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What Is a Broadband RF Amplifier?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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A broadband RF amplifier is an electronic device that receives low-level audio signals and transforms them into higher frequencies. Most amplifiers of this type transmit signals at the frequency of 900 megahertz (MHz) and have a range up to 3 gigahertz (GHz). Signal amplifiers of this sort tend to broaden the range that an audio signal can reach, while improving sound quality. Sound amplifiers are typically stand-alone devices that connect through cables to electronics that emit audio signals and may be small, medium or large in size.

The main purpose of a broadband RF amplifier is to convert a low frequency sound decibels into a higher frequency. This change tends to improve the sound quality of the signal by reducing or buffering out unnecessary interference. It is the same concept that is used in video amplifiers that change a picture signal from analog to digital. By modifying the frequency, the signal becomes enhanced and has increased transmission capability.

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Some of the enhancements that a broadband RF amplifier can bring to an audio signal include reduced background noise, extended range, and higher pitch. Analog or low-level signals tend to pick up more interference than digital signals, which can manifest as static, fading, and garbled sound. While digital conversion or transmission at a higher frequency has its own problems with noise interference, the rate of occurrence is usually lower and not as noticeable. Range refers to the distance a sound wave is capable of traveling and an amplifier often extends its reach so that a larger group of people can hear the sound.

In some countries, the frequencies that a broadband RF amplifier sends its sound waves on may be regulated by national government agencies. Prior to commercial or personal use, it is important to check with local radio communications laws to make sure that the amplifier's transmission frequencies are legal. Most manufacturers will state the range that their amplifiers are capable of, with most ranges staying at or underneath 3GHz. Larger amplifiers may have the capability of transmitting signals up to 6GHZ.

A broadband RF amplifier could have the ability to receive input from one or several electronic devices. Smaller amplifiers may not have any external controls, while medium to large amplifiers could have user controls built into their designs. In most cases, the internal components of an amplifier are concealed and the external connectors are labeled according to the types of input signals they receive.

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