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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       N

Index to terms on this page:

NC drill  
NC drill file   negative   NEMA   net   netlist   node   non-collapsing  

NC drill — Numeric Controlled (computer controlled) drill machine. A machine used to drill the holes in a printed board at exact locations, which are specified in a data file. Also known as CNC (Computerized Numeric Controlled) drill machine.
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NC drill file — A text file which tells an NC drill where to drill its holes.
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  1. noun . A reverse-image contact copy of a positive, useful for checking revisions of a PCB. If the negative of the current version is superimposed over a positive of an earlier version, all areas will be solid black except where changes have been made.
  2. modifier . (Of a PCB image) Representing copper (or other material) as clear areas and absence of material as black areas. Typical of power and ground planes and solder mask.

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NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers Association

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net — A collection of terminals all of which are, or must be, connected to each other electrically. Also known as a signal.

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netlist — List of names of symbols or parts and their connection points which are logically connected in each net of a circuit. A netlist can be "captured" (extracted electronically on a computer) from a properly prepared CAE schematic. .

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node — A pin or lead which will have at least one wire connected to it. In a netlist, a node is described by a component reference desginator together with a pin number.

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non-collapsing — (NON-kə-LAP-sing)  Pronunciation Key  modifier  [Components] (of BGA balls) not losing height during reflow soldering. The solder paste flows during soldering, but the ball maintains its size and shape. The non-collapsing balls are commonly the case when ball-pitch is 0.5 mm or less, where the Land (pad) is larger than the ball to allow for via-in-pad technology and provide an adequate annular ring.

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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.