Although the Navy uses television in many ways, video signals are used for more than television. Radar
systems (discussed later in this training series) use video signals and, therefore, video amplifiers. Video
amplifiers are also used in video recorders and some communication and control devices. In addition to
using video amplifiers, televisions use rf amplifiers. Many other devices also use rf amplifiers, such as
radios, navigational devices, and communications systems. Almost any device that uses broadcast, or
transmitted, information will use an rf amplifier.
As you should recall, rf amplifiers are used to amplify signals between 10 kilohertz (10 kHz) and
100,000 megahertz (100,000 MHz) (not this entire band of frequencies, but any band of frequencies
within these limits). Therefore, any device that uses frequencies between 10 kilohertz and 100,000
megahertz will most likely use an rf amplifier.
Before you study the details of video and rf amplifiers, you need to learn a little more about the
frequency response of an amplifier and frequency-response curves.
AMPLIFIER FREQUENCY RESPONSE
In chapter 1 of this module you were shown the frequency-response curve of an audio amplifier.
Every amplifier has a frequency-response curve associated with it. Technicians use frequency-response
curves because they provide a "picture" of the performance of an amplifier at various frequencies. You
will probably never have to draw a frequency-response curve, but, in order to use one, you should know
how a frequency-response curve is created. The amplifier for which the frequency-response curve is
created is tested at various frequencies. At each frequency, the input signal is set to some predetermined
level of voltage (or current). This same voltage (or current) level for all of the input signals is used to
provide a standard input and to allow evaluation of the output of the circuit at each of the frequencies
tested. For each of these frequencies, the output is measured and marked on a graph. The graph is marked
"frequency" along the horizontal axis and "voltage" or "current" along the vertical axis. When points have
been plotted for all of the frequencies tested, the points are connected to form the frequency-response
curve. The shape of the curve represents the frequency response of the amplifier.
Some amplifiers should be "flat" across a band of frequencies. In other words, for every frequency
within the band, the amplifier should have equal gain (equal response). For frequencies outside the band,
the amplifier gain will be much lower.
For other amplifiers, the desired frequency response is different. For example, perhaps the amplifier
should have high gain at two frequencies and low gain for all other frequencies. The frequency-response
curve for this type of amplifier would show two "peaks." In other amplifiers the frequency-response curve
will have one peak indicating high gain at one frequency and lower gain at all others.
Note the frequency-response curve shown in figure 2-1. This is the frequency-response curve for an
audio amplifier as described in chapter 1. It is "flat" from 15 hertz (15 Hz) to 20 kilohertz (20 kHz).