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Technical Resources

Cable Connector Glossary

10BaseT – (Fast Ethernet) Ethernet LAN specification for unshielded or shielded twisted pair cable transmits signals at 10 Mbps (megabits per second) with a distance transmission limit of 100 meters. Type of cables that work with 10BaseT: Coaxial cable, Category 3, 4, 5, and 6.
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AUI Connector - acronym for Attachment Unit Interface: Is a 15 pin socket/connector found on Ethernet Card or network Interface Card (NIC) that can be used for attaching coaxial, fiber optic, or twisted pair cable.
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Hood (Backshell) – Is the device / housing on a connector that covers the cable conductors / contacts to the connector contacts. The device / housing protect the conductors / contacts. It can be assembled or injection molded. Backshell can be in plastic, metalized plastic, aluminum, or metal. Commonly used with D-Sub & VGA connectors

BNC Connector – acronym for Bayonet Neil-Concelman: Standard connector used to connect 10Base-2 RG58, RG59 and RG6 coaxial cable.
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Cable - Transmission medium of copper wire, copper steel clad, or optical fiber wrapped in a protective cover of PVC, rubber. In the case of Plenum rated cable, the cable cover is coated with Teflon to prevent and reduce the spread of flame, toxic fumes and burn slower. Cable can be shielded or Unshielded.
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Cable Assembly – Is a piece/length of cable and/or wire that transmit informational signals or operating currents that have been terminated with one or more connectors.
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Coaxial Cable (Coax) - Coaxial cable consisting of a single copper/copper steel clad conductor in the center surrounded by a plastic layer for insulation and a braided metal outer shield. Example of Coaxial cables are RG58 (50ohm), RG59 and RG6 ( 75 ohm). Dual shield is two alternating layers of foil and braid shielding and Quad shield is four alternating layers of foil and braid shielding.
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Coaxial Connector – Is an interconnection apparatus/connector located on each end of a coaxial cable assembly. Types of coaxial connectors: F-Type, BNC, SMA, SMB, RF to name a few.
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Contact – Is the points of contact within a connector that is male (pins) or female (sockets) that usually interconnection one connector to another connector. A contact is gender specific male (pins) or female (sockets).

Converter – Is a piece of hardware that converts one transmission media to another media. Example: analog to digital, digital to analog, fiber optic to copper or copper to digital. Converters usually get their power source externally. A converter also acts as a signal repeat or regenerate to extend the distance of the transmission.
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Coupler – Is an apparatus/adapter that has the same connector types on both sides use is to extend a cable. Example of a coupler: Female to Female RCA, S-Video, BNC, CN36, DB9, DB15, DB25, DB37, DB50. HD15, Toslink, and etc…

Crimping – Is the use of a crimping tool such as a pliers to secure/crimp an electrical/cooper/nickel plated/gold plated contact to a wire by compressing the metal contact around/on the wire.

D-Subminiature – (D-Sub) Is a type of connector that utilizes multiple pins and a D shaped housing to make a specific cable connector. Type of D-Sub: DB9 (DE-9), BD15 (DA-15), DB25, DB37 (DC-37), DB50 (DD-50), DB13W3 and etc…
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DIN – Is a plug or socket connector with a circular pattern of pins in a metal sleeve. Common type of DIN connector are keyboards (DIN5 and MiniDin6), S-Video (MiniDin4) Apple ImageWriter (MiniDin8).

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) - Unwanted electrical or electromagnetic energy that causes disturbance in the wire signal that may interrupt, obstruct or degrade the signal of the electronic equipment/hardware.
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Fast Ethernet - A new Ethernet standard that supports 100 Mbps. Fast Ethernet (10BASE-X) extend the existing Ethernet using Category 5 twisted pair fiber optical cable.
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Fiber Optic Cable - A cable consisting of a center glass core of one or more optical fibers that is surrounded by layers of plastic that is use to transmits data using light. Fiber optic cable has the ability to carry larger information at faster speed over longer distances.
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FTP - acronym for Foiled Twisted Pair: FTP cable is shielded cable in an attempt to prevent or reduce electromagnetic noise interference.
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Gigabit Ethernet (GbE or 1 GigE) - An Ethernet protocol that increases the transmission rates of data transfer up to 1 GBps (Gigabits per second) or 1000BASE-T. It is primarily used for home or business high speed backbone network. Now, CAT6A and Fiber Optic Cable can transfer up to 10 GBps.
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Gigabyte (GB) - One billion bytes of information, 1,000,000,000 bytes or one thousand megabytes.
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Ground – The neutral point of an electrical supply system or any zero-voltage point. Earth ground is the neutral grounding point.
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Ground Wire (Drain Wire) – Is refers to a wire connection to the earth which acts a reservoir of charge. In term of cabling, it is usually a bare wire that is added to a cable for connection of the grounding path to the earth.
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Hub - A hardware device that contains multiple independent but connected modules of network and internetwork equipment. Hubs can be active (where they repeat signals sent through them) or passive (where they do not repeat but merely split signals sent through them).
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Insulation - A material with very high resistivity that does not respond to an electric field. Insulator is used to protect conductor's flow of electric charge. Example of insulation is a power cord conducting copper wire is insulated by an out layer of polyethylene (PVC).
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Jumper – A metal bridge or single twisted pairs used for cross connecting or close an electrical circuit.
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Patch Cord – Is a molded or assembly electrical or optical cable is used to connect one device to another device. CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6A, and fiber patch cords are used for connecting equipment to the patch panel in the equipment room and workstations computers. CAT3, CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, RJ11 and RJ12 patch cords are used to connect VoIP and phone systems.
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Patch Panel ( Patch Bay) - Is a rack mounted piece of switch/equipment used to house cable connections in the computer equipment room. Typical Patch Panels utilize 110 or Krone connectors with 24 ports, 48 ports and 96 ports to connect to patch cords workstations and equipments throughout the company. To learm more about "Patch Panel ( Patch Bay)" click on this link:

