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Reveal - Cable, Network Acronyms, Glossary and Terms
Category: Electronics and Engineering > Cable and network
Date & country: 19/01/2008, UK
Words: 202

One cause of attenuation where light signal is absorbed into the glass during transmission.

Access Method
A software/hardware method of transferring data between host-resident application programs and remote device.

ACK or Acknowledge
A character or sequence of characters sent by a receiver to notify a sender that the last message was received correctly, ACK is also sent by a remote device as a 'go ahead' response to a selection sequence.

Acoustic Coupler
A type of modem that permits use of a telephone handset as a connection to the public telephone network for data transmission by means of sound transducers.

Adaptive equalisation
A modem feature allowing it to automatically compensate for distortion on the line.

A prescribed set of well defined rules or processes for arriving at a solution to a problem. A mathematical process.

made up of letters (alphabetic) and numbers (numeric)

Alternative route
A secondary communication path used to reach a destination if the primary path is unavailable.

Ambient noise
Signal interference that is present on a communication line at all times (background noise)

American Wire Gauge, AWG
A US standard set of non-ferrous wire conductor sizes. Typical data wiring is AWG number 24, 26 or 28. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter and the thinner the wire.

A device that increases the power or amplitude of a signal.

Amplitude modulation
Transmission of information on a communication line by varying voltage level or amplitude.

Amplitude variation (ripple)
unwanted variation of signal voltage at different frequencies on a communication line.

Analogue signal
A signal that changes in a non-discrete manner (smooth transmission to a different levels).

Answer back
A transmission from a receiving data processing device in response to a request from a transmitting data processing device that it is ready to accept or has received data.

A data transmission which does not require a separate clock signal for the reception of data. In code sets, character codes containing start and stop bits.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode, ATM
A very high speed network utilising SONET optical transmission methods through the public telecommunications system.

Attenuation, Insertion Loss
Loss of power. Attenuation is usually measured in dB loss per length of cable (ex. 31.0 dB/100Ft.). Attenuation increases as frequency increases.

Audio frequencies
Frequencies that can be heard by the average human ear, usually 15 to 20,000 Hz.

Automatic dialler
A device that will automatically dial telephone numbers on the network. Operation of the dialler may be manual or automatic

Backshell, Hood
A mechanical backing that is sometimes put onto a connector. The device protects the conductors and can be assembled or injection moulded. Commonly used with D-Sub connectors.

Balanced circuit
A circuit terminated by a network whose impedance balances the impedance of the line so that the return losses are negligible.

An acronym for BALanced/UNbalanced. A device commonly used to change one cabling media to another (ex. coaxial to twisted pair balun).

The information carrying capability of a communication channel or line.

Base group
Twelve communications paths capable of carrying the human voice on a telephone set. A unit of frequency-division multiple systems bandwidth allocation.

Baseband Transmission
A transmission method where direct current signals are placed directly onto the transmission medium (cable). Ethernet is a baseband network type, hence, the 'Base' in 10Base-T, etc.

The frequency band occupied by individual information bearing signals before they are combined with a carrier in the modulation process. In LANs, one transmitting device at a time on the circuit.

Data communications rate unit taken from the name Baudot. Defined as the number of signal level changes per second regardless of the information of the information content of those signals.

Baud Rate
A measure of signal changes per second. Commonly used to rate the speed of a modem.

A five level code set named for the early French telegrapher who invented it. International Telegraph Alphabet (ITA) Number 2 is the formal name.

Communications signal distortion with respect to bit timing.

Binary digital contraction. The smallest unit of data communication information, used top develop code representations of characters.

Bit rate
The rate at which those bits (binary digits) are transmitted over a communications path. Normally expressed in bits per second (BPS). The bit rate is not to be confused with the data signalling rate (baud) which measures the rate of signal changes being transmitted.

Bit stream
Refers to a continuous series of bits being transmitted on a transmission line.

Bit-orientated protocol
Refers to those data communications protocols that move bits across a data link without regard to the meaning of those bits. Nearly all bit-orientated protocols follow the international HDLC recommendations.

A condition of 'no information' in a data recording medium or storage location, which can be represented by all spaces or all zeros, depending on the medium.

Some set of contiguous bits, bytes or both that make up a definable quantity of information.

Block check character
A single character appended to the end of a data block for error checking purposes. The BCC is usually LRC but could also be checksum results.

Block error rate testing
Testing a data line with groups of information arranged into transmission blocks for error checking.

Block multiplexer channel
a computer peripheral multiplexer channel that interleaves blocks of data. See also byte multiplexer channel. Contrast with selector channel.

A condition in a switching system or PABX in which no paths or circuits are available to complete a call and no dial tone is returned to the calling party. In this situation there is no alternative but to hang up and try the call again. Also referred to as a denial or busy condition.

A signal to 'break in' when the opposite party or unit is sending. A feature of dial point-to-point teletypewriter systems operating in half duplex.

