Higgins International - Modem and Fax Switches since 1987

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Telecom Dictionary - Definitions of terms



k - Abbreviation for kilo (SI prefix for 103). See International System of Units.

K - 1. Abbreviation for kelvin (s). See thermodynamic temperature. 2. When referring to data storage capacity, 210, or 1024 in decimal notation; however this usage of an upper case K is deprecated.

Kalman Filter - A computational algorithm that processes measurements to deduce an optimum estimate of the past, present, or future state of a linear system by using a time sequence of measurements of the system behavior, plus a statistical model that characterizes the system and measurement errors, plus initial condition information.

KA9Q - A popular implementation of TCP/IP and associated protocols for amateur packet radio systems.

Kbps - Kilobytes per second. A kilobyte equals a thousand bytes.

KDC - Abbreviation for key distribution center. [A] COMSEC facility generating and distributing key in electrical form.

Kelvin (K) - A unit of thermodynamic temperature, taken as one of the base units of the International System of Units (SI). The kelvin is defined by setting the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water at 273.16 K. Note 1: The kelvin was formerly called "degree Kelvin." The term "degree Kelvin" is now obsolete. No degree symbol is written with K, the symbol for kelvin(s). Note 2: In measuring temperature intervals, the degree Celsius is equal to the kelvin. The Celsius temperature scale is defined by setting 0 °C equal to 273.16 K

Kelvin Temperature Scale - See thermodynamic temperature. See Kelvin (K).

Kendall Effect - A spurious pattern or other distortion in a facsimile record copy caused by unwanted modulation products arising from the transmission of a carrier signal, and appearing in the form of a rectified baseband that interferes with the lower sideband of the carrier. Note: The Kendall effect occurs principally when the single-sideband width is greater than half of the facsimile carrier frequency.

Kermit - An early generation protocol [a file-transfer and terminal-emulation program] developed for transfer of asynchronous data files, designed to help minimize the effects of interference and noise on analog telephone circuits.

Kernel - A module of a program that forms a logical entity or performs a unit function. Note: The most vulnerable portion of code in a secure operating system is a special case of a kernel.

Kerr Electro-Optic Effect - The creation of birefringence in a liquid that is not otherwise birefringent, by subjecting the liquid to an electric field. Note 1: The degree of birefringence, which is manifested as a difference in refractive indices for light of orthogonal linear polarizations, one of which is parallel to the induced optical axis, is directly proportional to the square of the applied electric field strength. Note 2: In the general case, the birefringence produced by the applied electric field can be used in conjunction with polarizers to modulate light. Devices that use this principle are called Kerr cells.

Key - 1. Information (usually a sequence of random or pseudorandom binary digits) used initially to set up and periodically change the operations performed in crypto-equipment for the purpose of encrypting or decrypting electronic signals, for determining electronic counter-countermeasures patterns (e.g., frequency hopping or spread spectrum), or for producing other key. Note: "Key" has replaced the terms "variable," "key(ing) variable," and "cryptovariable." 2. Usually a sequence of random or pseudorandom bits used initially to set up and periodically change the operations performed in crypto-equipment for the purpose of encrypting or decrypting electronic signals, or for determining electronic counter-countermeasures patterns(e.g., frequency hopping or spread spectrum), or for producing other key.

Key Agreement - 1. A key establishment protocol whose secret key is a function of information contributed by two or more participants, so that no party can predetermine the value of the key. 2. A method for negotiating a key value on-line without transferring the key, even in an encrypted form, e.g., the Diffie-Hellman technique.

Key Authentication - The assurance of the legitimate participants in a key agreement that no other entity possesses the shared-secret key.

Key-Auto-Key - Cryptographic logic using previous key to produce key.

Keyboard - An input device used to enter data by manual depression of keys, which causes the generation of the selected code element.

Keyboard Punch - Synonym keypunch. Historically, a keyboard-actuated punch that punches holes in a data medium.

Keyboard Recorder - A hidden program in a computer that stores user-typed input or other input and sends this data to the originator. Keyboard recorders are used for stealing user identifications, passwords, and other sensitive information.

Key Bundle - An assemblage of two keys that are considered logically to be one key, in that one key alone cannot be manipulated.

Key Component - One of two or more parameters that have the format of a cryptographic key that is added modulo-1 with one or more like parameters to form a cryptographic key.

Key Confirmation - The assurance of the rightful participants in a key-establishment protocol that the intended recipient (s) of the shared key actually possess the shared key.

Key Distribution Center (KDC) - [A] COMSEC facility generating and distributing key in electrical form.

