Glossry Frequency Range Chart VSWR Chart


Advanced Mobile Phone System, an analog standard for wireless service.

Mechanical devices, such as cable clamps, added to connector shells and other such hardware which is attachable to connectors to make up the total connector configuration.


A mixture of two or more metals combined to achieve properties, such as a lower melting point or greater strength, that the individual metals do not possess.

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

The magnitude of variation in a changing quantity from its zero value. The word required modification - as with adjectives such as peak, maximum, rms, etc. - to designate the specific amplitude in question.

Back Mounted (rear mounting)
When a connector is mounted from the inside of a panel or box with its mounting flange inside the equipment.

Backplane Panels
An interconnection panel into which PCB 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.

The range of frequencies for which performance falls within specific limits.

Base Material
Metal from which the connector, contact or other piece part accessory is made and on which one or more metals or coatings may be deposited.

Baonet 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.

Broadband - Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)

Bending Radius
The mnimum permissible radius for fixed installation of the cable. This radius is mainly used in climatic tests. Minimum dynamic: The minimum permissible radius for flexible applications of the cable.

Coaxial connector with bayonet coupling mechanism. Available in 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm versions. Frequency range DC - 4 GHz (50 Ohm) and DC-1 GHz (75 Ohm), respectively. Named after Amphenol Engineer Carl Concelman, and Bell Labs Engineer Paul Neill.

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

Woven wire used as sheilding for insulated wires and coaxial cables. Also, a woven fibrous protective outer covering over a conductor or cable.

Braid Coverage
A calculated percentage which defines the completeness with which a braid or shield covers the surface of the underlying component.

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.

Butted Contact
When two conductors come together end-to-end, but do not overlap, with their axis in line.

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

The property of an electrical conductor (dielectric in a capacitor) that permits the storage of energy as a result of electrical displacement. The basic unit of capacitance is the Farad, however measurement is more commonly in microfarads or picofarads.

Closed Entry Contact
A specially designed connector interface which controls the entry of the male pin from damaging the female contact

Coaxial Cable
A transmission line consisting of two concentric conductors insulated from each other. In its flexible form it consists of either a solid or stranded center conductor surrounded by a dielectric. A braid is then woven over the dielectric to form an outer conductor. A protective plastic covering is placed on top of the braid.

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

Contact Alignment
Defines the overall radial play which contacts shall have within the insert cavity so as to permit self-alignment of mated contacts. Sometimes referred to as amount of contact float.

Contact Cavity
A defined hole in the connector insert or housing into which the contact must fit.

Contact Durability
The number of insertion and withdrawal cycles that a connector must be capable of withstanding while remaining within the performance levels of the applicable specification.

Contact Engaging & Separating Force
Force needed to either engage or separate pins and socket contacts when they are in and out of connector inserts. Values are generally established for maximum and minimum forces. Performance acceptance levels vary by specification and/or customer requirements.

Contact Plating
Deposited metal applied to the basic contact metal to provide the required contact-resistance and/or wear resistance.

Contact Pressure
Force which mating surfaces exert against one another.

Contact Resistance
Measurement of electrical resistance of mated contacts when assembled in a connector under typical service use. Electrical resistance is determined by measuring from the rear of the electrical area of one contact to the rear of the mating contact (excluding both crimps) while carrying a specified test current

Contact Retention
Defines minimum axial load in either direction which a contact must withstand while remaining firmly fixed in its normal position within a an insert.

The transfer of heat by movement of hot air. Often used in conjunction with infrared radiation to reduce the effect of IR shadowing.

The distance between the lowest and highest lead when the connector is laying in its seating plane.

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

Crimping Dies
A term used to identify the shaping tools that, when moved toward each other, produce a certain desirable shape to the barrel of the terminal or contact that has been placed between them. Crimping dies are often referred to as die sets or as die inserts.

Crimping Termination
Connection in which a metal sleeve is secured to a conductor by mechanically crimping the sleeve with pliers, presses or crimp dies.

