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Nuts & Volts Magazine (January 2017)

Ham Metrics and the Decibel

By H. Ward Silver    View Digital Edition  


Wireless communication seems to involve many unfamiliar terms, but most seem to be calculated or expressed in terms of the decibel. Let’s take a look at these measurements and values, and see how to use decibels for them. The “dee-bee” is actually everywhere in ham radio, and is used for characterizing everything from antenna performance to nano-sized signals. Learn the decibel (abbreviated as lower-case ‘d’ followed by an upper-case ‘B’ or ‘dB’) and you and your signal will go a long way!

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