PDA

View Full Version : Glossary wiki page



RavingLunatic
03-12-2008, 05:16 PM
I have an idea for creating a wiki page with a Glossary of terms used in DIYC.

I think it might be helpful to have a one-stop location that a newbie could go to and look up a term/acronym when they see a discussion going on and the "old pros" are throwing phases around that they don't understand.

I was going to go ahead and start the page and just tell you to add to it but I know there a few out there that don't like editing the wikis. :rolleyes:

So I'll take your inputs here (or you can PM me if you want) and compile them for the wiki. Since I'm currently working on something else it will give you all a few days to provide useful inputs before I'm ready to do the wiki.

Examples:


GRINCH - A 64 channel controller with basic ON/OFF capabilities. Normally gets it's input form the parallel port of the controlling computer. Developed by RJ. No status LEDs, inexpensive/simple to build.


COOP - A co-operative effort by participating DIYC members to pool their resources together to make a purchace of an item(s) in large quantity in an attempt to reduce the cost to the individual participants.



You get the point, right? Oh yeah, you can suggest changes to these if you want. :p

You can provide just the term that you want defined (and I'll define it if I know it and/or ask around to get the definition) or you can provide the term and definition (and let the argument begin to see if your definition is correct :)).

So help me out and let the data fly!

dmcole
03-12-2008, 06:40 PM
Normally gets it's ...
That would be without an apostrophe ... its ...

\dmc
Who has too many years of sitting on a newspaper copy desk in his dark past ...

deplanche
03-13-2008, 12:18 AM
You can provide just the term that you want defined (and I'll define it if I know it and/or ask around to get the definition) or you can provide the term and definition (and let the argument begin to see if your definition is correct :)).


I love the idea. Here are the ones that took me a while to figure out, and since I am still not sure of a complete definition, i'll leave that to the experts.

SSR
SSROZ
Triac
DMX
RJ-45

I think this would make a great addition to the newsletter too... Definition of the month.

mrpackethead
03-13-2008, 12:35 AM
Yet another set of acyronums to learn..

I'm familar with TLA's in the following verticals

DNC, PLC, AVA, FIN, HLT and ICT.. Now i have to learn DIYC as well...

Urgh..

deplanche
03-13-2008, 12:37 AM
Perhaps DIYC should be at the top of the list!

mrpackethead
03-13-2008, 12:38 AM
SSR: Something Seriously wRong
SSROZ: Something Seriously wRong in Ozralia
Triac: An 'Ac' that trys really hard not to be SSR
DMX: Dead Monkey eXchange
RJ-45: Registered Jack, 45 proof!. I think its a type of whiskey made in America.

rlilly
03-13-2008, 09:24 AM
Folks, I think RL is looking for more than a list of acronymns. I think he want the text description as well so he can cut and paste.

deplanche
03-13-2008, 12:13 PM
You can provide just the term that you want defined (and I'll define it if I know it and/or ask around to get the definition) or you can provide the term and definition (and let the argument begin to see if your definition is correct :)).



I think he is open to either just terms, or terms with definitions. I am sure that terms with definitions would be much less work for him, of course.

As a fairly new person to this and don't know the 'proper' definitions , I only provided the terms that I had much difficulting determining what they were. Only after weeks of looking thru posts and wiki do I ever have a semi decent feel for what they do. For example, it was easy to find that SSR is a solid state relay, but trying to figure out what that is and does it much more difficult.. at least for me. I know it is needed between the controller, such as a grinch and the lights, but why it is needed, what it does, and how it works, are lost on me.

deplanche
03-13-2008, 12:31 PM
RL - As a person with little technical knowledge that would help here, I would like to offer my services as a reviewer of any definitions for the rest of us simple folk. In other words, can we understand the definition without looking up 10 other definitions, that the people developing the parts know better than their kids names. :)

As a civil engineer (I know, I am outnumbered big time by the electrical engineers here), I have had to right many reports for public review where you need to make it understandable to as many people as possible, or you hammered by questions at public meetings from people who oppose the project more because they are confused and don't understand, than from people who actually have real concern. Since in this case, I am the clueless person, the least I can do is suggest revisions to make it a little more clear.

