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    AWG (American Wire Gauge)

    A standardized wire gauge system used for referring to the diameter of an electrically conducting wire and its current-carrying capacity. As the number increases, the diameter of the wire decreases; for example, a very large wire would be listed as AWG 0. The more fine a wire is, the more times it is pulled through a drawing die, a plate of hardened steel with multiple holes of varying sizes that strip down the diameter of the wire. Each of these AWG wires is a single, solid, round conductor, and its current-carrying capacity is determined by its total cross-sectional area.




    A Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the input/output of a computer system, carrying out the instructions of a computer program to operate and perform correctly. There are two components that make this up: an arithmetic logic unit that performs arithmetic and logical operations, and the control unit that extracts instructions from a computer’s memory and then decodes and executes them. Sometimes a CPU is made up of multiple PCBs or can be housed on a single chip called a microprocessor.



    ETL Listed

    Thomas Edison founded Electrical Testing Labs (ETL), an organization that has been in business for over 100 years. A product that is ETL listed means that product complies with North American safety standards. ETL is not a replacement for other health and safety standards, it is used to inform customers and retailers that a product is compliant with safety standards, and has been tested and certified by a third-party. The ETL Listed Mark is recognized by mainly the US and Canada.

    8x8; Eight-by-eight

    8x8 is the number of conductors or pins, and the position of each. Pending on how high or low the two numbers are, when installing a network or cable system, personal configuration may be high or low respectively.

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    In computer networking, encapsulation is the design of communication between the layers of a computer system. Each layer gets the core information about a function executed and the specific details are factored out or hid from higher layers. For example, on the internet you see data displayed on a web page, the top most layer; below that is how the data is transferred from its original IP address, and the internet link between the data and its original origin.


    FAR-25 (Federal Aviation Regulations Part 25)

    This Part contains airworthiness standards for airplanes in the transport category. The majority of airplanes up to 12,500 lb Maximum Takeoff Weight are type certificated in the normal, utility or acrobatic categories so most airplanes certificated to Part 25 have Maximum Takeoff Weights greater than 12,500 lb, although there is no lower weight limit.

    The Boeing 737 and later types, and Airbus A300 series, are well-known airplane types that were certificated to FAR Part 25.

    Most of the Federal Aviation Regulations, including Part 25, commenced on February 1, 1965. Prior to that date, airworthiness standards for airplanes in the transport category were promulgated in Part 4b of the US Civil Air Regulations. The Boeing 707 and 727 are two well-known airplane types that were certificated to CAR Part 4b.

    FMVSS 302 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #302)

    Officially known as 49 CFR 571.302, The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 302 for Flammability of Interior Materials - Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses is one of the most common automotive materials tests. Founded as a Federal Standard in 1972, it is identical to the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 302 and will occasionally be called out on a specification or part print simply as MVSS 302. FMVSS 302 is a general safety measure which seeks to reduce the likelihood of injury or death that may result from a vehicle fire. This test, as written, involves burning two or more samples of a 356mm x 102mm x thickness (13mm maximum) plaque or section of material and measuring the burn rate in millimeters per minute (mm/min). Ignition is at one end of the sample by exposing it to a Bunsen burner flame for 15 seconds. The burn rate dictates conforming or non-conforming material and a maximum burn rate of 102mm/min is allowed by FMVSS 302, although this criteria may be overridden by an OEM specification or part print detail. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J369 and the International Standards Organization (ISO) 3795 are technically equivalent methods of test to FMVSS 302, however they both require burning five specimens per material


    A flammability rating established by Underwriters laboratories for wires and cables that pass a specially designed vertical flame test. This designation has been replaced by VW-1.




    ISO/IEC 11801

    These are the standards for telecommunication cabling systems suitable for various data communication applications, and mainly for commercial premises consisting of a single building or of multiple buildings such as a campus. This standard was designed primarily for small-office and home-office environments spanning up to 3km, 1km2, with 50-50,000 persons. The standards are as follows for twisted-pair connections:

    • Class A: category 1 cable transmitting up to 100 kHz

    • Class B: category 2 cable transmitting up to 1 MHz

    • Class C: category 3 cable transmitting up to 16 MHz

    • Class D: category 5e cable transmitting up to 100 MHz

    • Class E: category 6 cable transmitting up to 250 MHz

    • Class EA: category 6A cable transmitting up to 500 MHz

    • Class F: transmissions up to 600 MHz

    • Class FA: transmissions up to 1000 MHz

    ISO 9001 standards

    Published by the International organization for Standardization, these standards are designed to inspire quality management among organizations and companies to ensure that they meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. These management systems follow the eight management principles on which these standards are based, and to be certified by ISO 9001, organizations are required to meet all eight principles. If a product is ISO 9001 certified, it is because they have earned that certification.



