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    Car Audio Terms defined

    A


    AC (Alternating Current) Voltage that alternates from positive to negative in regular or irregular cycles. This type of voltage flows back to its source.4

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    Acoustical Energy Energy consisting of fluctuation waves of pressure called sound waves.2

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    Acoustics A science dealing with the production, effects, and transmission of sound waves through various mediums.2

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    Acid The term normally used to refer to the fluid found in a vehicle storage battery. This fluid is a somewhat diluted form of sulfuric acid. The chemical reaction between the lead of the battery's plates and the sulfuric acid creates and stores electricity. (Also see Electrolyte).2

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    Active Arming A method for arming a security system that requires some action could include pressing a button on a remote transmitter or entering a code on a keypad.2

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    Active Display A step-up display feature that generates animated patterns for both segment and dot matrix LCDs that proceed the sequential display of information such as clock, Custom File titles and radio station frequencies.1

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    Active Servo Control A proprietary Sony technology for CD and MD players. A circuit which monitors tracking and focus functions, among others, and actively adjusts those functions for optimal performance.1

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    Adaptive Reception Sony's proprietary SSIR-EX tuner technology which can actually adjust the tuner's bandwidth, depending on current reception conditions. As a result, sound quality and adjacent station interference are improved.1

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    Adaptive Reception A circuit that provides adjustable delay such that the time at which a sound wave from various signal channels can be changed. This allows synchronization for each channel of a multi-channel output device, so sound waves from multiple speakers will arrive at the same time to a single point in space.1

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    Air Gap The space between the top plate and the pole piece. This is where the voice coil sits.4

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    Air Horns A type of horn that uses compressed air instead of an electric diaphragm or voice coil to produce sound. These horns are usually driven by an electric air pump that receives its trigger from a host security system.2

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    Alarm Reset The property of an alarm system which rests the alarm to an armed state after it has sounded for a predetermined period of time. (Also see Reset).2

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    Alarm Retriggering A condition that occurs in a security system where once it has been triggered, instead of sounding the siren for its designated time interval, it is retriggered and made to sound again.2

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    Alternator A device that is turned by a motor to produce AC voltage, which is then rectified (turned into DC) and used to supply voltage to the vehicle's electrical system.4

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    Alternator Whine A siren-like whining that appears when the RPMs of an engine increase. The noise is usually the result of a voltage differential created by more than one ground path or a poor ground path.2

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    Ambience Synthesizer A unit that produces an artificial ambience pattern; one that is used to create the impression of the listener and/or performer being in a particular performance space.2

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    Amplification An increase in signal level, amplitude, or magnitude.2

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    AM See Amplitude Modulation.2

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    Ammeter An instrument used for measuring the amount of current flowing in a circuit.2

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    Amperage A unit of electrical current. The force through which the energy is pushed through a conductor. Measured in amps; Ohm's Law symbol is I.2

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    Ampere The unit of measurement used to determine the quantity of electricity flowing through a circuit. One ampere flows through a 1 Ohm resistance when a potential 1 Volt is applied.2

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    Amplifier A device that strengthens or enlarges an electrical signal.4

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    Amplitude The measure of how powerful sound waves are in terms of pressure.2

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    Amplitude Modulation (AM) A method of modulation in which the amplitude of the carrier voltage is varied in proportion to the changing frequency value of an applied (audio) voltage. (Also see Frequency Modulation).2

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    AMPS Advanced Mobile Phone Service. The cellular system used in the U.S., as well as a number of other countries.2

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    AMS Automatic Music Search. A feature that allows a CD or cassette mechanism to skip forward or backwards to another track.1

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    Analog An electrical signal in which the frequency and level vary continuously in direct relationship to the original acoustical sound waves. Analog may also refer to a control or circuit which continuously changes the level of a signal in a direct relationship to the control setting.2

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    Analog Switch A hardware-oriented switch that only passes signals that are faithful analogs of transducer parameters.2

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    Anode The electrically positive pole of an electronic device such as a semiconductor. A diode, for instance, has a positive and a negative pole; these are known as the anode and the cathode.2

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    Antenna A mechanical device, such as a rod or wire, which picks up a received signal or radiates a transmitted signal.2

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    Arm The term used to describe the act of causing a security system to reach a state in which it will protect the vehicle.2

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    Arming Delay A term used to describe the elapsed time between the moment a security system is first told to arm, and when it is actually armed. This normally only applies to systems that are passively armed, but can apply to actively armed systems as well. (Also see Exit Delay).2

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    ATA Automatic Tuner Activation. A feature that allows the tuner to be accessed while a tape deck is rewinding or fast forwarding.1

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    ATRAC Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding. The process used in MiniDisc that utilizes psychoacoustic principles to limit quantization noise and reduce the data quantity from 16 bits to 4 bits by using non-uniform frequency and time division.1

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    Attenuate To lessen the amount of force, magnitude, or value of something.2

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    Audio Frequency Spectrum The band of frequencies extending roughly from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.2

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    Audio Oscillator A device that produces tones at specific frequencies for testing either equipment or entire systems.2

