Smiths Connectors is now Smiths Interconnect


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W


AC current (Alternating Current) - electrical current whose charge magnitude and flow direction follow a cyclic pattern.

Adapter: An intermediate device that accomplishes the attachment of special accessories and provides for special mounting

Alloy: A combination of two or more elements of which at least one is a metal. Generally, alloys have different properties from those exhibited by their constituent element.

Ampere (Amp) - a unit of electrical current measuring electric charge per second.

Annealing - heating and cooling treatment used to improve metalworking materials by softening, relieving internal stress(es) and refining the external structure of the metal to be shaped.

Anodizing - electrolytic process that adds thickness and density to the outer layer of natural oxide on a metal surface.

ARIB (Association of Radio Industry Broadcasters) - radio spectrum and frequency change standardization agency located in Japan.

ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated) - private company which develops specifications, including connector specifications, for the aircraft industry

Amplitude: The The distance between high or low points of waveform or signal. Also referred to as the wave "height"

Anti-rotation: Connector design that includes keying or locking provisions to maintain positive orientation for accessory hardware.

Array: A group of elements or circuits arranged in rows and columns on a substrate or PC board.

Assembly: Consisting of detailed parts and subassemblies performing functions necessary to the operation of the device.

Attenuation: The decrease of a signal with the distance in the direction of propagation. Attenuation may be expressed as the scalar ratio of the input power to the output power, or as the ratio of the input signal voltage to the output signal voltage. (1) the ratio of the input to output power levels in a network (transmission line) when it is excited by a matched source and terminated in a matched load. (2) Power loss in an electrical system.

ASTM International (American Society for Testing Materials) - international organization responsible for testing and standardizing industry materials.

AWG (American Wire Gauge) - standardized measurement system for electrical conducting wire. Back Reflection - the percentage of power reflected back from a specific point on a path of light in fiber optics, expressed as a negative dB.



Back Mounted: A connector designed used in panel or box applications in which the mounting flange is located inside the equipment enclosure.

Backplane Connector: An interconnection assembly configuration having terminals on one side and usually having connector receptacles on the other side that will accept either a mating connectors or PCB.

Backplane Panel: An interconnection panel into which PC cards or other panels can be plugged. These panels come in a variety of designs ranging from a PC motherboard to individual connectors mounted in a metal frame. Panels lend themselves to automated wiring.

Backshell: Housing on a connector that covers the area where the cable conductors connect to the connector contacts. It can be a metal housing providing continuity of the shield through IDC connectors.

Bandwidth: The range of frequencies for which performance falls within specified limits. Distance between two frequencies.

Base Metal - metal that makes up the base of a connector, contact or other metal accessory; additional metals or coatings may be added on top of the base.

Bayonet Coupling: A quick coupling device for plug and receptacle connectors, accomplished by rotation of a cam operating device designed to bring the connector halves together

Bending Radius: Minimum static: The minimum permissible radius for fixed installation of the cable. This radius is mainly conductor. A weatherproof plastic covering is placed on top of the braid. Used for high-speed data communication and video signals used in climatic tests. Minimum dynamic: The minimum permissible radius for flexible applications of the cable.

Bend Loss: Increased attenuation occurring when the fiber is curved around a restrictive radius.

Beryllium Copper (BeCu): Contact materials recommended for contact applications requiring repeated extraction/reinsertion and mating/unmating cycles due to its resistance to fatigue at high operating temperatures.

Between Series Adapter: An adaptor used to connect two different generic types of connectors.

Blindmate: Connectors which may be mated when out of view owing to their float mount facility.

Board Thickness: The thickness of the metal-clad base material of the PC board, including conductive layer or layers.

Body: Main, or largest, portion of a connector to which other portions are attached.

Braid - protective textile cover used for plastic insulation to provide mechanical or thermal protections by separating cable segments and acting as a flame retardant.

Brass - a metal alloy of copper and zinc which is often used as the base material in electrical contacts.

Breakdown Voltage - voltage required to breakdown the insulation between two conductors.

Bundle - grouping of rigid or flexible fiber optics that carries a common signal.

Bulkhead: A term used to define a mounting style of connectors. Bulkhead connectors are designed to be inserted into a panel cutout from the rear (component side) or front side of the panel.



Cable: A stranded conductor with or without insulation or other coverings (single-conductor cable) or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiple-conductor cable). Usually has an outer covering or jacket over other components such as braided shield, grounding tape, strengthening members, and extruded insulating jacket.

Cable Assembly: A completed cable and its associated hardware (e.g. connector).

Capacitance: The property of a system of conductors and dielectrics that permit the storage of electricity when potential difference exists between the conductors. Value is expressed as the ratio of quantity of electricity to a potential difference. A capacitance value is always positive. Capacitance plays a key role in the filter performance

Capacitor: A device consisting of two conducting surfaces separated by an insulating material such as air, paper, mica, ceramic, glass, metal, or plastic film. A capacitor stores electric energy and blocks flow of alternating current to a degree dependent on its capacitance and the frequency.

Captivation: A method of holding a center contact in place preventing in some cases both axial and radial movement. Different methods accommodate different tolerances on axial and radial movement.

Cavity: The lengthwise opening in a printed circuit edge connector that receives the printed circuit board.

Center Conductor - Innermost center conductive contact in a coaxial structure.

Characteristic Impedance: The ratio of voltage to current in a propagating wave (i.e., the impedance that is offered to this wave at any point of the line). In printed wiring, its value depends on the width of the conductor, the distance from the conductor to ground, and the dielectric constant of the media between them.

