Adapter - A device that enables the interconnection of two dissimilar connectors. Some adapters are connectors in themselves and allow the user to mate the adapter with one half of a connector and then mate a different type of connector to the adapter affecting a transition.
Between Series Adaptor - An adaptor used to connect two different generic types (series) of connectors.
Body - The main portion of the connector made of the shell, insulator, and contacts.
Bulkhead mount - The type of connector fitted to a chassis using a single cut-out hole.
Captive - A component such as a contact that is held firmly in position.
Clamp - The holding of a cable by use of a screw thread action.
Coaxial Cable - A cable that comprises a single copper wire surrounded by insulating material, wire shielding or mesh, and a plastic protective sheath: often abbreviated as 'coax'.
Component - An essential functional part of a connector.
Contact – The conductive element in a connector which makes the actual connection between the wire and the mating connector for the purpose of transferring electrical energy. Ideally, the contact should add nothing to the circuit. In the real world, however, contacts typically have a small contact resistance and associated potential drop.
Crimp - The action of distorting a metal tube to give close contact with a conductor. A method of attaching a contact to a wire through the application of pressure.
Dielectric - The insulating medium which holds the center conductor concentric within the connector or cable.
Dielectric constant - The electrical value of the dielectric which determines the impedance in cables or connectors with constant diameters.
Dielectric withstanding voltage - The maximum voltage that a dielectric material can withstand without failure.
Direct solder - A common method of terminating connectors to a semi-rigid cable by soldering the cable jacket to the connector.
Dust cap - A mechanical device attached to the mating face of an unmated connector to prevent ingress of contaminants and to provide protection against mechanical damage.
Electroplating - To deposit a metal on the surface of a conductor using electrolysis.
Flange - A square-mounting flange with two or four mounting holes for bolting the connector to a panel. The mounting holes may be clearance holes or threaded.
Flexible cable - A coaxial cable where the outer conductor is flexible (usually braided).
Float mount - A mounting mechanism that allows the connector to move to enable compensation for axial and radial misalignment.
Gang mounted - The mounting of multiple connectors on a single panel.
Gigahertz (GHz) - A measure of frequency representing 1 billion Hertz (cycles per second).
Hermetic seal - The fixed half of a connector that is sealed against the passage of gas from one side of a bulkhead to another in the mated or unmated condition.
Impedance - That impedance at which the transmission line is intended to work. A change from the characteristic impedance along Its length will cause mismatch and loss of power.
In-series adaptor - An adaptor that enables the connection of two connectors of the same generic (series) type.
Insertion loss - The loss of power due to a particular component in a transmission line (example: cable)
Insulation resistance - The electrical resistance between two conductors separated by an insulating medium.
Insulator - The insulating element into which the contacts are mounted in a connector.
Intermodulation - The mixing of two or more frequencies that are not intended to mix.
Interface – The two surfaces of a connector come into intimate contact when the two halves are mated.
Inter-series adaptor - See "Between Series Adaptor”.
Isolation - The measure of interaction between two or more transmission lines.
Jack - The connector half that mates with the plug. The receptacle has threads, pins or ramps which engage the coupling nut on the plug, locking the two halves together. A receptacle may have either pin or socket contacts. Also referred to as a female interface.
Non-captive - A component such as a contact that does not have a retention feature.
Ohm - A measure of DC resistance or RF impedance represented by Ω.
Panel mount - The type of connector fitted to a chassis using a jam nut or flange mounting.
Passivation - This is a surface treatment applied primarily to stainless steel. The process removes contaminating iron particles and produces a passive surface.
PCB - Printed Circuit Board.
Peak power - Is the maximum power that may be handled by a connector or cable.
Plating - The metallic coatings used on contacts and metal connectors. These are thin layers of metal designed to improve conductivity, solderability, or resist corrosion. Typical contact finishes are gold or silver. Typical body or shell finishes are electroless nickel, gold, or silver.
Plug - The male portion of the connector pair usually employing a coupling nut to secure it to the receptacle half. A plug may have either pin or socket contacts. Also referred to as a male interface.
Press-in mount - A connector that is mounted into a panel using a knurled body.
PTFE - Abbreviation of polytetrafluorethylene. This is the most commonly used dielectric (insulator) used in commercial coaxial connectors.
Return loss - A reason for losing RF energy due to signals being reflected due to a mismatch in a transmission line.
Reverse Polarity Connector - A connector or adapter made to prevent a user from trying to connect the wrong type of connector i.e. a male connector to a male connector or a female connector to a female connector. In a Reverse Polarity application, the 'center pin' of the Male connector is swapped with the 'receptacle' of the Female connector i.e., a reverse polarity male connector has a receptacle at the interface instead of a center pin and reverse polarity female connector has a center pin at the interface.
RF - An abbreviation for Radio Frequency.
RF leakage - The RF power lost from a transmission line or device. Measured in dB.
RG - The traditional prefix for MIL spec. coaxial cables.
Semi-Rigid - A cable containing a flexible inner core and a relatively inflexible sheathing.
Teflon - DuPont trade name for PTFE.
Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) - A way of expressing the resultant loss of power as a result of signal reflections due to discontinuity.