    Keystone Module

    A standard snap-in attachment for low-voltage electrical jacks and connectors for use on a keystone wall plate. These modules are rectangular and versatile, able to be interchanged and replaced.



    A LAN is a “local area network” or computer network that interconnects multiple computers in a limited area such as a home, school, computer lab, library, etc by Ethernet cords. Usually, a LAN will have a private internet connection and then transmits the signal to other devices connected to it, like a router. Most routers can be turned into LANs if it connects via Ethernet cord to multiple computers, whereas many people use wireless routers today to make a wireless LAN.


    MIL-202 (military quality standard for electronic parts)

    This standard establishes uniform methods for testing electronic and electrical component parts, including basic environmental tests to determine resistance to deleterious effects of natural elements and conditions surrounding military operations, and physical and electrical tests.

    For the purpose of this standard, the term "component parts" includes such items as capacitors, resistors, switches, relays, transformers, inductors, and others. This standard is intended to apply only to small component parts, weighing up to 300 pounds or having a root mean square test voltage up to 50,000 volts unless otherwise specifically invoked. The test methods described herein have been prepared to serve several purposes: a. To specify suitable conditions obtainable in the laboratory that give test results equivalent to the actual service conditions existing in the field, and to obtain reproducibility of the test results. The tests described herein are not to be interpreted as an exact and conclusive representation of actual service operation in any one geographic location, since the only true test for operation in a specific location is an actual service test at that point.




    Piezo Electronic Ignition System

    This automatic ignition system is used with many heat-torches and some soldering guns. A spring-loaded hammer hits a quartz crystal when a button is pressed, which ignites the gas released from the lighter.


    “PCB” stands for “printed circuit board”; a device used to connect electrical components using conductive pathways. Made from insulating material and covered in metal, they are designed as a package of terminals to provide the required connections it supports, and the layout is reproduced on layers of a copper-clad board. Nearly every electronic has a PCB in it making it function properly: computers, printers, external hard drives, stereos, etc. When someone refers to the “motherboard” in a computer, they are referring to a large PCB that makes all of the computer functions possible.

    Punch-down Block

    A punch down block is a connection often used in telephony wherein a copper wire is “punched down” into slots between the block and a conductor. The most common blocks are the 110 and 66, both can be used in telecommunications. The 110-style block can additionally be used with category 5 and cat6 computer networks.


    In electronics, potting is the process of filling an electronic assembly with a compound that will resist shock, impact, and exclude moisture and corrosive agents. This compound then keeps the electronics together for long periods of time. Like potting a plant, the pot houses the dirt, the seed, the roots, and the plant; the potting compound contains an entirety of electronic components. Some use the compound to coat circuit boards for security.



    RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive)

    The Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (commonly referred to as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive or RoHS) was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. The RoHS directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment.

    RA-type Flux

    The rosin or resin in the solder is combined with an activating agent, typically acid. Thus, the residue left over from RA flux is corrosive and needs to be cleaned off of the piece being soldered.



    A metal alloy that usually comes in the form of sticks, bars, or strands, that can be melted down and cooled for typically the act of fusing or bonding other metal pieces together. It comes in many variations: Lead, Lead-free, Flux-core, Hard, and Glass. Standard solder melts between 180 and 190 °C (360 and 370 °F) and is used in electronics and plumbing. It’s most common application is connecting wires to printed circuit boards, based on the conducting capabilities of the materials it is made of.



    Stands for telecommunications standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association, a split-off section of the Electronic Industries Alliance. There are three standards cited within this set: B.1-2001, -B.2-2001, and -B.3-2001. Published in 2001, TIA/EIA-568-B superseded TIA/EIA-568-A, but both are referred to when reading about equipment for personal computers and data communication networks, especially for commercial buildings and college campuses. TIA/EIA-568-B.1 defines the general cabling design requirements, -568-B.2 covers the components and performance of balanced twisted-pair cable systems, and -568-B.3 focuses on the components that make up fiber optic cable systems.


    This polymer is used as a flame retardant material in some Category 6A jacks. When heated, thermoplastic melts and then freezes when cooled. Many molecular weights and elemental properties are taken into account when designing a thermoplastic device because not all polymers can withstand the same temperature, nor do they share the same glass transition temperature.