Cladding: Material that surrounds the core of an optical fiber. It’s lower index of refraction, compared to that of the core, causes the transmitted light to travel down the core.

Clearance - (as it applies to voltage) - direct distance between two conductors (i.e. air gap) which electricity could bridge; greater clearances reduce the likelihood of arcing between conductors.

Coaxial Cable: A high bandwidth cable consisting of two concentric cylindrical conductors with a common axis that is used for high-speed data communication and video signals.

Coaxial Connector: An electric connector between a coaxial cable and the circuit of an electric or electronic component. Coaxial Contact: a contact having two conductors with a common axis, separated by a dielectric.

Coaxial Line - transmission line made up of a hollow, outer conductor cylindrical tube in which a center conductor is suspended, with or without a dielectric support.

Composite: A homogenous material that differs from alloys by retaining the characteristics of individual components that are so incorporated into the composite as to take advantage of their attributes, not their shortcomings. A material that consists of a strengthening phase in the form of particulates, whiskers, short, discontinuous or continuous fibers embedded in another phase called a matrix. Composite materials are usually divided into three broad categories identified by the matrix material: Resin, Metal and Ceramic.

Concentric - center core surrounded by one or more layers of materials, all of which share a common central axis.

Conductivity: A measure of the ability of a material to conduct electric current under a given electric field. Resistivity is the reciprocal of conductivity.

Conductor: A material that is capable of carrying electric current, especially one that is highly suitable for this, such as copper wire, Beryllium Copper, and Gold.

Conformable Cable: (Handiform): A formable version of Semi-Rigid. This cable is designed so you may bend it more than once without damaging dielectric and center conductor.

Connector: Used generally to describe all devices used to provide rapid connect/disconnect service for electrical cable and wire terminations or pc boards.

Connector Body: The metal or plastic shell of a connector. It's main purpose is to house the contacts, maintain their position and shield them from dust, dirt, moisture, and electrical interference.

Contact: The conducting part of an interconnect at the interface between the connector and the lead on the device being connected.

Contact Engaging & Separating Force - force required to engage or separate pin and socket contacts whether they are in or out of connector inserts.

Contact Inspection Hole - hole placed in the rear portion of a contact that is used to measure the depth to which a wire has been inserted.

Contact Plating - metal coating that is plated onto the basic contact metal to meet the required contact and/or wear resistance.

Contact Resistance - maximum amount of electrical resistance pin and socket contacts are allowed to generate when assembled in a connector under standard use.

Contact Retention - minimum axial load that a contact must withstand in either direction while maintaining a firm, fixed position within an insert.

Continuity Check - test of finished wire or cable that determines if the electrical current can and will flow continuously through the material without interruption without any shorts

Coupler: An optical device that combines or splits power from optical fibers.

Coupling Nut: Outer threaded or grooved ring which holds mated pair together.

Coupling Ring: A device used on cylindrical connectors to lock plug and receptacle together. It may or may not give mechanical advantage to the operator during the mating operation.

Core - Cable Core: component or group of components over which other materials are applied, e.g. components, shield, sheath, or armor.

Corona: Minimum voltage requirement for the connector at frequencies greater than 1 MHz. This requirement insures that the connector will not exhibit excessive leakage current or dielectric failure due to high RF voltages.

Corrosion - slow degradation of materials by chemical agents and/or electrochemical reactions; rust is the most common.

Coupler - intermediate device that can be used to attach accessories or mounting mechanisms, making two non-matching connectors intermatable.

Creepage Path - path that electricity must follow across a dielectric to bridge cross two conductors; longer creepage paths reduce the likelihood of arc damage or tracking.

Crimp: Act of compressing (deforming) a connector ferrule around a cable in order to make an electrical connection.

Crimp Contact: A contact to which wire is joined by mechanical squeeze. A connector pin or socket that is shipped loose with the connector body, and designed to be crimped onto the end of the wire conductor with a special crimping tool.

Crimp Termination - type of connection that secures a metal sleeve to a conductor by mechanically crimping the sleeve with pliers or a similar tool.

Crosstalk: (1) Undesired electrical currents in conductors caused by electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling from other conductors of external sources. (2) Leakage of optical power from one optical conductor to another.

CSA (Canadian Standards Association) - a non-profit standards organization which develops safety standards for various specialties, including electrical components.

Current - rate of electricity transfer, expressed in amperes (amps).

Current Rating - maximum recommended amount of continuous electrical current, expressed in amperes (amps).

Cycle - complete sequence of an alternating electric current, including the reverse flow process.



D-Subminiature Connector: Rectangular with a d-shaped polarized shroud on the engaging ends of metal shells. Contact types include crimp, solder tails, solder cups, removable.

Daughter Board: A printed wiring board on which components are assembled. Usually plugs into a backplane called a motherboard.

Decibel, dB: A relative, dimensionless unit calculated as ten times the logarithm to the base 10 of a power ratio or as twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of a voltage ratio.

Delay Line - cable specifically designed to produce a long delay in electrical signal transmission by using a low velocity of propagation.

Derating Factor - a value that determines how much the power of a current-carrying wire must be reduced when used in environments other than that for which the material was intended.

Detent: In the connector world this identifies the amount of force needed to make contact with the mating connector. Typical detents are Full, Limited, and Smooth Bore. Full detent requires the maximum amount of force needed to mate. Smooth Bore requires the least.

