resistor or op-amp for output attenuation?

Thread Starter

Neil Groves

Joined Sep 14, 2011
I just started using my home built function generator and discovered the outputs are way too large for what i need, funny when i built it i thought only 3v sinewave.....thats no good, well as it turns out i need 10mv-100mv output to test amps and filter circuits lol

So my question is can i use a simple resistor ladder network as my attenuator or is it better to use an op amp on the output stage so i can make the output variable?

i don't know how to use an op amp as an attenuator though, maybe someone can advise?

I'm not an engineer, just a lowely backroom hobbyist so go easy on me :)



Joined Jul 17, 2007
You can use a pot as a variable attenuator.

Connect the output of the signal generator to one end of the pot.
Connect ground to the other end of the pot.
Take the output from the wiper of the pot (most often the middle terminal).

The signal will be fairly high impedance. You can use an opamp wired as a voltage follower/buffer to make it a low impedance output.