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    Audio Signal An electrical representation of a sound wave in the form of alternating current (AC) or voltage.2

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    Auto Memory A tuner feature that automatically finds the strongest stations in the local area, and places them in preset memories.3

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    Auto Reset The ability of a security system to automatically reset itself after being triggered. (Also see Alarm Reset and Reset).2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    B


    Back-up Battery A separate battery added to the security system as an alternate power supply to serve as a backup in case the vehicle's main battery should be disabled by a thief. Back-up batteries are typically the lead-acid gel cell type and are most effective when hidden from detection.2

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    Baffle A flat panel that divides the front and rear sound waves produced by a woofer. Sometimes baffle is used to mean an enclosure or the front panel that the speaker is mounted on.4

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    Balanced Input An input which compares the negative and positive sides of the signal, used to help eliminate noise.1

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    Ballast Wire The name given to a special resistance wire used between the ignition switch and the engine's high voltage coil. This wire is typically composed of a carbon compound instead of normal copper.2

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    Bandpass Filter In mobile electronics, a device which incorporates both high-pass and low-pass filters in order to limit and attenuate both ends of the frequency range.2

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    Bandwidth Refers to the "space" in the frequency response of a device through which audio signals can pass (between lower and upper frequency limits, those points where the signal level has rolled off 3 dB).2

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    Barium Ferrite A speaker magnet material made from an alloy with iron and barium for improved magnetic strength.1

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    Bass The part of the frequency range made up of the low frequencies. Bass is generally agreed to be those frequencies between 20 Hz and 400 Hz.4

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    Bass Reflex A vented enclosure that allows control of rear radiated sound waves.2

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    Battery An electrically connected group of cells (wired in series) that stores an electrical charge and supplies a direct current (DC).4

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    BBE Processing A signal processing circuit that provides improvements in imaging and spatial realism by altering the frequency and phase characteristics of portions of the input signal.1

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    Bessel Alignment A particular crossover configuration which offers superior phase coherence in exchange for slightly lower level match.1

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    Bi-Amplification Some speaker systems with multiple drivers do not contain a crossover network, and they require a separate amplifier for each frequency range. The bi-amplified system still requires an active or passive crossover network to send the proper frequency band to each amplifier and speaker, but it precedes the amplifier and speaker and does not handle the power amplifier output.4

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    Bias An unbalanced sound level.2

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    Bipolar Transistor A transistor that contains two p or n junctions or diodes between two layers of opposite POLARITY material (emitter and collector) .4

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    Blank Skip A cassette feature that automatically detects blank areas of the tape over 8 seconds in length and activates Fast Forward, until the end of either the tape or audio information is reached.1

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    Boomy Usually refers to excessive bass response, or a peak in the bass response of a recording, playback or sound reinforcement system.2

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    Brain The common term used to refer to the main control unit of a security system. (Also see Control Unit).2

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    Bridged In a multi-channel amplifier, the connection of two channels to drive a single load. The input signal is split, and then the phase of one of the signals is inverted. The non-inverted signal is sent to the left amplifier and the inverted signal is sent to the right amplifier (L+R-). The load is connected between the two outputs so it receives twice the voltage at a given input level. The resultant power is much greater than the two 4-ohm channels combined.4

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    BTL Bridged, Transformer Less. A circuit design wherein two small Integrated Circuit (IC) amplifier channels are bridged together to provide a single, larger output circuit. These circuits are limited by their current capabilities and the amount of heat they generate.1

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    BTM Best Tuning Memory. A feature in which the tuner selects radio stations by signal strength, and assigns them to presets in numerical order, according to their frequency value.1

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    Burr-Brown D/A A high-end D/A converter offering superior sound quality and performance. "Burr-Brown is the manufacturer's name.1

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    Butterworth Filter A filter with a pass-band with no ripple but usually sacrifices some steepness in attenuation.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    C


    Capacitance The property of an electric nonconductor that permits the storage of energy as a result of electric displacement when opposite surfaces of the nonconductor are maintained at a difference of potential. In a capacitor, capacitance is the measure of the property (the amount of charge that can be stored) equal to the ratio of the charge on either surface to the potential difference between the surfaces.4

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    Capacitor An electronic device which stores energy and releases it when needed. Also used to direct high frequency energy to tweeters. Rated in Farads.2

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    CD/MD Control The ability of a component to operate a CD or MD disc changer.3

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    CD Text A compact disc and player feature utilizing disc, track, and artist information encoded directly on the CD media. Both playback and media components must have CD Text compatibility.1

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    Cell A single uni8t for producing DC electricity by electromechanical or biomechanical action. A common vehicle battery is composed of a number of individual cells connected together. Each cell is typically rated at 2.11 Volts each, and a common 12VDC automotive battery is composed of 6 separate, 2 Volt cells. (Also see Battery).2

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    Cell Site The middleman of the cellular system that communicates directly with the cellular telephone and relays all of the control parameters from the MTSO to the cellular telephone, as well as all requests for service from the cellular telephone to the cellular system.2

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    Cellular Telephone A device consisting of a control unit, a transceiver, and an antenna which processes calls to be sent to or received from the cellular system.2

