Engineering Definitions
"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'

Compression Waves. Longitudinal waves that have been compressed (made more dense) as they move away from the source.

Compressor. A nonlinear analog device that has a lower gain at higher input levels than at lower input levels.

Computer. A data processing unit that can perform computation, including numerous arithmetic or logic operations, without intervention by a human. This link shows a list of Computer Manufacturers.

Concurrent. Pertaining to the occurrence of two or more events or activities within the same specified interval of time.

Conductance. The ability of a material to conduct or carry an electric current. It is the reciprocal of the resistance of the material and is expressed in mhos or siemens.

Conduction. The transfer of heat in a substance from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. Heat Conduction is the most effective method of moving heat from the junction to the case and the case to a heat-sink [if installed] in semiconductors.

Conduction Band. A partially filled energy band in which electrons can move freely.

Conductive. A material that is capable of electrostatic field shielding and having a volume resistivity of 103 ohm-cm maximum or a surface resistivity less than 105 ohms/square.

Conductive Coupling. Energy transfer achieved by means of physical contact, i.e., coupling other than inductive or capacitive coupling.

Conductivity. The ease with which a substance transmits electricity. The ability of a material to conduct electric current.

Conductor. A material with a large number of free electrons. A material that easily permits electric current to flow. Any wire, cable, or substance capable of carrying an electrical current. Wire Manufacturers. A wire or combination of wires not insulated from one another, suitable for carrying electric current.

Conductor Splice. A component designed to expedite or simplify the connection of two or more electrical conductors without bringing them to a fixed point such as a binding post or terminal. It may have a separate tubular shaped piece of non-metallic, flexible material designed to be slipped over the crimped first piece to seal the conductor joint through heat sealing.

Conduit. A tubular raceway, usually metal or plastic, for holding wires or cables. Also refer to MIL-PRF-24758 for specific definitions. All conduit, whether used for power distribution wiring, or for signal and control wiring, should be grounded. A bulk one-piece item of rigid metal, nonmetallic material, or flexible metal construction used to protect wires and/or cable from damage due to water, gas, rodents, collision, or the like. The ends of a conduit may be threaded and furnished with a standard coupling and/or thread protectors. Conduit differs from pipe and tubing in that it is not normally used to conduct fluids.

Conformal Coating. An insulative coating that conforms to the configuration of the object being coated. [Coating Supplies]

Conical Scanning. Scanning in which the movement of the beam describes a cone, the axis of which coincides with that of the reflector. See the graphic in the right side-bar. Refer to the Radar Terms section of this site.

Connected Array. Another term for Driven Array. Refer to the Antenna Terms section.

Connector. A component that translates the wires of a cable or traces on a PCB into a fixed organized layout of pins that can be affixed to another connector of the same style. A device for mating and demating electrical power connections or communications media.

Connector Adaptor. A connector that translates one style of connector to another. A connector that adapts one interface for another. See Adaptor.

RJ45 to DB25 Adapter
Connector Adapter

Connector Cover. An device specifically designed to fully or partially inclose an electrical connector to protect its mating end from mechanical damage. Read more on Connector Covers.

Connector Insert. For connectors with metal shells, the insert holds contacts in proper arrangement while electrically insulating them from each other and from the shell.

Connector Plug. The male portion of connector which mates with the same style connector using a Jack or female contacts.

Connector Saver. A temporary connector attached to another [permanent] connector during test so that the repeated mating and unmating of an interfacing connector is made via the connector saver and not the original connector, prolonging the life of the permanent connector. A gender changer, or adapter.

Connector Shell. The case that encloses the connector insert and contact assembly. Shells of mating connectors can protect projecting contacts and provide proper alignment. The outside case of a connector into which the dielectric materials and contacts are assembled. See Backshell.

Constant Amplitude Filter. A filter designed to have a maximally flat amplitude response. A Butterworth filter.

Constant Current Source. A current source is considered constant if halving the generator impedance does not produce a change in the parameter being measured that is greater than the required precision of the measurement. A source of current that remains constant. A source with an extremely high output impedance so the output current is independent of voltage.

Constant Current Source Symbol

Constant Delay Filter. A filter designed to have a maximally flat delay response. A Bessel filter.

Constant Voltage Source. A voltage source shall be considered constant if doubling the generator impedance does not produce a change in the parameter being measured that is greater than the required precision of the measurement.

Contact. The parts of a conductor designed to touch or be touched by other such parts of an electrical conductor to carry current to or from the conductor.

Contact Arrangement. Also called Insert Arrangements. The number, spacing and location of the contacts of a connector. For reference see the MIL-32139 diagram.

Contact Bounce. The uncontrolled making or breaking of a contact, normally in a switch or relay when the position is changed. Sometimes called Contact Chatter. Also refer to Switch Debounce.

Relay Contact Bounce
Relay Contact Bounce

Intermittent opening of contacts after the initial closing due to contact impact.

Contact Bounce Time. The contact bounce time is the total time between the initial contact and the cessation of contact opening due to transfer mechanism disturbance. Dynamic contact voltages due to resistance fluctuations or "white noise" shall not be included in contact bounce time.

Contact Resistance. The resistance between metallic contacts and the semiconductor. The resistance between the contacts of a relay or switch during connection. The resistance [which increases over time] of a pair of closed contacts which effectively appears in series with the load.

Contact Separation. The minimum open gap distance between two contacts.

Contact Size. Defines the largest size wire that can be used with the specific contact. By specification dimensioning, it also defines the diameter of the engagement end of the pin.

Contact Styles. The different types of Contact Styles found on connectors; Crimp, Solder, Printed Circuit Solder, Printed Circuit Press Fit, Thermocouple, Wire Wrap, Co-Ax, Insulation Displacement, Pre-Terminated, Fiber Optic, High Voltage, First-Make Last-Break. Related topic, Manufacturers of Connectors.

Contaminant. An impurity or foreign substance present in a material that affects one or more properties of the material.

PC motherboard

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