Key Encrypting Key - 1. A key that is used exclusively for encrypting and decrypting keys. 2. Key that encrypts or decrypts other key for transmission or storage.

Key Encrypting Key Pair - In public-key cryptography, two key encrypting keys used together to encrypt other keys.

Key Establishment - 1. A protocol that reveals a secret key to its legitimate participants for cryptographic use. 2. The procedure to share a common secret key among different parties by either key agreement or key transport.

Key Generation Center - A facility within a group, which facility performs the function of generating keys for any specific key exchange transaction.

Key Generator - A device, including associated alarms and self-tests, for generating cryptographic keys (and where needed, initialization vectors).

Key Granularity - The number of individuals represented by a key, e.g., the finest granularity is one individual represented by one key; a coarser granularity is a node key.

Keying - 1. The generating of signals by the interruption or modulation of a steady signal or carrier. 2. See chroma keying.

Keying Material - 1. In encryption, the data (e.g., keys, certificates, and initialization vectors) necessary to establish and maintain cryptographic keying relationships. 2. [A] key, code, or authentication information in physical or magnetic form.

Keying Relationship - The state existing between two parties such that they share at least one cryptographic key.

Keying Variable - Deprecated synonym for key.

Key Integrity - The assurance that a key (a) is always used in the proper order and key space, and (b) has not been altered.

Key List - Printed sets of key settings for a specific cryptonet. Keylists may be produced in list, pad, or printed tape format.

Key Loader - An electronic, self-contained unit which is capable of storing at least one key and transferring that key, upon request, into cryptographic modules.

Key Management - Supervision and control of the process whereby key is generated, stored, protected, transferred, loaded, used, and destroyed.

Key Management Facility - The physically protected enclosure (e.g., room or device) and its contents where cryptographic elements (i.e., cryptographic hardware, software, firmware, keys, or initialization vectors) reside.

Key Offset - 1. The process of applying a count value to a cryptographic key using the Boolean exclusive-OR function. 2. The count so added.

Key Pair - 1. In public-key cryptography, a public key and its corresponding private key. 2. Two key-encrypting keys that are used in concert to encrypt other keys.

Key Pair Updating - The recertification or replacement of a certificate authority's public/ private key pair.

Key Production Key - Key used to initialize a keystream generator for the production of other electronically generated key.

Key-Pulse Signal - The first signal in an MF (multifrequency) outpulsing format; a control signal used to prepare the customer installation (CI) to receive digits.

Key Pulsing - A system of sending telephone calling signals in which the digits are transmitted by operation of a pushbutton key set. Note: The type of key pulsing commonly used by users and PBX operators is dual-tone multifrequency signaling. Each pushbutton causes generation of a unique pair of tones. In military systems, pushbuttons are also provided for additional signals, such as precedence. Synonym pulsing.

Keypunch - Historically, a keyboard-actuated punch that punches holes in a data medium. Synonym keyboard punch.

Key Security - In cryptology, the protection of keys against compromise.

Key Service Message - A message used for transferring keys between subscribers.

Key Set - A multiline or multifunction user terminal device.

Key Set Identifier - A non-secret value that uniquely identifies a key set.

Key Storage - In cryptology, storage of cryptographic keys in such a manner as (a) to protect them against unauthorized use, disclosure, or tampering, and (b) to erase them and re-initialize equipment upon tampering.

Key Stream - [A] sequence of symbols (or their electrical or mechanical equivalents) produced in a machine or auto-manual cryptosystem to combine with plain text to produce cipher text, control transmission security processes, or produce key.

Keystroke Verification - With respect to data entry via a keyboard, determination of the accuracy of data entry by the re-entry of the same data through the same (or another) keyboard.

Key System Unit – The controller that manages a multi-line Key telephone system. All incoming telephone lines and all telephone sets connect to the KSU. The KSU is usually mounted in a back room or telephone closet of the office it serves.

Key Tag - Identification information associated with certain types of electronic key.

Key Tape - Punched or magnetic tape containing key. Printed key in tape form is referred to as a key list.

Key Telephone System (KTS) A multi-line telephone system with extension telephone sets. A Key system always has a Key System Unit (KSU) controller that all telephone sets attach to. Also, the Key system telephone sets have a series of buttons that are used to select the outside line you wish to use. In a local environment, terminals and equipment that provide immediate access from all terminals to a variety of telephone services without attendant assistance. Note: A KTS may interface with the public switched telephone network.