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    Center-run Wire Path (Center Path Wiring) A method of running wires to the midrange/tweeter bridge in a coaxial speaker. Actual copper wire (instead of tinsel leads) are run through a hole drilled in the magnet. This offers better signal transfer and efficiency.1

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    Channel (Cellular) A frequency or band of frequencies assigned to a station or communications system. Also, a sub-circuit of a larger system, i.e., voice channel, control channel, paging channel, etc.2

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    Channel (Security) The term usually used to describe the number of different functions possible for manipulating the buttons on a remote control transmitter.2

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    Charge Stored energy in a battery or capacitor that is discharged as electrical energy.4

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    Chassis The metal frame of the vehicle.2

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    Chebyshev Filter A filter that has some ripple in the pass-band but has an initial attenuation slope which is steeper than a Butterworth filter.2

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    Chirp The term used to describe the brief sounding of a security system's siren designed to indicate the state of arm of the system.2

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    Circuit A number of components wired together to perform an electrical function. When voltage is applied, current flows and the function is performed.4

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    Circuit Breaker An electromechanical device designed to quickly break its electrical connection should a short circuit or overload occur. A circuit breaker is similar to a fuse, except it will rest itself or can be manually rest, and will again conduct electricity.2

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    Class There are different classes of amplifiers, depending on how the biasing of the amplifier circuit is done.4

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    Clipping The distortion that occurs when a power amplifier is overdriven. This can be seen visually on an oscilloscope, when the peaks of a waveform are flattened, or "clipped of," at the signal's ceiling.2

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    Close To come together, referring to contacts in a relay or switch. When the circuit is closed, the contacts are touching, completing the circuit.4

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    Closed Circuit A continuous unbroken circuit in which current can flow without interruption. Also known as a closed loop.2

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    Closed Loop A feedback path in a self-regulating control system. Unlike a standard open state trigger that needs to have a connection established to serve as a trigger, a closed loop trigger will act to trigger a security system when its loop (connection) is broken.2

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    Closure Wire The name given to describe a wire found on some vehicles that, when given a certain duration input, will cause the doors to lock and the windows/sunroof to close.2

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    Code The aspect of a security system that can be tailored by the manufacturer or the installer to personalize the particular system for a user or group of users. A remote security system that is coded will operate only with those transmitters that are coded to the same matching code.2

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    Coaxial Speaker TA coaxial speaker has a large cone for the low range, and a smaller tweeter for the high spectrum. There is a cross-over network which divides and routes the signal to the correct driver.2

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    Coil A number of turns of wire around an iron core or onto a form made of insulating material. Used as an inductor, a coil offers a great deal of opposition to the passage of AC, but very little to the passage of DC. This device is good for use as a filter.4

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    Co-Linear Antenna An antenna that uses a phasing coil to electrically connect stacked elements in the proper phase relationship.2

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    Compliance The measurement in liters or cubic feet of the volume of air that is equal to the compliance of a speaker's total suspension.2

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    Cone The most common shape for the radiating surface of a loudspeaker. Often used to refer to that part of the speaker that actually moves the air.2

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    Configurable Power Supply A proprietary Sony technology for amplifiers where the power supply configuration can be changed from High Voltage mode, for superior output power driving 4 or 2 ohms, to High Current mode, for superior low impedance stability.1

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    Constant Output An output of a security system that provides a constant or continuous output to drive a device. Often used for sirens and engine inteerrupts.2

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    Control Unit The central processor for a security system (Also see Brain).2

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    Copper Plated Chassis By bonding copper to a chassis, superior shielding is achieved, providing superior rejection of induced noise.1

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    Coulomb An amount of electrical charge which contains 6.24 x 1018 of electrons.3

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    Crossover A device intended to separate the different frequency bands and redirect them to different components.2

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    Crossover Frequencies The frequencies at which a passive or electronic crossover network divides the audio signals, which are then routed to the appropriate speakers.2

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    Crossover Network A unit which divides the audio spectrum into two or more frequency bands (Also see Crossover Frequencies).2

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    Crosstalk The leakage of signal from one channel to another. Crosstalk is measured in DECIBLES as the ratio of desired signal to undesired signal; the higher the number the less the undesired signal.4

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    Current The rate of electrical or electron flow through a conductor between objects of opposite charge. Symbol I, measured in amperes or amps.2

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    Current-fed Antenna An antenna in which the feeder or transmission line is attached to the radiator at a current loop. This type of antenna requires a ground plane.2

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    Current Sensing A name given to a form of alarm system trigger that relies on sensing a change in the power supply of the vehicle. More accurately called voltage sensing, this feature is found on many inexpensive alarm systems (Also see Voltage Sensing).2

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    Custom File A feature package that provides intuitive and safe source management for an audio and A/V system. Examples include Disc Memo, Station Memo, and Memo List.1



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    D


    DAC (D/A) Digital to analog converter. A component or circuit that is used to derive or convert an analog signal from a digital one

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    Damper Part of the suspension connected to the bottom of the cone at the voice coil that centers the voice coil in the air gap. It is sometimes referred to as the spider

