3.3 ATTENUATORS

An attenuator is a circuit that reduces the amplitude of the signal by a finite amount. A simple resistance attenuator is represented in Fig. 3.16. The output of the attenuator shown in Fig. 3.16 is given by the relation:

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From this equation, it is evident that the output is smaller than the input, which is the main purpose of an attenuator—to reduce the amplitude of the signal. Attenuators are used when the signal amplitude is very large. Let us measure a voltage, say, 5000 V, using a CRO; such a large voltage may not be handled by the amplifier in a CRO. Therefore, to be able to measure such a voltage we first attenuate the ...

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