Of course, if you don't want my help, that is fine too. Gives me more time to sync my music. :)

dmcole
03-13-2008, 01:08 PM
OK, after being a smart-ass.

SSR -- Solid State Relay. This is the component that typically sits between a controller (like a Grinch or Olsen 595) and the Christmas lights. The controller sends out a low-voltage signal (5 volts, typical) and the SSR uses that voltage to turn on or off the Christmas lights (which in North America are much higher voltage, 120 volts, typical). Some controllers can send out a signal in such a way that the SSR dims the lights rather than just turning them on and off.

SSROZ -- Solid State Relay from Oz. John Wilson's design of a printed circuit board for a Christmas lights SSR. Oz is the slang word Australians use for their country. Think "shrimp on the barbie" or "mate."

Triac -- TRIode for Alternating Current. This is an electronic component that is a bidirectional electronic switch which can conduct current in either direction when it is triggered (turned on). It is the "relay" in a Solid State Relay (SSR), allowing a low amount of electrical current (what the controller sends out) to switch on and off the high amount of electrical current (typically, wall power, 120 volts AC) used by Christmas lights.

DMX (or DMX512) -- Digital Multiplex. A lighting control protocol standard developed to handle communications between commercial (usually entertainment, such as theater or music events) lighting control boards and the individual devices, such as lekos (elliposoidals), fresnels, moving lights, strip lights or DJ effect lights. DMS allows up to 512 devices to be attached, daisy-chain, to one wire, each controlled individually. It is being adopted by the Christmas lighting community in order to cut down on the amount of data cabling needed.

RJ-45 (or RJ45) -- Registered Jack 45. A data plug or jack standard that allows for the connection of eight wires. It is similar to the modular plug on telephones (which are usually RJ11s), though bigger. It is commonly used in Ethernet cabling and so its components -- cable, female connectors, male connectors -- are commodities and inexpensive. It is used in Christmas lighting as the connection media between controllers and SSRs.

Keep 'em coming.

\dmc

RavingLunatic
03-13-2008, 01:28 PM
deplanche - Thanks for the offer

Probably what will happen is that when I have a draft ready I will post it here and get feedback from the community before creating the wiki. That would give everybody an opportunity to comment on what does or doesn't make sense or if I'm just full of (stuff).

Somethings will be easier to define than others, some might get tricky.
Example:


SSR
Wikipedia definition:
A solid state relay (SSR) is an electronic switch, which, unlike an electromechanical relay, contains no moving parts.
DIYC definition:
Generally refers to a PCB that contains the circuitry that acts like 4 separate solid state relays. It receives data from the controller board and uses that information to control the power going to the attached lights. The key components of a DIYC SSR are the Optocoupler and the Triac.That was done kinda quickly without alot of thought but hopefully you get the idea of where I'm heading with this glossary idea. And as you can see in this example there are other terms that could also be defined.

So lets hear some inputs for the community.


dmcole - you posted as I was typing, thats more like it. :D

omzig
03-13-2008, 01:49 PM
SPT(1-3) -- Service Parallel Thermoplastic. Commonly referred to as zip cord. There is SPT1, SPT2, and SPT3. The number refers to the thickness of the insulation in 64ths of an inch. SPT1 is often called lamp cord. SPT1 usually has 18 gauge wire. SPT2 is commonly available in 16 or 18 gauge. SPT3 is available as large as 10 gauge. Many use SPT1 or SPT2 for their last mile connections from their SSR's to the lights.

When I posted this a while ago, someone suggested that it should be in the wiki. The glossary seems to be a good place for it.

jrock64
03-13-2008, 02:08 PM
ok dmcole how about

PIC
DIP
opto
LED
fuse
Surface mount - SMT - SMD
PCB
MOC3023 i know its a specific part
oscillator
capacitor
programmer
ULN2803 or just 2803 why do WE use it
heat sink

bonus points for
decoupling cap, I like the water tower analogy best
voltage regulator

JOel

dmcole
03-13-2008, 04:03 PM
Capacitor. An electrical component that stores an electric charge and releases it when its needed. Typically used in Christmas lighting as a filter in power supply circuits.