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    Damping The reduction of the magnitude of resonance by the use of some type of material

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    Damping Factor The ratio of rated load impedance to the internal impedance of an amplifier. The higher the value, the more efficiently an amplifier can control unwanted movement of the speaker coil. A high damping factor is crucial for large speakers that reproduce bass

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    DAT Digital Audio Tape

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    dB (Decibel) The unit of measurement for sound, using a logarithmic scale. It is an expression of the relative loudness of a sound or power level

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    dBr A unit of measurement that indicates the decibel level relative to a reference level

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    D-Bass Dynamic Bass. Sony's unique low frequency enhancement system which provides up to 18dB of gain to frequencies below 75 Hz, without midrange coloration or interference

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    DC Direct Current. A flow of electrons which travels in one direction only

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    DC/DC Converter A group of components within an amplifier that converts battery voltage (DC) into AC so that it can be increased by the swetching devices and transformer and converted back to DC (rectified) to provide higher voltage to drive the amplification stage. Also called Power Supply

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    Dedicated Fuse A fuse designated to supply power and protection for one particular circuit only

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    Destructive Interference A phenomenon that occurs when speakers are 180 degrees out of phase, i.e., what one speaker is trying to produce, the other speaker is fighting to cancel. One speaker's wave is in the positive phase (rarefaction), while the other speaker's wave is in the negative phase (compression)

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    Detachable Face Security A headunit theft-deterrent system in which the front panel is removable, to prevent its loss

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    Diaphragm A thin metal or dielectric disk used as the vibrating member in loudspeakers. Also known as a cone

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    Difference of Potential The algebraic sum of voltages at two points of different electrical potential.2

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    Digital Output A signal output connection in digital format using TOSLINK connectors.3

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    Digital Signal Processing Audio signal manipulation executed entirely in the digital domain.1

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    DIN Deutsche Industrial Norm. German industrial standardization for radio dimensions, approximately 7 inches wide by 2 inches high.1

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    Diode A two-electrode (two-terminal) device which allows a voltage/signal to pass through it in one direction only.2

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    DIN German industrial standards which are used in many European countries. DIN size refers to the stereo size that fits most European cars.2

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    Direct Load A changer configuration which doesn't use a magazine for the media, instead allowing the insertion of media directly into the unit.1

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    Disarm The opposite of arm, or the term used to describe the action of placing a security system in an inactive or standby mode (Also see Arm).3

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    Disc Memo A Custom File feature that allows the user to assign an eight character name to a disc. Each CD changer has memory for 110 discs.1

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    Discharge In a capacitor, the release of stored energy to a load. In a battery, the conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy.4

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    Discrete Bi-polar Outputs An amplifier output wiring scheme employing separate bi-polar type transistors wired in a darlington configuration, offering higher current gain, lower noise and wider bandwidth.1

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    Discrete construction Circuit construction where the circuit is made up of actual transistors, resistors, diodes and capacitors instead of Integrated Circiuts.1

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    Discrete Differential Inputs An amplifier input wiring scheme employing separate components which comprise the differential input circuit.1

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    Discrete FET Predrive Stage An amplifier wiring scheme employing separate Field Effect Transistors in the pre-drive stage for lower distortion and faster switching.1

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    Discrete Final Stage An amplifier wiring scheme employing separate components in the output stage.1

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    Displacement The measurement of cubic volume that an item (such as a speaker or port) takes away from the internal volume of an enclosure. When designing an enclosure, this figure must be added to the enclosure volume .4

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    Distortion Sound which is modified or changed in some way. In a speaker, distortion is produced by several things, most related to poor construction. Voice coil rubbing (caused by being overdriven) is the most common cause of distortion.2

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    Diversity Tuner An FM tuning method which employs two antennas. The tuner can switch between the two antennas in order to attain better reception.1

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    DMM Digital Multimeter. A digital meter that gives a precise reading of voltage, current, or ohms. This type of meter "samples" the input and feeds it to a digital readout.2

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    Dome Light The common term used to describe the overhead (or headliner) mounted interior courtesy light.2

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    Door Lock Solenoid The proper name for the electric bi-directional actuator used to provide powered control vehicle door locks. Also called a Door Lock Actuator.2

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    Doppler Sensor Another name for a spatial type sensor, also commonly called radar sensors (Also see Spatial Sensors).2

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    DPDT Double Pole Double Throw. A term used to describe a relay that has two separate poles or contacts and can throw or make electrical contact with two separate stationary contacts.2

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    Dot Matrix Display A display type that employs regularly spaced patterned grids of point-source lighting elements. As a result, characters displayed have greater resolution than a segmented display.1

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    Double DIN Twice the height of the standard DIN dimensions.3

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    Dress The arrangement of signal leads and wiring for optimum circuit operation, cosmetic appeal, and protective routing.2

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    Driver Another term for a loudspeaker. Often used when the loudspeaker is coupled to a horn for acoustic coupling and controlled dispersion of sound.2

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    Driver's Remote An ancillary control interface providing intuitive and safe operation of a car stereo.