Dielectric: Refers to a material that is a poor conductor of electricity. Dielectric materials can be made to hold an electrostatic charge while dissipating minimal energy in the form of heat. Glass, porcelain, mica, rubber, plastics dry air, vacuums and some liquids and gases are dielectric.

Dielectric Constant (K) - measure of the extent to which a material concentrates electrostatic lines of flux.

Dielectric Strength - maximum electric voltage an insulating material can withstand without breaking down, expressed as a voltage gradient.

Direct Current (D-C) - continuous electric current that flows in only one direction and is therefore constant in value.

Dielectric Withstanding Voltage (DWV): The maximum voltage that a dielectric material can withstand without failure. Parameter generally defined as 75% of the specified breakdown voltage for connectors or coaxial contacts. DWV testing proves the device can operate safely at its rated voltage and withstand momentary over potentials.

Differential Pair Twinax Contacts: Consist of an outer shield with two inner contacts spaced to form a 100 ohm or 150 ohm matched impedance differential pair.

Dimpling: A method of captivation in which dimples are embossed in order to hold internal components from moving.

DIN Connector: Usually refers to a DIN 41612, the standard developed by the German Institute for Standardization, and the Association of German Electrical Engineers. It covers a variety of connector styles and is based on a family of 64 and 96 position, 2 piece PC board connectors having contact tails for soldering on 0.100 or 0.200" centers

Diode: A simple two-electrode semiconductor having a much greater resistance in one direction.

Dissipation Factor: (DF) is the ratio of the energy dissipated to the energy stored in a dielectric per hertz, also equal to the tangent of the loss angle. It is also defined as the reciprocal of the ratio between the insulating materials capacitive reactance to its resistance at a specified frequency. It measures the inefficiency of an insulating material. If a material were to be used for strictly insulating purposes, it would be better to have a lower dielectric constant.

DSCC: Defense Supply Center Columbus, an agency of the department of defense that oversees the specifications, qualification testing and QPL’s for military connectors.

Durability: The ability of a connector or contact to withstand repeated mating and unmating while remaining within its specified performance levels.

Durometer - measurement of the hardness of a substance.

DVI: Short for Digital Visual Interface, a digital interface standard created by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG) to convert analog signals into digital signals to accommodate both analog and digital monitors. Data is transmitted using the transition minimized differential signaling (TMDS) protocol, providing a digital signal from the PC’s graphics subsystem to the display. DVI handles bandwidths in excess of 160 MHz.

DWV (Dielectric Withstanding Voltage) - a voltage, higher than the operating voltage, below which the dielectric will prevent arcing between two conductors.



Eccentricity - measure taken at the center of a conductor's location with respect to the circular cross-section of the insulator around it.

Elastomer - elastic polymer that stretches to at least twice its length under low stress and snaps back to original length upon release of stress.

Electrical Connector: A separable device which provides mechanical and electrical contact between two elements of an electronic system without unacceptable signal distortion or power loss.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI): Unwanted electrical or electromagnetic energy that causes undesirable responses, degrading performance or complete malfunctions in electronic equipment.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC): The ability of systems, equipment and devices that utilize the electromagnetic spectrum to operate in their intended operational environments without suffering unacceptable degradation or causing unintentional degradation because of electromagnetic radiation or response.

Electroplating: A method of electrically depositing metals of very precise compositions and thickness onto a base metal.

Electroless plating: Plating from an aqueous solution on any surface, caused by an autocatalytic chemical reduction.

Engaging and Separating Force - amount of force needed to engage and/or separate contact elements in mating connectors.

Environmentally Sealed: Connectors and backshells designed to prevent fluids, moisture, air or dust from degrading the performance of electrical contacts and conductors. "Environmental" components typically use gaskets, grommets, potting materials or interfacial O-ring seals to prevent the penetration of foreign substances into the body of the part.

Epoxy Resin - type of plastic that becomes hard and infusible once a hardening agent is applied; also has excellent adhesive action, high chemical, solvent, and thermal resistance, and low shrinkage on curing.

ESD: Short for electrostatic discharge, the rapid discharge of static electricity from one conductor to another of a different potential. An electrostatic discharge can damage integrated circuits found in computer and communications equipment.

Ethernet: A standard protocol (IEE 802.3) for a 10-MB/s baseband local area network (LAN) bus using carrier sense multiple access with collision detection (CSMA/CD) as the access method. Ethernet is a standard for using various transmission media, such as coaxial cables, unshielded twisted pairs, and optical fibers.

Eye Pattern: An oscilloscope display in which a pseudorandom digital data signal from a receiver is repetitively sampled and applied to the vertical input, while the data rate is used to trigger the horizontal sweep. An open eye pattern corresponds to minimal signal distortion. Distortion of the signal waveform due to interference and noise appears as closure of the eye pattern.

Extraction Tool - tool for extracting contacts from a connector.



Faraday Cage: A conductive enclosure. May be solid in form such as a sheet-metal enclosure, or may be full of apertures such as a wire cloth box. Faraday cage is used to protect neutral objects in the cage from ESD external to the faraday cage.

Faraday Effect: A phenomenon that causes some materials to rotate the polarization of light in the presence of a magnetic field parallel to the direction of propagation. Also called magneto-optic effect.

Feed-through: A conductor that connects patterns on both sides of a printed circuit board.

Female Connector: The half of a connector set that accepts the male connector, usually by the engaging end shroud surrounding the male shroud when mated.

Ferrule: A short tube used to make solderless connections to shielded or coaxial cable (e.g. as in crimping).

