FPV Dictionary: Acronyms and Technical Terms Explained

by Oscar

FPV, or First Person View, is a hobby riddled with acronyms and jargons that can sometimes be confusing, even for those familiar with the field. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a comprehensive glossary of the most commonly used technical terms and acronyms in the FPV and RC (Remote Control) world. This list aims to serve as a helpful guide for both newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts. If you find any missing terms, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

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How to Use This Guide

To find what a word means, use the search function above the table, it will show only the relevant entries. Alternatively, use the search feature in your browser by pressing Control + F.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, just ask in the comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible and might get it added to the list :) Thank you!

FPV Glossary

AcronymsStands ForDescription
MTOWMaximum take-off weight
VTOLVertical take off and landing
WOTWide Open Throttle100% throttle
2.4GHz, 5.8GHz, 900MHzHz = Hertz
MHz = Mega Hertz
GHz = Giga Hertz
Frequencies used in RC and FPV.
Bandoabandoned buildingA bando is an abandoned building popular with freestyle pilots to fly through.
BNFBind and FlyA BNF model is a pre-built model similar to an RTF, but minus the radio transmitter. You need your own radio to bind to it.
PDBPower distribution boardA board designed to carry high current, it's built with copper traces used to connect various electronic components such as LiPo battery, ESCs, Video transmitter, LEDs etc
IMUInertial Measurement UnitA Break Out Board containing sensors that reads and sends data to the flight controller
CinelifterA cinelifter is a type of quad that is designed to carry large professional cameras like the Blackmagic Pocket and Red Komodo. Cinelifters typically use 6" or larger propellers and often have 8 motors (in X8 config).
CinewhoopA cinewhoop is a ducted quad (with prop guards) that's primarily made for cinematic shots close to people, animal and properies. Cinewhoops tend to be slower than freestyle drones which makes them great for smooth and up-close shots.
ToothpickA class of small quadcopters, aka ultra-light micro quad, usually equipped with 2.5" or More info3" propellers.
Tiny WhoopA class of ultra small quadcopters with ducts (propeller guards). More info
MegaPirateA cloned flight controller software of the Arducopter
RX"Radio Receiver" or the "RX pin in a UART"A device that receives commands from the radio transmitter, and sends them directly to the servos or flight Controller. More info.
RX can also mean the receiving pin in a serial connection on a flight controller. More info
VRXVideo ReceiverA device that receives video signal from our video Transmitter, and display the live footage on our FPV goggle or screen.
VTXVideo TransmitterA device that sends video signal from the FPV camera, to video receiver / FPV goggles. More info
Diversity ReceiverA diversity receiver has two separate receiver chains, and it will select the stronger signal. A diversity receiver can generally offer better signal quality than a non-diversity one.
Air ModeA feature in Betaflight firmware, it keeps PID controller active even when throttle is at zero when the drone is armed. More info
AHAltitude holdA flight mode that maintains height of the drone using a barometric sensor (BARO), or ultrasonic sensor
frameA frame is a structure in a drone that holds all of the components, typically made of carbon fibre as it's light weight and rigid.
JSTA generic type of battery connector for low power micro drones.
RTHReturn to HomeA GPS feature that when enabled, it returns the aircraft to the "home" position where it took off.
FOVField of ViewA measurement how much environment you can see through a camera lens. Usually measured in degrees.
FailsafeA mechanism to minimize damage to the qud and nearby objects in the event of a radio signal loss or system failure. More info
KKKaptein KukA multicopter flight controller designed by Rolf Bakke in 2012
Naked GoProA naked GoPro has all the unnecessary parts removed except the motherboard and camera module to minimize its weight. https://oscarliang.com/gopro-10-bones/
OSDOn Screen DisplayA piece of hardware that overlays flight data in text or graphical form over an existing live stream video.
PigtailA pigtail, in FPV, typically refers to the battery connector cable that is soldered onto an 4in1 ESC. Pigtails also refer to a long SMA antenna adapter cable.
PNPPlug and PlayA PNP quadcopter kit usually comes without the receiver, transmitter, battery and FPV Goggles.
Locked inA positive description of a multirotor's stable and on-rail flying performance
ACCAccelerometerA sensor that measures acceleration forces in a specific direction.
I2CInter-Integrated CircuitA serial bus that allows multiple low speed peripherals, such as sensors, to be connected to a microprocessor.
TrimA small constant offset applied to a control.
Curr / CRTCurrentA solder pad on ESC / FC for current sensor data