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    DSP Digital Signal Processing (or Processor). A type of processing accomplished by a microcomputer chip specifically designed for signal manipulation, or a component using such processing. The term is often misused as a synonym for ambience synthesizer; however, DSP can do much more than sound field creation.3

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    DSP Control The ability of a headunit to control an external digital signal processor.1

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    DSP File A Custom File feature that allows the user to assign a DSP preset to a particular disc, such that when that disc is loaded, the DSP preset is also automatically selected.2

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    DTMF Dual Tone Multi-Frequency.2

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    Dual Information Display A step-up featured display configuration that employs two lines of information; e.g. disc/track data, and clock.1

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    Dual Mode An amplifier configuration in which both a stereo speaker pair and mono speaker system (usually a subwoofer) are simultaneously powered by a stereo amplifier.1

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    Dual Mono Construction An amplifier construction configuration where virtually two separate single channels amps are used to comprise a stereo amp. Offers superior crosstalk rejection and channel separation.1

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    Duplexer A cellular device that permits simultaneous reception and transmission of a call.2

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    Dust Cap Part of the speaker that keeps foreign material from falling into the voice coil, which could hinder the speaker's movement and cut short its life.4

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    Duty Cycle An engineering term used to describe the actual time (or frequency) that a circuit or device operates. A pulsing alarm output that is on for seven-tenths of a second and off for three-tenths of a second would have a 70% duty cycle.2

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    Dynamic Range Expressed in decibels, the range of signal amplitudes (from the loudest to the quietest) that can be reproduced effectively by a piece of equipment. With respect to amplifiers, this range is defined by inherent noise at low levels and by overload distortion at high levels. The higher the number the better the performance.4

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    Dynamic Range Suppression A signal compression technique which raises the level of lower passages without affecting overall volume. Especially useful with high noise levels, such as a moving vehicle.1



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    E


    Efficiency The measure of loudspeaker's ability to convert power to work. Formula: Efficiency = (power out/power in) x 100. Efficiency is always expressed as a percentage.2

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    EL Backlight Electro-Luminescent illumination for the lighted portion of a liquid crystal display. Considered to be a step-up featured display.1

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    Electrolyte The name for the mixture of diluted sulfuric acid found in standard lead-acid vehicle storage batteries (Also see Acid).2

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    Electrolytic Capacitor A capacitor with a negative and a positive terminal that only passes alternating current.2

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    Electromagnetic Field A field of magnetic energy in the woofer's voice coil created by the audio signal passing through the wire.4

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    Electromagnetic Wave A wave sent through space and matter by oscillating electric and magnetic fields.4

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    Emergency Override A button or switch, possibly separate or hidden from the commonly used controls of a security system, that is used specifically to override or disarm a security system in the event that the primary means is unavailable or disabled.2

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    EMR Detector A tool used to find the source of low frequency tape head interference (electromagnetic radiation).2

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    Enclosure A box housing a speaker to separate the front sound waves from those in the rear.4

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    Engine Disable A means, either electrical or mechanical, designed to prevent the vehicle's engine from either starting or running. The most common variety of engine disable uses a simple automotive relay to inhibit either the starter or the ignition.2

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    Enhanced Protection Circuitry A feature designed to help prevent a device from voltage, current, and temperature faults.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Entry Delay The time interval a security system waits before sounding the alarm after a door of the vehicle has been opened.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EQ File A Custom File feature that allows a user to assign a equalization curve preset to a particular disc, such that when the disc is loaded, that EQ preset is selected automatically.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ESN A cellular phone's Electronic Serial Number.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ESP Electronic Shock Protection. An electronic circuit that stores the audio data stream from a CD or MD in a memory buffer. If the laser pick-up mistracks, audio still flows from the buffer preventing an interruption.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ESR Capacitors have an ESR expressed in ohms or milli-ohms. This loss comes from terminal lead resistance, termination losses, and dissipation in the dielectric material.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EX-Change A disc changer feature allowing the user to swap non-playing discs, while another disc continues to play.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Exit Delay The name given to the time interval a security system waits once given a command to arm. Exit delays are usually found on non-remote security systems that rely on keypads or the ignition switch to arm. This delay gives the operator time to exit the vehicle before the system arms.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    F


    Farad (F) The basic unit of capacitance. A capacitor has a capacitance of 1F when a charge of 1 Volt across the capacitor produces a current of 1 Ampere through it. Named after Michael Faraday.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FCC Federal Communication Commission. The U.S. government agency which oversees and regulates electronic communication.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FFT (Fast-Fourier Transform) A method by which a system is described using an impulse response. Both frequency and time data can be extracted, with room reflections removed, providing an extremely accurate analysis. Mathematical manipulation of the data is employed to view system parameters from a variety of perspectives.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fidelity A term used to describe the accuracy of recording, reproduction, or general quality of audio processing.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FIR Filter (Finite Impulse Response Filter) A digital filter employing separate stages for each computation, offering virtual elimination of phase shift, and superior accuracy.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fixed DIN Mount A DIN headunit mounting system whereby no part or component is removeable for security purposes.3

