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ABC of electronics terms

(To find chips for distinct functions, see the functional pages.)



The main protocol of the internet. FAQ at ITPRC Uri Raz about TCP/IT Online Training: Introduction to TCP/IP

ISDN Chips from Cologne Chip Designs work from 3V-5V!

Telecom Circuit examples


See also Network


local about connecting to a telephone line


Way of transmitting ASCII text (~) together with television picture data using the invisible top lines of the image.

SAA5191 Teletext video processor
SAA5231 Teletext video processor
SAA5246A Integrated VIP and teletext (IVT1.0)
SAA5249 Integrated VIP and teletext with Background Memory Controller (IVT1.1BMCX)
SAA5250 Interface for data acquisition and control (for multi-standard teletext systems)
SAA5254 Integrated VIP and teletext decoder (IVT1.1X)
SAA5281 Integrated Video input processor and teletext decoder (IVT1.8*)
SAA5290 One-page Economy teletext/TV microcontroller (ETT1.1)
SAA5x9x Economy teletext and TV microcontrollers complete design of teletext processor Teletext decoder project by Simon Vogl


title order at Amazon USA price indication
Television IC* Data Files, Pal ed. ISBN: 0750628995 $30
Television Microprocessor IC* Data Files ISBN: 0750633352 $30


Temperature ranges for ceramic packages:
Commercial 0C .. 70C
Industrial or Extended -40C .. 85C
Automotive -40C .. 125C
Mil. Spec. -55C .. 125C

local Low temperature or vacuum design? Every type of temperature measuring device imaginable

Terminal Block

Where Manufacturer - gone? Bussmann Circuits

Terminal Program

A program that emulates a terminal on your PC (or other computer).

To talk to your embedded project you'll have to have some terminal program running on your PC (or other computer).
This computer can also compile/assemble/link/download the program your wanting to test.
Some development systems have part of their user interface in a dedicated terminal program and treat the RS-232 line more as a network connection. This doesn't make things much simpler generally.
When your embedded project (or it's development board) also has a network connection you can use this for downloading and connectiong.
Sometimes you can also use other busses like an SCSI-bus, but RS-232 is generally the simplest first step, because handling a UART is quite easy. (First polled and later interrupt driven when necessary.)

You can for example use the terminal program from Windows, CU (Connect Unix) and Kermit.
There is also a source for a VT100 terminal somewhere around (try the Simtel archives for example, the name is or email me.
Among the more professional terminal programs I prefered Procom for DOS and later Telix for DOS.
For Windows 3.1 I prefer VT-220 from Dart Communications <>, but I use this with winsock, so I don't know if it's as good when you dial in or even if you can use it directly on an RS-232 line.

PowerVT is now shipping version 3.0, which is available for both 32- and 16-bit environments.
It supports VT 320/220/100/52/ and TTY, and it does direct connections, dial-up and telnet, as well as file transfer via telnet.
We've added tons of features and enhancements since 1994, too.
There's more information on it at our homepage ( as well as a trial if you're interested!

Test Equipment

Where Manufacturer Dexis, refurbished products for commercial and personal use Solutions for digital broadcast chain, including MPEG-2 DVB audio video quality of service monitoring solutions. Emodus Agilent (used to part of HP) LeCroy, good but expensive Pico* Technology Tektronix Telulex Wavetek

Information: Test and Measurement (by VerticalNet)

Test Fixturing

Where Manufacturer Everett Charles


A Thyristor is a four junction (pnpn from the top down I think) device. It's effect is that once triggered, it turns into a latching diode. A bit crude, but they pass an awful whack of current, are good at high voltage, and survive abuse. When you reverse bias it, it goes off. Uses are only limited by your imagination, but generally are as follows: motor control circuits; crowbar circuits (A short across the supply rails to blow the fuse and prevent your circuit dropping it's trousers publicly ;-); Some power supplies; anywhere you need to switch big current, or you need the latching effect. A thyristor only works when the anode is positive, and the gate negative.


Tilt sensors

See here.


The fourth dimension.