Angle ModeA stabilized flight mode using both gyroscope and accelerometer sensors. More info
MultishotA type of analogue ESC protocol to replace Oneshot
OneshotOneshot125A type of analogue ESC protocol to replace PWM
XT90A type of battery connector for large FPV drones. It's larger than XT60.
XT30A type of battery connector for micro FPV drones. It's smaller than XT60.
ADCAnalogue to Digital ConverterA type of circuit that converts analogue signal to digital signal; In EdgeTX and OpenTX hardware settings, there is an "ADC Filter" option for reducing stick jitters, which is great for planes and wings that uses servos, but should be turned off for multirotors to minimize latency.
DShotDigital ShotA type of digital ESC protocol. More info
LPFLow-pass FilterA type of digital filter that reduces high frequency signal. More info
Brushless MotorA type of electrical motor that is commonly used in multirotors. They have a wide range of voltage input, more durable and powerful than brushed motors. How to choose mini quad motors
CC3DCopterControl 3DA type of flight controller
CriusA type of flight controller board
APMArduPilot MegaA type of flight controller board that uses the ArduPilot firmware
Brushed MotorA type of motor that is commonly used in small multirotors, they are generally powered by 1S batteries, and weaker than brushless motors
TRITricopterA type of multicopter that has 3 motors and a servo for yaw control.
HEXAHexacopterA type of multicopter, that has 6 motors, no servos, all motors on same level.
OCTOOctocopterA type of multicopter, that has 8 motors, no servos, all motors on same level.
V-tailA type of multirotor that has 4 motors, 2 tail motors form a V shape, it has no servo.
Y4A type of multirotor that has 4 motors, 2 tail motors one on top of the other, it looks like a tricopter but has no servo
X8A type of multirotor that has 8 motors and of a shape of X, 4 motors on top, 4 motors at bottom, no servo
EEPROMElectronically Erasable Programmable Read Only MemoryA type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices to store small amounts of data that must be saved when power is removed, e.g.,static calibration/reference tables. Unlike bytes in most other kinds of non-volatile memory, individual bytes in a traditional EEPROM can be independently read, erased, and rewritten.
DDDirect DriveA type of prop designed to go straight on a motor shaft without a gear reduction.
SFSlow flyA type of propellers that are designed to go on a motor using a gear reduction to lower rotational speed
TAER1234A type of radio channel mapping. It means mapping throttle as channel 1, Aileron (roll) as channel 2, Elevator (pitch) as channel 3, and Rudder (yaw) as channel 4
JST-SHA type of small connector for lower current applications, such as signals
GITA version control system for software developers.
BuzzerA very loud speaker commonly used in drones, for the purpose of low voltage and lost model alarms. More info
BECBattery Eliminator CircuitA voltage regulator found in some PDB, ESC, FC and VTX. They are designed to provide constant voltage, e.g. 5V and 12V, for other RC equipment such as FPV camera and radio receiver
PPM SUM (CPPM)Pulse Position ModulationA way of sending sequence of multiple signals down one signal wire. More info
FlowA word often used in the FPV hobby to describe fast and smooth flying with style
Rate ModeA.K.A. Acro Mode, and Manual mode. It's a flight mode that only uses the gyro sensor. More info
AcroAcrobaticAcrobatic is a flying style which involves a large amount of flips and rolls and extreme maneuver. Acro is also sometimes used interchangeably with rate mode and manual mode. More info
Ground EffectAir turbulence from propellers bouncing off the ground when the copter is hovering at low altitude
UAVUnmanned Aerial VehicleAircraft without a human pilot onboard. Control is provided by an onboard computer, remote control or combination of both.
Active BrakingAKA "Damped Light", it's a feature in BLHeli that improves throttle responsiveness.
LiPoLithium Polymer BatteryAka LiPoly. It's the most commonly used power source for the RC hobby these days because of its high energy storage density-to-weight and high discharge rate. More info
ELEVElevatorAlso known as pitch, it's the letter "E" in channel map, TAER1234 or AETR1234
AILAileronsAlso known as roll (It's the letter "A" in channel map, TAER1234 or AETR1234)
RUDRudderAlso known as yaw, it's the letter "R" in channel map, (TAER1234 or AETR1234)
Kalman FilterAn algorithm used in Multicopter Flight controllers. It is primarily used to combine accelerometer and gyro data to provide an accurate description of aircraft attitude and movement in real time.
ARTF (ARF)Almost Ready to FlyAn ARTF or ARF model is a pre-built model that usually includes everything you need to fly, except the radio transmitter and receiver.
AWGAmerican wire gaugeAn electrical wire size measurement, the larger the number, the smaller the wire. More info
MAGMagnetometerAn electronic compass - used to let our FC ( Flight Controller ) know which direction it is pointed in, compared to the Earth's Magnetic field
SimonKAn ESC firmware designed for multirotors, but no longer updated and now obsolete