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Flashing Lights A term used to describe the interfacing of the vehicle's parking lights, dome light, emergency lights, etc., with a security system so that the lights flash by the system.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Flat Response An output signal in which fundamental frequencies and harmonics are in the same proportion as those of the input signal being amplified. A flat frequency response would exhibit relatively equal response to all fixed-point frequencies within a given spectrum.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FL Backlight Fluorescent illumination for the lighted portion of a liquid crystal display. Considered to be a step-up feature from EL backlight.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fletcher-Munson Curves A set of curves that depict the uneven frequency response of human hearing.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Flux The flow of magnetic energy in a circuit.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FM See Frequency Modulation.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Foam Infused Surround A speaker surround design employing a foam material for improved durability and performance.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fold Down Face A DIN headunit whose faceplate hinges at the bottom to reveal a media loading slot. Provides a larger area on the face for the display and controls.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Former The cylinder portion of a speaker's voice coil; the wire is wound around this cylinder to form a coil.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fourth-Order Rolloff The frequency .4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Free Air Response The frequency at which a speaker will naturally resonate.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frequency The term in physics that refers to a number of vibrations or cycles that occur within a given time.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frequency Counter A device that assists in speaker parameter testing, as well as identifying the frequency of specific tones .2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frequency Modulation (FM) A method of modulation in which the frequency of the carrier voltage is varied with the frequency of the modulation voltage (Also see Amplitude Modulation).2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frequency Response A term which describes the relationship between a device's input and output with regard to signal frequency and amplitude.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Full Logic Deck A cassette mechanism where the tape operations are carried out by logic circuits rather than mechanical methods.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fuse A device designed to provide protection for a given circuit or device by physically opening the circuit. Fuses are rated by their amperage and are designed to blow or open when the current being drawn through it exceeds its design rating.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fusible Link Designed to perform the same task as a fuse, but the resembles a wire. Fusible links are commonly used in ignition switches and other high current circuits.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    G


    Gain Refers to the degree of signal amplification.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Generator A rotating machine that produces DC electricity. Also an electronic device used for converting DC voltage into AC of a given frequency and wave shape.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Glass Sensor A device designed to detect the sound of breaking glass or metal-to-glass contact, thus triggering a security system. Also called Sound Sensors, Glass Breakage Sensors, or Sound Discriminators.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ground The term given to anything having an electrical potential of zero. Most modern vehicles are designed around a negative ground system, with the metal frame being the vehicle's ground.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ground Loop The term given to the condition that occurs when a voltage potential exists between two separate ground points.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    H


    Harmonic A weaker overtone or undertone of the original note responsible for the character of the note.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Harness The universal name for a bundle or loom of wires that compose the wiring for a system.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Heat Dissipation The ability to transfer heat away from a component into the air to prevent damage to the speaker.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Heat Sink Part of the frame of the speaker used to conduct and radiate heat away from the motor assembly.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hertz (Hz) The unit of frequency within a specific period, such as alternating or pulsating current; 1 Hz = 1 cycle per second.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High Frequency Refers to radio frequencies in the 3-30 MHz band. In audio it usually refers to frequencies in the 5-10 kHz band.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High Level Input An input configured to accept speaker level signals.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High Pass Filter (HPF) A network of components which attenuate all frequencies below a predetermined frequency selected by the designer. Frequencies above cut-off are passed without any effect.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High Power Output Speaker level outputs driven by an amplifier, typically at least 35 watts max per channel.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High Voltage ± 15VDC DC/DC Converter A component that converts the vehicle's 12 volts to a dual swing, 15 volt supply, typically used in step up, 4 volt preamp output models.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High Voltage Switching Power Supply A power supply that converts the vehicles 12 volts to higher voltage for improved dynamic range and higher preamp output levels.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    HOP Highly Oriented Polyolefine. A proprietary Sony speaker cone material which combines high strength, low weight, and low resonance resulting in improved transient response, higher power handling, and flatter frequency response.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Horn (Audio) Refers to a loading device when part of a bass enclosure, or a directional device when used with a high frequency driver or compression driver.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Horn (Security) Refers to the built-in factory horn in the vehicle. Factory horns can be of the diaphragm type, voice coil type, or air-pump driven type (air horn). All types of horns are capable of being interfaced to a security system.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Housekeeping (Cellular) A part of a program which attends to chores, such as setting variables to zero, rather than being involved in computations.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    I


