Step Attenuators

Written by Kelly Wand
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Step attenuators are wonderful for systems that require varying levels of signal attenuation at different times. These attenuation units have proven to be both accurate and easy to use. Many recent breakthroughs in attenuation have in fact come in the arena of attenuator use.

Step attenuators have one major advantage over fixed attenuators, that advantage being the ability to change levels of attenuation depending on the strength of the incoming signal or signals. While past models of these attenuators have suffered in terms of accuracy when compared to their fixed brethren, new technology has made for more accurate attenuation. Many experts consider a given step attenuator to be roughly equal to a fixed attenuator of the same quality in terms of accuracy.

Step attenuators, as one might imagine, increase amounts of attenuation in "steps" as the amplitudes of incoming signals change. The steps are activated when signals change. These steps can be taken solely by the machine or controlled manually by the user.

Easy Step Attenuators

Digital or electronic controls make a step attenuator much easier to manually manipulate. These controls activate steps over certain ranges, determined by the capacity of the attenuator in question and the strength of the incoming signal. Whether you're looking for an attenuator that operates without your supervision or one you can control, it makes sense to ask the advice of an experienced RF professional.

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