Fiber: (1) Any filament or fiber, made of dielectric materials that guides light characterized by a core and cladding. (2) A single, separate optical transmission element, characterized by a core and cladding.

Fiber Optics: A data transmission medium consisting of glass fibers. Light emitting diodes send light through the fiber to a detector, which then converts the light back into electrical signals.

Fiber Optic Cable: A cable containing one or more optical fibers.

Fibre Channel: An industry standard which details computer channel communications over fiber optics at transmission speeds from 132 Mb/s to 1062.5 Mb/s at distances of up to 10 kilometers. Fibre Channel transceivers can either be driven with fiber optic signaling or true differential pair twinaxial signaling with 150 ohm impedance between conductors.

Filter: Electrical networks that transmit signals with frequencies within certain designated ranges and suppress signals of other frequencies.

Filter Connector: Connector that houses contacts that provide EMI suppression in addition to its normal function or transmitting electrical energy. Filtered connectors are typically specified for high speed signal paths. Filtering is accomplished through the integration of capacitors into the contact to separate high frequency noise from low frequency signals.

Firewall Connector: A class of high reliability, feed-through connectors designed to prevent fire or sparks from penetration through a sealed bulkhead. Firewall connectors must continue to function for a specific period of time when exposed to fire, and are typically specified in military applications such as fighter jets and Navy ships.

Firewire: A very fast external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of up to 400Mbps (in 1394a) and 800Mbps (in 1394b). Products supporting the 1394 standard go under different names, depending on the company.

Flange: A projection extending from, or around the periphery of, a connector and provided with holes to permit mounting the connector to a panel, or to another mating connector half.

Flexible - cable trait that allows for bending under the influence of outside force.

Float Mount: A mounting mechanism that allows the connector to move enabling compensation for axial and radial misalignment.

Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) - FEP is similar to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTPE) but has a melting point of about 50° C lower and slightly different physical properties.

Footprint: The pattern on the printed circuit board to which the leads on a surface mount component are mated; also called a land or a pad.

Frequency: The number of cycles or events per unit of time, commonly having units of seconds (Hertz). An RF or microwave signal is an alternating current (AC) wave form, meaning it swings from a positive to negative value. Each positive to negative swing is called a cycle. Frequency is then the number of cycles occurring per second.

Front Mounted - connector attached to the outside or mating side of a panel and can only be installed or removed from the outside of the equipment.



Gasket - also called a grommet; a component that forms an environmental seal by surrounding a connector interface with an elastic polymer. 

Giga - numerical prefix denoting one billion (10^9)

Gigahertz (GHz): A measure of frequency representing 1 billion Hertz (cycles per sec).

Grommet: Resilient part at back of insert; gives wire moisture seal the power received at the load before insertion of the apparatus, to the power received at the load after insertion.

Graded Index Fiber - also called a gradient index fiber; a multimode, optical fiber whose core refractive index increases as the radial distance from the fiber axis decreases and matches the cladding refractive index at the core - clad interface; has a greater bandwidth than step index fiber, but less bandwidth than single mode fiber.

Ground - electrical term for connecting to the earth or other large conducting body at zero voltage to make a complete electrical circuit.

Ground Plane: A conductor layer or portion of conductor layers used as a common reference point for circuit returns, shielding, or heat sinking.

Guide Pin: Metal posts with a rounded or pointed tip which projects beyond the contact interface, used to assist in the correct alignment and mating of connector shells and contacts. They also prevent contact damage due to the mismating of connectors.



Hard Clad Silica (HCS) - fiber optic structure with hard plastic cladding around the glass core.

Heat Shrinkable Sleeve - also called a shrink sleeve; plastic coating that protects against corrosion by shrinking to insulate connections, splices, terminations and other configurations.

Hermetic Connector: A class of connectors equipped with a pressure seal for use in maintaining pressurized application environments.

Hermetic Seal - airtight seal created by fusing or soldering to prevent the entrance of air, moisture vapor, and other gases or environmental factors.

Heat Treating: A process that uses precise heating and tooling of metals after stamping and forming in order to optimize internal stresses and spring properties.

Hertz (Hz) - base unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second.

Hi - pot - test used to determine the highest potential level of voltage that can be applied to a conductor without allowing current to escape through the insulation.

High Voltage - electrical circuit, wire or cable whose voltage is a cause of safety concerns, usually operating at over 600 volts.

Holding Strength - connector’s ability to remain assembled to a cable under tension.

Housing - main component of a connector, to which other portions are attached or enclosed. 

Hyperboloid - a three demensional geometric form defined by 2 parallel circles perpendicular to the same axis and a number of lines drawn, at an angle to that axis, from one circle to the other.

Hypertac® - an acronym for "hyperboloid contact" (a registered trademark of Smiths Group) that provides superior performance, exceptional contact reliability, high mating cycle life, low contact resistance, higher current ratings, immunity to high mechanical shock & vibration, and excellent wiping action.



IEEE 1394:An IEEE designation for a high performance serial bus. This serial bus defines both a backplane physical layer and a point-to-point cable-connected virtual bus. The backplane version operates at 12.5, 25 or 50 Mbits/sec, whereas the cable version supports data rates of 100, 200 and 400 Mbits/sec across the cable medium supported in the current standard. Both versions are totally compatible at the link layer and above. The interface standard defines transmission method, media and protocol.

Impedance: The AC resistance of a circuit expressed in ohms. Determined by the connector geometry and insulating material parameters. Impedance varies with frequency. For optimum performance connector impedance must be the same as the system impedance.

