What You Need To Know About RF Splitters and Combiners
If you’re new to the world of antenna arrays and power signals, you’re probably not going to know what splitters and combiners are. That said, these are critical devices that you need to learn about to understand power signals. So here is what you need to know about these devices.
In short, RF splitters are devices that accept one input signal and divide it to travel through multiple output ports. Yes, the concept behind these devices is as simple as they sound. Power enters one port, is split, and is sent out through several output ports.
Generally, it will remain unchanged, but the device will divide the signal by the number of output ports. In other words, if the device has two output ports, each one will produce half the original power. Likewise, if the device has four ports, it will divide the original signal by four.
Now that you understand power splitters, you can reverse the concept, starting with two signals that go in through multiple input ports, get combined, and flow through one output port, which happens in a combiner. A combiner is nothing more than a splitter that flows backward. It takes several less powerful signals and combines them to make a stronger one. But, like a splitter, it doesn’t alter it beyond changing its power.
Specific characteristics go with any device in your antenna array that can affect the signal as it travels through a splitter or combiner. The most significant things that will impact a device include amplitude, phases, isolation, and insertion loss.
When choosing a splitter or combiner, you want to look at specific parameters to ensure that you get the right one. The things to look at include isolation, phase, loss, power rating, and operating frequency range.
Don’t be alarmed by the intimidating name of RF combiners and splitters. These devices may play a crucial role in sending signals, but they are pretty simple and easy to understand.