    UL 1441

    Coated Electrical Sleeving

    UL standard that applies to Grades A and B acrylic-polymer-coated, silicone-polymer-coated, or vinyl-polymer-coated electrical sleeving that consists of closely woven fabric made from glass (see Table 1 for materials and ratings) and intended for use in equipment designed to be installed and used in accordance with the rules of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CEC), or ANSI/NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC).

    UL 2024A


    This outline covers routing assemblies for installation of nonconductive optical fiber cable and communications cable. The routing assemblies are only suitable for the installation of optical fiber and communications cable noted in the following information. Individual routing assembly systems differ in their construction; therefore, their components are not interchangeable with routing assemblies or fittings of other systems. This product category includes pliable lengths, rigid straight sections, elbows, bends and fittings such as expansion joints, female and male adapters, and couplings.

    UL 5A

    These requirements cover nonmetallic raceways and fittings. These products are for use as surface wiring systems in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), Part I.

    Raceways that are all nonmetallic and of any thickness are intended to enclose circuits operating at potentials not exceeding 600 V between conductors.

    Nonmetallic raceways with metal covers are intended to enclose circuits operating at potentials in accordance with Table 1 or Table 1A.

    These requirements do not cover surface metal raceways, cable trays, or wire ways.

    UL 94

    Tests for Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances

    The material tested is UL 94 V-O classified if:

    • None of the five test specimens burn for over 10 seconds at any time when the burner flame is removed.
    • The total burning time of the 10 ignition test does not exceed 50 seconds.
    • No test specimen burns either with a flame or afterglow to the clamp.
    • No burning drops should fall which would cause the cotton underneath to ignite from any test specimen.
    • The afterglow burning of no test specimen exceeds 30 seconds.

    The material tested is UL 94 V-1 classified if:

    • None of the five test specimens burn for over 30 seconds at any time when the burner flame is removed.
    • The total burning time of the 10 ignition test does not exceed 250 seconds.
    • No test specimen burns either with a flame or afterglow to the clamp.
    • No burning drops should fall which would cause the cotton underneath to ignite from any test specimen.
    • The afterglow burning of no test specimen exceeds 60 seconds.

    The material tested is UL 94 V-2 classified if:

    • None of the five test specimens burn for over 30 seconds at any time when the burner flame is removed.
    • The total burning time of the 10 ignition test does not exceed 250 seconds.
    • No test specimen burns either with a flame or afterglow to the clamp.
    • Only such burning pieces may fall from the test specimen, which burn only momentarily, and of which some ignite the cotton underneath.
    • The afterglow burning of no test specimen exceeds 60 seconds.

    The material tested is UL 94 HB classified if:

    • The specimens may not have a burn rate exceeding 40 mm per minute over a 75 mm span for specimens having a thickness of 3.0 mm to 13 mm, or
    • The specimens may not have a burn rate exceeding 75 mm per minute over a 75 mm span for specimens having a thickness less than 3.0 mm, or
    • The specimens cease to burn before the flame reaches the 100 mm mark.

    Underwriters Laboratory (UL)

    UL is the trusted source across the globe for product compliance. Benefiting a range of customers - from manufacturers and retailers to consumers and regulating bodies - we've tested products for public safety for more than a century.

    UTP/STP cabling

    Twisted pair cabling is the act of twisting together two conductors of a single circuit to cancel out electromagnetic interference (EMI). UTP is an unshielded twisted pair cable whereas STP is a shielded twisted pair cable; shielded can mean sheathed in a jacket or screened with metal. Shielding will also protect from EMI. Ethernet and telephone cords are usually twisted-pairs.


    VW-1 (Vertical Wire-Class 1)

    The purpose of the UL VW-1 Vertical Wire Flame Test is to screen out flammable wires. Since the ignition source is small (under 1 K W), and is applied for only 75 seconds.

    In the UL VW-1 Flame Test, a tirrill burner (similar to a Bunsen burner) is used as the ignition source.
    The wire sample is mounted and the flame is applied for 15 seconds and then removed. The flame is then reapplied, either after 15 seconds or when the sample ceases to flame (whichever is longer), for a total of five 15-second applications. After the above procedure is completed, a wire sample that passes this test must not burn for more than one minute and must not burn more than 25% of the Kraft indicator flag. In addition, the surgical cotton at the base of the burner must not be ignited.