Infiniband: A specification to connect I/O among many servers in a data center. It is positioned as a way to link storage, server clusters and networks. The specification, spearheaded by the InfiniBand Trade Association. Inspired by the channel-based I/O that has long been used in the mainframe world. Each device is connected to the InfiniBand fabric with host channel adapters or target channel adapters, depending on whether they are servers or devices used by servers. The devices can be interconnected through an InfiniBand switch at rates of 2.5 Gbit/sec up to 30 Gbit/sec typically.

Infrared - wave of light longer than that of visible light (felt as heat, rather than seen), with wavelengths 750 - 1000 nm.

Inner Conductor - central conductive structure in a coaxial structure, such as the center contact in a coaxial connector.

Insert: The dielectric or insulating inner core holds contacts.

Insertion Loss: The loss in load power due to the insertion of a component, connector or device at some point in a transmissions system. Generally expressed in decibels as the ratio of the power received at the load before insertion of the apparatus, to the power received at the load after insertion.

Insert Retention - axial load in either direction that an insert must withstand without being dislocated from its normal position in the connector shell.

Insertion Tool - tool for inserting contacts into a connector.

Insulation - material(s) of high electrical resistance used to cover components and wires to prevent the flow of electric current and protect against short circuits.

Insulation Resistance: The electrical resistance between two conductors separated by an insulating medium.

Interface - the shared boundary where two materials meet, or the two adjacent surfaces on the contact side of both halves of a multiple - contact connector that face each other when the connector is assembled.

ISO: Abbreviation for International Organization for Standardization. Founded in 1946, ISO is an international organization composed of national standards bodies from over 75 countries.



Jacket: An outer non-metallic protective cover applied over an insulated wire or cable.

Jitter: deviation from the ideal timing of an event. The reference event is the

differential zero crossing for electrical signals. Jitter is composed of both deterministic and Gaussian (random) content. 



Key - In a connector, a key is a device which prevents the plug from mating with a differently keyed receptacle.  The key, which is insulated from the electrical contacts, is a slot, cutout or pin which slides into a mating slot, groove, or hole in the mating half to guide the two parts during assembly.  If receptacle is keyed differently from the plug, the key will be prevented from mating, which in turn prevents the electrical contacts from mating.

Keyway - slot or groove in which a key (see above) slides.

Kilo - metric prefix denoting 1000 (10³)

Kilohertz: One thousand cycles per second.



Laser - "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation;" an electronic - optical device that generates narrow, intense beams of light with a well-defined wavelength; often a source of light in fiber optic systems.

LCP (liquid crystal polymer) - very stable, inert, and unreactive dielectric material used in electrical connectors.

Life Cycle: A controlled test that indicates the time span before failure.

Light - electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range usually visible to the human eye.

Lightguide - fiber or flexible bundle of fibers used to transmit light.

Lightwave: The path of a point on a wavefront. The direction of the lightwave is generally normal (perpendicular) to the wavefront.

Loose Buffer - protective tube loosely surrounding a cabled fiber, often filled with gel.

Loss - energy dissipated without accomplishing useful work, usually expressed in dB.

Lug - mechanical termination attached to a conductor by crimping or soldering that allows for threading on to a terminal.



Male Connector: The half of a connector set that goes into the female connector, usually by the engaging end shroud being inserted into the female shroud when mated.

Mating/Unmating Forces: Torque required to couple/uncouple a mating pair of connectors or contacts.

Mating Pair: Two connectors that couple together. Shell size insert arrangement and rotation must be compatible.

Mega - metric prefix denoting one million (10^6).

Megahertz (MHz): One MHz represents one million cycles per second. The speed of microprocessors, called the clock speed, is measured in megahertz. For example, a microprocessor that runs at 200 MHz executes 200 million cycles per second.

Meter -  fundamental metric unit of length, equal to 39.37 inches.

Mezzanine connector -  connects two parallel printed circuit boards in a stacking configuration. Many mezzanine connector styles are commercially available for this purpose, however PMC mezzanine applications usually use the 1.0 mm pitch 64 pin connector described in IEEE 1386.

Micro - metric prefix denoting one-millionth (10^-6).

Micron - a micrometer; one millionth of a meter; most often used to express wavelength, it is equal to 1000 nanometers (nm).

Micro Twinax: Connectors with matched impedance that provide the user with controlled impedance and tightly spaced footprint spacing in a miniaturized connector. Applicable for High Speed Ethernet (100 Base-T) and Fibre Channel (2 GBit/sec min) applications.

Microwave: That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum lying between the far infrared and conventional radio frequency range. The microwaves are usually used in point to point communications because they are easily concentrated into a beam.

Microporosity: The porosity occurring on a microscopic scale.

Microwave Frequency: The frequency of a microwave, usually above 1 gigahertz.

Microwave Transmission: Communication systems using very high-frequency RF to carry the signal information.

Microminiature Connector: Rectangular with a D shaped polarized shroud on the engaging end of metal shells and all plastic body designs. Contacts are all non removable.

Mil - 0.001"; measuring unit used to express the diameter of wire or thickness of insulation over a conductor.

MIL-DTL-55302 - US military specification governing printed circuit board connectors.

Milli - metric prefix denoting one thousandth (10^-3).

MIL-SPEC: Abbreviation for military specification. Performance specifications issued by the Department of Defense that must be met in order to pass MIL-STD.

MIL-STD: Abbreviation for military standard. Standards issued by Department of Defense.

