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Beijer Electronics Glossary of Terms

An implementation of Ethernet allowing stations to be attached via twisted pair cable. The name 10BASE-T is derived from several aspects of the physical medium. The 10 refers to the transmission speed of 10 Mbit/s. The BASE is short for baseband. This means only one Ethernet signal is present on the send and/or receive pair. In other words, there is no multiplexing as with broadband transmissions. The T comes from twisted pair, which is the type of cable used.
3D Printer
A printing system using heated plastics to print solid, three dimensional prototype objects from digital files.
5-volt Buffered
A serial interface with single-ended voltage levels of 0 and 5 volts. The signal levels are identical to the serial signals in and out of a UART, but are buffered for drive capability and protection. Easily implemented by using the + side of an EIA-422 driver and receiver (Tx+ and Rx+).
Acoustic Touch Screen
There are several varieties of touch screens using sound to detect where a finger is pressed. In general, sound is passed along the surface or through the body of the touch screen, and touching it causes disturbances or reflections detected by appropriate sensors and electronics.
Analog Resistive Touch Screen
See resistive touch screen.
Audio Codec
An IC and related circuitry which encodes and decodes complex waveforms, such as music and voice. Such waveforms can be stored directly, but would take up many times as much storage as waveforms compressed by a codec.
LCD displays do not emit light (are not emissive), so they require external light, either from ambient sources (e.g., sunlight) or a backlight behind the LCD. The light from the backlight passes through the LCD to the viewers eyes. Backlights can be LED, EL or CCFL based.
Lighting using a special florescent light bulb. Advantages: white light easily obtainable, can be very bright. Disadvantages: complex drive circuitry, limited life (roughly 5,000 hours), limited cold-temp operation, fragile.
CE Certified
Equipment tested to comply with applicable CE requirements (directives). The specific applicable directives depend on a variety of factors, such as voltages used in the equipment (i.e., high-voltage equipment has different requirements than low-voltage equipment).
Canadian Standards Association, a test and certification organization.
Capacitive Touch Screen
A touch screen consisting of an array of transparent conductors on top or embedded near the top of a piece of plastic or glass, along with electronics to sense the capacitance between adjacent conductors. Touching the array changes this capacitance, allowing location to be detected.
Contrast Control
The manner in which the display contrast is controlled. Most terminals allow manual control, where the software allows the operator to adjust the contrast while viewing the display. Better terminals also have automatic temperature-based control (temperature compensation), which keeps the contrast from varying as the ambient temperature varies.
Contrast Ratio
The ratio between the lightest element on a screen and the darkest. Higher contrast ratios generally make a display easier to read.
E-stop Switch
E-stop switches are used primarily in industrial robotics and automation applications; the intent is to provide fail-safe control to immediately shut down equipment operation when operator safety is threatened.
The most common serial interfaces. EIA-232 is single-ended, ±12V, for two devices. EIA-422 is differential, 0-5V, for two devices. EIA-485 is differential, 0-5V, for up to 32 devices. COM ports on PCs are EIA-232.
A light source consisting of phosphors between flexible layers, excited by a high-voltage, high frequency power source. Almost any color can be created by using different phosphors. Advantages: provides even light over an shape of area; variety of colors obtainable. Disadvantages: requires high frequency, high voltage drive electronics, has significant life limitations (roughly 50% light loss in 4000 hours). (Note: "electroluminescent" also refers to type of display technology.)
Enhanced TFT Display
A TFT display enhanced from its original design by a combination of addition of a brighter backlight, adding contrast enhancing layers, or adding anti-reflective layers or coatings.
A system for networking computers or other electronic equipment. Originally ran at 10 Mbps, then was upgraded to 100 Mbps. Latest version, called Gigabit Ethernet, runs at 1 Gbps. Two major variations: originally ran "broadband" on coaxial cable. Most common is "baseband" running on twisted pairs of wires, hence 10baseT means "10 Mbps Baseband Twisted pair." Can support a variety of different software protocols
FCC Part 15
A specification for electromagnetic radiation and susceptibility that all electronic equipment sold in the USA must meet. This has two classes: A and B. A is the less stringent class and applies to industrial or commercial equipment. B is the more stringent and applies to consumer equipment.