Crimping Tool
A term commonly used to identify a hand held mechanical device or table press that is used to crimp a contact, terminal or spice.

Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.

Cut-off Frequency (fc)
The frequency, above which other than the TEM mode may occur. The transmission characteristics of cables above their cutoff frequency may be unstable.

One complete sequence of values of an alternating quantity, including a rise to maximum in one direction and of return to zero. The number of cycles occuring in one second is called the frequency.

In a coaxial cable, the insulation between inner and outer conductor. It significantly influences electrical characteristics such as impedance, capacitance, and velocity of propagation.

Dielectric Constant
Electrical property of a material that describes its behavior in an electric field. The dielectric constant of the dielectric is the most important design parameter for coaxial cables and determines dimensions, losses and propagation characteristics.

Dielectric Loss
In a coaxial cable, the losses caused by transformation of electromagnetic energy into heat within the dielectric material.

Dielectric Strength
The voltage which an insulating material can withstand before breakdown occurs. 

Dielecric Withstanding Voltage
The maximum potential gradient that a dielectric material can withstand without failure.

Pertaining to the utilization of discreet integral numbers in a given base to represent all the quantities that occur in a problem or a calculation. It is possible to express in digital form all information stores, transferred or processed by a dual-state condition; e.g., onoff open-closed and true-false. (2) Compare with analog.

Dust Cap
A device attached to a connector to provide protection against dust and foreign debris.

An unwanted change or addition to a signal or waveform when it is amplified. This definition excludes noise which is an extraneous signal super-imposed on the desired signal.

Direct Current (DC)
An electric current which flows in only one direction.

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

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.

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 Modulation (fm)
A scheme for modulating a carrier frequency in which the amplitude remains constant but the carrier frequency is displaced in frequency proportionally to the amplitude of the modulating signal. An fm broadcast is practically immune to atmospheric and manmade interference.

Fretting Corrosion
A form of accelerated oxidation that appears at the interface of contacting materials undergoing slight cyclic relative motion. All nonnoble metals (tin) are susceptible to some degree of fretting corrosion and will suffer contact resistance increases.

Front Mounted (front mounting)
A connector is front mounted when it is attached to the outside or mating side of a panel. A front mounted connector can only be installed or removed from the outside of the equipment.

Global Positioning System

Global System for Mobile communication, a digital standard for wireless service for high-performance cell phones; European and defacto world standard.

Heat Shock
Test to determine the stability of a material when exposed to a sudden high temperature change for a short period of time.

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

Hermetic Seal
Hermetically sealed connectors provide contacts bonded to the connector by glass. They permit maximum leakage rate of gas through the connector of 1.0 micron ft/hr at one atmosphere pressure for special applications.

Hertz (Hz)
International standard term for cycles per second. Named after the German physicist Heinrich R. Hertz (e.g. 60 cycles per second is equal to 60 hertz or 60 Hz).

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Impedance (characteristic, Z0)
Characteristic property of a transmission line describing the ratio between electric and magnetic fields.

Impedance Match
A condition in which the impedance of a component or circuit is equal to the internal impedance of a transmission line. This gives maximum transfer of energy from the source to the load, as well as minimum reflection and distortion.

The property of a circuit or circuit element that opposes a change in current flow, thus causing current changes to lag behind voltage changes. It is measured in Henrys.

The part which holds the contacts in their proper arrangement and electrically insulates them from each other and from the shell.

Insertion Loss
The loss in load power due to the insertion of a component, connector or devise at some point in a RF transmission 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 (for more information please refer to Appendix).

A material having high resistance to the flow of electric current. Often called a dielectric in RF cable.

Insulation Resistance
The electrical resistance of the insulating material (determined under specified conditions) between any pair of contacts, conductors, or grounding device in various combinations.

Mechanically joining assemblies together to complete electrical circuits.

The two surfaces on the contact side of both halves of a multiple-contact connector which face each other when the connector is assembled.

An electrical or electromagnetic disturbance that causes undesirable response in electronic equipment.