StackAn FC stack refers to a flight controller sitting on top of a 4in1 ESC board. A stack is often sold as a combo.
LC FILTERL = Inductor
C = Capacitor
An LC filter is a circuit that reduces unwanted frequencies (noise) from a power supply. A video feed needs stable power to operate optimally and an LC filter smooths the input power.
RTFReady to FlyAn RTF model is a pre-built model that's sold with everything you will need in order to fly right out of the box.
mAhmilli-amp per hourAn unit that measures the capacity of a LiPo battery
DroneAn unmanned aircraft that is guided remotely by a pilot. For military use, these aircraft have weapons and/or surveillance gear. For personal/recreational use, these aircraft often have HD cameras. The term is popular in the media and can be misleading sometimes. More info
ProximityAny flying close to objects or the ground.
Punch outAscending vertically at 100% throttle.
AUXAuxiliary ChannelsAUX Channels are additional channels to the 4 channels that are used for the control sticks (throttle, yaw, roll and pitch). AUX1 is channel 5, AUX2 is channel 6, etc... Auxiliary channels are used for the switches, rotary controls and sliders etc. These can be used for changing flight modes & controlling peripherals
AvatarAvatar is a proprietary HD digital video transmission system created by Walksnail (owned by Caddx) released in 2022. More info
UBECUniversal Battery Elimination CircuitBasically just a DC voltage regulator.
BFBetaflightBetaflight is a popular flight controller firmware for FPV drones. More info
C RatingC rating in LiPo batteries refers to the maximum current a battery can deliver to the quad's ESC and distribute to the motors and other parts that require power. However every battery manufacturer seems to have different standard when it comes to C rating and often the numbers are inflated, so take it as a grain of salt. https://oscarliang.com/lipo-battery-guide/#C-Rating
CapCapacitorCapacitors, or caps, are cylinder components with two legs that are soldered onto ESC's power pads for reducing electrical noise, which is better for video quality and flight performance. https://oscarliang.com/capacitors-mini-quad/
CC2500CC2500 is an RF chip in radio internal modules. It supports multiple radio protocols like FrSky ACCST V1 and Futaba SFHSS.
RFRadio FrequencyCommon radio frequency in the FPV hobby are 2.4gHz, 900mHz and 433mHz. More info
SMA / RP-SMASub-Miniature Version A
Reverse Polarity SMA
Connectors for FPV equipment. More info
CrossfireCRSFCrossfire is a proprietary 915/868MHz long-range radio protocol created by TBS. People who use Crossfire find it to be easy to install and configure, while it also offers excellent range thanks to the low frequency. https://oscarliang.com/crossfire-betaflight/
CW / CCWClockwise / Counter-ClockwiseCW and CCW refer to a propeller's desired rotational direction. Each quadcopter uses two clockwise and two counter-clockwise propellers. They must be installed correctly for the drone to take off. The direction of the prop is typically etched on top of the blade. https://oscarliang.com/choose-propellers-mini-quad/
DCDirect CurrentDC is the type of electricity that comes from power source with Positive and Negative (+ and -), such as a battery. In DC circuitry Negative is often referred to as GND, Ground or common.
BLDCBrushless Direct Current MotorDespite your quadcopter using a DC battery, BLDC motors are not to be confused with the brushless motors on a quad, which actually run on 3 Phase AC.
DigitalDigital in FPV typically refers to HD digital video transmission, as opposed to analog. Digital FPV systems includes DJI, HDZero, and Avatar that transmit digital signals with at least 720p or 1080p resolution video stream.
DJIDa Jiang InovationDJI is the world's leading consumer drone manufacturer.
DSSSDirect-Sequence Spread SpectrumDSM uses Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) modulation technique. As with other spread spectrum technologies, the transmitted signal takes up more bandwidth than the information signal that modulates the carrier or broadcast frequency. The name 'spread spectrum' comes from the fact that the carrier signals occur over the full bandwidth (spectrum) of a device's transmitting frequency.
EMIElectro-Magnetic InterferenceEMI is disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source.
ESCElectronic Speed ControlESC is used to convert signals from a flight controller or radio receiver, and apply the right amount of power to the electric motors. It also turns DC voltage into AC in order to spin up the 3-phase brushless motor. More info
ExpoExponentialExpo refers to a drone's rate setting that increases or decreases the sensitivity around center stick, having some expo can help make finer movements and it does not affect the maximum rotational speed at full stick. https://oscarliang.com/rates/
ExpressLRSExpressLRS or ELRS, is a long-range, open-source radio protocol that's widely accepted as one of the best radio protocols for FPV as of 2023. https://oscarliang.com/expresslrs/