GMT Greenwich Mean Time Misleading term because in Greenwich they use English time so including summer time
UTC Coordinated Universal Time The new term for GMT
TAI International Atomic Time
CET Central European Time
MET Middle European Time
ECT East Coast (of the USA) time ?
WCT West Coast (of the USA) time ?
Beat a 1000'th of a day, as defined by Swatch

See also:



Companies: General Touch


Total Reconfigurable Analog Circuit
See also: FPAA.


Where Manufacturer Projects Unlimited


Where Manufacturer Coilcraft Coiltronics Delevan PREM Magnetics, Inc Tokin Corp Toko America ISDN transformers, chokes and more Valor Electronics YCL USA

Transient voltage suppressor


A transistor can be a discrete part with three pins, but it's also the basic element for building chips.
There are basically two kinds: The PNP and NPN both contain three layers and are basically current amplifiers, while the FET* (my favorite) is a voltage amplifier. Besides being analog (non-linear) amplifiers they can also be used as switches and this is how they are commonly used in digital chips. Recently (199911) a new much smaller transistor, the FinFET, has been invented which can be made upto 40 times smaller than the conventional transistor.

Where Manufacturer ACI Electronics Corp. M/A-COM Over 50 years of transistors - by the inventors Semicoa Semiconductors Semiconductor Technology, Inc. DOS based electronics database with lots of transistors

Cross references:
local More about transistors on this site Moyer Electronics 40.000 transistor cross references Transistor Substitution Database by Computer Services Plus (Shareware) Keyboard System's Cross Reference Master (for organ and keyboard parts) ECG sells a lot of cross parts NTE also sells a lot of cross parts Abridged Transistor Specifications - data of many common transistors ESP-SEMI - a small program to find transistor data, over 1400 transistor types listed, includes also text file format of the specifications Power Innovations Product Portfolio - power components with BD, BU, BUL, R, TIC, TIP, TIPL, TISP, Y and EL prefixes SGS-Thomson Microelectronics Datasheets - very large collection of discrete component datasheets SGS Thomson Bipolar Transistor Cross Reference Defpom Signal Transistor Cross Reference - RF small signal transistor cross reference chart Transistor Cross Reference Database - This database currently has over 40,000 transistors in it which can be cross-referenced to other parts. Transistor Datasheets from Micro* Electronics


A Triac is two thyristors back to back to give the same effect with both sides of an AC waveform with the one device. Used in motor controls, power supplies, and 'solid state' relays. They have the reputation of being a bit unreliable, and failing. My experience is that they are (expletive deleted) difficult to get working in the first place!


Tri-state means that an output port has three possible states: 0V, 5V and high-impedance. During that last state it doesn't drive it's output. This is useful when another device may also be allowed to take over the line, in which case the current device may even switch it's port to an input state so it can read the line. Data lines in processor systems are good example of these kinds of tri-state lines. (Address lines are also tri-state if the system uses DMA* or has otherwise multiple processors on the same address bus.)

See also the related subject open-collector output.


Terminate and Stay Resident.

This is mechanism under DOS whereby a program stops running, but stays in memory. During startup they have linked them selves to certain events like hardware interrupts or system calls from other programs and will generally act as drivers. They are mostly started up from the batch files config.sys or autoexec.bat


Transistor Transistor Logic
But we hardly use TTL anymore, since CMOS* has become as fast and uses much less energy and has become as cheap. Most of the former TTL devices, the famous 7400 range, is now being produced in CMOS* as HCT* (High Speed CMOS*).
HCT* is very compatible with TTL but you shouldn't leave inputs open and you can't use the 74HCT04 as an oscillator (buffer), use the 74HCU04 instead!

TTL types (HCT*, LS* etc.)


The predecessor of the transistor.

They are outdated now except for a couple of areas of usage:

Where Manufacturer Frank's Electron Tube Pages, complete Netherlands Frank's Electron Tube Pages, datasheets only Poland Frank's Electron Tube Pages, datasheets only USAA Frank's Electron Tube Pages, datasheets only Germany Frank's Electron Tube Pages, datasheets only China Electron Tube and Valve Charts and more

Tunnel diode and back diode

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