Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Parts Where to get, and how to make the best bits. PCB's, caps, transformers, etc.

Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)
Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)
Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female) Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th July 2011, 04:37 PM   #1
rongon is offline rongon  United States
diyAudio Member
 
rongon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Across the river from Rip's big old tree...
Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)
Default Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)

I'm no expert, but I've been connecting plugs and jacks since I got my hands on my parents' mono hi-fi at about the age of ten, and my first electric guitar and amp soon after. Back then, I learned that plugs are "male" and go into "female" jacks.

I work for a computer-oriented consumer audio electronics company where there seems to be a new understanding of this. Apparently an "RCA jack" can be male, and what I call an RCA jack can be called a "port."

Needless to say, I'm confused, and so are our customers.

So my question is... Is there a consensus around the world that male connectors are "plugs" and female connectors are "jacks"?

I looked it up in Wikipedia and got completely confusing info, from here:
TRS connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In that article, I found a reference to a "jack plug" being a common term in the UK:

"In the UK, the terms jack plug and jack socket are commonly used for the respectively male and female TRS connectors..." (with a reference to an article by Robert McLeish (2005). Radio Production. Newnes. ISBN 0240519728.)

Does anyone out there really connect a "jack plug" to a "jack socket"? I'm totally confused now. Why the redundant use of the word "jack"?

Sorry if this seems trivial. I'm trying to solve a small mystery here.

-=|=-
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th July 2011, 05:04 PM   #2
infinia is offline infinia  United States
diyAudio Member
 
infinia's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: SoCal
normally the term "jack" is used for the stationary part.
When speaking to the UK just add "jack" to everything. haha
In 90% of applications? it's conventional to use the female on the jack part because its connections are not exposed ie you don't want exposed plugs (male) to be energized. (energised in the UK?)
__________________
.
.
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 12:16 AM   #3
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Don't think it so hard. The Brits call the connector a jack, then specify whether it is a plug or a socket. In the USA, we do it different. They call an elevator a lift, we call a lift an elevator. Their cars have boots and bonnets. They relieve themselves in the loo. SO don't worry what the Brits do when you are speaking to Americans, any more than I would expect them to use our jargon discussing amongst themselves.


Now you may be in the USA, but I bet the products you are supporting came from elsewhere in the world. And that elsewhere just may have different terminology from ours. And that can be reflected in the documentation for the product.

To me, a "port" means something electrical - a point in the circuit where the outside world has access to the circuit. So your computer has a printer port, a video port, a game controller port, a mouse port, etc. Each of those uses a different connector. SO your RCA female could easily be a jack AND a port all at the same time.


Fortunately we don't say it much any longer, but it used to be folks referred to RCA connectors as "phono" connectors, and the 1/4" connectors as "phone" connectors. Naturally sloppy usage prevailed and people would be interchanging the terms. "Yeah, I had to put a new phono plug on my guitar cord..." No, you put a phone plug on it. Sheesh.


I often say RCA plug, but I also use the term "RCA male" a lot. By saying RCA male and RCA female, I think it leaves little room for confusion.
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 01:26 AM   #4
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cowican Bay , vancouver island
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
They relieve themselves in the loo. .

I found that they usually relieve themselves in the street ......
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 01:46 AM   #5
dave_gerecke is offline dave_gerecke  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinia View Post
normally the term "jack" is used for the stationary part.
When speaking to the UK just add "jack" to everything. haha
In 90% of applications? it's conventional to use the female on the jack part because its connections are not exposed ie you don't want exposed plugs (male) to be energized. (energised in the UK?)
Does this mean that we Americans don't know "jack"?!

Peace,

Dave

P.S. Yes the nomenclature is confusing, especially when different cultures collide, and people within one culture misuse terms, as was noted above!
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 02:06 AM   #6
nezbleu is offline nezbleu  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
nezbleu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
To me, a "port" means something electrical - a point in the circuit where the outside world has access to the circuit.
Unless you mean TCP/IP, in which case a "port" is just a number.
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 02:33 AM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
R.I.P.
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brighton UK
Hi,

Speaking as a Brit its simply plugs and sockets, male and female respectively.

FWIW jack plugs and sockets are used to refer to the common 6.3mm,
(actually 1/4") plugs and sockets used in musical equipment and studios.

They are based on the plugs and sockets that used to be used for telephony,
a manual switchboard (how it started) is quite similar to a patchbay in a studio.

Why jack I don't know*, the term goes back to the beginning of telephones.

rgds, sreten.

* I don't know jack, no idea where that comes from either .....

Last edited by sreten; 13th July 2011 at 02:36 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 02:35 AM   #8
dave_gerecke is offline dave_gerecke  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

Speaking as a Brit its simply plugs and sockets, male and female respectively.

FWIW jack plugs and sockets are used to refer to the common 6.3mm,
(actually 1/4") plugs and sockets used in musical equipment and studios.

They are based on the plugs and sockets that used to be used for telephony,
a manual switchboard (how it started) is quite similar to a patchbay in a studio.

Why jack I don't know, the term goes back to the beginning of telephones.

rgds, sreten.
So, apparently some Britons don't know "jack" either?!

Peace,

Dave
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 02:45 AM   #9
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
R.I.P.
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brighton UK
Hi,

Crossed post and my editing.

Wiki is useless. TRS (tip ring sleeve) is stereo and nothing to do with telephony.
(Can also be used for balanced mono instead of XLR's, but that is not usual.)
The connection of course is its based on the mono version used for telephony.

rgds, sreten.

Last edited by sreten; 13th July 2011 at 02:52 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th July 2011, 03:12 AM   #10
Pano is offline Pano  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
Pano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SW Florida
Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
(Can also be used for balanced mono instead of XLR's, but that is not usual.)
It's pretty common in pro audio.

Jack - despite its masculine name, is female and panel mount. The plug is male and goes into the jack.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Confusion over nomenclature - Plugs vs. Jacks (male, female)Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
M2Tech Hiface - Why not female USB to male BNC/RCA instead? orpheus PC Based 16 5th August 2010 09:24 PM
XLR connectors, male and female, which ones goes where? Kram Everything Else 23 30th December 2009 12:19 AM
Cleaning Those Female (+) R.C.A. Jacks DaveThreshold Solid State 0 20th March 2007 12:58 AM
Why are XLR outputs male, and inputs female? Bricolo Parts 5 30th August 2004 02:43 AM
FS: Gold Neutric Male and Female Cable ends PHilgeman Swap Meet 0 7th January 2004 03:03 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:09 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 15.00%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2019 diyAudio
Wiki