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GLOSSARY of Printed Circuits

by John Walt Childers, IPC-CID, Founder of Golden Gate Graphics

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Pronunciation Key

Golden Gate Graphics in an official Altium Service Bureau

Golden Gate Graphics is an official Altium Service Bureau

Terms that contain digits are alphabetized as if the numeric characters were spelled in English.

Terms with two or more words are alphabetized "dictionary style." They are alphabetized as though the spaces between the terms have been removed.
   If there are other characters in the term, such as a slash (/), these are treated the same as spaces and ignored for the purpose of alphabetizinig.

TOP       H

Index to terms on this page:

hard copy   HASL   header   hole   HPGL   hybrid  

hard copy — A printed or plotted form of an electronic document (computer data file).
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HASL — (HA-səl)  Pronunciation Key  modifier  [PCB Manufacturing] (of a PCB finish) Hot Air Solder Leveling (or Leveled).
   During fabrication and after solder mask is applied, the PWB is lowered through a "hot air knife" fixture and dipped in a molten solder bath. This coats all the copper that hasn't been covered up by solder mask. These are the conductors that will get solder applied to them during assembly. As the PWB is drawn back up through the knife fixture, the hot air stream is turned on and blown forcefully across all sides of the board. Were talking hot here. The air is hot enough to melt solder. This removes excess solder from the exposed copper, leaving a thin coat that is just right for the upcoming assemly processes and to protect the copper from oxidation. This makes the solder coat on pads relatively flat, or level.

Vertical HASL process
Vertical HASL process.
Source: Hot Air Solder Leveling in the Lead-free Era by Keith Sweatman, Nihon Superior Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan.

HASL is just one process among many in the fabrication of a printed board. I encourage you to take a tour of a board house. If you can't visit one in person, you can take the step-by-step video tour of PCB manufacturer Saturn Electronics Corporation, a metro Detroit board house. This is a great, educational video. It details the various processes involved in the fabrication of a bare printed circuit board. Thank you, Saturn Electronics!

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header — The portion of a connector assembly which is mounted on a printed circuit.
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hole — In a semiconductor, the term used to describe the absence of an electron; has the same electrical properties as an electron except that it carries a positive charge.   [Graf]

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HPGL — Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language, a text-based data structure of pen-plot files which are used to drive Hewlett-Packard pen plotters. Although Hewlett-Packard no longer makes pen plotters, the large-format dot matrix printers which replaced them can also be driven by HPGL.
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hybrid — (HAHY brid)  Pronunciation Key  noun  [Component Manufacturing] The word hybrid is defined as “the offspring resulting from crossbreeding." Many would agree that this is an apt description for the species of electronic entities known as hybrids, which combine esoteric mixtures of interconnection and packaging technologies. In electronic terms, a hybrid consists of a collection of components mounted on a single insulating base layer called the substrate. A typical hybrid may contain a number of packaged or un-packaged integrated circuits and a variety of discrete components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors, all attached directly to the substrate.
Connections between the components are formed on the surface of the substrate; also, some components such as resistors and inductors may be fabricated directly onto the surface of the substrate. [Bebop to the Boolean Boogie (An Unconventional Guide to Electronics) by Clive Maxfield]
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Example Printed Boards

Click for Examples of PCBs designed by Golden Gate Graphics

References and Dictionaries

Modern Dictionary of Electronics by Rudolf F. Graf

This is the best, most usable dictionary for electronics, because its definitions help you grasp the terms and therefore the subject. Lesser dictionaries define electronics terms with even more difficult technical jargon, leading one into endless "word chains." Not this one.
You can buy the Modern Dictionary of Electronics new or used via the Internet.

Graf, Rudolf F. Modern Dictionary of Electronics. Newnes, 1999.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, 2nd Edition

You need a big, comprehensive dictionary. Get this one. Despite being a big dictionary, The Random House has great definitions, quick to grasp.

Although out of print, as of 2020 you could still buy a great used copy online for $30 including shipping or possibly for much less. Two versions are available of the 2nd Edition, Unabridged:

I have no idea what the difference is for the deluxe edition, but there seem to be fewer copies of it available in 2020 than the regular edition. I'm sure they both have the same set of definitions. My copy has both ISBNs listed in the front matter, and it is the regular edition.

Flexner, Stuart Berg, and Leonore Crary Hauck, editors. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language. Unabridged, 2nd Edition, Random House, 1987.