Glossary Of Terms

Alloy ---A combination of two or more different polymers/metals. Usually combined to make use of different properties of each polymer/ metal.


AWG --- American Wire Gage. A wire diameter specification. The smaller the AWG number, the larger the wire diameter.


AWM --- Appliance Wiring Material. A UL designation for a type of wire.


Bend Radius--- Radius of curvature that a flat, round, fiber optic or metallic cable can bend without any adverse effects.


Bonded---1. Adhesive application of a metallic shielding tape to the dielectric of a coaxial cable to improved electrical performance and ease of connector installation. Also refers to adhesive application of a metallic shielding taper to the jacket of a cable. 2. Steel is bonded to polyethylene with a copolymer adhesive All STALPETH and some ASP cables are bonded.  Provides extra strength to jacket, primarily used in underground applications.


Braid ---    A group of textile or metallic filaments interwoven to form a tubular flexible structure which may be applied over one or more wires, or flattened to form a strap.


Capacitance ---The ability of a dielectric material between conductors to store energy when a difference of potential exists between the conductors. The unit of measurement is the farad. Cable capacitance is usually measured in picofarads (pF).


CATV--- Abbreviation for Community Antenna Television. Cable TV.


CCTV--- Closed-circuit television.


Coaxial Cable --- A cylindrical transmission line comprised of a conductor centered inside a metallic tube or shield, separated by a dielectric material, and usually covered by an insulating jacket. Used by cable TV companies to distribute signals to homes and businesses. Also used by telephone companies in some applications and by cellular telephone, radio, and television installations.


Composite Cable --- Cable having conductors with two or more AWG sizes or more than one cable type.


Coverage --- How well a metal shield covers the underlying surface. Measured in percent.


CSA --- Abbreviation for Canadian Standards Association, the Canadian version of the Underwriters Laboratories.


DBS --- Direct Broadcast Satellite.


Drain Wire ---   A non-insulated wire in contact with parts of a cable, usually the shield, and used in the termination to that shield and as a ground connection.


Drop Cable ---  In a CATV system, the transmission cable from the distribution cable to a dwelling.


Fiber ---    A single, separate optical transmission element characterized by core and cladding.


Fiber Optics --- Light transmission through optical fibers for communication and signaling. A technology that transmits information as light pulses along a glass or plastic fiber. Optical fiber carries much more information than conventional copper wire and is generally not subject to interference.  Most telephone company long-distance lines are optical fiber. See RUS 1755.900.


Flame Resistance---The ability of a material not to fuel a flame once the source of heat is removed.


Foam Polyethylene ---      Expanded or "foam" polyethylene, consists of individual closed cells of inert gas suspended in a polyethylene medium, resulting in a desirable reduction of the dielectric constant.


HFC  --- Hybrid Fiber/Coaxial.


Impedance ---The total opposition that a circuit offers to the flow of alternating current or any other varying current at a particular frequency.


Insertion Loss --- A measure of the attenuation of a cable and/or component(s) by determining the output of a system before and after the device is inserted into the system.


Insulation ---     A material having good dielectric properties which is used to separate close electrical components, such as cable conductors and circuit components.


ISO   --- International Standards Organization.


LAN ---Local Area Network. A data network connecting any number of users, intended to serve a small area. A group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area.


MATV ---   Abbreviation for Master Antenna Television.


Plenum --- A compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and that forms part of the air distribution system. A description for a cable that passes the UL 910 CMP flame test requirements.


PVC--- Polyvinyl chloride (see also).


Quad ---    A four conductor cable. Also called "star quad".


Return Loss --- Measure of signal reflections from a cable or device with a fixed, standard reference impedance on the measuring equipment. Expressed in decibels.


RF ---Radio Frequency.


RG/U ---     RG is the abbreviation for radio guide, a military designation for a coaxial cable, and U stands for universal.


RGB Abbreviation for the three parts of color video signal: red, green and blue. Also refers to multi-coaxial cables carrying these signals.


RL --- Return Loss.


Structural Return Loss    --- Magnitude of the internal cable reflections, measured in decibels, relative to the actual cable impedance, not the system impedance. Measure of signal reflections caused by the structure of the cable without the additional reflections from any impedance mismatch between the cable and the measuring equipment. Measure of internal cable reflections using a reference impedance in the measuring equipment that is adjusted to the nominal or average impedance of the cable. See also Return Loss


Sweep Test --- Testing a characteristic of a cable or device across a range of frequencies. In cable, it usually implies return loss or structural return loss (see also).


Trunk Cable --- In a CATV system, the transmission cable from the head end (signal pickup) to the trunk amplifier. Also called a feeder cable.


UL --- Underwriters Laboratories. A nonprofit organization which tests and verifies construction and performance of electronic parts and equipment, including wire and cable.


UTP --- Unshielded Twisted Pair(s).


Velocity of Propagation (VP) ---        The transmission speed of electrical energy in a length of cable compared to speed of light in free space. Usually expressed as a percentage.


Voltage --- Electrical potential of electromotive force expressed in volts.

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