Factory Mutual, a test and certification organization.
Grayscale Display
Generally the same as a monochrome display.
Human Machine Interface
A means by which users interact with a particular machine, device, computer program or other complex tool. The user interface provides input (allowing the users to manipulate a system) as well as output (allowing the system to indicate the effects of the users' manipulation).
Infrared Touch Screen
An array of infrared transmitters and receivers is placed in front of the display. Pressing against the display breaks certain light beams, allowing detection of the location of the touch
Recommended Environmental Practices for Electronic Equipment Design (Heavy Duty Trucks).
Bidirectional serial data communications between microcomputer systems in heavy-duty vehicle applications.
A controller area network (CAN) for equipment used in light-, medium- or heavy-duty vehicles.
A display consisting of a polarizing layers with transparent arrays of electrodes sandwiching a very thin layer of a liquid crystal material. The liquid crystal material acts as an electrically-control polarizer. When the liquid crystal is electrically actuated to polarize in a direction orthogonal to the fixed polarizers, no light can be transmitted, creating a black pixel. When it does not polarize, light on one polarity is transmitted, creating a lighted pixel.
A very common semiconductor component emitting light when a voltage is applied. Commonly available in red, green, yellow and blue. Combinations of these can be used to make "white" LEDs. Advantages: inexpensive, easy drive circuitry, extremely long life, wide operating temperature range. Disadvantages: limited color selection, requires dispersion as LEDs are point sources of light.
MID Code
A unique code factory programmed into your unit to protect your development investment. Only terminals you purchase will operate with your equipment.
Data describing data. Used in describing data's ontology or schema.
Mobile Data Terminal
A computerized device used in public transit vehicles, taxicabs, courier vehicles, service trucks, commercial trucking fleets, military logistics, fishing fleets, warehouse inventory control, and emergency vehicles to communicate with a central dispatch office.
Modbus is an openly published communications protocol based on master/slave or client/server architecture, designed by Modicon for use with its programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Versions of the Modbus protocol exist for serial port and Ethernet. Modbus remote terminal unit (RTU) is a compact, binary representation of the data. Modbus ASCII is human readable, and more verbose. Both of these protocols are serial based. Modbus/TCP is very similar to Modbus RTU, but is transmitted within TCP/IP data packets.
Monochrome Display
A display only showing two colors (e.g., black and white), or sometimes a few different levels of "grey." Sometimes called a grayscale display.
NEMA Standard 250-1997 lists ten different enclosure requirements, of which 4, 12 and 13 are three of them, and are the most common. Roughly, NEMA-4 is for hose-down environments, while NEMA-12 and NEMA-13 do not have to handle hose-down, but do have to handle oil seepage (12) and oil spraying (13). The standard includes test methodologies.
A non-SI unit of luminance equal to one candela per square meter. It is often used to quote the brightness of computer displays, which typically have a luminance of 200 to 300 nits.
A port type developed by IBM for the purpose of connecting a keyboard or mouse to a PC. The PS/2 port has a mini DIN plug containing 6 pins. Often called the mouse port.
Pantone Matching System
An international printing, publishing and packaging color language providing an accurate method for the selection, presentation, specification, communication, reproduction matching, and control of color.
An enhancement to Ethernet systems where power to a device is sent on the same CAT5 wires on which the communication takes place. The power is either DC or a low AC frequencies that do not interfere with communications. Limited to devices of 12 to 14 watts.
Qlarity Foundry®
Beijer Electronics, Inc.'s PC development environment for developing Qlarity applications. This program runs on a PC and allows WYSIWIG development for both programmers and non-programmers, as well as program simulation.