    Ignition Kill A device designed to prevent the vehicle's ignition circuit from operating. An ignition kill device can work by either interrupting one or both of the primary wires leading to the ignition coil or by shorting out (grounding) the ignition coil's positive primary wire. Also called an Ignition Disable.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ignition Power Refers to a source of power in the vehicle, controlled by the ignition switch, that has +12VDC on it when the ignition key is both in the run and start positions.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIR Filter (Infinite Impulse Response Filter) A digital filter employing a single stage, through which the signal is passed repeatedly to achieve the desired processing effect. Offers simplicity of design and lower cost than the FIR type.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Imaging The effect of reproducing a sound stage faithful to that of an original recording. Represented, for instance, in the listener's ability to place a particular instrument at a single point, rather than to hear it as if spread throughout the sound field. Good imaging is often described in terms of channel separation of openness.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Impact Sensor A sensor designed to detect various degrees of impact or vibration applied to the vehicle and then produces an output to trigger a security system.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Impedance (Audio) A measurement of the resistance to the audio current by the voice coil of the speaker (Also see Nominal Impedance).2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Impedance (Electrical) The total opposition offered by a device or circuit to the flow of alternative current.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In-Line Fuse A fuse and holder incorporated into a length of supply wire .4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Inductive Coupling Radiated noise that is transmitted through a magnetic field to surrounding lines.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Inductor An electrical component in which impedance increases as the frequency of the AC decreases. Also known as coils that are used in passive crossovers. Inductors are rated in Hennes.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Infinite Baffle A loudspeaker baffle of infinite space that has no openings for the passage of sound from the front to the back of the speaker. Also, a sealed enclosure where the internal volume is greater than the Vas of the driver.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Infrared Sensor A type of spatial sensor that uses infrared energy to detect an object (a hand, arm, or body) entering a protected area (Also see Spatial Sensors).2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Input (Audio) The high level (speaker) or line level (RCA) signal connections that run into one component from another system component.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Input (Security) Any wire on a security system designed to accept a signal from some outside source such as the vehicle's wiring. Door trigger, hood trigger, trunk trigger, and sensor trigger wires are all inputs.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Instant Trigger The term used to describe any trigger input on a security system that is designed to cause the system to respond instantly when triggered.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Integrity The expected durability of a component or connection.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Internal Loss The ability of a material to absorb unnecessary vibration or resonance. If unchecked, this resonance produces distortion.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Inverter Takes the input signal and applies a 180º phase shift.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ISO-DIN Mounting Refers to a mounting system in which the headunit is mounted behind the dash panel with side brackets, employing factory installed trim panels.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Isolation Electrical or acoustical separation to prevent the spread of noise and the effect on the signal of unwanted elements produced by internal or external devices.4



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    J


    Joule A unit of energy equal to one watt per second.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jump To provide a temporary circuit around a component or other circuit.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    K


    Keypad A panel usually made of metal or plastic with numbered push-buttons (like a touch-tone telephone) designed to provide access to certain types of security or cellular systems.2

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    Kirchoff's Current Law (KCL) A law stating that the total current entering a point or junction in a circuit must equal the sum of the current leaving that point or junction.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kirchoff's Voltage Law (KVL) A law stating stating that the voltage supplied to a DC circuit must equal the sum of the voltage drops within the circuit .2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    kHz Abbreviation for kilohertz, or 1000 cycles per second.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    L


    Landline A telephone or telegraph circuit completed with wires.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Landline Interface The manner in which the cellular system ties into the regular telephone system.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Laser Amorphous Tape Head A tape head constructed from non-crystalline (Amorphous) material, cut into strips by a laser, for an accurate tape head gap. Features extended frequency response, and avoids becoming magnetized over time.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last Door Arming A feature found on some security systems that enables the system to suspend itself from arming until the last door on the vehicle has been secured.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LCD Liquid Crystal Display.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LED(s) Light Emitting Diodes. A form of diode that sheds light. Used in many systems for indicator purposes.2

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    Linear 1. Referring to mechanical movement, the ability of the voice coil to move in and out in the air gap without moving side-to-side. Non-linear movement can damage the voice coil.4
    2. Referring to speaker response, the ability to maintain power or movement without loss of drive force.4
    3. Referring to port operation, the relationship bewteen the amount of air moving through the port vs. the amount of air moved by the cone. Non-linear response in a port causes audible distortion.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Linearity In an audio device, the ability accommodate the flow of the original source signal withuot distorting or altering it in any way. A component is linear if it accurately reproduces the source signal regardless of the signal's frequency.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Listening Position A feature which can optimize frequency response and imaging for a particular position in a vehicle through the use of signal delay.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Load The resistance or impedance to which energy is being supplied. In amplifiers, the speaker or speakers connected to the output of the amplifier.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Loss The difference between potential energy output and actual energy output.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Loudness A signal processing feature which compensates for the human ear's deficiencies at various listening levels.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Loudspeaker An electro-acoustic transducer that converts electrical audio signals at its input to audible sound waves at its output.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Low Frequency Refers to radio frequencies within the 30-300 kHz band. In audio it usually refers to frequencies in the 40-160 Hz band.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Low Pass Filter A network of components which attenuate all frequencies above a predetermined frequency selected by the designer. Frequencies below cut-off are passed without any effect.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    M