Minimum Bend Radius: The smallest radius an optical fiber or fiber cable can bend before increased attenuation or breakage occurs.

Mode - a component of a general configuration of a propagating wave front, characterized by a particular geometrical pattern and propagation constant.

Modular Block Connectors: Dual twinax blindmate assemblies permitting the transmit and receive signaling of high speed Ethernet data rates in one connector. Capable of 100 ohm differential pair matched impedance.

Monolithic Capacitor Array: Single flat piece of ceramic with multiple capacitors or lines that have a hole pattern of match the connector interface.

Moisture Resistance - ability of a material to resist absorbing atmospheric moisture.

Multimode Fiber: An optical fiber that has a core large enough to propagate more than one mode of light.



Nano - metric prefix denoting one-billionth (10^-9).

Near Infrared - part of the infrared electromagnetic spectrum near visible wavelengths, in the range of 700 to 1500/2000 nm.

Noise Floor: is the value at which the connector will not exceed. Typically 75-85dB. This is limited by capacitor performance, source and load impedance and ground resistance. The graph on the right shows attenuation still increasing at 80db.

Nylon - a generic designation for a family of plastics, known as polyamides, which are used as insulators in electrical connectors.



OEM: Original equipment manufacturer. The manufacturer of any device that is designed and built to be distributed under the label of another company.

Ohm: A measure of DC resistance or RF impedance represented by O. The unit of measurement used to measure resistance to electrical current. 

Optical Fiber: A glass of plastic fiber that has the ability to guide light along its axis. The three parts of an optical fiber are the core, the cladding, and the coating or buffer.

Operational Voltage: (Also know as Working Voltage) is the maximum voltage that can be continuously sustained. The dielectric utilized to manufacture the capacitor sets this value, which is directly proportional to the distance between ground planes and electrodes, whether a tubular capacitor or a planar array.

O-Ring - elastic polymer gasket that allows a moisture seal to have a circular cross section.

OTDR: Optical Time Domain Reflectometer. An instrument that locates faults in optical fibers or infers attenuation by backscattered light measurements.

Outer Conductor - external conductive component in a coaxial structure, such as the housing in a coaxial connector.

Oxidation - the addition of atmospheric oxygen to metal, resulting in the form of rust; a type of corrosion.



Panel Mount: A method used to attach a connector to a panel, board or frame.

Passband: The region of usable frequency in electronics or wavelength in optics.

Passivation: The practice of growing a thin oxide film on the surface of a semiconductor to protect exposed elements from environmental contaminates, thus ensuring the electrical stability of the device.

Passive Device: Any device that does not require a source of energy for its operation. Examples include electrical resistors or capacitors, diodes, optical fiber, cable, wires, glass, lenses, and filters.

Permittivity: That property of dielectric that determines the electrostatic energy stored per unit volume for a unit potential gradient braided, or taped (longitudinally or spirally). (2) In cables, a metallic layer placed around a conductor or group of conductors to prevent electrostatic or electromagnetic interference between the enclosed wires and external fields.

Phase: The relative angular displacement of one sinusoidal quantity with respect to a reference angle or to another sinusoidal varying quantity of the same frequency. The relative angular displacement of one sinusoidal quantity with respect to a reference angle or to another sinusoidally varying quantity of the same frequency.

Phosphor Bronze - strong, hard alloy that is resistant to corrosion and is therefore used in metal parts and springs.

Photon - particle that acts as the carrier of electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths; light can be viewed as a series of photons.

Physical Contact - design feature of fiber optic connectors where the mating contacts' faces are in contact and under pressure provided by springs, resulting in lower loss.

Pico - metric prefix denoting one-millionth of one-millionth (10^-12).

Pin Contact: Male half of a mated pair of contacts*

Planar Array: Most common form of Filter components utilized in Connectors within our Market Areas. They provide high performance Filters, are rugged enough to withstand High environmental Vibration Levels and can be manufactured with Working Voltages up to 1000VDC with relative ease.

Plastic Clad Silica (PCS) - optical fiber with a silica core and soft plastic cladding surrounding it.

Plastic Fiber - optical fiber made of just plastic.

Plated Through-Hole: A hole through a Printed Circuit Board that has been electroplated and into which a lead is placed and soldered for electrical and mechanical connection.

Plating - process of coating metallic components with a thin outer layer of noble metal to improve conductivity, provide for easy soldering or prevent corrosion.

Plug - part of the two mating halves of a connector that is free to move when not fastened to the other mating half.

Polarization - orientation of mating connectors so that the connectors can only mate in one direction.

Polarizing Pin, Key, or Keyway - device used within a connector to accomplish polarization.

Polishing - act of smoothing ends of fibers to an "optically smooth" finish to allow for maximum transmission of light between fibers at connections and minimize coupling loss.

Polycarbonate - a thermoplastic polymer which is used as a dielectric in electrical connectors.

Polyetherimide - an amorphous thermoplastic with excellent properties for use as a dielectric in electrical connectors.

Polyethylene - thermoplastic heavily used in consume products for its toughness, flexibility at low temperatures, resistance to chemicals and moisture and relatively low price.

Potting - act of sealing a cable termination or other part by applying a liquid composition that will harden into an elastic polymer or solid plastic material.

Polarization: The arrangement of connector inserts, jackscrews, polarizing pins/socket, keys/keyways or housing configurations to prevent the mismating or crossmating of connectors.

PPM: Abbreviation for pulse-position modulation. A method of encoding data.

Precision PCB Terminators: Cable terminators available for direct terminations of the cable to the PCB eliminating the need for Pigtail configurations.

