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Balun : A passive electronic device that converts between balanced and unbalanced electrical signals using some form of electromagnetic coupling.

Balanced Line : parallel conductors at equal and opposite potentials. Neither conductor is at ground potential.

Bandpass (also Passband): the range of frequencies that a certain filter allows to pass.

Base Station : A ham station that has a fixed location

Bandpass Filter : a filter designed to pass a certain range of frequencies.

Band : The portions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum that are allocated to ham radio operators.

Baud : The rate of transmission - in symbols per second, of digital data. The number of times a transmitted digital signal changes per second. In the one special case where data is transmitted one bit at a time serially, the baud rate will match the bps rate.

Beacon : A station that transmits signals either continuously or on a timed basis, for location and propagation purposes.

BFO : Beat Frequency Oscillator. An oscillator that is mixed with an incoming signal at the detector to produce an Audio Frequency (AF) tone for CW reception. In SSB operation, the beat frequency oscillator must replace the carrier which was suppressed when the signal was originally transmitted.

Bird : Slang term for an amateur or communications satellite.

Boat Anchor : A slang term used to describe obsolete ham radio gear - often applied to old transceivers.

BNC : A push-and-turn locking coaxial connector commonly used with VHF/UHF transceivers, as well as oscilloscopes and test equipment.

BPS : Bits per second, the rate at which digital data is transmitted. The number of characters transmitted per second will be a sub-multiple of this figure (for instance, if a character is sent with 8 data bits, 1 start bit, 1 stop bit, the number of actual characters transmitted per second would be one tenth the bps rate).

BPSK : (Binary Phase Shift Keying). A digital modulation method for transmitting data.

Buffer Amplifier : An amplifier usually attached to an oscillator so as to reduce the drain on the oscillator output.

Bureau (also Burro) : An organization set up to process QSL cards between amateurs.