SMA attenuators are used to reduce the input power, and therefore enable RF Explorer to measure stronger signals. It is also used to protect the input SMA port of RF Explorer when unknown strong signals may be in the environment, so you can use this attenuator on demand. You can easily unplug the attenuator when measurement is for weak signals.
You can also combine multiple attenuators to get additional values. For instance a 10 dB + 30dB attenuators connected in series will give you 40dB total attenuation.
RF Explorer firmware v1.09 and newer includes an “Offset DB” feature in the Attenuator Menu, you should specify (-10) dB in this setting when the attenuator is connected in order to get correct readings on screen.
This 10dB attenuator will extend the valid protection range of most RF Explorer models to up +15dBm safely (32mW).