Beijer Electronics, Inc.'s object-based programming language specifically developed to support graphical operator interface and mobile data terminals. This BASIC-like language uses objects to display information on the screen, accept user input and communicate with other devices.
Real-time Clock
A circuit in an electronics device specifically designed to keep track of the date and time. Usually includes a small coin-cell battery so it can continue to run when the rest of the device is turned off.
Resistive Touch Screen
A touch screen made from a rigid layer of glass or clear plastic, with a flexible layer of plastic on top (usually polyester). The facing sides are both coated with a semi-conductive, transparent material. Very small raised dots on the flexible layer keep them separated, unless a finger pushes down and forces contact. The semi-conductive surface provides X-Y resistance measurements proportional to where the finger is pressed.
The RoHS, or Restriction of Hazardous Substances, directive states that as of 1 July 2006 non-exempt electrical and electronic equipment shipped to the European Union may not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polyborminated biphenyls or polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
Sunlight Readable
A display reasonably easy-to-read in direct, bright sunlight. Very difficult to achieve for full-color transmissive displays; can be easily achieved with monochrome reflective displays. Sunlight readability is affected by the brightness of the backlight, the contrast ratio of the display, reflections and dispersions from the numerous layers constituting the display, and reflections and dispersions from any window or touch screen over the display.
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) / Internet protocol. Using TCP, applications on networked hosts can create connections to one another, over which they can exchange data. The protocol guarantees reliable and in-order delivery data. This is the most common control protocol used on most networks and the Internet.
TFT Display
An LCD with a TFT for each pixel. This allows each pixel to be turned on or off as necessary, as opposed to a non-TFT display where the pixels are multiplexed, and only turned on/off for a fraction of the time, depending on duty cycle. TFT displays have higher contrast ratios and viewing angles than non-TFT displays.
Touch Screen
A transparent screen in front of a display sensing touch, allowing for a highly-interactive user interface. There are numerous technologies used to make touch screens. By far the most common is the resistive touch screen. Others include capacitive touch screens, acoustic touch screens, and infrared touch screens.
Transflective Display
A type of LCD where some illumination comes from a backlight (LED, EL, CCFL, etc.) penetrating a partially transparent/partially reflective layer, and some comes from the ambient light reflected from that same layer. Can be viewed in bright sunlight, due to its reflective nature, or in total darkness, due to its backlight.
Transmissive Display
A type of LCD which is illuminated entirely from a backlight (LED, EL, CCFL, etc.). Usually difficult to view in bright sunlight. Enhanced versions with very bright backlights are approaching sunlight readability.
The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) / Internet protocol. UDP allows programs on networked computers to send short messages known as datagrams to one another. UDP does not provide the reliability and ordering guarantees that TCP does; datagrams may arrive out of order or may not arrive at all. As a result, UDP is faster and more efficient for many lightweight or time-sensitive purposes.
UL 94V-0
An Underwriters Laboratories test for materials commonly used in manufacturing enclosures, structural parts and insulators found in consumer electronic products. A flame is applied to the enclosure and must self-extinguished within a specified time after the ignition source is removed.
Unit Under Test, A Unit currently being tested.

Some of the definitions above use excerpts from Wikipedia.


Cold Cathode Florescent Light
Conformité Européenne (French for European Conformity)
Electrical Industries Association
Federal Communications Commission
Giga (billion) bits per Second
Liquid Crystal Display
Light Emitting Diode
Mega (million) bits per Second
National Electronic Manufacturers Association
Organic Light Emitting Diode
Power Over Ethernet
Quarter VGA resolution (320×240 pixels)
Real-Time Clock
Surface Acoustic Wave (a type of acoustic touch screen)
Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol
Thin Film Transistor
User Datagram Protocol / Internet Protocol
Underwriters Laboratories, a test and certification organization
Unit Under Test
VGA resolution (640×480 pixels). Comes from an old PC term "Video Graphics Adapter."

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