FETField-effect transistorFET's are transistors on ESC's, they take small electrical signals from the flight controller and controls the much larger current flow from the battery to the motors. Think of them as on/off switches, and they can switch extremely quickly (tens of thousands of times per second).
FWFirmwareFirmware is a software designed for a specific piece of hardware / equipment.
FCFlight ControllerFlight Controller is the brain of your multirotor. More info
ALAuto Levelling or Self-LevelFlight modes that keep the copter level when it's not controlled.
SCell Count - "Cells connected in series"For example, a 4S LiPo is a LiPo battery with 4 cells connected in series, nominal voltage is 14.8V (4x3.7).
PBattery cells in parallelFor example, a LiPo battery of 4S2P, has two 4S batteries connected in parallel.
freestyleFreestyle is a flying style focused on acrobatics and tricks. The same term is also commonly used to describe a type of frame or drone build that's designed for freestyle flying.
gogglesGoggles, or FPV goggles, is a headset with built in screen, allows you to see the image from the drone.
GNDGroundGround or Negative of a DC electrical circuit
GyroflowGyroflow is a free and open-source video stabilization software made for FPV that utilizes the gyro data from a camera or flight controller to stabilize the video footage.
HDZeroHDZero is an HD digital FPV system which offers the lowest latency among the other digital systems. https://oscarliang.com/hdzero-digital-fpv-system/
DFUDevice Firmware UpdateIf you have trouble flashing flight controller firmware directly, you can enter DFU mode first by holding down the boot button on the flight controller board while powering on.
NCNot ConnectedIf you see a pin/pad in a connector labelled as NC it most likely means "Not connected to anything" or "not used"
AnalogAnalogueIn the FPV world, analog typically refers to the traditional analog FPV system (as opposed to digital), the video transmitter sends analog signals hence the name. Analog is cheaper, widely available, low latency, but image quality is only up to 480p, usually even lower.
IPEXIPEX is a type of antenna connector typically found on radio receivers and video transmitters due to their small connector size. IPEX is often used interchangeably with U.FL, but only IPEX4 is the same as U.FL, there are other sizes of IPEX connectors.
GimbalIt can mean two things: 1. a motorized camera stabilizer; 2. the entire stick control assembly within a radio transmitter
BAROBarometric AltimeterIt measures altitude by using barometric pressure
GYROGyroscopeIt's a sensor on the flight controller that measures the angular velocity around 3 axes of space in degrees (basically, how fast the drone is rotating).
This is one of the most important sensors, as the data is used in PID controller to keep the drone afloat and to fly smoothly.
There are many types of gyros, some are faster while some are noisier. More info
KVKV refers to a motor's RPM per volt with no load. In FPV, the same motor often come in different KV values designed for 4S and 6S batteries, the one for 6S will have lower KV than the one for 4S. https://oscarliang.com/motors/
LHCPLeft hand circular polarizedLHCP is left hand circular polarization for antennas, opposite to RHCP (right hand). Make sure your transmit and receive antennas are of the same polarization, mixing the two will have a huge signal penalty. There's no performance different between LHCP and RHCP.
Li-ionlithium ionLi-ion batteries have lower discharge rate than LiPo, but has higher energy density, making them great for long range cruise flights, but not good for racing or freestyle. They are also often used for powering FPV equipment such as FPV Goggles and radios. https://oscarliang.com/best-18650-li-ion-battery/
LiHVhigh voltage lithium polymerLiHv is a type of LiPo battery that have slightly higher voltage (4.35V) when fully charged than typical LiPo batteries (4.20V).
LQLink QualityLink quality is the percentage of data that is delivered to the receiver without data corruption. It's a measurement of how good/reliable the radio link is. It's a different measurement than RSSI which measure the signal strength. More info
CellSLiPo battery consists of a number of cells. Each cell has a nominal voltage of 3.7V. In order to obtain higher voltage, cells can be connected in series inside a battery. For example, popular LiPo batteries for FPV drones are 4-cell and 6-cell, a 4-cell LiPo (a.k.a. 4S1P) has 4 cells, while 6S has 6 cells.
LUALUA ScriptLua is a general purpose scripting language, developers can make useful LUA scripts in OpenTX and EdgeTX, which functions like little APP on your smartphone. Lua scripts are stored in text files and are loaded and unloaded whenever they are needed by the radio. The scripts are not part of the radio firmware.
MMCXMMCX is a type of antenna connector typically found on video transmitters due to their small connector size than SMA and yet much more robust than UFL. https://oscarliang.com/fpv-antenna-connectors/#mmcx-connectors
MWCMultiWii CopterMultiWii is a general purpose software to control a multirotor RC model. It can use various sensors but was initially developed to support Nintendo Wii console gyroscopes and accelerometers
