When it comes to electronics, energy, power and communications, it’s easy to get lost in the massive amount of vocabulary terms and specifics involved. While we naturally see the end product of what all these electronic components combine together to produce, we may not understand the complexities of how they operate. One such category of equipment that may be hard to understand is that of RF power dividers. This article will go over some of the ways these units operate and how they are also similar to RF splitters and combiners.
What is an RF Power Divider?
As the name implies, RF power dividers are used to take a single RF line and divide it into multiple lines. This divides the power from the single line into multiple lines. Now, you may have also heard the terms RF splitter and RF combiner. How do these relate? In actuality, an RF power divider, splitter and combiner are all the same thing – just different labels. The same way that an RF line can be split and divided into multiple lines, the same device can be used as an RF combiner by taking multiple RF lines and combining them into one by changing the input lines into the opposite direction.
What are the Different Types of RF Power Dividers and Combiners?
There are typically two broad categories when it comes to RF splitters – resistive power splitters and hybrid power splitters. Hybrid power splitters usually provide low levels of loss between transfers through the use of transformers. There are still some physical losses, but the main loss that comes from splitting on signal between multiple outputs is eliminated. Resistive power splitters use resistors to get loss above the minimum caused by splitting. These resistive splitters are easy and affordable to make, which makes them one of the more popular options.