Glossary of Terms

ADAPTER:
An intermediate device to provide for attaching special accessories or to provide special mounting means.*

AMBIENT TEMPERATURE:
The temperature of the environment, usually air, surrounding a connector.*

ANTI-ROTATION, CONNECTOR:
A cylindrical connector design which provides keying or locking provisions to maintain positive orientation for accessory hardware.

AXIAL DISPLACEMENT:
The incremental difference between an initial position and a final position resulting from a force applied along the axis of a component.

BACK-MOUNTED:
A connector mounted from the inside of a panel or box with its mounting flange inside the equipment.*

BARREL, CONDUCTOR:
The section of the terminal, splice or contact that accommodates the stripped conductor.*

BARREL, INSULATION:
The section of the terminal, splice or contact that accommodates the conductor insulation.*

BARREL CHAMFER:
Bevel at the end of the conductor barrel for easier entry of the conductor.*

BARRIER:
A partition of electrically nonconductive material which increases the electrical path between adjacent electrical circuits or an electrical circuit from ground.

BASIS METAL:
Metal from which the connector components are made and on which one or more metals or coatings may be deposited.

BAYONET COUPLING, ROTARY:
A quick coupling device for mating connectors utilizing pins on a connector and ramps on the mating connector. Mating and unmating is accomplished by rotating the coupling ring.*

BELLED MOUTH (BELLMOUTH):
The flared or wide entrance of a terminal splice or contact barrel to permit easier insertion of the conductor.*

BODY, CONNECTOR:
The main portion of a connector to which contacts and other components are attached. This term is not used with connectors incorporating nonintegral shells in their construction.*

BOOT:
A form placed around the wire terminations of a multiple contact connector as a protective housing or as a container for potting compound.*

BRAID:
Flexible conductor made of a woven or braided assembly of fine wires.*

BUNDLE:
A group of wires fastened or held together by an auxiliary means such as straps, ties, clamps or flexible wrappings (jackets) or sheaths. Also called "cable".

BUSING:
The joining of two or more circuits.*

BUTTING DIES:
Crimping dies so designed that the nest and indentor touch at the end of the crimping cycle. (Also called bottoming dies.)*

CABLE ADAPTER:
(See ADAPTER.)*

CABLE CLAMP:
A mechanical clamp attached to the cable side of the connector to support the cable or wire bundle, provide strain relief, and absorb vibration and shock otherwise transmitted by the cable to the contact/wire connection.*

CABLE SEALING CLAMP:
A device consisting of a gland nut and sealing member designed to seal around a single jacket cable.*

CABLE SHIELDING CLAMP:
A device consisting of a sealing member and cable support designed to terminate the screen (shield) of an electrical cable.*

CIRCUMFERENTIAL CRIMP:
The type of crimp where the crimping dies completely surround a barrel resulting in symmetrical indentations in the barrel.*

CLOSED ENTRY:
A contact or contact cavity design in the insert or body of the connector which limits the size or position of the mating contact or printed circuit board to a predetermined dimension.*

COLOR CODING:
A system of identification of terminals and related devices.*

CONDUCTOR:
An electric current-carrying material; the conductive element in an electrical wire.

CONDUCTOR STOP:
A device on a terminal, splice, contact or tool used to prevent excessive extension of the conductor barrel.*

CONNECTOR, ELECTRICAL:
A device, either a plug or a receptacle, used to terminate or connect the conductors of individual wires or in cables and which provides a means to continue the conductors to a mating connector or printed circuit board.*

CONNECTOR SET, ELECTRICAL:
Two or more separate connectors, plug connector and receptacle connector, designed to be mated together. The set may include mixed connectors mated together, such as one connector plug and one dummy connector receptacle, connector receptacle and one dummy electrical plug.*

CONTACT:
The conductive element in a connector which makes actual contact for the purpose of transferring electrical energy.*

CONTACT AREA:
The area in contact between two conductors, two contacts, or a conductor and a contact permitting the flow of electricity.*

CONTACT ARRANGEMENT:
The number, spacing and arrangement of contacts in a connector.*

CONTACT ENGAGING AND SEPARATING FORCE:
Force needed to either engage or separate mating contacts.*