DOFDegree of FreedomOften used in FC marketing back in 2013, it gives clues as to what sensors are available on the flight controller.
For example 6DOF = 3 axis gyroscope (gyro) + 3 axis accelerometer (ACC);
9DOF = 3 axis Gyro + 3 axis ACC+ 3 axis magnetometer (compass);
10DOF = same as 9DOF but with an additional barometer
HKHobbykingOne of the biggest RC Vendors in the world with warehouses in EU, US, AU, RU and China.
ThrottleOne of the controls on your radio transmitter, it changes the speed of all the motors in a drone. It's the letter "T" in channel map, (TAER1234 or AETR1234)
LEDLight Emitting DiodeOne of the most efficient forms of lighting.
IntoFPVOne of the most popular forums for FPV Multirotor: http://intofpv.com/
RCGRCGroupsOne of the most popular RC forums in the world.
Opto ESCOpto ESC is a common saying for ESC without BEC
PackPack, short for battery pack, typically refers to a quad's battery.
Parallel chargingParallel charging is the act of charging multiple batteries using the same output on a LiPo charger. This is usually done using a balance charging board that connects the separate batteries into one. https://oscarliang.com/parallel-charging-multiple-lipo/
PolarizationPolarization is the way a radio signal travels from the antenna, either be linearly polarized or circularly polarized, each has its pros and cons. https://oscarliang.com/best-fpv-antenna/#Antenna-Polarization-Linear-or-Circular
VccVccPositive power supply input
Prop washProp wash describes the turbulent air created by the propellers when the drone reverse its travelling direction (either when you do a sharp turn or decending). It can cause the drone to oscillate rapidly in a split second.
RateRC RatesRate changes how fast your copter rotates with each stick movement. The higher the rate, the more sensitive your drone would be. More info
ReelSteadyReelSteady is a video stabilization software designed specifically for GoPro footage, it's built into the GoPro player and costs $99 one-time payment in-app purchase.
RHCPRight hand circular polarizedRHCP is right hand circular polarization for antennas, opposite to LHCP (left hand). Make sure your transmit and receive antennas are of the same polarization, mixing the two will have a huge signal loss. There's no performance different between LHCP and RHCP.
RSSIReceived Signal Strength IndicationRSSI is a measurement of how good your radio signal is. More info
RTLReturn To LaunchSame as RTH.
SBUSSBUS is a type of serial communication protocol used by Futaba and FrSky. It supports up to 16 channels using only one signal cable. More info
UARTUniversal Asynchronous Receiver/TransmitterSerial communication port. A piece of computer hardware that translates data between parallel and serial form.More info
PropPropellerShort for propeller.
QuadQuadcopterShort for quadcopter, which is a type of multicopter that has 4 motors on the same level
PCBPrinted Circuit BoardSilicon board with copper traces and components soldered onto it. Most electronics in this hobby are built on PCB's, such as FC, VTX, TX, RX....
TOWTake off weightSimilar to AUW
SASmart AudioSmart Audio is a protocol for VTX Control. More info
Smart AudioSmart audio is a protocol in video transmitters that allows you to change video transmitter settings like output power or channel from the OSD menu or radio.
GCSGround Control StationSoftware used to monitor a Flight Controller Board. The OpenPilot GCS for example.
DMASome pins on a flight controllers have dedicated DMA channels, some don't. Certain features in Betaflight require dedicated DMA channel to work, such as DShot motor output. For example, you might be able to remap motor output to some other pins that don't have DMA channels, multishot might work but DShot does not work properly, this is also known as DMA channel conflict.
BootloaderSpecial code stored in non-volatile memory in a microprocessor that can interface with a PC to download a user's program.
PunchSudden burst of thrust.
TelemetryTelemetry is a feature commonly available in radio links. It allows the receiver to send data back to the radio, such as battery voltage, signal link quality, RSSI, GPS coordinates and so on.
RevoRevolutionThe 3rd generation of OpenPilot Controllers
Control AuthorityThe amount of response in the drone to the pilot’s commands.
IMDIntermodulation DistortionThe amplitude modulation of signals containing two or more different frequencies, caused by non-linearities or time variance in a system.
CoG or CGCenter of GravityThe average location of the weight of a copter. It's important to make sure the COG of your copter is right in the middle (or close enough) for optimal performance.
ThrustThe force generated by the propellers and motor, measured in grams
RCRadio ControlThe foundation of our hobby, it's also used to refer to the hobby as a whole, radio controlled cars, multirotor, planes boats and more.
XT60The most common type of battery connector for FPV drones. The number indicates current rating and size, it's larger than XT30 but smaller than XT90. More info