Press-fit Contact - electrical contact that can be pressed into a hole in an insulator, printed board or metal plate.

Printed Circuit - generic term used to describe a printed board produced by any number of fabrication techniques used with electrical interconnect systems; circuit obtained by printing and comprising printed components.

Propagation delay: Time required for an electronic digital device, or transmission network to transfer information from its input to its output.



Quadrax: System where four conductors are located within a single conducting enclosure. The connection to two separate twinax cables is accomplished without disturbing the differential or signal to shield impedances.

Quadrax Contact: Consist of an outer contact with four strategically spaced inner contacts forming two 100 ohm or 150 ohm matched impedance differential pairs.

Quick disconnect: A type of connector shell that permits rapid locking and unlocking of two mating connectors.



Rack and Panel Connectors: Connects the inside back end of the cabinet (rack) with the drawer containing the equipment when it is fully inserted. The drawer permits convenient removal of portions of the equipment for repair or examination.

Radio Frequency: The range in which radio waves are transmitted from about 10 kilocycles/second to about 300,000 megacycles/second

Rated Voltage: The maximum temperature at which an electric component can operate for extended periods without undue degradation of safety hazard.

Refraction: The changing of direction of a lightwave in passing through a boundary between two dissimilar media, or in a graded-index medium where refractive index is a continuous function of position.

Rear Mounted - connector installed from the inside of a box onto a panel that can only be removed from inside the equipment.

Receptacle - fixed or stationary half of a two-piece multiple contact connector, usually the mounting half that contains the socket contacts.

Reflection Loss - energy reflected back toward a cable source when the signal meets some type of impedance on the transmission line.

Resistance - measure of difficulty moving electrical current through a medium when voltage is applied, expressed in ohms.

Return Loss - measurement of the percentage of incident power that is reflected back along the transmission line upon striking an impedance. 

RF: (Abbreviation for radio frequency)

RF High Potential: Minimum voltage requirement for the connector at frequencies greater than 1 MHz. This requirement insures that the connector will not exhibit excessive leakage current or dielectric failure due to high RF voltages.

RF Leakage: Amount of signal which radiates from the connector with respect to frequency. Sources for signal leakage can come from slots or holes in a connector body, from poorly mated connectors or through the braid in a coaxial cable.

RF Shielding: The process of shielding radio-frequency energy by means of conductive enclosures that isolate a particular component.

RFI: (Radio Frequency Interference)

RG/U: Symbol used to designate coaxial cables that are made to Government Specification (e.g., RG-58U; in this designation the “R” means radio frequency, the “G” means government, the ‘58" is the number assigned to the government approval, and the “U” means it is a universal specification.

RJ-45: Short for Registered Jack-45, an eight-wire connector used commonly to connect computers onto a local-area networks (LAN), especially Ethernet. RJ-45 connectors look similar to the ubiquitous RJ-11 connectors used for connecting telephone equipment, but they are somewhat wider. Although used for a variety of purposes, the RJ-45 connector is probably most commonly used for 10Base-T and 100Base-TX Ethernet connections.



SC Connector: A push-pull type of optical connector that features high packaging density, low loss, low back reflection, and low cost.

SCX: Features a .145" maximum overall diameter with a .375" overall length for mated connector pair. Air dielectric interface for exceptional performance

Semi-Rigid: A cable containing a flexible inner core and a relatively inflexible sheathing.

Sheath - outer covering of a multi-conductor cable.

Shell: Houses insert and contacts.

Shield: (1) A conducting housing or screen that substantially reduces the effect of electric or magnetic fields on one side thereof, upon devices or circuits on the other side. Cable shields may be solid, braided or taped (longitudinally or spirally). (2) In cables, a metallic layer placed around a conductor or group of conductors to prevent electrostatic or electromagnetic interference between the enclosed wires and external fields.

Shield Effectiveness - ability of a shield to screen out undesirable signals and prevent leakage.

Shielding: The metal surrounding one or more of the conductors, in a wire circuit to prevent interference, interaction or current leakage.

Shroud: A mechanical feature of a connector shell or body that surrounds and protects a particular part of the device made of metal or plastic.

SI - Le Système International d'unités or the International System of Units; the modern measurement equivalent of the metric system.

Silica Glass - glass made mostly from silica for use in fiber optic fibers.

Silicone - a rubber-like material containing silicon, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which has excellent properties for sealing, insulation, and chemical resistance.

Simplex: Single element (e.g. a simplex connector is a single fiber connector)

Single-Mode Fiber: A small core optical fiber through which only one mode will propagate.

Sleeve: Covering over the terminal barrel can be insulated or metallic.

SMP: Coaxial connectors/contacts that feature snap in vibration proof connection, suitable for high shock mobile applications and space level connector requirements of vibration, thermal shock and outgassing. Frequency range is DC-40 GHz with low VSWR and insertion loss (dB) parameters of 0.10 dB max.

SMPM: Miniature SMP connectors/contacts that are 30% smaller than SMP. Frequency ranges capabilities of 60 GHz.

SMT: Abbreviation for surface mount technology.

Snap On: Used to describe the easy removal or assembly of one part to another.

Socket Contact: Female half of a mated pair of Contacts.

Solder: To join metal objects without melting them by fusing a metal alloy that has been applied to the joint between them. To join metal objects without melting them by fusing a metal alloy that has been applied to the joint between them. Any of several alloys used in this process.

