In books, everything is theoretical and if you want to boost your signal up by 2, you get a 1:2 transformer. Great. However, in the real world, there are different types of transformers which I think are better suited for certain applications. I noticed this when I went to go search for a 1:2 transformer on digikey.

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I have two questions, one for immediate use, and the other a more general and I think, useful question.

  1. I have a 6Khz sinusoidal signal, that I want to feed into a 1:2 transformer. Can any 1:2 transformer (pulse, audio, signal, coupled inductors) work ,so long as the frequency response is within my band of interest ? Would a pulse transformer with a 1:2 turns ratio be a problem ?

  2. For the different types of transformers, what general applications are they better suited for and why cannot the other types be used ? For instance, a pulse transformer is better suited for digital communication because [reasons], but you cannot use a power transformer because [reasons].

  • \$\begingroup\$ For a 6kHz sinusoidal a ferrite core transformer would be the solution. The number of turns in the primary side will depend on the peak voltage of the input signal. The number of turns on secondary side will be the double. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 14, 2015 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


Transformers generally fall into two types: power and signal. Can any type of transformer be used so long as it's frequency response is what you want? You won't find power transformers operating at 6KHz.

Transformers contain two (or more) coils of wire wrapped around a former. Those coils are inductors and an inductor's impedance increases with frequency. When a former is used, or something to couple the magnetic field of both coils together, iron (or steel) laminated former, ferrite core, then the use of a core will change the relative permeability and can result in a) a stronger magnetic field produced by the inductor, and b) increase in the inductance. Increasing the inductance reduces the frequency response.

Inductance is a function of the relative magnetic permeability of the material in the core (no core, where there is only air is the lowest value) and is proportional to the cross sectional area of the solenoid. The bigger the cross sectional area of the solenoid (that is, the greater the diameter), the bigger the inductance will be and the worse its upper frequency response.

Power transformers are typically designed to cope with 50 or 60Hz and designed to handle large currents.

You'd need to think about a pulse transformer which is designed with a much higher frequency response. You could do calculations when you know the inductance of the coils in the transformer or the manufacturer might give you a graph of frequency response.


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