FTDIFuture Technology Devices InternationalThe name of the company that makes the electronic chip standard, to convert USB to serial communications. Available as a chip for boards that have a USB connector, or in a cable to connected to breakout pins.
RPMRevolutions Per MinuteThe number of motor rotations in 60 seconds.
PitchThe pitch of a propeller is how steep the blade angle to the horizon blade is, it's refers to a the propeller's traveling distance in one complete 360° spin, typically measured in inches. Generally speaking, a longer pitch means more speed at the expense of more motor torque and current draw, while shorter pitch length means it's easier on the motor, less current draw and more responsiveness.
BindThe process of pairing radio transmitter and receiver when first setting them up to work together
PWMPulse Width ModulationThe square-wave signals used in RC control to drive servos and speed controllers.
PIDProportional Integral DerivativeThe three parameters that you can adjust to change the copter's flight performance. In theory PID is a control loop that attempts to minimize the difference between a measured process value and its desired value by adjusting the control input of a process.More info
AUWAll up weightThe total weight of a copter including LiPo Battery and necessary parts in order to take off, and any other peripherals
ACAlternating CurrentThe type of electricity that comes from your wall socket. AC has Live and Neutral wires, as opposed to positive and negative (+ & -) in DC.
ALTAltitudeThe vertical distance you are from ground
Dry WeightThe weight of a multirotor including everything necessary to take off except the battery.
BandThere are a number of VTX frequencies which are split into bands, there are 8 channels per band. More info
31mm, 40mm, 65mmThese are common propeller sizes used in micro drones such as Tiny Whoop
2", 3", 4", 5", 6", 7"...2-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch, 5-inch, 6-inch, 7-inchThese are propeller sizes, also often used to described the size of an FPV drone (the biggest prop it can support) More info
F1, F3, F4, G4, F7, H7These are the different processors in flight controllers. More info
Mode1 / Mode2These are the different transmitter stick configurations: mode 1, throttle stick on the right; mode 2, throttle stick on the left (more widely used). See RC Transmitter Basics. More info
DSM / DSM2 / DSMXThese are the proprietary technology of an RC equipment maker, Spectrum, and DSM stands for "Digital Spectrum Modulation".
PAL / NTSCThese are video formats in FPV cameras and your video display. More info
1S, 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S, 6S...S = number of cellsThese numbers indicate how many cells in a LiPo battery. The higher the cell count, the higher the nominal voltage. More Info.
Horizon ModeThis is a stabilized flight mode, similar to Angle mode, but it allows the pilot to do roll and flip.
CLICommand Line InterfaceThis is an interface in Betaflight where you can enter command lines. For more info
TVLTV LineTVL (TV Lines) is basically a measure of how good the FPV camera resolution is. The number is based on how many alternating black and white lines can be displayed in its image horizontally.
TX"Transmitter" or the "TX pin in a UART"TX, or radio transmitter, is a device that sends user commands to the Receiver. More info.
TX can also mean the transmitting pin in a serial connection.
U.FLU.FL is a type of antenna connector typically found on small VTX and radio receivers due to their small connector size.
JelloJello EffectUndesirable high frequency vibration in flight footage
Jello is when a camera's image is skewed due to high frequency vibrations on the drone. Jello can be caused by mechanical or electrical issues, or bad PID/filtering tuning. Soft mounting the camera might also help.
FAAFederal Aviation AdministrationUnited States Department of Transportation Agency, it has the authority to regulate and
The FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, is the United States governing agency for aviation oversees all aspects of civil aviation in the USA and flight regulations including FPV drones.
GPSGlobal Positioning SystemUsed to track movement or hold position at pre-defined coordinates
APAerial PhotographyUsing a multirotor to take steady aerial videos and still photos.
FPVFirst Person ViewUtilizing an onboard FPV camera and wireless connection, to allow a pilot on the ground to see live video stream from an RC aircraft while flying, through FPV goggles or monitor, More info
ChannelVideo transmitters broadcast signals on a particular frequency, and this frequency is called a channel; Channel can also refer to the number of controls you are allowed to use on a radio
WalksnailWalksnail is the manufacturer of the Avatar HD digital FPV system. Walksnail is owned by Caddx.
PayloadWhat the drone can carry/lift, such as a camera, or package
4in14-in-1When talking about 4in1 ESCs, it means it incorporates 4 ESCs on a single board. These are typically mounted under a flight controller as a stack, rather than mounted on a quad's arms.
LOSLine of SightWhen you are flying your aircraft by watching your aircraft directly, you are flying LOS. Another way of flying is FPV.