Decoupling capacitor. A capacitor that is included in circuits with microcontrollers to insure that voltages don't dip and spike elsewhere around the circuit because of the needs of the microcontroller. Like a water tower in a community, the circuit slowly fills up the decoupling cap with electricity. When the microcontroller needs a burst of energy (or, in the analogy, if somebody needs to flush three toilets at once), the decoupling cap provides the needed energy without the water pressure throughout the community dropping.

DIP -- Dual In-line Package. A method of mounting integrated circuits, microcontrollers and other electronics components on printed circuit boards. Sometimes called "through-hole package," because holes are drilled in the PC boards and the package is soldered to the board on the side opposite the package. Compare this with "surface mount," where components are mounted to the PC board on its top side by soldering leads directly to pads.

Fuse. A device designed to make electronic and electrical circuits safer by breaking ("blowing") in the event of an electrical short circuit or overload. A fuse will blow before wires become so hot they catch on fire.

Heat sink. A piece of metal attached to an electronics component -- microprocessor, microcontroller, Triac, optoisolator -- that serves to dissipate or absorb unwanted heat. Many electronics components have two ratings, a lower one when a heat sink is not used and a higher one where a heat sink is in place. Also called a dissipator.

LED -- Light Emitting Diode. A solid-state, semiconductor device that converts electrical energy directly into light. LEDs show up in Christmas lighting in two contexts: the first is as a power or signal indicator in controllers or SSRs, while the second is their use as a substitute for incandescent lamps. LED Christmas light strings use about one-tenth the energy of an incandescent lamp and have a crystal-clear color brightness that incandescents cannot achieve.

Microcontroller -- A computer-on-a-chip that emphasizes high integration, low power consumption, self-sufficiency and relatively low cost. Typically, a microcontroller has flash-type read-write memory allowing a programming station (usually called a PIC programmer) to enter in task-specific programs, which can be written in programming languages such as C, C++, BASIC or even in assembly code (which, of course, is the most efficient).

MOC3023. A 6-Pin DIP 400V Random Phase Triac Driver Output Optocoupler from Fairchild Semiconductor. It provides both Triac services and optoisolator services in one package.

Optoisolator (opto, optocoupler). A device that insures that a non-electrical barrier exists between a high-voltage environment and a low-voltage environment. It usually has some type of emitter -- like an LED or a neon bulb -- and an optical receiving element with a little dark tunnel between them. The high voltage causes the LED to brighten and that light then drives the low-voltage optical receiver. This way wall plug voltage doesn't stream down low-voltage wires and into your controller or PC.

Oscillator. A circuit that produces a sustained AC waveform with no external input signal. Oscillators can be designed to produce sine waves, square waves, or other wave shapes. They are typically used in Christmas lighting to produce fading and dimming.

PCB -- Printed Circuit Board. An electronics board that contains layers of circuitry that connect the various components of a system. A PCB can be mass manufactured or can be "home etched," where a hobbyist transfers the design of the PCB to a copper-clad board, uses caustic chemicals to etch away the areas not needed and then drills the holes him or herself.

PIC -- A brand name for microcontrollers from Microchip Technology Inc., it has become a generic term for any microcontroller, which is a computer-on-a-chip.

Programmer. A device that connects to a personal computer to a microcontroller to download an application from the PC to the chip. See PIC.

Surface mount technology; surface mount device (SMT, SMD). A method of mounting integrated circuits, microcontrollers and other electronics on printed circuit boards. The method mounts the devices on the top of a PC board rather than using holes through the board. Compare this with DIP.

ULN2803. An array of eight Darlington transistors (which themselves are arrays of two transistors) that amplify current. Often used in Christmas lights as devices to increase the current coming from a microcontroller to an SSR so that there is enough power to turn on (or off) the SSR.

Voltage regulator. An electronic device designed to take a higher voltage and make it conform to a specific lower voltage. Provide a 5-volt regulator with 12 volts as an input and it will put out a steady 5 volts; provide a 12-volt regulator with 13 volts and it will output a steady 12 volts. While some regulators are designed for specific voltages, others can provide a range of voltages depending upon resistance applied; variable voltage regulators can be controlled by potentiometers (i.e.: volume control), so that you can turn a knob and get various voltages depending on where the knob is.

rstehle
03-13-2008, 04:40 PM
dmcole,
You are GOOD!! This piece is going to be extremely helpful for us newbies!
Thanks folks!

