Dictionary of Technical Engineering Terms
"A" "B" "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "J", "K", "L", "M",
"N", "O", "P", "Q", "R", "S", "T", "U", "V", "W", "X", "Y", "Z"

'Ca' to 'Cas', 'Cat' to 'Cg', 'Ch', 'Ci' to 'Cl', 'Cm' to 'Com',
'Com', 'Com' to 'Con', 'Con' to 'Coo', 'Cop' to 'Cq', 'Cr', 'Cs' to 'Cz'

Cable. An assembly of one or more insulated conductors, or optical fibers, or a combination of both, within an enveloping jacket. Either a stranded conductor (single-conductor cable) or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiple conductor cable). Small sizes are commonly referred to as stranded wire or as cords. A conductor with insulation, or a stranded conductor with or without insulation and other coverings (single-conductor cable), or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiple-conductor cable).

Cable Armor. A covering of steel, wire, tape or some other material used to protect the internal conductors.

Cable Assembly. A cable that is ready for installation in specific applications and usually terminated with connectors. Manufacturers

Cable Carrier. A device that holds a cable. Also refer to a detailed definition of Cable Carrier. In some case it may be called a cable retracter.

Cable Clamp. A mechanical clamp attached to the wire entrance of a connector to support the cable or wire bundle, provide stress relief, and absorb vibration and shock. Also called a cable adapter bracket. Flat to round shown.

Cable Clamp
Cable Clamp

Cable, Coaxial. A cable in which an insulated conductor is centered inside another. The outer conductor is usually a metal braid or metal sheath. Braided cables usually have an outer insulating jacket over the braid. Coaxial cables are used primarily for transmission of RF signals. Refer to the main Definition of Coax Cable

Cable Harness. A group of wires or ribbons of wiring used to interconnect electronic systems and subsystems. Also refer to more detail on Specifying a Cable Harness, part of the equipment chassis design section.

Cable Jacket. A sheath. More detail on the Cable Terms page.

Cable Leakage. Shielded cables with gaps in their shielding, which allows the center conductor to radiate. Cable signal leaks can be caused by loose connectors, or cracked or unterminated cables.

Cable Modem. A PC modem which interfaces between a personal computer and a cabled internet connection, normally coax. Related topics; Modem IC Manufacturers, or Modem Gear Manufacturers. See Modem.

Cable Sheath. A non-conductive protective covering applied to cables. See the diagram for a Coax Cable with armor above.

Cable Splitter. See Splitter as it refers to a 3-port component, or Y-Cable as it refers to a cable with 3 ends or terminations.

Cable Tray. A lattice work or mesh of intersecting metal used to support some number of cables running between different points. A cable tray is normally metal but may also be plastic or fiber-glass. Cable Trays may also be a solid section of metal instead of a wire frame work.

Cache. A small portion of memory used as temporary storage, normally having a faster access time than the main memory bank. A high-speed memory used to stored data that was most recently accessed by a processor.

Cage Code. Commercial and Government Entity Code. A five-position alphanumeric code with a numeric in the first and last positions (e.g. 27340, 2A345, or 2AAA5), assigned to United States and Canadian organizations which manufacture and/or control the design of items supplied to a Government Military or Civil Agency or assigned to United States and foreign organizations, primarily for identifying contractors in the mechanical interchange of data. Read the MIL-STD-100 definition.

Can Bus. A differential 2-wire interface running over either a Shielded Twisted Pair (STP), Un-shielded Twisted Pair (UTP), or Ribbon cable. A number of different Protocols are used with CAN bus. The CanBus is primarily used as an Automotive Bus, but is also one of the major Field Buses. Read more of the CanBus Description.

Cancel Character. [CAN] A control character used by some conventions to indicate that the data with which it is associated are in error or are to be disregarded. Related; Table of ASCII Codes.

Capacitance. The property of an electrical circuit that opposes changes in voltage. Also refer to the dictionary of Capacitor Terms. That property of a system of conductors and dielectrics that permits the storage of electricity when potential difference exists between the conductors. Its value is expressed as the ratio of quantity of electricity to a potential difference. A capacitance value is always positive.

Capacitive Coupling: The transfer of energy from one circuit to another by means of the mutual capacitance between the circuits. Detailed definition of Capacitive Coupling [part of the dictionary of Capacitor terms].

Capacitive Load. A load where the current leads the voltage.

Capacitive Reactance. The opposition, expressed in ohms, offered to the flow of an alternating current by capacitance. The symbol for capacitive reactance is XC.

Capacitor. An electrical device capable of storing electrical energy in an electrostatic field. [Capacitor Terms, Capacitor Manufacturers]

Capacitor Microphone. A microphone that uses one plate of a capacitor as the diaphragm.

Capacitor-Start Motor. A type of single-phase, ac induction motor in which a starting winding and a capacitor are placed in series to start the motor. The values of XC and R are such that the main-winding and starting-winding currents are nearly 90 degrees apart and the starting torque is produced as in a two-phase motor.

Capture Ratio. A measure of an FM tuner's ability to reject an interfering signal of the same frequency as the desired signal.

Carbon Microphone. A microphone in which sound waves vary the resistance of a pile of carbon granules. May be single-button or double-button. Dynamic Microphone Definition. Microphone Manufacturers

Carbon Resistor. A resistor that uses either a slug of carbon or a film impregnated with carbon as the resistive element. Read more on Carbon Resistors, as part of the resistor dictionary.

Cardbus. One of the different types of PCMCIA interfaces. CardBus implements the 32-bit PCI bus standard into the PCMCIA form factor.

Card Cage. That portion of an equipment chassis that holds the circuit cards. An open or closed frame which has card guides or slots and allows attachment of a backplane to allow the interconnection of the cards within the cage.

Card Extractor. A device specifically designed to remove a circuit card assembly.

Card Stiffener. A rigid item mounted to a printed wiring board.

Carrier. A constant amplitude wave that may be modulated in amplitude, frequency or phase.

Carrier Card. A host card designed to hold two or more mezzanine cards, and having the primary function of supporting the cards by providing a site for the mezzanine card. The VME card to the right acts as a carrier card for one or two PMC mezzanine cards [not shown] which would plug into the pair of black connectors just to the right of the white VME connector.

Dual-slot VME Carrier Card for PMC Mezzanine Cards
Carrier Card

Carrier Frequency. The base frequency of a transmitted electromagnetic pulse or wave on which information can be imposed by varying the signal strength, varying the base frequency, varying the wave phase, or other means. The frequency of an unmodulated transmitter output.

Carrier Wave. The Carrier Frequency component of a modulated wave, or the signal wave that is intended to be modulated.

Cartridge Fuse. An instrument fuse. A fuse with a cylindrical body usually made of plastic or ceramic and terminated with metal end caps. Also called a ribbon fuse when the body of the fuse is glass. A ferrule fuse. Refer to the graphic to the right. Related topic; Fuse Manufacturers and types.

Cartridge Fuse

Cascade Amplifier. Two or more amplifiers connected together, with each output connected to the input of the following stage. Several amplifiers connected in series, forming a chain.

Cascading. Connecting two or more circuits together so that one circuit feeds the other.

Case Temperature. The temperature measured at a specified point on the case of a semiconductor device [or some other component].

Caster. A wheel mounted in a swivel frame. See Caster Manufacturers for vendors.

PC motherboard

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