Edit History

  • Feb 2015 – Post created
  • Apr 2018 – Updated list
  • Jan 2020 – updated list
  • Jun 2020 – Added “search” feature
  • May 2021 – updated featured image and some terms
  • Dec 2022 – updated list

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Justin 11th January 2023 - 8:27 pm

This is a great resource.

Missing SPI

Derek Fisher 6th March 2023 - 4:35 am

I was looking for spi

Timothy Chiu 29th December 2022 - 10:24 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this, this is extremely helpful

Brett 24th December 2022 - 4:06 am

How about DC – dead cat, thus had me confused for awhile

Parth Dandawate 26th March 2022 - 12:32 pm

Do SPOT stand for smart port ? I have seen “SPOT” on one of the pins of my R161 Radio master receiver. Please let me know. Here is one reference for you > getfpv.com/radiomaster-r161-16ch-frsky-d16-compatible-sbus-receiver-w-s-port.html

Oscar 26th March 2022 - 1:34 pm

I checked the manual of this RX there’s no mention of what SPOT means. But I think you are right it could be Smart Port.

alan mccluskey 16th May 2021 - 3:32 am

great list, i wonder if its possible to make a short list purely for beginners to ask a question? i mean a basic list they can use to get somebody online to troubleshoot. most of the people i have helped online really struggle to form a question when they don’t know enough jargon. so many people have got rtf or bnf’s that when something goes wrong its extremely difficult to communicate and troubleshoot without very basic jargon. i’m not sure how to go about this,

Oscar 16th May 2021 - 10:50 am

That’s what IntoFPV.com is for

nick 21st March 2021 - 10:03 pm

NC on video transmitters ?

Oscar 22nd March 2021 - 12:33 am

It probably means Not Connected?

Dan 30th December 2020 - 2:19 pm

Hello, i have an iflight F405 board, what does SDA and SDL mean on the UART section of the board.

Oscar 11th January 2021 - 3:45 pm

These are i2c connection (similar to UART but different interface), you can connect GPS modules to them.

Jonathan 16th October 2020 - 12:11 pm

hi oscar, what means curr and crt? found this abbreviations on my 4in1 esc/FC

Oscar 8th January 2021 - 10:53 pm

Both means “current”. I will add these to the list shortly.

Theboatpirate 15th March 2020 - 12:39 am

On flight controllers they use F3, F4, F7. What do those numbers mean? Is that the number of UARTs? If so, that would increase functionality of the FC?

Alastair 29th January 2020 - 3:45 am

Would it be possible to add the terms used to describe all the different sizes of drones like whoop and 40mm, I keep coming across them but I get confused about whether terms overlap, especially now as I’m buying new props.

Oscar 2nd February 2020 - 4:05 pm

good idea, i will add these terms to the list.

SunnyRFF 30th September 2019 - 9:54 am

What is DMA? Thanks!

Barry Moore 12th April 2019 - 5:50 pm

I am new to Quads since first of year, still learning jargon. Last night 7hatguy said to turn ADC off on your Frsky radios in the new BetaFlight 4.0. What does ADC stand for? I don’t see it in Quad glossary here.

Thanks in advance

Oscar 23rd April 2019 - 5:10 pm

OpenTX has an “ADC Filter” option to reduce stick jitters.
Long press Enter button, and scroll over to “hardware” page. the option of at the very bottom.

Casey 2nd November 2018 - 2:53 am

I was looking for the meaning of SWC on an esc.

Jacob Felix 22nd August 2018 - 7:09 am

I have one abbreviation that have not seen or heard of. Maybe one you could help with. “KG” abbreviated on flight board I salvaged off a old SJRC toy drone. Anyone? Anyone?

David Schick 2nd May 2018 - 7:59 pm

Here’s another one I came across not in your list: DFU. I think it means Device Firmware Update, but not sure.


Thanks for the great work on your site!

