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Cable, Networking Acronyms, Glossary and Terms

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Absorption: One cause of attenuation where light signal is absorbed into the glass during transmission.

Access Method: A software/hardware method of transferring data between host-resident application programs and remote device.

ACK or Acknowledge: A character or sequence of characters sent by a receiver to notify a sender that the last message was received correctly, ACK is also sent by a remote device as a "go ahead" response to a selection sequence.

Acoustic Coupler: A type of modem that permits use of a telephone handset as a connection to the public telephone network for data transmission by means of sound transducers.

Adaptive differential pulse code modulation: One of the methods of pulse code modulation utilised in digitising an analogue signal.

Adaptive equalisation: A modem feature allowing it to automatically compensate for distortion on the line.

Algorithm: A prescribed set of well defined rules or processes for arriving at a solution to a problem. A mathematical process.

Alphanumeric: made up of letters (alphabetic) and numbers (numeric)

Alternative route: A secondary communication path used to reach a destination if the primary path is unavailable.

Alternative route: A secondary communication path used to reach a destination if the primary path is unavailable.

Ambient noise: Signal interference that is present on a communication line at all times (background noise)

American Wire Gauge, AWG: A US standard set of non-ferrous wire conductor sizes. Typical data wiring is AWG number 24, 26 or 28. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter and the thinner the wire.

Amplitude modulation: Transmission of information on a communication line by varying voltage level or amplitude.

Amplifier: A device that increases the power or amplitude of a signal.

Amplitude variation (ripple): unwanted variation of signal voltage at different frequencies on a communication line.

Analogue signal: A signal that changes in a non-discrete manner (smooth transmission to a different levels).

Answer back: A transmission from a receiving data processing device in response to a request from a transmitting data processing device that it is ready to accept or has received data.

ARQ, Automatic re-transission request: A generic description of a protocol mechanism that involves retransmission of message blocks received in error. There are several type of ARQ operation.

Asynchronous: A data transmission which does not require a separate clock signal for the reception of data. In code sets, character codes containing start and stop bits.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode, ATM: A very high speed network utilising SONET optical transmission methods through the public telecommunications system.

Asynchronous transmission (start - stop transmission): Provides transmission of one character at a time with a start bit and one or more stop bits appended on each one. Any amount of time can elapse before the next character can be sent.

Attenuation, Insertion Loss: Loss of power. Attenuation is usually measured in dB loss per length of cable (ex. 31.0 dB/100Ft.). Attenuation increases as frequency increases.

Audio frequencies: Frequencies that can be heard by the average human ear, usually 15 to 20,000 Hz.

Automatic dialler: A device that will automatically dial telephone numbers on the network. Operation of the dialler may be manual or automatic

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