Repeater

In digital communication systems, a repeater is a device that receives a digital signal on an electromagnetic or optical transmission medium and regenerates the signal along the next leg of the medium. In electromagnetic media, repeaters overcome the attenuation caused by free-space electromagnetic-field divergence or cable loss. A series of repeaters make possible the extension of a signal over a distance.

Repeaters remove the unwanted noise in an incoming signal. Unlike an analog signal, the original digital signal, even if weak or distorted, can be clearly perceived and restored. With analog transmission, signals are strengthened with amplifiers which unfortunately also amplify noise as well as information.

Because digital signals depend on the presence or absence of voltage, they tend to dissipate more quickly than analog signals and need more frequent repeating. Whereas analog signal amplifiers are spaced at 18,000 meter intervals, digital signal repeaters are typically placed at 2,000 to 6,000 meter intervals.

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