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Attenuation

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Attenuation

A general term indicating a decrease in power (loss of signal) from one point to another. This loss can be a loss of electrical signal or light strength. In optical fibers, it is measured in decibels per kilometer (dB/km) at a specified wavelength. The loss is measured as a ratio of input power to output power. Attenuation is caused by poor-quality connections, defects in the cable, and loss due to heat. The lower the attenuation value, the better. Attenuation is the opposite of gain. See Chapter 1 for additional information on attenuation and the use of decibels.

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