AB — (abbreviation/symbol) Designation for high voltage butyl cable.

ABP   (abbreviation/symbol) Designation for butylpolyethylene high voltage cable, 75°C.

Abrasion Resistance — Ability to resist surface wear

Absorbing Clamp — (electrical) A testing fixture, used to measure radiation from a cable, that uses ferrite rings to absorb radiated emissions; power measurements are made by sensing the resulting rf currents induced in the rings.

Absorption — (property) The amount of moisture a given substance will assimilate and retain. An important property consideration in the selection of insulating materials.

Absorptive filter — (component) A lossy filter that absorbs and dissipates unwanted frequencies as heat.

AC (electrical) — Alternating Current. An electrical current that reverses its direction of flow at regular intervals (ac, 60 hertz [cps] means reversing direction of flow each half cycle or 120 times per second).

ACA — (abbreviation/symbol) Designation for synthetic tapes, felted asbestos wire with glazed cotton or glass braid overall, 1000V, 90°C.

Accelerator — (material) A chemical additive which hastens a chemical reaction under specific conditions. Another term is promoter.

Accessories — (connector) Mechanical devices, such as cable clamps and jackscrews, added to connectors to make up the total connector configuration.

Access Time — (computer) The time interval between the instant at which information is: (a) called for from storage and the instant at which delivery is completed, (b) ready for storage and the instant at which storage is completed.

Accumulator — (computer/system) Device used for temporary data storage in arithmetic or logic operation. Usually stores one quantity and, on receipt of another, forms the sum and temporarily stores the result.

ACR — (abbreviation/symbol) Designation for cable with corona resisting insulation.

Action Pin Contact — (connector) Any of several style contacts manufactured exclusively by AMP, having a split pin to provide gaslight retention in a printed circuit board plated thru hole without solder.

Active Element — (component) Those components of a circuit that have gain or direct current flow. They change the basic character of the applied electrical signal by rectification, amplification, switching, etc. Examples include diodes, transistors, and SCRs.

Active Substrate — (material/component) A substrate in which active elements are formed. Silicon is an active substrate in monolithic integrated circuits.

AD Converter — (circuit) Analog-to-digital converter. Circuitry which accepts a continuously varying voltage or current input and converts it to a digital output. The input may be dc or ac, the output serial or parallel, binary or decimal.

AFC — (abbreviation) See automatic frequency control.

AGC — (abbreviation) See automatic gain control.

AI — (abbreviation) See artificial intelligence.

Air Spaced Coaxial Cable — One in which air is the essential dielectric material. A spirally wound synthetic filament or spacer may be used to center the conductor.

Aliphatic Hydrocarbons — (material) Saturated hydrocarbons, such as gasoline and propane, whose molecules do not have carbon atoms in a ring structure.

Alloy — (material) In plastics, a blend of polymers with other polymers or copolymers.

alternating current — Electric current that continually reverses its direction. It is expressed in cycles per second (hertz or Hz).

Alumina — (material) Refined form of aluminum oxide, pressed in molds and fired to produce a ceramic insulator useful as a substrate for hybrid integrated circuits.

Aluminum Oxide — (material) A mechanically strong, tightly adherent, and nonporous film which forms on aluminum when air and water vapor are present. This film helps resist corrosive attack, and is a good insulator.

AM — (amplitude modulation) (circuit/system) Modulation in which the amplitude of a wave is the characteristic subject to variation.

Ambient — The atmospheric conditions surrounding a given item. Normally in terms of factors which influence or modify, such as temperature, humidity, etc.

American Wire Gauge — (measurement) Abbreviated AWG. System of numerical designations for wire size, based on specified ranges of circular mil area. American Wire Gauge starts with 4/0 (0000) at the largest size, going to 3/0 (000), 2/0 (00), 1/0 (0), 1, 2, and up to 40 and beyond for the smallest sizes.

Ammeter — (electrical) Instrument designed to measure current flow in amperes. Available for either alternating or direct current. A milli ammeter measures current flow in mill amperes, and a micro ammeter in microamperes. See galvanometer.

Amorphous — (property) Having no definite order of crystalline structure.

AMP — (abbreviation) See ampere.

Ampere — (electrical) Abbreviated A or amp. Practical unit of electrical current; the current flow rate (ie, quantity of electrons passing a point in 1 second). Voltage of 1 volt will send a current of 1 ampere through a resistance of 1 ohm.

