the letter Y in the phonetic alphabet.


Zulu: Represents the letter Z in the phonetic alphabet.


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