Written by Kelly Wand
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Attenuators come in different forms to allow for different uses. Attenuation is a complicated business, and finding the right device can make all the difference in terms of RF transmission quality. Before picking an attenuator, one should know about the differences among attenuator makes and models.

The fixed attenuator is the most basic form of this device. These units deliver a specified amount of attenuation at all times. Often used in optical applications, these attenuators are cheaper to buy than more glitzy versions. They provide solid, no-frills performance on a consistent basis.

The variable attenuator is considered something of a step up from its fixed cousin. Variable attenuators can be manipulated to produce different attenuation levels at different times. Many of these devices come with handy interfaces designed to make changing attenuation a breeze. These units are great for testing and laboratory use, as they can be quickly modified to meet whatever needs might arise in a fast-paced environment.

Which Attenuators to Get?

Most every RF situation requires a certain sort of attenuator; only the right product will do. The first issue to consider when choosing between a fixed and variable attenuator is simply the project at hand. Talk with an RF expert about which kind of attenuator fits the bill in your workplace.

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