Matt 23rd May 2018 - 1:25 am

DFU… It’s easy that one, it obviously stands for ‘Don’t F**k UP!’

Sorry, very puerile of me, but I just could not resist hehehe

Sean 30th April 2018 - 2:15 pm

call me a stickler but, AC stands for Alternating Current

also, SA for Smart Audio

Stanley 27th April 2018 - 9:25 am

Great job Oscar! One more i could think of.
Opto – Electronic speed controller without BEC.

voodoo 27th April 2018 - 1:22 am

Missing a few important one. I know you have CF for Cleanflight which is all the rage these days. But what about the lesser known FW like Betaflight. :)

BF – Betaflight
BFC – Betaflight configurator
RF – Raceflight
RFC – RF configurator
BUF – ButterFlight
RX and TX – confusing but often also referred to UART RX and TX
FKF – Fast Kalman Filter
# eg. 3S, 4S etc?

Oscar 30th April 2018 - 4:35 pm

Great suggestions, thank you!

Nobody In Particular 31st January 2018 - 5:27 am

One of the best list’s i’ve seen, Thank you. Let’s make it better with A few more ACRONYMS If I may suggest.
1. CW/CCW- ClockWise / Counter ClockWise rotation.

2.Add to Diversity: To read
Diversity Tracking- An FPV setup that uses a dual receiver system that picks between multiple
antennas to display the best picture.

3. FW- Firmware, software designed specifically for a piece of equipment.

4. LED- Light Emitting Diode.

5. Mode 1- Tx throttle position – stick on the right.
6. Mode 2- Tx throttle position – stick on the left (the more widely used configuration).
7. MTOW- Maximum Take Off Weight.
8. (n)S count- Series on a LiPo battery represents the number of cells that are connected in
series. For example, a 3S LiPo has 3 cells connected in series. Each cell generally has around
4V, so a 3S would have around 12V.
9. Pal / NTSC- Both are video formats.
10. PNP- Plug and Play.
11. Polarization- A subject related to FPV antennas.
12.RTF- Ready To Fly. A multicopter that’s sold with a radio transmitter. It can be flown right out
of the box.
13. TOW- Take Off Weight.

14. VTOL- Vertical take off and landing.

14. XT-60- battery connector type.
Hope these help,

Oscar 5th February 2018 - 2:08 pm

thank you, that’s an excellent list ! i will add those shortly! I appreciate your help!

Claudio Costerni 21st April 2017 - 2:20 am

Hi Oscar,

nice work here, it helps a lot, thanks.
I have found a typo:

SimonK A famous ESC firmware optomised for multirotors

Oscar 26th April 2017 - 9:20 pm

thank you very much!! :D

Edwin Brandt 9th April 2017 - 4:11 pm

Quadcopter Acronyms – Terminology – Glossary – Vocabulary – Drone Multirotors RC
Ground Effect :- The effect ( back Wash or impact induced ) on the flight characteristics of the crafts own Propellers on Air induced BOUNCE when hovering or at the Take-Off & Landing of Craft from surounding Solid Obstacles ( i.e. Ground , Walls etc. ) usualy seen as Dust Cloud .

Ermmm yea i think thats what i mean , I saw it missing so im kinda being presumtuious

mike 16th February 2017 - 2:59 am

What does it mean A because in al the motor appears some like 50A like this example: “SyRen 50A 6V-30V”

Bob Beattie 9th November 2018 - 3:25 pm

The A stands for Ampere

Rich Smith 21st November 2016 - 5:15 pm

what is vcc

Oscar 22nd November 2016 - 2:07 pm

added :) cheers

Lowblow 27th August 2016 - 12:55 am

I finally know where to go find all the abbreviations & acronyms, now all I need to do is learn how to fly my quads

robert 22nd March 2017 - 6:45 pm

I am in same position low blow. I’m so happy i finally found this info. It would have been expensive to learn by experimentation, which is what I had been doing.

Sam 1st June 2016 - 8:25 pm

You missed one thing.. UOV?

Jon 29th December 2015 - 11:03 pm

Hi Oscar, your site has been so helpful in getting started and building my quad at every step! Thank you so much.

mohammad 10th July 2015 - 1:48 pm

Hi Oscar
thanks for your information s
is there any company how sale the equipment s of quad copter?

Alexander 2nd June 2015 - 11:29 am

Nice list oscar! Thanks :-)

Sebastian 29th March 2015 - 5:34 pm

So far, the best blog and I hope it stay like that;)

Oscar 31st March 2015 - 1:03 am

thanks Sebastian!