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Cable, Network Acronyms, Glossary and Terms

A   B   C   D   E   F   H   I   M   N   O   P   R   S   T


B

Background channel, also called reverse channel: A channel used for sending data in the opposite direction of the primary (forward) channel. The backward channel is usually used for sending data at low speeds for control purposes.

Backshell, Hood: A mechanical backing that is sometimes put onto a connector. The device protects the conductors and can be assembled or injection moulded. Commonly used with D-Sub connectors.

Balanced circuit: A circuit terminated by a network whose impedance balances the impedance of the line so that the return losses are negligible.

BALUN: An acronym for BALanced/UNbalanced. A device commonly used to change one cabling media to another (ex. coaxial to twisted pair balun).

Bandwidth: The information carrying capability of a communication channel or line.

Bassband: The frequency band occupied by individual information bearing signals before they are combined with a carrier in the modulation process. In LANs, one transmitting device at a time on the circuit.

Baseband Transmission: A transmission method where direct current signals are placed directly onto the transmission medium (cable). Ethernet is a baseband network type, hence, the "Base" in 10Base-T, etc.

Base group: Twelve communications paths capable of carrying the human voice on a telephone set. A unit of frequency-division multiple systems bandwidth allocation.

Baud: Data communications rate unit taken from the name Baudot. Defined as the number of signal level changes per second regardless of the information of the information content of those signals.

Baud Rate: A measure of signal changes per second. Commonly used to rate the speed of a modem.

Baudot: A five level code set named for the early French telegrapher who invented it. International Telegraph Alphabet (ITA) Number 2 is the formal name.

Bias: Communications signal distortion with respect to bit timing.

Bit: Binary digital contraction. The smallest unit of data communication information, used top develop code representations of characters.

Bit-orientated protocol: Refers to those data communications protocols that move bits across a data link without regard to the meaning of those bits. Nearly all bit-orientated protocols follow the international HDLC recommendations.

Bit rate: The rate at which those bits (binary digits) are transmitted over a communications path. Normally expressed in bits per second (BPS). The bit rate is not to be confused with the data signalling rate (baud) which measures the rate of signal changes being transmitted.

Bit stream: Refers to a continuous series of bits being transmitted on a transmission line.

Blank: A condition of "no information" in a data recording medium or storage location, which can be represented by all spaces or all zeros, depending on the medium.

Block: Some set of contiguous bits, bytes or both that make up a definable quantity of information.

Block asynchronous/synchronous transmission: A proprietary software package for sending asynchronous and synchronous information used primarily by personal interfaces.

Block check character: A single character appended to the end of a data block for error checking purposes. The BCC is usually LRC but could also be checksum results.

Block error rate testing: Testing a data line with groups of information arranged into transmission blocks for error checking.

Blocking: A condition in a switching system or PABX in which no paths or circuits are available to complete a call and no dial tone is returned to the calling party. In this situation there is no alternative but to hang up and try the call again. Also referred to as a denial or busy condition.

Block multiplexer channel: a computer peripheral multiplexer channel that interleaves blocks of data. See also byte multiplexer channel. Contrast with selector channel.

BNC Connector: This refers to the physical form of the connector. Various suggestions are put forward as to what it stands for, including British Naval Connection. However, it is a sturdy way to connect and involves a push and twist due to it bayonet type connectors. They are most suitable for use with RG59/U cable.
BNC

Break: A signal to "break in" when the opposite party or unit is sending. A feature of dial point-to-point teletypewriter systems operating in half duplex.

Breakout box: A test device utilised for monitoring and inserting signals in the RS-2332 interface. Bridge equipment techniques used to connect circuits and equipment to each other ensuring minimum transmission impairment. Bridging is normally required on multipoint data channels where the drop for the local loop is separated from the circuit that continues on to the next drop.

Bridge: A networking component that links two or more network segments. Bridges are used to split busy networks into separate, less congested segments.

Broadband: Refers to transmission facilities whose bandwidth (range of frequencies that will handle) is greater than that available on voice grade facilities; sometimes called wideband. Also used to describe a particular kind of local area network configuration where multiple different users can share the same cable facility in different channels.

Broadband Transmission: A transmission method where multiple channels are modulated onto separate carrier frequencies. The result is multiple communications channels that occupy specific frequency ranges.

Broadcast: The ability to send messages or communicate with many or all points in a circuit simultaneously.

Burst: A series of events occurring as a group.

Burst error: A series of consecutive errors in data transmission. Refers to the phenomenon on communications lines where errors are highly prone to occurring in groups or clusters.

Bus: Also called a "Daisy Chain". A network topology where each node is connected to one another in line. A major disadvantage is that when there is a break in the bus the entire network goes down.

Byte: Some set of contiguous bits that make up a discrete item of information. Bytes are usually 8 bits long.

Byte multiplexor channel: Multiplexer channel that interleaves bytes of data from different sources. Contrasts with selector channel


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