Intermodulation (IMD)
A phenomenon that occurs when two or more fundamental frequencies are present in an electronic circuit.

International Standards Organization.

A connecting device into which a plug can be inserted to make circuit connections. The jack may also have contacts which open or close to perform switching functions when the plug is inserted or removed. See also: receptacle.

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

Local Area Network. A data communication network confined to a limited geographic area (up to 6 miles or about 10 kilometers).

Levels of Interconnection
Device to board or chassis. The connection point between components (tubes, transistors, IC packages) and the PC board or chassis. Board to motherboard or backplane. The connection point between PC boards or sub-circuit modules and the motherboard or a backplane Board.

Backplane wiring. Connections between levels to each other and to other sub-circuits. Input/output. Connections for power and  signals into and out of a system. Connections may be between subassemblies within the same enclosure or between individual units.

Line Impedance
Impedance as measured across the terminals of a transmission line; frequently the characteristic impedance of the line.

Low Noise Cable
Cable specially constructed to avoid spurious electrical disturbances caused by mechanical movements.

Mating Face Seal
A mating face seal is a seal preventing the passage of moisture or gases into or out of the connecting interface of two connectors in mated condition.

MCX (Micro coaxial)
Micro coaxial connector with snap on coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm versions. Frequency range DC - 6 GHz.

MHV (Miniature High Voltage)
Coaxial connector with bayonet coupling mechanism. Working voltage 2.2 kV DC.

That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum lying between the far infrared and conventional radio frequency range. The microwave frequency range extends from 1 GHz to 300 GHz. Microwaves are usually used in point-to-point communications because they are easily concentrated into a beam.

A type of transmission line configuration which consists of a conductor over a parallel ground plane, and separately by a dielectric.

Miniature Microcoax connector with snap on coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm versions. Frequency range DC - 6 GHz.

Moisture Resistance
The ability of a material to resist absorbing moisture from the air or when immersed in water.

A printed board used for interconnecting arrays of plug-in electronic modules.

N (Neill)
Coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm version. Frequency range DC - 18 GHz (50ohm) and DC-1 GHz (75 ohm), respectively.

Random electrical signals, generated by circuit components or by natural disturbances.

Original Equipment Manufacturer.

The unit of measurement for electrical resistance. A circuit is said to have a resistance of one ohm when an applied emf of one volt causes a current of one ampere to flow.

Panel Seal
A panel seal is a seal preventing the passage of moisture or gases through the gap between the mounting hole of the panel and the connector body of the fixed connector.

Pin Contact
A male type contact, usually designed to mate with a socket or female contact. It is normally connected to the "dead" side of a circuit.

In coaxial RF connectors the plug is usually the movable portion, and is usually attached to a cable or removable assembly. Plugs mate with receptacles, jacks, outlets, etc.

Press-Fit Contact
An electrical contact which can be pressed into a hole in an insulator, printed board (with or without plated-through holes), or a metal plate.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
An epoxy glass and metal composite on which circuits are etched and to which active, passive and hardware components are attached. Also called PCB or PC Board.

Usually the fixed or stationary half of a two-piece multiple contact connector. Also the connector half usually mounted on a panel and containing socket (female) contacts.

Radio frequency.

Screening Effectiveness
Ratio of the power fed into a coaxial cable to the power transmitted by the cable through the outer conductor.

Screw Machine Contact
A contact which is machined from solid bar stock.

A cable containing a flexible inner core and a relatively inflexible sheathing.

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

SMA (Subminiature A)
50 ohm - subminiature coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC-18GHz.

SMB (Subminiature B)
Subminiature coaxial connector with snap-on coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC - 4 GHz.

SMC (Subminiature C)
Subminiature coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC - 10 GHz.

Snap on
Used to describe the easy removal or assembly of one part to another. A connector containing socket (female) contacts into which a plug connector having male contacts is inserted.

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

Surface Mount Technology(SMT)
The process of assembling printed circuit boards with components soldered to the surface rather than fastened to printed circuit board through-holes.

