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Definitions for jargon, scientific terms and phrases used at Harwin and across the connector and electronics industries.

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Technical Drawing

A document (normally produced to an engineering drawing standard such as BS 8888) that shows the physical dimensions of a product, and may also include specification information. Styles and content will vary across manufacturers and in consideration of the target audience (e.g. for production or for customers). On Harwin's website, Technical Drawings are available from individual product pages.


A device consisting of two dissimilar metals or conductors joined at one end, used to to detect temperature and temperature changes. A thermoelectric effect is caused by the different heating characteristics of the two different materials. Therefore a temperature-dependent voltage is generated, which can be interpreted to a temperature measurement.


A method of attaching devices to a PCB using solder. Throughboard devices normally have straight tails/legs/leads. These legs pass through holes in the PCB, and are typically soldered on the underside of the PCB, usually using a wave solder process. Also suitable for hand soldering. Gives greater mechanical strength than Surface Mount soldered products, but is harder to automate product placement on the PCB.


The amount of data (in the form of electrical signal) that can be passed through the circuit or system, or individual components. Can be measured in data packets, frequency, or other signal requirements.


Every dimension created during manufacturing, or every resultant dimension from one or more feature, will have a tolerance in the actual measurement of that feature. For instance, a manufacturing process will be aiming for 3mm exactly, but due to many elements in the manufacturing process, it will get near most of the time rather than perfect. The tolerance is the allowed amount by which the dimension can vary - for instance +/-0.1mm. These will normally have been considered during the design process and checked to make sure they will not affect the functionality of the product.

Track, Trace

An element of PCB design, that connects the components attached to the printed circuit. Works in a similar method to cable, but designing all the tracks on a PCB so that they do not touch or overlap can be taxing depending on the complexity of the application.

Twisted Pair

A type of cable assembly in which two conductors of a single circuit are twisted together for the purposes of improving electromagnetic compatibility. The pairing reduces electromagnetic radiation and crosstalk between neighboring pairs, and improves the rejection of external electromagnetic interference. The pitch of the twist should be part of the cable assembly specification, as bundles of multiple twisted pairs should normally have different twists. Commonly used in telephony and computer networking.