CONTACT, FEMALE:
(See SOCKET CONTACT)

CONTACT, FLOAT:
The overall side play and/or angular displacement of contacts within the insert cavity.*

CONTACT, HERMAPHRODITIC:
(See HERMAPHRODITIC CONTACT)

CONTACT, MALE:
(See PIN CONTACT)

CONTACT RESISTANCE:
Electrical resistance of a pair of engaged contacts. Resistance may be measured in ohms or millivolt drop at a specified current over the engaged contacts.*

CONTACT RETAINER:
A device either on the contact or in the insert to retain the contact in an insert or body.*

CONTACT RETENTION:
The axial load in either direction which a contact can withstand without being dislodged from its normal position within an insert or body.*

CONTACT SEPARATION FORCE:
The force required to separate a pair of fully mated contacts.

CONTACT SIZE:
An assigned number denoting the size of the contact engaging end.*

CONTACT WIPE:
The distance of travel (electrical engagement) made by one contact with another during its engagement or separation or during mating or unmating of the connector halves.*

COUPLING NUT:
(See COUPLING RING)*

COUPLING RING:
That portion of a plug which aids in the mating or unmating of a plug and receptacle and holds the plug to the receptacle.

COUPLING TORQUE:
The force required to rotate a coupling ring or jackscrew to fully engage a mating pair of connectors.

COVER, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR:
An item which is specifically designed to cover the mating end of a connector for mechanical and/or environmental protection.*

CREEP DISTANCE:
The shortest distance on the surface of an insulator separating two electrically conductive surfaces.*

CRIMP:
The physical compression (deformation) of a contact barrel around a conductor in order to make an electrical connection.*

CRIMPING:
A pressure method of mechanically securing a terminal, splice or contact to a conductor.*

CRIMPING DIES:
Portion of the crimping tool that shapes the crimp.*

CRIMPING TOOL:
Mechanism used for crimping.*

CUTOUT, CONNECTOR:
The hole, usually round or rectangular, cut in a metal panel for mounting a connector. May include holes for mounting screws or bolts.*

DEPTH OF CRIMP:
The distance the indentor penetrates into the barrel.*

DIELECTRIC:
A material having electrical insulating properties.*

DISCONNECT:
A reusable conductive device designed to be separated from its mated part.

DUMMY CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY, ELECTRICAL:
Two or more electrical dummy connectors having a common mounting or mounted on each other, each one capable of being independently replaced. Excludes items which are furnished as mated pairs or sets.*

DUMMY CONNECTOR, PLUG:
A connector device designed to mate with a receptacle connector to perform protective, environmental and/or electrical shorting functions.

DUMMY CONNECTOR, RECEPTACLE:
A connector receptacle which does not have provisions for attaching conductors. It is generally used for storage of a cable assembly connector plug.*

DUST COVER:
(See COVER, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR).*

ENVIRONMENTALLY SEALED:
A device that is provided with gaskets, seals, grommets, potting or other means to keep out moisture, dirt, air or dust which might reduce its performance. Does not include nonphysical environments such as RF and radiation.*

EXTRACTION TOOL:
A device used for removing removable contacts from a connector. A device used for removing taper pins from taper pin receptacles.*

FERRULE:
A short tube. Used to make connections to shielded or coaxial cables. Also used in connectors to reduce transmission of torque to grommet.*

FLANGE, CONNECTOR:
A projection extending from or around the periphery of a connector with provisions to permit mounting the connector to a panel.*

FRONT MOUNTED:
A connector mounted on the outside of a panel or box with its mounting flange outside the equipment.*

FULL CYCLING CONTROL:
Controls placed on the crimping cycle of crimping tools forcing the tool to be closed to its fullest extent completing the crimping cycle before the tool can be opened.*

GANG DISCONNECT:
A connector that permits the rapid and simultaneous connection and disconnection of two or more electrical circuits.*

GROUNDING CONDUCTOR:
A conductor which provides a current return path from an electrical device to ground.

GRID SPACED:
When contacts in a multiple contact connector are spaced in a geometric pattern.*

GROMMET, CONNECTOR:
An elastomeric seal used on the cable side of a connector to seal the connector against moisture, dirt and air.*

HARNESS:
A group of wires or cables routed together with attached connectors and components and secured in a manner to provide a preshaped electrical wire or cable assembly.