Key Transport - The means by which a cryptographic key is passed from its origination point to its point(s) of actual use, whether by bonded courier, registered mail, over-the-air-rekeying (OTAR), or a number of other protected methods. Note: As a result of key transport, all rightful participants share a common secret key in such a way that the secret key is determined entirely by one party.

Key Type - A characteristic of a key that distinguishes it as either a key-encrypting key or a data key.

Key Updating - Irreversible cryptographic process for modifying key.

Key Usage Vector - An identifier that specifies cryptographic services, modes, and key values in which the associated key may be used.

Key Validation - In public key infrastructure (PKI) systems, the procedure allowing the receiver of a public key to verify that it conforms with the requirements for such a key; this procedure is used to counter certain types of attacks against the security of the PKI system. Synonym public key validation.

Key Variable - Deprecated synonym for key.

K-Factor - 1. In tropospheric radio propagation, the ratio of the effective Earth radius to the actual Earth radius. Note: The k-factor is approximately 4/3. 2. In ionospheric radio propagation, a correction factor that (a) is applied in calculations related to curved layers, and (b) is a function of distance and the real height of ionospheric reflection.

kHz - Abbreviation for kilohertz. A unit of frequency denoting one thousand (103) Hz.

Killer App - Slang contraction of killer application. A successful and popular software application (often written by a third party), that is generally perceived to be superior in function or that employs the latest and most impressive techniques.

kilohertz (kHz) - A unit of frequency denoting one thousand (103) Hz.

Kilometer - A unit of distance corresponding to 1000m.

km - Abbreviation for kilometer.

Knee - In video, by convention, the circuitry introducing white compression into the opto-electronic transfer function and thereby modifying the curve for a more gradual approach to white clip.

Knife-Edge Effect Knife-Edge Effect - In electromagnetic wave propagation, a redirection by diffraction of a portion of the incident radiation that strikes a well-defined obstacle such as a mountain range or the edge of a building. Note: The knife-edge effect is explained by Huygens' principle, which states that a well-defined obstruction to an electromagnetic wave acts as a secondary source, and creates a new wavefront. This new wavefront propagates into the geometric shadow area of the obstacle.

Knowbot - Contraction of knowledge robot. A search tool that automatically seeks relevant online information based on the user's previously identified specifications. Synonyms droid, intelligent agent, personal agent, hotbot.

Knowledge Robot - A component of a search engine that collects information from Internet resources. Synonyms droid, infobot, robotic librarian, search robot.

Known-Plain-Text Attack - An analytical attack in which a cryptanalyst possesses a substantial quantity of corresponding plain text and cipher text.

KSU (Key System Unit) – The controller that manages a multi-line Key telephone system. All incoming telephone lines and all telephone sets connect to the KSU. The KSU is usually mounted in a back room or telephone closet of the office it serves.

kT - See noise power density. noise power density: The noise power in a bandwidth of 1 Hz, i.e., the noise power per hertz at a point in a noise spectrum. Note: The noise-power density of the internal noise that is contributed by a receiving system to an incoming signal is expressed as the product of Boltzmann's constant, k, and the equivalent noise temperature, T n. Thus, the noise-power density is often expressed simply as kT.

KTS - Abbreviation for key telephone system.

K-Type Patch Bay - A patching facility designed for patching and monitoring of balanced digital data circuits that support data rates up to 1 Mb/s.


Fax Switch Products

The Stick

Business quality Single Line Automatic Call Processor. Perfect line sharing device for your small or home business. Automatically routes calls to the right device every time! Use up to three telecommunication devices plus an answering machine on one single phone line.This is our most popular fax switch. Click here to find out more.

Your Price only Delivered*

The Stick II

Two-line Voice/Fax/Modem/Data call processor. If you use two lines in your home or business, this two-line automatic phone fax switch is what you are looking for. The only two-line Automatic Call Processor that actually turns your existing inside phone wires into a mini-network. Never worry about busy signals or missed faxes when on the Internet again. Click here to find out more.
Unique Features include:
• Call In/Dial Out Long Distance Saver
(call into it from your cell phone to make cheaper long distance calls)
• Port-to-Port Communication and Data Transfer

(works like a network over your existing phone lines.)

  Your Price only Delivered*

SR Series - Selective Ringing Call Processors

The Selective Ring call processor for distinctive ringing service. Only ring the device intended for that call. Just call its phone number and it rings. Instead of having one phone number for 2 or 3 devices, you have 2 or 3 phone numbers and only pay for one phone line.

Each device has its own phone number. Works great with phone company call forwarding (forward your voice calls to your cell phone) and TDD devices too. Have a dedicated fax number, dedicated voice number and/or dedicated modem number (or a personal number) sharing your single line.