    Magnet A device which has the ability to attract or repel pieces of iron or other magnetic material. Speaker magnets provide a stationary magnetic field so that when the coil produces magnetic energy, it is either repelled or attracted by the stationary magnet.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Magnetic Circuit The circuit that includes the magnet(s), the top plate, and the pole piece; they combine to create a magnetic field in the air gap where the voice coil sits.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Magnetic Flux The current in a magnetic circuit.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Magnetic Flux Density The measurement of magnetic flux inside the air gap.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MECP Mobile Electronics Certification Program.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Memory The word most commonly used to refer to a system's ability to retain specific information.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Memo List A Custom File feature that allows the user to toggle through the disc or station titles currently loaded without interrupting playback of the existing disc or station.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Metal Tape EQ An equalization circuit that compensates for the unique frequency response characteristics of metal tape.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Microprocessor A semiconductor that can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks in many different systems.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Midrange Driver A loudspeaker specifically designed to reproduce the frequency in the middle of the audible bandwidth. Most musical energy lies in the midband.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Middle Frequencies The frequencies above 400Hz but below 4 kHz.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Milliamps A unit of measurement of electric current equal to 1/1000th of an ampere. The milliampere is the most common unit used when measuring quiescent current drain.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MIN The cellular phone's Mobile Identification Number.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MIN 1 The 10-digit mobile number used in cellular telephones.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MIN 2 The three-digit area code used in cellular telephones.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Module A term commonly used to describe a self-contained part or device that can perform a specific function.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mono The operation of an amplifier in one channel for both input and output. Can refer to an amplifier with only one channel of amplification.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor-Field Effect Transistor) A form of field-effect transistor controlled by voltage rather than current, like a bipolar transistor. MOSFETs have a significantly higher switching speed than bipolar transistors. They generate almost no loss (little heat generation), which lends the power supply fast response, excellent linearity, and high efficiency.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MOSFET Audio Device An audio device that employs MOSFET transistors, offering superior thermal stability, faster switching, extended frequency range, and better transient response.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MOSFET Power Supply A power supply that employs MOSFET transistors to convert DC to AC. Offers superior thermal stability and more accurate switching.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Motion Sensors A sensor specifically designed to detect a gentle or sharp up and down or side to side motion of the vehicle.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MTSO Mobile Telephone Switching Office. The main office of the cellular network that holds all the information for matching a customer's mobile number and electronic serial number, and hardware and software for controlling the cell sites.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Multimeter A common term used to describe a VOM. A multimeter usually has the ability to measure volts, ohms, and amperes or milliamperes.2



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    N


    Negative Door Switches A common type of switch found on most modern vehicles which provides the trigger for the factory interior lights, key buzzer, factory alarm, etc.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Negative Feedback Loop A comparative circuit used in both audio applications (Sigma Drive, Sigma Servo) and voltage applications to ensure that a given circuit is performing appropriately.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Negative LCD A liquid crystal display employing a dark backfield with lit elements. This results in a primarily dark display, which improves cosmetic integration with a dark colored headunit.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Negative Lead The lead or line connected to the negative terminal of a current, voltage, or power source.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Neodymium Magnet A magnet material offering 7.5 times the magnetic strength of standard magnetic materials.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Non-Delay Play A disc changer feature with significantly reduced silence between the time one disc is finished, and the next disc is loaded and cued.1

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Normally Closed Refers to the electrical state in which a switch may rest. Its contacts are held together or closed so that current is allowed to flow through its contacts.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Normally Open Refers to the electrical state in which a switch may rest. Its contacts are held apart or open so that no current flows through its contacts.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nominal Impedance The minimum impedance a loudspeaker presents to an amplifier, directly related to the power the speaker can extract from the amplifier.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NTSC National Television System Committee. Refers to the standards used for video broadcast and playback signal parameters.3



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    Re: Car Audio Terms defined

    O

    Octave A musical interval between two tones formed when the ratio between the frequencies of the tone is 2:1.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ohm Electrical resistance equal to the resistance of a circuit in which an electromotive force of one volt maintains a current of one ampere.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ohm's Law The statement of the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance. Where I=Current, E=Voltage, and R=Resistance, I=E/R, E=IR, and R=E/I.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Open To pull apart, referring to contacts in a relay or switch. When the circuit is opened, the contacts are no longer touching, and no current flows.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Open Circuit A circuit containing a switch, filament, voice coil, etc., which is not intact and current cannot flow through.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oscillator A device which produces an alternating current or pulsating current or voltage electronically (Also see Audio Oscillator).2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The government agency which regulates workplace safety and health.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Output (Audio) The high level (speaker) or line level (RCA) signals sent from one system component to another, or the high level signal from an amplifier to the system speakers.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Output (Security) Any wire on a security system designed to produce a signal intended to be wired to some outside circuit or device. A siren wire, flashing light wire, and door lock wires are all outputs.2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Output Stage The final section of amplification before the speaker terminal.4

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Override Switch A switch that provides a secondary means to disarm or override a security system in the event the primary means is unavailable (Also see Emergency Override).2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oversampling A digital filter which calculates additional samples between those taken from the disc, providing a closer representation the original analog signal and therefore better sound quality.1



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    REFERENCES: Bigbassman, Rangerman, Deserheat, Bavarian, Req, Vosschs, George, Mountaineer Man, NGSM13, Kingpin_jeffie, Harrison, Dustin19, Iceteebone, Electrodynamic, Memphis4L, RaiN, Mikemareen, Omietrice, Suleman36, Jmanpc, Kickerlivinloud, ibanender, massiveaudiocw, phoenix88, polecat, j3bus2k3

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