Terminology is the studying of the terms used to identify things. In electronics, just like any other complex human endeavour, using the proper terms helps in understanding.

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Why is a non-rechargeable cell a “primary” cell, and a rechargeable cell “secondary”

I was relating the Digi-Key Trivia Thursday question to my friend today and he was confused why a rechargeable cell is "secondary", and all I could reply with is "it just is". The Wikipedia article ...
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75 views

What is I2S and DSP? [on hold]

I am learning to build an amp.(TA2020, circuit from datasheet). I would like to know about the I2S and DSP, and when and how to integrate these tech. Specifically speaking, if i am suppose to ...
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116 views

What does the “phase margin” parameter of an opamp imply?

I was reading datasheet of MCP6072. I saw a parameter namely "phase margin" (table 1-2, page 4). As far as I know, "phase margin" is a control engineering term, and implies the phase difference ...
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38 views

Standard nomenclature for 2-row connector numbering schemes

Two-row connector blocks are ubiquitous in small-run and hobbyist PCB designs. Pitches of 0.1" or 2mm are the most common, and there are all sorts of options for board-to-board or board-to-wire ...
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66 views

What is proper polyphase AC terminology?

I'm not entirely clear on the proper terminology for polyphase AC systems. I hear it used informally, but I'm not sure what the proper formal names are, if there are any. How I've got it in my head is ...
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67 views

What is the name of the edge of a flat-panel display? [closed]

Computer monitors, television screens, and other displays usually (until recently) have what looks like a picture frame around them which protrudes from the plane of the screen. Touchscreen phones and ...
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81 views

What do peak-to-valley and mm/µV mean?

I was reading a document where it says Adjust the signal generator to apply a 1mV peak-to-valley input 6Hz triangular signal at a gain of 0.001mm/µV. What does peak-to-valley mean hear? Is ...
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342 views

Why are capacitor sizes rarely expressed in nanofarads?

Many capacitance values occurring in electronic circuits can be conveniently expressed in nanofarads, e.g. "a 10nF decoupling capacitor" . However, the use of the term "nanofarads" or its ...
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118 views

Do engineers use the term “shortage” for a short? [closed]

Someone criticized another for using the term "shortage." In all my life I have heard of electrical shorts, a "short" meaning "short-circuit." But I never heard this called a shortAGE. Is ...
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95 views

What does “load” mean and what are the different types? [duplicate]

What are all the different types of "load" and what are the key important facts to know about each?
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89 views

What does “material finish” imply in heat-sink terminology?

I was looking for a heat sink in a long list of products. In heat-sink datasheets, I usually see terms like anodized, no finish or degreased finish. What do these terms mean? What information they ...
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Terminology question: does the term “bit-banging” implies not using external signal edge interrupts for timing?

Assuming I realize some communication protocol (e.g. SPI or I2C) just with GPIOs (no dedicated HW). In order to handle timing, I can either: set interrupt on the CLK edge set timer interrupt and ...
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526 views

What is (phase lock loop)PLL?, Lock Range & Capture Range? [closed]

The explanation of a PLL is here, for a PLL, what is the meaning of the following terms? Capture Range ? Lock Range ? What is it about the PLL circuit that might have these two terms span a ...
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97 views

Isn't calling USB 3.0 nodes “hubs” inaccurate?

Host transmitted protocol packets are routed through intervening hubs directly to a peripheral device. They do not traverse bus paths that are not part of the direct path between the host and ...
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186 views

What does “CL” stand for in this processor architecture block diagram?

I'm learning about pipelining but can't understand this abbreviation: "CL". You can see it in processors' schemes. It is shown with with and without a line above it; what is the line for? Diagram ...
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142 views

tsop348 infrared receiver

Why do they tell that • Burst length should be 10 cycles/burst or longer. After each burst which is between 10 cycles and 70 cycles a gap time of at least 14 cycles is necessary whereas I ...
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256 views

What are ALMs, LEs and ALUTs?

Does ALM mean "Adaptive logic module"? www.altera.com/literature/ds/ds_nios2_perf.pdf‎ Jul 1, 2013 - One ALUT is equivalent to about 1.25 LEs. Does LE mean logic element and ALUT means ...
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101 views

is an electronic device/component really burn?

I often read/hear that "my device is burnt" or "... component is burnt due to over voltage" or ".. ESD (board) is burnt when I hold it" etc. I wonder why "burn" is used to describe it? Is something ...
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79 views

What is Atmel's 2x5 ICSP connector called?

I'm looking for a male connector that fits in the left female connector shown in the image. My goal is to break each lead out to holes on a breadboard. What is that kind of 2x5 connector called? ...
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What does “6 V stop-start applications” mean?

I read the following in the NXP TDF8530 leaflet: this ultra-efficient device supports 6 V stop-start applications and delivers audiophile sound quality What does that "6 V stop-start ...
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5answers
2k views

What does the term “bias” mean?

I've see a number of terms that make reference to the word "bias". I've read the wikipedia article but I'm after are more practical answer. Some examples of what a forward or reverse biased device is ...
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Why is the circuit board abreviation for transistor “Q”?

