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What is an Isolation Transformer?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 17, 2024
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Isolation transformers are designed to isolate unstable frequencies within a signal’s bandwidth. They capture these unstable frequencies as their own signal input and generate from these unstable frequencies a clear, crisp signal frequency. They then deliver the transformed signal as output. As an isolation transformer is designed to isolate only unstable frequency within its bandwidth, if the transformer isn’t able to locate an unstable frequency, the entire bandwidth is allowed to pass through the transformer without undergoing any form of transformation.

In a number of different video and audio broadcasting transmissions, effects in the system may occur that may cause unwanted noise or disturbances within the images being broadcast or received. In order to eliminate these effects, the technician who is charged with the responsibility of maintaining these types of systems may install an isolation transformer. The use of an isolation transformer is not strictly limited to the audio and video fields, however, although they are most commonly used in these instances.

As an isolation transformer has the ability to turn an unstable or distorted input signal into a clear one, the devices are utilized in a number of different electronic devices. Within the devices, the isolation transformer acts as a means of stabilizing the entire circuit. They can be used as an internal device, when they are built directly into a device’s circuitry, or they can be built as a stand-alone unit, limited only by the manufacturer’s limitations and engineering specifications.

One of the benefits of a stand-alone unit is that most of the newer models are able to process more than one input signal. They may take these multiple signals and isolate any irregularities in them, typically on a wider range of bandwidths. The transformers that are built into the circuits of certain devices, on the other hand, are designed to only operate within the parameters of that single device and only on the bandwidths that the device works with.

The type of irregularity within an input signal that an isolation transformer can process depends on the frequencies that it is designed to allow through it. The frequency bands they are designed to isolate are then transformed into either lower or higher frequencies, whichever is the acceptable bandwidth for the device. There is always a range of frequencies within a signal, whether it’s a voltage signal, a current signal, or a broadcast signal, that makes up the frequency bandwidth.

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