Solder Contact: A contact or terminal having a cup, hollow cylinder, eyelet or hook to accept a wire for a conventional soldered termination.

Solder Cup: Cup shaped end of terminal or contact in which a conductor is inserted before being soldered in place.

Solderless Connection: The joining of two metals by pressure means without the use of solder, braze or any other method.

Solid Conductor - conductor consisting of a single wire.

Splice: A permanent connection of two optical fibers through fusion or mechanical means.

Spring Finger Action - contact design used in a printed circuit connector or a socket contact to permit easy, stress-free spring action for contact pressure and/or retention.

Spring Probe - spring contact probes are telescopic, electromechanical interconnects. They typically consist of one or more contact members (often referred to as the plunger(s) and a helical coil spring, housed within a conductive tube (normally termed a barrel). The plunger is retained within the barrel by a crimp. This crimp stops the plunger from coming out of the barrel, and the location of this crimp determines the degree to which the plunger extends from the barrel in the probe's normal condition.

ST Connector: Single tip connector.

Step Index Fiber - multimode fiber consisting of a core with a uniform refractive index surrounded by cladding of a slightly lower refractive index; accepts light rays at a wider angle, but has smaller bandwidth than single mode fibers.

Stranded Conductor - a group of wires twisted together to form a conductor.

Strike Plating: The process of applying a thin electro deposit prior to final coating.

Stripline: A type of transmission line configuration, which consists of a single narrow conductor parallel and equidistant to two parallel ground planes.

SUCOPLATE: A plating material made out of a combination of copper, tin and zinc. Good corrosion and abrasion resistance. Non-magnetic. Registered mark of HUBER + SUHNER AG.

Surface Mount Connector: A connector designed to be soldered to pads instead of through holes on a PCB.



Teflon: A trade name for a polymer of polytetrafluoroethylene, characterized by extreme chemical inertness, withstanding the attack of all reagents except molten alkali metals; a tough, heat-resistant fluorocarbon resin used in packing, bearings, filters, electrical insulation, cooking utensils, and plumbing sealants.

Temperature Rating - maximum temperature at which a material may be used in continuous operation safely.

Temper - measurement of the degree of hardness or strength of a metal.

Termination: The physical act of attaching a wire conductor to a contact. Effective termination contributes to electrical performance and to the durability and reliability of the interconnect system. Common termination methods include crimp, insulation displacement, surface mount, and soldering.

Thermal Shock: The effect of heat or cold applied at such a rate that non-uniform thermal expansion or contraction occurs within a given material or combination materials. The effect can cause inserts and other insulation materials to pull away from metal parts.

Threaded Coupling - method for coupling mating connectors that engages threads in a coupling ring with threads on a receptacle shell.

Tight Buffer - material used to secure a fiber in place within a fiber optic cable.

Tinning - process used to coat iron or steel terminals with tin to improve solderability and protect against rust.

Total Internal Reflection - light rays reflected at the core-clad boundary of an optical fiber, allowing transmission along the length of the fiber.

Transceiver - combination device that acts as both a transmitter and a receiver.

Transmission - transfer of electric energy by use of conductors, radiation or induction fields.

Triax connectors: Two isolated concentric contacts that protect signals from noise.

Triaxial - cable with 3 concentric conductors.

Torque: The tendency of a force applied to an object to cause the object to rotate about a given point. The tendency of a force applied to an object to cause the object to rotate about a given point.

Transceiver: A device that performs, within one chassis, both telecommunication transmitting and receiving functions.

Transient : A voltage or current surge that occurs in an electrical system following a sudden change in the dynamic conditions of the system and is usually short lived. A transient may be caused by the application of an input voltage or current to the system or by the application or removal of a driving force.

Transmission Line: A signal carrying composed of conductors and dielectric material with controlled electrical characteristics used for the transmission of high frequency or narrow-pulse type signals.

Tubing - extruded non-supported material.

Twisted Pair: A cable made up of one or more separately insulated twisted wire pairs, none of which is arranged with another to form quads.



UG - standard abbreviation for Universal Government; precedes the number on coaxial cable connectors.

UL - Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. safety standards mark.

Ultraviolet - range of electromagnetic waves in the non-visible spectrum, with wavelengths from 10 to 400 nm (shorter than visible light).

Umbilical Connector: A connector used to connect cables to a rocket or missile prior to launching, and which is removed from the missile at the time of launching.

Unmate: The disengagement, disconnecting or uncoupling of mated connectors.

USB: Short for Universal Serial Bus, an external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps. A single USB port can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices, such as mice, modems, and keyboards.



Volt (V) - Unit of electromotive force. It is the difference of potential required to make a current of one ampere flow through a resistance of one ohm.

Voltage - difference between electric pressure/potential of two points and what causes current; expressed as volts.

Voltage Breakdown - maximum voltage that can travel across an insulated wire before electrical current will leak through the insulation.

Voltage Rating: The highest voltage that may be continually applied to a conductor in conformance with standards or specifications.

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) - ratio of the maximum effective voltage to the minimum effective voltage, measured along a mismatched radio frequency transmission line.



Watt (W) - metric unit of power, equal to one joule of energy per second, or work done at rate of one joule per second, or rate of work represented by current of one ampere under a pressure of one volt (volt-ampere).

Wavelength - distance between repeating units of a propagating wave on a given frequency.

Wiping Action - action used to mate contacts with a sliding motion to remove small amounts of contamination from the contact surfaces and establish better conductivity.  

Working Voltage: The working or ‘operational’ Voltage is the maximum voltage that can be continuously sustained.