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Ruining $4 Attenuators

>From K5GNA:

Putting a Radio Shack 6 dB attenuator (model 15-1257, $3.95) in line with 
your converted MMDS type of downconverter will reduce the no signal noise to 
a more reasonable level.  Although there has been some debate on this BB on 
reducing excess gain and noise in the RX, Dick Knadle, K2RIW, and others have 
presented papers on the benefits of eliminating this excess gain, so the no 
signal noise is reduced.

However, the main benefit of the attenuator is for you to sacrifice a $4 unit 
instead of a downconverter (or another expensive device) when you key your 2 
meter TX into the downcovnerter. You will probably key up accidentally no 
matter how careful you are, as I have heard many stories and even done it 
myself.  Because of the berivety of most of the accidental transmissions, it 
may not burn something up every time, but it does happen. Even the step 
attenuators can be ruined and they usually cost a lot more than $4.  The 
first thing that your 2 meter transceiver should see is the $4 attenuator or 
somthing else cheap that will can be sacrificed.

Bob Seydler
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