Cable... flex... lead... wire... what do all these terms mean?
- A cable is an assembly of one or more conductors (wires) with some flexibility.
- A flex is the proper name for the flexible cable fitted to mains electrical appliances.
- A lead is a complete assembly of cable and connectors.
- A wire is a single conductor which may have an outer layer of insulation (usually plastic).
What a Lead Should Do
A lead should convey an electrical signal (or light in the case of fibre optics) with minimal degradation of the signal over the length of the lead and/or its connectors. To this end, different types of electrical signal require different lead designs, as the nature of the signal (level, bandwidth and input/output impedance) will dictate the attributes of the cable and connectors used.