The ebook FEEE - Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering and Electronics is based on material originally written by T.R. Kuphaldt and various co-authors. For more information please read the copyright pages.

Cascaded sections

Attenuator sections can be cascaded as in Figure 3385 for more attenuation than may be available from a single section. For example two 10 db attenuators may be cascaded to provide 20 dB of attenuation, the dB values being additive. The voltage attenuation ratio K or VI/VO for a 10 dB attenuator section is 3.16. The voltage attenuation ratio for the two cascaded sections is the product of the two Ks or 3.16x3.16=10 for the two cascaded sections.

Fig. 3385: Cascaded attenuator sections: dB attenuation is additive.

Variable attenuation can be provided in discrete steps by a switched attenuator. The example (Figure 3386), shown in the 0 dB position, is capable of 0 through 7 dB of attenuation by additive switching of none, one or more sections.

Fig. 3386: Switched attenuator: attenuation is variable in discrete steps.

The typical multi section attenuator has more sections than the above figure shows. The addition of a 3 or 8 dB section above enables the unit to cover to 10 dB and beyond. Lower signal levels are achieved by the addition of 10 dB and 20 dB sections, or a binary multiple 16 dB section.

Last Update: 2010-11-19