PCMCIA - acronym for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association – PCMCIA card is was original designed memory expansion storage. With advancement of technology, the PC Card developed to become network card, modem and hard disks to be use with the expansion slot found in many laptop computers.
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Peer-to-Peer Network (P2P) - Is a computing or network that distributed applications, resources, tasks, and files between peers. These workloads are shared without a need for a centralized management server.
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Point-to-Point - A direct link between two devices or endpoints in a network.
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Ports - A connection point for a cable or peripheral.

RAID - acronym for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks – RAID provides increased storage functions and reliability through redundancy. It is a configuration of multiple disks designed to preserve and back-up data in cause of a disk failure.
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Repeater - An electronic device used in a network to amplify, strengthen am regenerates the signal as it is passes along the specific type of cable to increase the cable run.
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RGB - acronym for Red, Green and Blue
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RJ-45 - acronym for Registered Jack-45: Standard 8P8C connectors used for shielded and unshielded twisted-pair cable.
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SCSI - acronym for Small Computer Serial Interface: Is an interface controller that allows up to 16 devices or peripherals to be connected to the same port on a computer. The are 3 different types of SCSI: SCSI-1, SCSI-2 and SCSI-3. SCSI has been phase out of use by USB, Firewire (IEEE1394), SATA, and eSATA
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Shielding – Is an insulated conductive aluminum and/or copper braid and/or foil that insulated the metal wires of the cable from external electromagnetic interference (EMI). The shielding also provides electrical grounding and protection from internal electromagnetic radiation.
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Singlemode – Is a 9/125 fiber optical cable with a small core that was designed to carry only a single ray/mode of light through the fiber.
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Solid Wire – Is consists of a single strand of wire. Solid wire is also called solid-core. It is less flexible but has more mechanical ruggedness then stranded wire. It has less surface area to exposed to attack by corrosives, protection against the environment, thus solid wire is more commonly used in permanent installations.
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Strain Relief – Is a designed into the cable to protect the wire and contact point from over flexing or pulling.
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Stranded Wire – Made of multiple small strands of wire that are twist together to form a flexible wire that made to handle higher resistance to metal fatigue. Pre-made Category 5, 5e and 6 patch cords are made using stranded wires.
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SVGA - acronym for Super Video Graphics Array. SVGA was formally adopted in 1989 as the standard for programming defined by VESA. A HD15 connector is a 15 pin high density connection with the 3 rows of 5 pins. HD15 primary use is connecting desktop, laptop or any video output devices with a VGA port to a monitor, projector, HDTV or any display devices with a VGA port. HDB15 connector is gender specific in Male or Female.
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S-Video - acronym for Separate Video: Is an analog MiniDin4 cable that separates the contrast of lower quality composite video: i.e. s-video signal that separates the Y/C or luma/chroma information.
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Switch - A switch is a multi-port network bridge that processes and route data in layer 1,2,3,4 and 7 OSI model. A switch is like a traffic light to route the traffic. It create, separate, segregates route for each port on the switch.
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Terminator - A device that provides electrical resistance at the end of a wire or cable to prevent RF signal interference. It main function is to absorb RF signals on the transmission line to keep impeding signal from reflecting back up the line.
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Thicknet – Is a 10Base5 Ethernet LAN network that uses thick RG-58 coaxial cable as the backbone.
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Token Ring - A local area network (LAN) protocol developed by IBM in which computers access the network through token-passing in a star-wired ring topology.
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Transceiver (Transmitter/Receiver) – Is a device that is both a transmitter and receiver that combine, send and receive signals over a medium in a single device.
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Twisted Pair - Network cabling that consists of four pairs of wires that are manufactured with the wires twisted to certain specifications. Available in Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and Shielded twisted pair (STP or STP-A), Screened twisted pair (ScTP or F/TP), and Screened shielded twisted pair (S/STP or S/FTP) .
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USB - acronym for Universal Serial Bus – Was designed to standardize hardware interface connection computer peripherals such as the MP3 player, iPod, iPhone, iPad, keyboard, mouse, joystick, scanner, printer, telephony devices and any device with a USB port or connector. There 3 USB standards, USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. USB 1.1 can transfer data speed up to 1.5 Mbit/s (low-bandwidth) and 12 Mbit/s (full-bandwidth), USB 2.0 also called Hi-Speed can transfer rate up to 480 Mbit/s (60MB/s) and USB 3.0 has a blazing transmission speed up to 5 Gbit/s which is 10 times faster USB 2.0.
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