WWNF911
03-14-2008, 03:15 AM
What,... no pics? ;)

dmcole
03-14-2008, 12:27 PM
What,... no pics? ;)
I'm saving them for the wiki.

\dmc

PS: I have a couple of free hours later today. Anybody got any more they want done?

wbuehler
03-14-2008, 12:48 PM
Nice Job

I like it

Bill

jrock64
03-14-2008, 01:32 PM
Amps
Volts
Watts the relationship between the three

wire gauge
voltage drop


JOel

dmcole
03-14-2008, 03:23 PM
AC -- alternating current. An electrical current that reverses directions at regular intervals. Wall power, or mains, is AC and in North America, it cycles 60 times per second, while in England and Australia, it cycles 50 times per second.

Amps (amperes). A unit of electrical current, an amp is the amount of electricity being drawn through the power system. A product that draws 10 amps uses twice as much electricity as a product that draws five amps. See also Electricity basics.

DC -- direct current. An electrical current that flows continuously in one direction. Batteries and fuel cells produce direct current and alternating current can be rectified and changed into direct current with diodes.

Electricity basics. The flow of electrons typically over wire, electricity is energy converted from fuels or natural resources and distributed to homes and businesses via a grid of utility companies. Electricity has three basic units: voltage, current (measured in amps) and resistance (measured in ohms). The basic equation of electrical engineering is that amps = volts divided by ohms. The fourth basic element of electricity is watts, which is volts times amps. The most common analogy used to describe electricity is that of plumbing and water: the pressure of water in a pipe is like voltage, while the flow of the water in a pipe is like amps.

Mains. The alternating current electricity provided by the utility company; a Britishism/Aussy slang for the American phrase "wall power." In North America, typically 120 volts, AC. In the United Kingdom and Australia, typically 240 volts, AC.

Ohms. The measure of resistance to the flow of an electric current (the resistance through which one volt will force one amp). Resistors in electronic circuits are measured in ohms, as is the voltage drop of an electrical wire. See also Electricity basics.

Voltage drop. The loss of electrical voltage in a circuit which is determined by two main factors: the size of the wire (or wire gauge) and the length of the wire run. While it can be experienced in any circuit, it typically is more of a problem in lower voltage circuits (5 volts-24 volts). Voltage drop on a long run of wire can be helped by increasing the wire gauge, using a smaller AWG number wire.

Volts. A measure of "electrical pressure" between two points in a circuit. The higher the voltage, the more current will be pushed through the circuit. See also Electricity basics.

Wall power. The alternating current electricity provided by the utility company. In North America, typically 120 volts, AC. In the United Kingdom and Australia, typically 240 volts, AC.

Watts. A measure of the amount of electrical power drawn by a load, such as a light bulb. A watt is determined by multiplying volts by amps. A kilowatt is 1000 watts and electrical utilities measure electricity consumption by kilowatt hours. For example, if you have two 500-watt heaters, and you leave them both on for one hour, you have used one kilowatt hour of electricity. See also Electricity basics.

Wire gauge. A way of measuring the diameter of a wire. It is determined by the number of times a piece of metal is passed through successively smaller dies. So, the smaller the number (2, 4, 6, 8 ) the larger the diameter of the wire, while the larger the number (18, 22, 24), the smaller the diameter of the wire. Frequently expressed as AWG, meaning American Wire Gauge.

rlilly
03-14-2008, 04:12 PM
Watts. A measure of the amount of electrical power drawn by a load, such as a light bulb. A watt is determined by multiplying volts by amps. A kilowatt is 1000 watts and electrical utilities measure electricity consumption by kilowatt hours. For example, if you have two 500-watt heaters, and you leave them both on for one hour, you have used one kilowatt hour of electricity. See also Electricity basics.

A single phase watt is determined by multiplying volts by amps.

dmcole
03-16-2008, 06:38 PM
A single phase watt is determined by multiplying volts by amps.

Doesn't that open the question as to what is single phase -- and what would not be single phase (dual phase?)?

\dmc

RavingLunatic
03-16-2008, 09:20 PM
Come on Folks!! There has to be more submissions than this.

Or is everybody out there fully confident that they understand everything and that it is easily understood by beginners.

