50 Ohm Attenuator Calculator

Most RF circuits are designed for 50 ohm impedance. This tool calculates resistor values to build an attenuator that matches this value of impedance.

To use this tool, enter the desired value of dB attenuation. Both input and output impedance is set to a default value of 50 ohm. It can however be changed to any arbitrary value.

The tool computes resistor values in two different configurations:

  • Pi Attenuator
  • T Attenuator

It also includes tables of values for both types of attenuators.

Pi Attenuator Calculator

Pi Attenuator

Pi Attenuator Formula

R1 = Zo [10dB/20 + 1] / [10dB/20 – 1]

R2 = Zo/2 [10dB/10 – 1] / [10dB/20]

where R1 is the shunt resistor (to ground) and R2 is the series resistor.

Zo = 50 Ω

To build this attenuator you will need

  • two shunt resistors – one at the input and the other at the output
  • one series resistor

T Attenuator Calculator

T Attenuator Formula

R1 = Zo [10dB/20 – 1] / [10dB/20 + 1]

R2 = (2*Zo)*[10dB/20] / [10dB/10 – 1]

where R1 is the series resistor and R2 is the shunt resistor (to ground).

Zo = 50 Ω

To build this attenuator you will need

  • two series resistors – one at the input and the other at the output
  • one shunt resistor

If the characteristic impedance of the attenuator in a 50 ohm system is not the same, then there will be mismatch loss.

Pi Attenuator Table

Below is a table of resistor values for attenuation values from 1dB to 50 dB. The impedance value is 50 ohm.

Attenuation (dB)R1 (Ohm)R2 (Ohm)
1869.55.8
2436.211.6
3292.417.6
4221.023.8
5178.530.4
6150.537.4
7130.744.8
8116.152.8
9105.061.6
1096.271.2
1189.281.7
1283.593.2
1378.8106.1
1474.9120.3
1571.6136.1
1668.8153.8
1766.4173.5
1864.4195.4
1962.6220.0
2061.1247.5
2159.8278.3
2258.6312.7
2357.6351.4
2456.7394.6
2556.0443.2
2655.3497.6
2754.7558.6
2854.1627.0
2953.7703.7
3053.3789.8
3152.9886.3
3252.6994.6
3352.31116.1
3452.01252.5
3551.81405.4
3651.61577.0
3751.41769.5
3851.31985.5
3951.12227.8
4051.02499.8
4150.92804.8
4250.83147.1
4350.73531.2
4450.63962.1
4550.64445.6
4650.54988.0
4750.45596.7
4850.46279.6
4950.47045.9
5050.37905.6

T Attenuator Resistor Table

ATTENUATION (dB)R1 (Ohm)R2 (Ohm)
12.9433.3
25.7215.2
38.5141.9
411.3104.8
514.082.2
616.666.9
719.155.8
821.547.3
923.840.6
1026.035.1
1128.030.6
1229.926.8
1331.723.6
1433.420.8
1534.918.4
1636.316.3
1737.614.4
1838.812.8
1939.911.4
2040.910.1
2141.89.0
2242.68.0
2343.47.1
2444.16.3
2544.75.6
2645.25.0
2745.74.5
2846.24.0
2946.63.6
3046.93.2
3147.32.8
3247.52.5
3347.82.2
3448.02.0
3548.31.8
3648.41.6
3748.61.4
3848.81.3
3948.91.1
4049.01.0
4149.10.9
4249.20.8
4349.30.7
4449.40.6
4549.40.6
4649.50.5
4749.60.4
4849.60.4
4949.60.4
5049.70.3