Breakout box
A test device utilised for monitoring and inserting signals in the RS-2332 interface. Bridge equipment techniques used to connect circuits and equipment to each other ensuring minimum transmission impairment. Bridging is normally required on multipoint data channels where the drop for the local loop is separated from the circuit that continues on t …

A networking component that links two or more network segments. Bridges are used to split busy networks into separate, less congested segments.

Refers to transmission facilities whose bandwidth (range of frequencies that will handle) is greater than that available on voice grade facilities; sometimes called wideband. Also used to describe a particular kind of local area network configuration where multiple different users can share the same cable facility in different channels.

Broadband Transmission
A transmission method where multiple channels are modulated onto separate carrier frequencies. The result is multiple communications channels that occupy specific frequency ranges.

The ability to send messages or communicate with many or all points in a circuit simultaneously.

A series of events occurring as a group.

Burst error
A series of consecutive errors in data transmission. Refers to the phenomenon on communications lines where errors are highly prone to occurring in groups or clusters.

Also called a 'Daisy Chain'. A network topology where each node is connected to one another in line. A major disadvantage is that when there is a break in the bus the entire network goes down.

Some set of contiguous bits that make up a discrete item of information. Bytes are usually 8 bits long.

Byte multiplexor channel
Multiplexer channel that interleaves bytes of data from different sources. Contrasts with selector channel

A set of insulated wires or conductors within an extruded jacket. Many types of cable utilise shielding around the wires and under the cable jacket.

Cable Assembly
A cable that has been terminated with one or more connectors.

SCCS system 6, first out of band signalling system in North America (CCIS)

Carrier Detect, digital output from modem when it receives analogue signal

Count Down, a counter that holds the number of cells queued ahead of the local message segment (802.6)

Code Division Multiple Access, spread spectrum; broadcast frequency changes rapidly in pattern know to receiver

Code-Excited Linear Predictive coding, a voice compression algorithm used at 8 kbit/s

Centre Conductor
The solid or stranded wire in the middle of the coaxial cable. The conductor diameter is measured by the American Wire Gauge, AWG.

Conference on European Posts & Telecommunications, a body that sets policy for services and interfaces in 26 countries.

Carrier Failure Alarm, detection of red, local or yellow, remote alarm on a T1 link.

Computer integrated telephony

Client Server
A network architecture where multiple user workstations (Clients) communicate with backend servers through a network. Clients are fully operating systems that are capable of processing data.

Consolidated Link Layer Management (820)

Connectionless network, packet address is unique and network routes all traffic

Connectionless mode Network (layer) Protocol (SONET).

Connectionless Transport Service, OSI datagram protocol

Communications Managers Association

Command Reject similar to FRMR (HDLC)

Coded Mark Inversion, line signal for STS-3

Common (network) Management Information Service, runs on CMIP (OSI)

CMIS Element

Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor, low power method (lower than NMOS) to make ICs.


Connection Management, part of SMT that establishes physical link between adjacent stations (FDDI)

Central Office, of a phone company, where the switch is located; the other end of the local loop opposite CP.

Central Office Local Area Network, a data switching service based on a PBX in a carriers CO.

Coaxial Adapter
A device used to change one connector type to another or one gender to another (ex. BNC to SMA Adapter).

Coaxial Cable
A two conductor cylindrical transmission line typically comprised of a centre conductor, an insulating dielectric material and an outer conductor (shielding). Coaxial cable can be flexible (typical to the assemblies found in this catalogue), semi-rigid or rigid in nature.

Coaxial Connector
The interconnection device found at each end of a coaxial cable assembly. There are many common types of coaxial connectors such as: BNC, SMA, SMB, F, etc.

Central Office Connection, separately tariff part of T-1 circuit within a CO

Connection Oriented Convergence Function, MAC layer entity

An acronym for COder/DECoder. A device used for converting analogue signals to digital signals.

Change of frame Alignment, movement of SPE within STS frame

A metal path (usually copper) that passes electricity. When discussing data cabling, 'wire' and 'conductor' are synonymous.

An electromechanical coupling device that provides an electrical interface that can be mated and unmated.

Connection Mode Network layer Protocol

The specific points of contact within a connector. Contacts can be male (pins) or female (sockets.).

Contact Resistance
First, resistance is basically the opposition to electron flow in an electrical circuit and connector manufacturers strive to attain the lowest amount of resistance possible for each contact. Contact resistance is the cumulative resistance value for mated contacts.

A device used to convert from one transmission media to another (Ex. Fibre/Copper Media Converter). Converters are usually externally powered as they physically 'repeat' or regenerate the signal.

Class of Service

Central Office terminal, equipment at CO end of digital loop or line.

Central Processor, CPU

Customer Premises, as opposed to CO.

Customer Premises Equipment, hardware in users office.

Computer-PBX interface, a data interface between NT1 and DEC.

Customers premises Node, CPE.

Central Processor Unit, the computer

Carriage Return, often combined with a line feed when sending to a printer etc.