Maybe a glossary isn't needed since it is so darn easy to grasp. :rolleyes:



(lets see if some guilt helps)

rlilly
03-16-2008, 10:21 PM
Doesn't that open the question as to what is single phase -- and what would not be single phase (dual phase?)?

\dmc
It might.

If we limit the wiki glossary to just lighting then it won't matter as it's all single phase.

There may be some people that need to wire in 3 phase motors to drive a full size train replica or the like that would need to know that 3 phase watts are computed differently.

Best to cover all the bases.

rlilly
03-16-2008, 10:36 PM
Or is everybody out there fully confident that they understand everything and that it is easily understood by beginners.
)
dmcole has been a machine in generating great reponses.

What's needed is for some newbies to post terms, acronymns, or items they need expanded upon so the machine can perform!


Maybe a glossary isn't needed since it is so darn easy to grasp. :rolleyes:
(lets see if some guilt helps)

(Guilt....guilt....guilt....hmmm) Ok I did it!! (please stop the waterboarding!!)

rlilly
03-17-2008, 07:03 AM
Ok,
I couldn't sleep last night from the guilt. I stayed awake trying to come up with a few. Here ya go.

dB
BNC
RG-8
RG-58
Heck all the RG- series
FCC
FCC Part 15
SNR
SWR
dipole

Now where's the 'on' button?

omzig
03-17-2008, 10:27 AM
Not sure how newb you want to go with this, but it seems if you have capacitor that you should have:

resistor
diode

Also maybe:

transformer
transistor
electrolytic
farad
polarity
Ω (maybe just referenced under ohm)
m (milli)
μ (micro)
n (nano)
P (pico)
K (kilo)
M (mega)
RoHS (some may wonder why they see it so much when they buy parts)

deplanche
03-17-2008, 12:09 PM
transformer


I think wbuehler has the best definiation for this one.

scharbon
03-17-2008, 12:24 PM
How about explaining what they are and the difference between RS232 and RS485 connections/signals (see I don't even know if it is a connection or a signal)? can I stop feeling guilty?

Steve

kmc123
03-17-2008, 04:32 PM
I think wbuehler has the best definiation for this one.
Transformer = Robot in disguise / More than meets the eye (eye, eye, eye)

dmcole
03-17-2008, 06:55 PM
BNC -- Bayonet Nut Connection. A type of common radio frequency connector used on coaxial cables. See RG-58.

C7, C9 light bulbs. Known as the "traditional" Christmas light, these types of strings had their hey-day in the 1950s and 1960s. Many lighting hobbyists switched to "mini" bulbs in the 1970s. The C7 bulb is about 2-inches tall, while the C9 is about 3-inches tall. The C7 uses the candelabra base (screw-in), while the C9 uses the intermediate base. Both sizes come in both clear and opaque colors and both come in 7-watt versions, while the C7 comes in a 2.5-watt version and the C9 in a 3.5-watt version. The maximum number of 2.5-watt lamps per 15-amp circuit is about 575 (or 765 lamps per 20-amp circuit) or 300 lamps per outlet, while the maximum number of 7-watt lamps per 15-amp circuit is about 200 (274 per 20-amp circuit) or about 125 lamps per outlet.

Circuit. The path (usually wire) through which current flows between an electrical energy source and an electrical device, appliance or fixture.

dB -- decibel. A unit of relative sound or radio transmission intensity.

Diode. An electrical device that will allow current to pass in only one direction.

Dipole. A basic radio antenna that consists of two elements, each of equal length. The length of the elements is an algorithmic function of the frequency over which the broadcast is being made. It's used in Christmas lights by FM transmitters that are used to broadcast music with the light shows.

Electrolytic. A type of fixed capacitor. See capacitor.

Farad. A unit of measurement for electrical capacitance. See capacitor.

FCC -- The Federal Communications Commission. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire (telegraph, telephone), satellite and cable.

FCC Part 15. A section of the Federal Communications Commission's rules and regulations that deals mainly with unlicensed transmissions. In the Christmas light world, FCC Part 15 is discussed because it regulates the way low-power FM transmitters, which are used in the Christmas lights community to broadcast the music that accompanies the light shows, should work. The general consensus in our community is that one way of measuring whether an FM transmitter might meet Part 15 rules is that it should not transmit further than 250 feet away from its antenna.