Amplifier — (circuit) A circuit, device, or component which provides an output signal essentially identical to the input signal, but at a higher power or signal level.

Amplitude — (circuit/system) The magnitude of variation in a changing quantity from its zero value. The word requires modification – as with adjectives such as peak, maximum, rms – to designate the specific amplitude in question.

Analog — (computer/system) A signal which is continuously variable and, unlike a digital signal, does not have discrete levels. (A slide rule is analog in function.) usually a current or voltage type of a signal measurement.

Anechoic Chamber — (electrical) A testing enclosure in which the walls are formed of specially designed material that absorbs incident energy and prevents it from reflecting.

Angstrom — (measurement) A unit of linear measure equal to 10-10 meter. Can be used as a measure of light wavelength, or to indicate the thickness of surface films or oxides.

Anneal — (process) To heat a metal and cool slowly to relieve hardness or brittleness that may have occurred naturally or have been induced by pressure or bending.

Anode — (circuit) The positive lead or pole in batteries, plating apparatus, diodes, etc.

Anodize — (process) Formation of a protective, insulating oxide layer on a metal (e.g. aluminum) by electrolytic action. Anodized finishes can be natural or any bright decorative color.

ANSI — (abbreviation/standard) American National Standards Institute Inc. Operates a voluntary certification program.

Anvil — (tooling) The term most commonly used within AMP to identify that part of the crimping die – normally stationary – which positions and supports the terminal during crimping. Sometimes referred to as “nest.”

Arc Resistance — (property) The capacity of insulating material to resist the passage of current on its surface when placed between two electrodes. Arc resistance values are given in seconds. Minimum acceptable arc resistance is approximately 115 seconds. Breakdown usually occurs as a conducting path is burned on the surface of the dielectric material.

ARINC — (connectors) Abbreviation for Aeronautical Radio, Inc. A commercial standards group governing connectors, connector sizes, rack and panel configurations, etc, primarily for airborne applications. Connectors which conform to ARINC specifications are sometimes referred to as ARINC connectors.

ASE — (abbreviation/symbol) Designation for service entrance cable, above ground use. Some constructions are suitable for underground use. Covering is flame retardant, moisture resistant, and abuse resistant.

ASP — (abbreviation/symbol) A filled direct burial telephone cable used in areas subject to rodent attack. It consists of a filled cable core, corrugated aluminum shield, corrugated steel tape, flooding compound and polyethylene jacket.

Asperities — (property) Microscopic surface elevations due to surface roughness of a material.

A-Spots — (property) Abbreviation for asperity spot, the point of physical contact between an asperity on one surface and another surface.

“A” stage (of resin) — (process) The condition of low molecular weight of a resin polymer during which the resin is readily soluble and fusible.

ASTM — (organization) American Society for Testing Materials.

Asynchronous — (device/system) Not all elements of a device or system operating at the same time, nor in a predetermined sequence.

Asynchronous Transmission — (electrical) Transmission in which time intervals between transmitted bits may be of unequal length. Transmission is controlled by start and stop bits which frame each character.

ATE — (abbreviation) Automatic test equipment.

Attenuation — (circuit) A reduction in power. Occurs naturally during wave travel through lines, wave-guides, space, or a medium such as water. May be produced intentionally by placing an attenuator in a circuit. Amount of attenuation is generally expressed in decibels or decibels per unit of length.

Audio Amplifier — (circuit) A circuit with one or more stages designed to amplify the audio frequency range (about 20 to 20,000 Hz).

Autoclaves — (process) Closed vessels used for vacuum pressure impregnating, high pressure curing, bonding, sealing, compressing, testing, etc.

Automatic Frequency Control — (circuit) In frequency modulated (fm) signal processing, a scheme for automatic tuning of circuitry to input signal. Often used to correct for drift in conventionally tuned circuits.

Automatic Gain Control — (circuit) A circuit used to maintain the output volume of a receiver constant, regardless of variation of signal strength applied to the receiver.

Avionics — (general) Application of electronics to aviation and space exploration.

AWG —American Wire Gauge. A standard for determining wire size. The gauge varies inversely with the actual wire diameter.

AWM —Designation for appliance wiring material.

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