TNC (Threaded Neill Concelman)
Coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm versions. Frequency range DC - 11 GHz (50ohm) and DC - 1 GHz (75 ohm), respectively.

Symbol used to describe coaxial connectors that were made to a government specification. This specification is now obsolete.

Coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism invented in the 1930's by Amphenol engineer E. Clark Quackenbush for use in the radio industry. Non-defined impedance. Frequency range DC.

Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
A Federal Communications Commission designation for the band from 300 MHz to 3,000 MGz (3GHz) on the radio spectrum.

See Voltage Standing Wave Ratio and Standing Wave Ratio.

Wireless Glossary

3G (third generation mobile telephony gives you high-speed access (up to 2mb/s). This may enable live pictures, camera etc. on your phone. Preceding 3G is analogue (1G). Then came GSM (2G). Currently GSM, is now tested with GPRS(a "light version" of 3G.)

Advanced Intelligent Networks

ASP (Active Server Pages)
Serverside scripting technology to make interactive web pages. Based on VBScript.

Advanced Time Division Multiple Access

Authentication Center

B (Byte)
1 byte = 8 bits. A byte is the smallest directly addressable memory unit in modern computers.

Base Transceiver Station
The network base station that talks to the mobile.

Get the name from the Danish king Harald 1 Bluetooth who reigned from 940-985 A.D. .A radio technology built around a new chip that makes it possible to transmit signals over short distances between computers and handheld devices without the use of wires.

Bits per second

Base Station

Base Station Controller

A WML card must exist inside a WML deck containing one or more cards.

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
A technology for digital transmission of radio signals between, for example, a mobile telephone and a base station. The system uses the same frequency to allow multiple conversations. Each conversation is cut into snippets and then remodulated in reassembled in the other end.

Caller Line Identity Presentation

Caller Line Identity Restriction

Control Channel
The channel the phone and cell base station first communicate on.

D-AMPS (Digital Advanced Mobile Phone System)
Earlier designation of American standard for digital mobile telephony used primarily in America, Australia and parts of Russia and Asia.

A collection of WML cards.

DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications)
A standard for cordless telephony.

Document Type Definition. A DTD defines the names and contents of all elements that are permissible in a certain document. A DTD is used to specify XML document structure. 

Dual band
Dual band mobile phones can work on networks operating different frequency bands. Often urban areas operate on 1800, while suburbs use the 900-band. This is especially useful if you travel abroad. Some phones are able to switch between GSM 900,1800,1900 (tri-band) allowing you full coverage in Europe, America and Asia.

Equipment Identity Register

Electronic Serial Number

Frequency Division Multiple Access

Handheld Markup Language. Invented by, predecessor to WML.

Home Location Register

(High Speed Circuit Switched Data). A circuit-linked technology for higher transmission speed by combining several GSM channels at the same time. This may allow speeds up to 58 bps,far faster than original GSM (9.6bps). For upload HSCSD is limited to half the speed. This technology is the predecessor of GPRS, which may deliver up to 115kbs

International Equipment Mobile Identity

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)is a 15 digit Code used to identify the GSM/DCS/PCS phone to the network.

Interworking Function (Modem)

Individual subscriber authentication key

Location Area Identity

Metropolitan Area Network. A MAN allows areas the size of cities to be connected.

MB (Megabyte)
1MB = 1024 kilobytes (KB)

Mobile-Originated Short Message Service

Mobile Switching Centre - The computer that places the calls, and takes and receives data from the subscriber or from PSTN (Public switched Telephone Network)

Operation and Maintenance Subsystem of the GSM network

Personal Area Networks.

Personal Digital Assistent. Usually a hand-held device, such as the Palm Pilot or Psion.

PDC (Personal Digital Cellular)
A Japanese standard for digital mobile telephony (800 MHz and 1500 MHz bands).

Primary Exchange

PHS (Personal Handyphone System)
Digital mobile telephone system according to Japanese standard (1900Mhz).

Personal Identity Number

PIN Unblocking Code