GFCI -- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. An electrical safety device installed in a power panel, sub-panel or outlet box that instantly shuts off the electricity when a leakage to ground occurs. This leakage can increase the risk of electrical shock. A GFCI should be used in all outdoor high-voltage environments and the device should be tested on a regular basis.

Grounded/grounding. A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, by which an electric circuit or equipment is connected to the earth, or to some conducting body of relatively large extent that serves in place of the earth.

Polarity. The electrical condition of being either positive or negative. The direction of current between two leads or the direction of a magnetic field.

Resistor. A component in an electrical circuit that controls current by providing resistance. See ohm.

RG-6, RG-8, RG-11, RG-58, RG-59. These are all coaxial cables of varying thicknesses and impedance. The RG stands for "radio guide," an old, obsolete military specification; the numbers are arbitrary. Most coax manufactured today is "RG-xx type," because manufacturers don't necessarily always meet the precise specifications. In the Christmas light world, you will encounter RG-58, a 50-ohm cable, because it is used in radio transmission and is discussed along with low-power FM transmitters that broadcast the music that accompanies the light shows.

RoHS -- Restriction of Hazardous Substances. A directive by the European Union that is designed to keep harmful chemicals and materials to a minimum. It is used by electronics manufacturers to denote components that meet the EU requirements.

RS232. A telecommunications protocol, Recommended Standard 232 was originally designed to connect teletypes with modems; it has survived to this day as the way computer serial ports send out data. RS232 is implemented in a variety of connectors, but is most commonly seen in the DB9 and DB25 devices. It uses nine wires and supports transmitted data, received data, request to send, carrier detect and ring indicator. It is used in Christmas lights by as the physical layer between PC serial ports and Christmas lights controllers.

RS485. A telecommunications protocol, Recommended Standard 485 is typically used in building automation, the programming of logic controllers, sound system control, lighting control and video surveillance camera control. It is a two-wire system that uses a differential form of signaling that supports the transmission of data packets. It can be used over a long distance and supports multi-point connections. It is used in Christmas lights as a distribution system for light controllers signaling devices, sometimes using the DMX512 protocol.

SNR -- Signal to Noise Ratio. A measure of signal strength relative to background noise. In Christmas lights, would be used in conjunction with an FM transmitter, that itself would be used to broadcast music with the light shows.

SWR -- Standing Wave Ratio. Usually used in the phrase "SWR meter," which is a device coupled between a radio transmitter and an antenna and is used to tune the antenna accurately to the frequency over which the radio waves are being transmitted.

Transformer. An electro-magnetic device designed to raise or lower electrical voltage.

Transistor. A basic solid-state semiconductor that has three terminals and can be used for amplification, switching and/or detection.

rlilly
03-17-2008, 06:59 PM
Now that's impressive!

kmc123
03-17-2008, 07:04 PM
Go Dmcole Go!!!

omzig
03-17-2008, 07:47 PM
So does the dm in dmcole stand for "Definition Machine?"

zero crossing
RDS (Radio Data System)
CAT 5 (maybe even 3,5e,6,7)
cold solder joint

Virtus
03-17-2008, 08:16 PM
I've understood PIC to have a couple of meanings:

programmable interrupt controller and/or
programmable integrated circuit.

From a DIYC standpoint I'd think dmcole's is the best as that is how we are using them, as mini computers on a single chip.

RavingLunatic
03-22-2008, 06:16 PM
Ok, I posted the Glossary wiki page it is found in the beginner's guide

Thanks to dmcole for the super inputs. :D

rlilly
03-22-2008, 06:41 PM
Ok, I posted the Glossary wiki page it is found in the beginner's guide

Thanks to dmcole for the super inputs. :D
RL,

That's a WONDERFUL addition!!

WOW!

Great job!!!

WWNF911
03-22-2008, 10:18 PM
Thanks RL/ dmcole!

Looks like I have some homework. :shock:

jrock64
03-30-2008, 12:45 PM
Not so much a definition of terms but more a visual example of what the different SMT packages are.

This exercise helped me understand the different packages.
To add to the confusion the same package may have more than one name when you are looking for parts.

Maybe a section with all the parts and their various names if they have more than one.

It really does not sink in until you are staring at a SOIC 8 part how small they really are.

Joel