Choose from 2 or 3 distinctive ring phone numbers but pay for only one phone line plus "distinctive ring" for up to two additional numbers.
Click here to find out more about the SR-Series.

SR-2 (Two Devices - Two Phone Numbers)
Your Price only Delivered*

SR-3 (Three Devices - Two or Three Phone Numbers)
Your Price only Delivered*

Versa-Link - Industrial Grade Call Processors

Offering three models that, in addition to functionality similar to The Stick (voice/fax/modem call processor), dtmf and cng tone recognition, DIP switch programmability, phone line surge protection, remote diagnostics and an internal busy signal. Highest quality automatic call processor on the market today! Ultimate in reliability and dependability.

ATX-250 (Two Devices) In addition to tone detection, the ATX-250 Automatic Call Processor can process selective ring detection. For heavy duty applications.
Click here to find out more about the ATX-250.

Your Price only $196.00 Delivered*

ATX-300 (Three Devices) 3 device (plus an answering machine) Automatic Call Processor designed for ultimate reliability. Industry leader for almost 20 years.
Click here to find out more about the Ultra-Reliable Versa-Link.
Your Price only $299.00 Delivered*

ATX-300/6 (Six Devices) - 6 device Automatic Call Processor for multiple devices. Typically used when polling multiple modems.
Click here to find out more about the Ultra-Reliable Versa-Link.

Your Price only $479.00 Delivered*

® ACP 3,5,9


An Industrial Grade Automatic Call Processor eliminates dedicated phone lines by expanding the number of devices you can connect to a single line. Use the Polnet for modems, data and credit card terminals, storage and monitor systems, and more! This Modem Sharing Device has special polling features and interfaces with an rj-31x jack used for larger phone systems. Able to poll multiple devices (modems) in a single call. Typically used in multiple location (store) applications. Inquire about our RAD (Remote Access Dialer) for use with multiple location polling applications with this product. Click here to find out more about Polnet..

ACP-3 (Three Devices)
Your Price only $249.00 Delivered*

ACP-5 (Five Devices)
Your Price only $309.00 Delivered*

ACP-9 (Nine Devices)
Your Price only $599.00 Delivered*

Line Hunter


Rack Mounted 4/12 Automatic Distinctive Ringing Processor Processor eliminates dedicated phone lines by expanding the number of devices to twelve on up to 4 phone lines. Either have up to 12 unique phone numbers on 4 lines using your local phone companies distinctive ringing service or up to 1-4 incoming phone numbers on 1-4 lines with up to 12 outgoing devices without ordering distinctive ringing. You get up to 3 incoming phone numbers on each phone line and it hunts for an open line on outgoing calls so you never get a busy signal.

Use the Line Hunter for private phone numbers, business numbers, personal numbers, modems, data and credit card terminals, storage and monitor systems, and more!
Click here to find out more about LineHunter

Line Hunter (Up to 12 phone numbers on up to 4 phone lines)
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Power Controller Products

The Power Stone® - Phone controlled and secure power on/off switch for your computer.

A call-activated AC power controller. Reboot and power up/down off-site computers and other devices by phone.
Power up/down your computer from any phone in the world.
Click here to find out more about The Power Stone.

Your Price only $129.00 Delivered*

The Internet Power Stone® - Internet controlled and secure power on/off switch for your computer.

The IPS provides various methods of initiating an AC power reset to meet any requirement for complete in and out-of-band network control. By Telephone: The basic reboot function involves an incoming POTS line and a connected AC device.  By Heartbeat: The IPS can work with heartbeat software that will automatically reboot a computer when a problem occurs. By Web-browser: The IPS can be controlled by a master control unit that is accessible via the internet.
Click here to find out more about The Internet Power Stone.

Your Price only $199.00 Delivered*

The Internet Control Module® - Internet Controller for Internet Power Stone (above).

The ICM is a web based network manager used to control any of Multi-Link’s power control base units.The ICM connects to a web-based network like any other IP network device and acts like a mini-website, accessible via any web browser.  Base units for reset or AC power control can be located as far as 2,000ft away from the ICM network power manager.
Click here to find out more about Internet Control Module.

Your Price only $259.00 Delivered*

*Note: All prices include shipping and handling in the continental US and most of Canada. We reserve the right to charge up to the actual price of shipping on all orders outside the continental United States. Customer is responsible for any taxes, duties or brokerage charges that may apply. All orders shipped UPS Ground unless specified. For air and express shipments, appropriate charges will be applied to your order.

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