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Precision Acoustics

Signal Amplifier

Optional item to the basic Membrane Hydrophone Measurement System, designed to reduce noise and amplify the signal from a Precision Acoustics UT series membrane hydrophone.

If you have any specific questions about this product, please contact us.

signal amplifier


  • Signal Amplifier – Order Code MA2

All parameters quoted are at the Unity Gain setting i.e. GAIN OFF.

Technical Specifications

Bandwidth: 0.1MHz to 40MHz (3dB points)
Maximum Output Level: 1.5V pk – pk into 50Ω load
Voltage Gain: Unity or x 5
Input Impedance: Nominal 50Ω
Output Impedance: Nominal 50Ω
Output Noise Level: Typically 200uV pk – pk (bandwidth 200MHz)
Phase: Non-inverting
Terminations: Input – SMC socket Output – BNC socket
Power Requirements: 100/120/220/240V ac, 50-60Hz
Operating Temperature: 0 to 50°C
Size: 250mm x 205mm x 115mm
Weight: 2.6kg

* Precision Acoustics reserves the right to change the specification without notice.

Warranty: membranes 12 months against defective product but not damage caused by user. If a warranty claim is made on devices that have been calibrated at NPL, London, a charge will be made for the used part of the calibration (e.g. in the event of failure of a membrane at three months the charge for recalibration at NPL is 25% of the calibration charge).


Hydrophone FAQ's

A simple guide can be found here “Simple Guide to making ultrasonic intensity measurements” or if you are in the UK you might be interested in our “Hydrophone users course” in the education section
Hydrophones can be used in castor oil or mineral oil. The hydrophone is constructed from PVDF which although resilient can be damaged by some chemicals. Consult our web page Properties of poled piezo-electric PVDF film.

All hydrophones should be soaked before use. Although most hydrophones stabilise after about 10 minutes, our recommendation is to soak for 1 hour so that the output stabilises before measurements are taken.

Hydrophones should be removed from the water as soon as possible and we advise that if they are left immersed longer than 24 hours they are removed as soon as possible and dried out.

If possible rinse the hydrophone tip in distilled water at the end of a measurement session and leave to air dry or place in a warm oven at no more than 50 °C. Do not touch the hydrophone tip.

Immerse the hydrophone tip in lemon juice and then rinse in distilled or running water.

The input and output from your measurement equipment should be terminated with 50 Ohms.

It doesn’t matter whether you measure it as a power or voltage ratio – you’ll get the same dB result.

Three 9v batteries in series will give enough voltage but they will not last very long and may cause changes in the measured signal. All DC Couplers supplied after March 2008 are supplied with a small desktop power supply suitable for use with the hydrophone system. Contact us if you wish to purchase a PSU for use with older systems.

No – it simply powers the preamp and removes the dc component from the returned signal.

Yes, you can feed a test signal in and measure the response. You will need to use a 50 Ohm terminator at the input if you use a 50 Ohm signal source. You will also need to use 50 Ohm input on your oscilloscope.

Precision Acoustics manufactures transducers over the frequency range 0.2 MHz to 50MHz using a variety of different materials

  • PVDF transducers are available in the range 3 MHz to 50 MHz
  • Piezo-ceramic transducers are available in the range 0.5 MHz to 12 MHz
  • 1-3 piezo-composite transducers are available in the range 0.2 MHz to 1 MHz

The sensitivity is simply a conversion factor between pressure and voltage. If you measure peak-to-peak voltage and apply the conversion factor, you will measure peak-to-peak pressure. If you measure rms voltage and apply the conversion factor, you will measure rms pressure. The same will be true for peak positive, peak negative, etc.