Commonly used acronyms and synonyms in electronics

Thread Starter

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
29,848
Inspired by @Ian0 in another thread I have started this list of words that have same or similar meanings.
You can add to this list as you please. This could be particularly useful for non-English speaking audience.

choke = inductor
condenser = capacitor
valve = tube
tension = voltage
puff = picofarad
rectifier = diode
trace = track (PCB)
alternator = generator
scope = 'scope = oscilloscope
wall-wart = adapter = power converter
klaxon = horn
loudspeaker = audio transducer
buzzer = piezoelectric transducer (buzzer is usually an active transducer)
electret = mic = microphone (electret is a condenser microphone with built-in FET amplifier that requires external power)
pot = potentiometer (a.k.a. potential divider, voltage divider, rheostat, volume control, level control, variable resistor)
trimpot = trimmable pot

TEC = thermo-electric cooler= Peltier device
μP =microprocessor
μC = microcomputer
MCU = microcomputer unit
BJT = bipolar junction transistor
CMOS =complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (pronounced sea-moss)
FET = field-effect transistor
MOSFET = metal-oxide-semiconductor FET (pronounced moss-fet)
SMD = surface mount device
SMT = surface mount technology
ESD = electro-static discharge
PSU = power supply unit
SMPS = switched mode power supply
UPS = uninterruptible power supply
ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange (pronounced as-kee)
UART = universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter
USB = universal serial bus
SPI = serial peripheral interface
I2C = inter-integrated circuit (pronounced eye-squared-sea)
MISO = master-in slave-out
MOSI = master-out slave-in

MCB = miniature circuit breaker

Edit:
The intent is not to make this a glossary of electrical/electronics/programming/computer terms because this will turn out to be a thousand pages long. I will append the interesting and useful submissions to this list. Then this should become a "sticky".
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
16,569
I would add to the list a few other abbreviations :
RF = radio frequency
IF = intermediate frequency. ( only found in receivers having frequency conversion stages.)
AF = Audio frequency
PWM = pulse width modulation
DVM = digital volt meter
DMM = digital multimeter
VOM = Voltage and resistance meter, multimeter.
DPM - digital panel meter
 

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
772
CPS= cycles per second, superseded by Hertz.
uuF= micro micro Farad superseded by pico Farad.
NTSC= National Television System Committee, aka Never Twice the Same Color.
PAL= Phase Alternating Line, aka Pay for Added Luxury.
SECAM=Séquentiel de Couleur à Mémoire, or in English: System Essentially Contrary to the American Method.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
16,569
CPS= cycles per second, superseded by Hertz.
uuF= micro micro Farad superseded by pico Farad.
NTSC= National Television System Committee, aka Never Twice the Same Color.
PAL= Phase Alternating Line, aka Pay for Added Luxury.
SECAM=Séquentiel de Couleur à Mémoire, or in English: System Essentially Contrary to the American Method.
There is a problem in that all three of those video formats have been used in the same style of VCR cartridges. So tapes purchased in the UK do not play in the US. And unfortunately the format is seldom given on the cartridge.
Likewise with CDs,, where thosefrom other parts of the world do not play here in the USA. and making matters worse, playing a CD rhat is supposed to fix that problem can result in the player being "bricked." That means that it plays CDs as well as a brick would play them.
 
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Thread Starter

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
29,848
There is a problem in that all three of those video formats have been used in the same style of VCR cartridges. So tapespurchased in the UK do not play in the US.
But if you have an AIWA HV-MX100 like I do you can play and record any format.

1688695804139.png
 

jiggermole

Joined Jul 29, 2016
116
PLC = programmable logic controller
Peckerhead = motor power entry hood. Where the wires are connected to the motor
Ohm it out = ring it out = using an ohm meter of some kind, check continuity between points specified around the statement
Ping it = use the existing communication method ( using context) to send a diagnostic packet that should return a response from the device being 'pinged'
dead head = usually in hydraulics, leave no place for pressure release, forcing the pump to try and pump past its maximum. Usually to some automatic protection that shuts the pump down.

sorry for the wide range, maintenance tech here
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
852
Likewise with CDs,, where thosefrom other parts of the world do not play here in the USA. and making matters worse, playing a CD rhat is supposed to fix that problem can result in the player being "bricked." That means that it plays CDs as well as a brick would play them.
I think you mean DVDs – I've never heard of regionally-locked CDs.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
16,569
Another acronym that is certainly confusing: MCB referencing Miniature Circuit Breaker, when most would think Main Circuit Breaker.
Why reference a component based on it's size rather than the application. That is why there is also Branch Circuit Breaker, seldom abbreviated. So some terms are confusing.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,515
RJ45, RJ11 = nPnC modular connector, where nP is the number of positions and nC is the number of positions populated by contacts. So, RJ45 is always 8P, but can be, in practice 4, 6, or 8c; and RJ11 is usually 4P but can be 6P, and is 2 or 4C for 4P and 2, 4, or 6C for 6P.

Ethernet cable = CATn cable = TIA/EIA-568x = ANSI/TIA-568x where in practice n can be 5, 5e, 6, 6e, 7, 7e and x can be A or B, with A being horizontal cables in a structured cabling system and B being vertical or station cables.

Crossover Cable = DCE to DCE, or DTE to DTE (serial cable) = flipped patch cord (Ethernet cable)
 
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