On circuit boards, I see that transistors are "Q", but why Q? Shouldn't "TR" be transformer, so transistor can be "T" because transistors seem to be more common then transformers.
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What is the origin of the “r” in resistance measurements? [duplicate]

In a post to the diyaudio forums, www.diyaudio.com/forums 67232, I see terminology that are likely to be measurements of resistance: "0r1", "1r0", and "10r". I am thinking the "r" there means a ...
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Help me understand the relationship between positive, negative, neutral and ground in AC and DC

This question stems from notations on schematics and seemingly conflicting information I'm seeing. I suspect that I'm seeing different vernacular for the same concepts--but I'm in a place where no ...
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What is “gain” a measurement of in electronics?

I'm familiar with the term "gain" used in sound and music, but I'm having difficulty finding the definition in electronics. I'm seeing the term low gain and high gain being used in the description of ...
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name of 'black trim masker' display

What is the official name again for the small black trimming 'border'/'mask' around the four edges of a display? I just forgot the official name.. and google turns up results about a wrong display ...
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Why are they called breadboards?

Why are solderless protoboards called "breadboards"? I've used the term for decades but couldn't answer a student's question about the name.
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319 views

What do you call the drawing which contains tracks, pads and drilling points of a PCB layer/side?

Example: Does this drawing has a technical name? I see that people usually call these drawings "PCB". But, PCB is physical object, physical implementation of circuit, isn't it? Is these kind of ...
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368 views

What are pump probe measurements?

I was in class today, and we had a presentation by a student on how tunable lasers are used in fiber optics and change the wavelength. He also explained that by "pump probe measurements" a "sample ...
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What is the name of this springy type oscilloscope probe accessory?

Exactly what it says on the tin. How is this pictured accessory called? The obvious place to look for a name would be the probe manual, but it looks like they decided to add the accessory to the ...
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696 views

What is high side current limiting?

What is high side current limiting? While google searching for the term I have found ICs that describe their application as "high side load switching". Is this the same thing or something utterly ...
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235 views

Name of connector for attaching to bolt

I have a heating element (essentially a very resistive wire) that has two threaded bolt-like connectors on each end. I want to avoid soldering any components of the heating element, so I asked a ...
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Crystals, Oscillators, and Resonators. What the difference?

I am trying to figure out the difference between crystals, oscillators, and resonators. I'm starting to grasp it but I still have some questions. From my understanding, an oscillator is built from a ...
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What is the definition of “cathode”?

According to Wikipedia's definition, a cathode is "an electrode through which electric current flows out of a polarized electrical device". However, the direction of current flow is purely an ...
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What are sacrificial components?

The circuit diagram of a board I'm working on has parts labelled as "sacrificial components". These components seem to be pairs of probe points connected via a capacitor, and connected to nothing ...
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338 views

What does NOM stand for in a datasheet and what does it mean?

The question is in reference to: http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/sn74ls00.pdf
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607 views

UART & USART - What's the difference

In the office I hear these terms thrown around as if they are the same. My understanding is that USARTs can deliver the clock signal along with the data. Are there any other differences? What are the ...
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What does it mean to “assert a pin”?

From the XBee/XBeePro product manual page 24 (link to pdf): Sleep Modes enable the RF module to enter states of low-power consumption when not in use. In order to enter Sleep Mode, one of the ...
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189 views

LED size nomenclature

Round LEDs are often indicated by "T-1" for 3mm LEDs or "T-1 3/4" for 5mm LEDs. What does the "T" mean, and how should I read other indications like this when I encounter them? "T" doesn't seem to fit ...
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131 views

What is the terminology for polarity?

We have all seen the little symbols on electronic connectors that indicate its polarity. But is there a term for describing it other than something like positive inside, negative outside or negative ...
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2k views

Why do we call it a “board spin”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Interesting/Unusual/Old Electronics nomenclature I've been getting into some minor board design work lately, and got confused a few times, because some of my colleagues ...
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1k views

What back-end and front-end are in hardware design?

I saw these two terms in context of chip-design. what are Back-end and Front-end? what are the differences between them?
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425 views

What do you call the dynamic range of a variable gain amp?

Dynamic range is the ratio of the largest signal a system can process to the noise floor of that system. If the system has variable gain, though, then you could interpret this two ways: Fixed gain ...
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712 views

specifying a non-momentary switch?

If I say something like "SPDT switch" it's assumed to be a non-momentary switch. Is there standard nomenclature for unambiguously specifying a non-momentary switch?
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Why is U used for ICs on circuit diagrams? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What do the PCB markings mean? On circuit diagrams, C stands for Capacitor, R for Resistor, L for inductor (for Lenz), but why is U used for ICs on circuit diagrams?
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58 views

generic term for inductors/capacitors/transformers for power-handling applications

Can anyone think of a generic term to cover capacitors and magnetics for power-handling applications? (is there one?) I want to distinguish from power semiconductors and signal-level ...
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276 views

Where might I find a prefabricated enclosure for a PCB?

I'm working on a small electronics project that includes a micro-controller and a few extra items soldered down to a PCB. This project will need to be contained in a nice chassis/enclosure that can be ...
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228 views

What are these connectors called?

There are two horizontal connectors in this illustration, one with four pins and one with six pins. What are these connectors called?
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78 views

Correct Term for Radiation Pattern of Target

I am hoping that this is the right forum for questions related to radar systems. The radiation pattern for an antenna is (a plot of) the relative strength of an emitted antennas signal as a function ...
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What do you call it when you add energy to an inductor?

When you add energy to a capacitor, you say that you are "charging it". This is kind of a misnomer, since the total amount of charge in the capacitor is the same, but whatever. (Actually, using ...