HERMAPHRODITIC CONNECTOR:
A connector design which utilizes pin and socket contact in a balanced arrangement such that both mating connectors are identical. The contacts may also be hermaphroditic, and may be arranged as male and female contacts as for pins and sockets. Hermaphroditic contacts may also be used in a manner such that one half of each contact mating surface protrudes beyond the connector interface and both mating connectors are identical.*

HERMAPHRODITIC CONTACT:
A contact design which is neither pin or socket and which mates with other contact of the same design.*

HOUSING, CONNECTOR:
Connector less insert, but with insert-retaining and positioning hardware required by standard construction.*

INDENTOR:
That part of a crimping die, usually the moving part, which indents or compresses the contact barrel.*

INSERT, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR:
An insulating element with or without contact(s), designed to position and support contacts in a connector.*

INSERT RETENTION FORCE:
The maximum allowable force which, if applied to the mating face of a connector insert, does not displace the insert permanently from its normal position in the connector housing or jeopardize or damage the insert or connector housing retention provision.

INSERTION TOOL:
A device used to insert contacts into a connector. A device used to insert taper pins into taper pin receptacles.*

INSPECTION HOLE:
A hole placed at one end of a barrel to permit visual inspection to see that the conductor has been inserted to the proper depth in the barrel prior to crimping.*

INSULATION SUPPORT:
The portion of a barrel similar to an insulation grip except that it is not compressed around the conductor insulation.*

INTERFACE:
The two surfaces on the contact side of mating connectors or plug-in component (e.g., relay) and receptacle, which face each other when mated.*

INTERFACE SEAL:
A sealing of mated connectors over the whole area of the interface to provide sealing around each contact.*

JACKET:
The outermost layer of insulating material of a cable or wire.*

JACKSCREW (SCREWLOCK):
A screw attached to one half of a two piece multiple contact connector used to draw and hold both halves together and to separate them.*

KEY:
A short pin or other projection which slides in a mating slot, hole, groove, or keyway to guide two parts being assembled. Generally used in shell-enclosed connectors to obtain polarization.*

KEYWAY:
A slot or groove in which a key slides.*

LOCATOR:
(See STOP PLATE) Device for positioning terminals, splices or contacts in crimping dies.*

LOCKING SPRING:
(See CONTACT RETAINER.)*

MATE:
The joining of two connectors.*

MOLD, POTTING, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR:
An item, solid or split, designed to be used as a hollow form into which potting compound is injected and allowed to cure or set to seal the back of an electrical connector. The potting may eliminate the need for a back shell of the connector. The form may or may not be removable after potting.*

NEST:
The portion of a crimping die which supports the barrel during crimping.*

NICK (NOTCH):
A cut or notch in conductor strands or insulation.*

OPERATING TEMPERATURE:
The maximum internal temperature resistant capabilities of a connector in continuous service.*

PANEL:
The side or front of a piece of equipment, usually metal, on which connectors are mounted.*

PERIPHERAL SEAL:
A seal provided around the periphery of connector inserts to prevent the ingress of fluids or contaminants at the perimeter of mated connectors.

PIGTAIL:
A short wire extending from an electric or electronic device to serve as a jumper or ground connection.*

PIN CONTACT:
A contact having an engagement end that enters the socket contact.*

PLATING:
The overlaying of a thin coating of metal on metallic components to improve conductivity, provide for easy soldering or prevent rusting or corrosion.*

PLUG CONNECTOR:
An electrical fitting with pin, socket, or pin and socket contacts, constructed to be affixed to the end of a cable, conduit, coaxial line, cord, or wire for convenience in joining with another electrical connector(s), and not designed to be mounted on a bulkhead, chassis or panel.*

POLARIZE:
The arrangement of mating connectors such that the connector can be mated in only one way.*

POLARIZING PIN, KEY OR KEYWAY:
A device incorporated in a connector to accomplish polarization.*

POST INSULATE:
To insulate a connection after assembly.*

POTTING:
The permanent sealing of the cable end of a connector with a compound or material to exclude moisture and/or to provide a strain relief.*

