How are decibels used in electronics
Decibel is not a unit like volts, amperes or watts, but a ratio. For numbers with the unit dB, two other numbers were set in relation to one another beforehand. It is basically a mathematical statement that alone is not meaningful. That is why the dB specification must also include what it specifies. The physicist Alexander Graham Bell was honored with the designation Bel.
The decibel (dB) is the tenth part of a bel (B). Just as a decimeter is a tenth of a meter.
- 1 bel is 10 decibels.
- 1 meter is 10 decimeters.
Why is it stated in decibels (dB)?
As a signal propagates in space, the power is reduced proportionally to the square of the distance. For this reason, HF technology is based on power and not on voltages. The services are converted into decibels (dB). Calculations can be simplified significantly by simply adding or subtracting gains or losses. Otherwise one would have to multiply in several calculations. In addition, dB values are much more manageable.
In the example above, the amplifier has a gain factor V of 50. The output signal is 50 times greater than the input signal. In order to get the gain factor to decibels, the logarithm of ten is formed from the gain.
One advantage of converting with the help of the logarithm is the ease with which the ratios of two similar quantities can be handled. Such relationships occur with amplifiers and transmission links. Unmanageable values then arise on a linear scale. The logarithm offers smaller values and makes it easier to calculate gains and losses. A multiplication becomes an addition and a division becomes a subtraction.
If several amplifier stages and transmission links are used one behind the other, the gain factor has to be multiplied each time. If the gain is given in dB, then these values can simply be added.
It is preferable to calculate with decibels in order to be able to calculate the amplification or attenuation of electrical signals by simply adding and subtracting them. The smaller numbers are also advantageous. In contrast, the gain factors and attenuation factors, the values of which are calculated by multiplication and division. The numerical values are high and cannot be calculated in your head.
Calculation with gain factor:
Calculation with gain in dB:
In addition to the electrical gain, volume levels are also given in decibels. The level of the volume is given in relation to the volume at the hearing limit.
Source: Federal Environment Ministry
|10||Rustling leaves, calm breathing|
|25||Commercial noise limit at night|
|35||Upper limit for night noises in residential areas, sleeping, learning and concentration disorders possible|
|45||Upper limit for daytime noise in residential areas|
|50||normal conversation, room volume|
|60||loud conversation, stress limit|
|65||increased risk of cardiovascular diseases up to and including myocardial infarction|
|70||Household and office noise|
|85||Hearing protection prescribed in the trade, if exposed for years, hearing damage occurs|
|90||Car horns, truck driving noises, snoring|
|100||Motorbike, circular saw, disco music|
|110||Walkman loud, rock concert|
|120||Airplane at a short distance, techno music, hearing damage possible after only a short exposure|
|130||Pain threshold, jet plane at a short distance|
|140||Gun shot, rocket launch, EU limit value to protect against hearing damage|
|170||G3 rifle at close range, slap directly in the ear|
|190||internal injuries, skin burns, fatal|
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