AskDefine | Define limiter

Dictionary Definition

limiter n : (electronics) an nonlinear electronic circuit whose output is limited in amplitude; used to limit the instantaneous amplitude of a waveform (to clip off the peaks of a waveform); "a limiter introduces amplitude distortion" [syn: clipper]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

limiter (Plural: limiters)
  1. That which limits.
    The limiter automatically put on the brakes to keep the machine from going too fast.

Extensive Definition

For speed limiters, see centrifugal governor.
In electronics, a limiter is a circuit that allows signals below a set value to pass unaffected while attenuating the peaks of stronger signals that exceed this set value.
An FM radio receiver usually has at least one stage of amplification for this purpose. It provides a constant level of signal to the FM demodulator stage, reducing the effect of signal level changes in the output. If two or more signals are received at the same time, a high performance limiter stage can greatly reduce the effect of the weaker signals on the output. This is commonly referred to as the FM capture effect.
Generally, FM demodulators are not affected by amplitude variations, since the baseband is contained in the frequency deviations. Some detectors, including the Ratio Detector, inherently limit gain by a nature of the circuit design. In AM radio, the intelligence is located in the amplitude variations, and distortion can occur due to spurious signals that could cause the baseband to be misrepresented.
See also
limiter in German: Limiter
limiter in Spanish: Limitador
limiter in Basque: Zirkuito moztaile
limiter in Dutch: Limiter
limiter in Japanese: リミッター (音響機器)
limiter in Polish: Ogranicznik napięcia
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