POTTING FORM:
(Not preferred -- see MOLD, POTTING, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR.)*

PRE-INSULATE:
The insulation of a connector prior to assembly of the contact or terminal on the conductor.*

PRE-TINNED:
Solder applied to either or both the contact and conductor prior to soldering.*

PULL-OUT FORCE:
Force necessary to separate a conductor from a contact or terminal, or a contact from a connector, by exerting a tensile pull.*

QUICK DISCONNECT:
A type of connector or splice which permits relatively rapid locking and unlocking of mating parts.*

RACK:
A type of structure used to house electronic components which permits convenient removal of portions of equipment.*

RAM:
The moving portion of the head of a crimping tool.*

RANGE, WIRE:
The sizes of conductors accommodated by a particular barrel. Also the diameters of wires accommodated by a sealing grommet.*

RATCHET CONTROL:
A device to ensure the full crimping cycle of a crimping tool.*

RECEPTACLE, CONNECTOR:
An electrical fitting with contacts constructed to be electrically connected to a cable, coaxial line, cord, or wire to join with another electrical connector(s), and is designed to be mounted on a bulkhead, wall, chassis, or panel.*

SCOOP-PROOF:
Scoop-proof means that because of the connector long shell design, it is impossible for the mating plug connector to inadvertently be cocked into the mating receptacle and damage the pins or electrically short the contacts.*

SCREWLOCK:
(See JACKSCREW).*

SEALING PLUG:
An accessory used to fill open, nonwired cavities in a connector grommet to prevent the entry of moisture or fluids or foreign particulate contaminants into the connector.

SERRATIONS:
Deformation of the inside surface of a conductor barrel to provide better gripping of the conductor or on the outside of the connector body to provide better gripping of the connector.*

SERVICE LIFE:
A period of time which a device is expected to perform satisfactorily.*

SERVICE RATING:
The maximum voltage or current which a connector is designed to carry continuously.*

SHELL, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR:
The outside case of a connector into which the dielectric material and contacts are assembled.*

SHIELD, ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR:
An item especially designed to be placed around that portion of a connector which contains the facilities for attaching wires or cables. It is used for shielding against electrical interference or mechanical injury and usually has provisions for passage of the wire or cable.*

SHIELDED CABLE:
A cable or group of wires enclosed within a conductive shield to minimize the interference effects of internal or external circuits.

SHROUD, INSULATION:
(See INSULATION SUPPORT.)*

SOCKET CONTACT:
A contact having an engagement end that will accept entry of a pin contact.*

SOLDER CUP:
The end of a terminal or contact in which the conductor is inserted prior to being soldered.*

SOLDER EYE:
A solder type contact provided with a hole at its end through which a wire can be inserted prior to being soldered.*

SOLDERLESS CONNECTION:
The joining of two metals by pressure means without the use of solder, braze or any method requiring heat.*

STOP PLATE (See LOCATOR):
A device attached to a crimping tool to properly locate a terminal, splice or contact in the tool prior to crimping.*

STRAIN RELIEF:
A technique involving devices or methods of termination or installation which reduce mechanical stresses from being transmitted to the conductor termination.

STRAIN RELIEF CLAMP:
(See CABLE CLAMP).*

STRIP:
To remove insulation from a conductor.*

STRIPPER:
A tool or chemical used to remove insulation material from wire or cable.

THREADED COUPLING:
A means of coupling mating connectors by engaging threads in a coupling ring with threads on a receptacle shell.*

UMBILICAL CONNECTOR:
A connector used to connect cables to a rocket or missile prior to launching and which is unmated from the missile at the time of launching.*

WIPING ACTION (See CONTACT WIPE):
Action of two electrical contacts which come in contact by sliding against each other.*

WIRE SIZE:
A numerical designation for a conductor, usually expressed in terms of American Wire Gage (AWG), based on the approximate circular mil area of the conductor.

WORK CURVE: A graph which plots the pull out force, indent force and relative conductivity of a crimp joint as a function of various depths of crimping.*

WORKING VOLTAGE (See SERVICE RATING): Maximum voltage at which a connector is rated to operate.*

*DEFINED AS PER MILITARY STANDARD 1353


NOTE: This Glossary of Terms is taken from the Encyclopedia of Connectors.