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 RadioShack Consumer Electronics Glossary: O

 
Obscuration
Weather: Any phenomena in the atmosphere, excluding precipitation, that reduces horizontal visibility.
 
Obscuration, Partial
Weather: Denotes that 1/8th or more of the sky, but not all of the sky, is hidden by any surface-based phenomena in the atmosphere, excluding precipitation. It often reduces horizontal visibility but not the vertical.
 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration: see OSHA.
 
Ohm
DIY, Electronics, Measurement: A unit of measurement of electrical resistance; named for Georg Simon Ohm. A resistance of one ohm is the resistance that will produce one ampere when one volt is applied to the circuit.
 
Ohmmeter
DIY: A measurement device used to measure electrical resistance.
 
Ohm's Law
Electronics: The mathematical relationship between electrical current (I), resistance (R) and voltage (E); named for Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm's Law states that current in a resistance varies in direct proportion to voltage applied and inversely proportional to resistance and can be phrased three ways:
E = IR The voltage is equal to the current multiplied by the resistance.
I = E/R The current is equal to the voltage divided by the resistance.
R = E/I The resistance is equal to the voltage divided by the current.
 
Off-peak
Telephony: The periods of time during which providers offer discounted airtime charges.
 
Ogg Vorbis
Acronym: Ogg Vorbis is not an acronym; for additional information, see the Xiph.org names and logos page.
Digital Audio: An open-source (as opposed to proprietary) audio codec.
 
Omnidirectional
Omnidirectional Polar Pattern Literally, operating in all directions.

Audio: Refers to microphones which are designed to pick up sound equally well from any direction, as shown in the microphone pickup pattern (or polar pattern) at right. Compare to Unidirectional, Cardioid, Hyper-cardioid and Ultra-cardioid.

Communications, Audio, Video: Refers to antennas which are designed to receive signals from 360 degrees around the antenna.
 
Op Amp
Acronym: Operational Amplifier
Electronics: A high gain DC amplifier that has a high input impedance and a low output impedance. Op-amps are the most basic type of linear integrated circuits.
 
Open-source
Computer, Electronics: A technology, product or software which is not owned exclusively by a single company, which has information on the technology, the product or the software's source code freely available and which is distributed under a license that guarantees the right to access, redistribute, modify, and use the information on the technology, the product or the software's source code freely. Compare to Proprietary.
 
Operator
Telephony: The local service provider operating company that owns the cellular system in that particular area.
 
Optical Cable
Cables: a fiber-optic cable with a Toslink connector at each end; designed to carry a digital audio signal.
 
Optical Coupler: see Optoisolator.
 
Optical Zoom: see Zoom, Optical.
 
Optocoupler: see Optoisolator.
 
Optoisolator
Electronics: A semiconductor that transfers a signal between a circuit or circuits, while keeping the circuit or circuits electrically isolated.
 
OR
Electronics: A logic gate that outputs "True" when one or both of the inputs are "True"; otherwise, the output is "False".
 
Orbit
GPS, Satellite: The path followed by an object in space as it goes around another object in a single path.
 
Orbital Plane
GPS, Satellite: An imaginary plane, that extends through space, and contains the orbit of a satellite.
 
Orientation Sensor
Digital Video: A sensor that knows when you turn the camera to take a vertical shot and rotates the picture so it won't be displayed on its side when you view it.
 
Oscillate
Electronics: To produce a continuous output waveform without an input signal present.
 
Oscillator
Electronics: An electronic circuit that produces a continuous output waveform with only DC applied.
Metal Detectors: An electronic device used for the purpose of generating a steady electronic signal or current.
 
Oscillator, Variable Frequency
Electronics: An oscillator that does not have a means to monitor or correct the produced frequency. Because of this, the frequency is prone to drift up and down slightly in response to changes in environmental conditions (such as temperature and humidity) and electrical conditions (such as voltage).
 
Oscilloscope
DIY: An instrument that provides a graphical display of a signal's waveform, showing signal amplitude, period and waveform in addition to any DC voltage present.
 
Oscilloscope, Multi-trace
DIY: An oscilloscope that can show two or more waveforms at the same time for phase comparison and timing measurements.
 
OSHA
Acronym: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Ergonomics, Audio: The organization within the U.S. Department of Labor that is responsible for establishing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health. It is responsible for setting standards for (among other things) work-area ergonomics and acceptable sound levels.
 
Overcharge
Batteries: Continuing to charge a secondary battery after it is fully charged. In a sealed battery, the result is increased battery temperature and internal pressure, which can cause the battery to overheat and/or explode.
 
Overexposure
Digital Video: An image that appears too light because of too much light reaching the image sensor.
 
Overlap
Metal Detectors: The amount of search coil swing advance not greater than the search coil's physical diameter.
 
Overshoot
Metal Detectors: A common false signal heard as the search coil passes over a rejected target when using a no-motion All Metal mode in conjunction with automatic retuning. Excessive tuning restoration pushes the audio above threshold level creating a positive response at the edges of target detection periphery.
Oxygen (O2)
Weather: A colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is the second most abundant constituent of dry air, comprising 20.946%.
 
Ozone (O3)
Weather: A nearly colorless gas and a form of oxygen (O2). It is composed of an oxygen molecule made up of three oxygen atoms instead of two.
 
Ozone Layer
Weather: An atmospheric layer that contains a high proportion of oxygen that exists as ozone. It acts as a filtering mechanism against incoming ultraviolet radiation. It is located between the troposphere and the stratosphere, around 9.5 to 12.5 miles (15 to 20 kilometers) above the earth's surface.
 

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