An insulated conductor or group of individually insulated conductors in twisted or parallel configurations.

Cable Assembly:

A completed cable and its associated hardware.

Center Conductor:

The inner conductive member in a coaxial structure, such as center contacts.

Cladding (Fiber Optic):

A layer of glass (or other material) surrounding the core of a fiber, forming the conduit that carries the light through the fiber. It has a refractive index slightly lower than the core.

Coaxial Line:

A transmission line consisting of a center conductor suspended in a hollow cylindrical tube with or without a dielectric support. The hollow cylindrical tube is called the outer conductor.


A central core surrounded by one or more layers of materials, all sharing a common central axis.


A wire or combination of wires not insulated from one another, suitable for carrying electric current.


Used generally to describe all devices used to provide rapid connect/disconnect service for wires, cables, and fibers.

Contact Engaging & Separating Force:

The force needed to either engage or separate pin and socket contacts when they are in and out of connector inserts.

Contact Inspection Hole:

A hole in the cylindrical rear portion of contact used to check the depth to which a wire has been inserted.

Contact Plating:

Plated-on metal coating applied to the basic contact metal to provide the required contact resistance and/or wear resistance.

Contact Resistance:

The maximum permitted electrical resistance of pin and socket contacts when assembled in a connector under typical service use.

Contact Retention:

Defines minimum axial load in either direction that a captive contact must withstand while remaining firmly fixed in its normal position within an insert.


The conducting members of a connecting device that are designed to provide a separable through connection in a cable-to-cable, cable-to-box or a box-to-box situation.

Continuity Check:

A test performed on a length of finished wire or cable to determine if the electrical current flows continuously throughout the length. Conductors may also be checked against each other to ascertain that there are no shorts between adjacent members.


(1) In cables, a term used to express a component or assembly of components over which other materials are applied, such as additional components, shield, sheath, or armor; (2) In fiber optics, the transparent glass or plastic section with a high refractive index through which the light travels by internal reflections.


Corrosion is the slow destruction of materials by chemical agents and electrochemical reactions. The most common kind of corrosion is that of rusting.


An intermediate device to provide for attaching special accessories or to provide special mounting means. the method for connecting two connectors that cannot intermate.

Creepage Path:

The path electricity must travel across the surface of a dielectric between two conductors. Lengthening the creepage path reduces the possibility of arc damage or tracking.

Crimp Termination:

A connection in which a metal sleeve is secured to a conductor by mechanically crimping the sleeve with pliers, presses or automated crimping machines. Splices, terminals and multi-contact connectors are typical terminating devices attached by crimping. Suitable for all wire types.

Current Rating:

The maximum continuous electrical flow of current recommended for a given wire in a given situation. Expressed in amperes (AMPS).


The complete sequence including reversal of the flow of an alternating electric current.