Variable Attenuators

Variable attenuators are a type of radio frequency attenuator that permits the signal level to constantly change. Attenuators are devices that decrease the power of a signal without noticeably distorting its waveform. This protects circuitry from receiving a signal that’s too powerful. 


Variable attenuators are used when the signal level needs to be able to change frequently. This is useful when you don't know exactly what the final desired signal range is or when accuracy is not a priority. Attenuators can be thought of as the opposite of signal amplifiers. An amplifier increases signal power (or amplitude) while an attenuator decreases it. 


How do variable attenuators work?

The signal level of variable attenuators is altered either manually or remotely. 


In manual variable attenuators, the signal level is changed by physically controlling the device, using something like an adjustable screw control.


If they are controlled remotely, a motor or PIN diode uses variable voltage to change the signal.


Types of variable attenuators 

Variable attenuators come with PIN diodes or MESFETs (metal–semiconductor field-effect transistors) as resistors to modulate amplitude. They can use either balanced or unbalanced pi-pad or T-pad circuits. 


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Description Price Maximum Attenuation Maximum Frequency Maximum Insertion Loss Mounting Type Package Type Pin Count Dimensions Length Width Height Maximum Operating Supply Voltage Maximum Operating Temperature Minimum Operating Supply Voltage Minimum Operating Temperature
RS Stock No. 862-6436
Mfr. Part No.HMC652LP2E
HK$50.47
Each
units
2dB 25GHz - Surface Mount SMT 6 2.05 x 2.05 x 1mm 2.05mm 2.05mm 1mm - +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2346
Mfr. Part No.HMC470ALP3E
HK$76.241
Each (On a Tape of 50)
units
31dB 3GHz 2dB Surface Mount LFCSP 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.85mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.85mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2557
Mfr. Part No.HMC652
HK$134.02
Each
units
2dB 50GHz - Surface Mount Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.6 V +85 °C - -55 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2347
Mfr. Part No.HMC472ALP4E
HK$48.536
Each (On a Tape of 50)
units
31.5dB 3.8GHz 3dB Surface Mount SMT 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.95mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2517
Mfr. Part No.HMC1119LP4ME
HK$100.03
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 131-4665
Mfr. Part No.HMC306AMS10E
HK$69.83
Each
units
15.5dB 3.8GHz 2.7dB Surface Mount MSOP 10 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2361
Mfr. Part No.HMC802ALP3E
HK$40.651
Each (On a Tape of 50)
units
20dB 10GHz 3.5dB Surface Mount SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 145-1329
Mfr. Part No.HMC624ALP4E
HK$66.662
Each (On a Reel of 50)
units
31.5dB 6GHz 3.8dB Surface Mount SMT 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.95mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2534
Mfr. Part No.HMC624ALP4ETR
HK$77.76
Each
units
31.5dB 6GHz 3.8dB Surface Mount LFCSP 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.85mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.85mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C
RS Stock No. 862-6411
Mfr. Part No.HMC624ALP4E
HK$76.68
Each
units
31.5dB 6GHz 3.8dB Surface Mount SMT 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.95mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2510
Mfr. Part No.HMC973ALP3E
HK$129.30
Each
units
31dB 5GHz 5.6dB Surface Mount SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 168-4910
Mfr. Part No.HMC306AMS10E
HK$61.347
Each (On a Reel of 50)
units
15.5dB 3.8GHz 2.7dB Surface Mount MSOP 10 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2356
Mfr. Part No.HMC653
HK$99.951
Each (In a Bag of 50)
units
3dB 50GHz - Surface Mount Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.2 V +85 °C - -55 °C
RS Stock No. 139-1741
Mfr. Part No.HMC425ALP3E
HK$201.685
Each (On a Reel of 18)
units
31.5dB 8GHz 4.7dB Surface Mount QFN 16 3 x 3 x 0.85mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.85mm 5 V dc +85 °C 3 V -40 °C
RS Stock No. 145-7843
Mfr. Part No.HMC653LP2E
HK$44.954
Each (On a Reel of 50)
units
25dB 25GHz 3dB Surface Mount SMT 6 2.05 x 2.05 x 1mm 2.05mm 2.05mm 1mm - +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2363
Mfr. Part No.HMC973ALP3E
HK$109.644
Each (On a Tape of 50)
units
31dB 5GHz 5.6dB Surface Mount SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 131-4666
Mfr. Part No.HMC629ALP4E
HK$115.98
Each
units
45dB 10GHz 3.75dB Surface Mount QFN 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.85mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.85mm 3 V, 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 168-4911
Mfr. Part No.HMC629ALP4E
HK$109.497
Each (On a Reel of 50)
units
45dB 10GHz 3.75dB Surface Mount QFN 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.85mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.85mm 3 V, 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C
RS Stock No. 183-2355
Mfr. Part No.HMC652
HK$95.275
Each (In a Bag of 50)
units
2dB 50GHz - Surface Mount Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.6 V +85 °C - -55 °C
RS Stock No. 862-6206
Mfr. Part No.HMC653LP2E
HK$47.59
Each
units
25dB 25GHz 3dB Surface Mount SMT 6 2.05 x 2.05 x 1mm 2.05mm 2.05mm 1mm - +85 °C - -40 °C