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Why You Need RF Splitters and Combiners

If you are in the business of building or working with antenna arrays, you have probably heard of splitters and combiners. At first, these parts can seem complex and intimidating. Fortunately, they are relatively simple parts, easy to understand, and their names indicate their primary purpose. Here is an overview of what these are so you can get a head start on learning how antennas work for those who are new to the industry. 

Splitters

RF splitters are devices that take an input signal and create multiple output signals with specific characteristics. Unlike a 90-degree hybrid coupler, these only accept one signal. The single signal goes in one port and is broken up between two or more output ports. In most cases, the signal is split equally. Therefore, the signal is greatly reduced by splitters. The amount of reduction is based on the number of output ports. For instance, a splitter with four output ports will reduce the signal more than one with two ports. 

Combiners

The exact opposite is a combiner which takes multiple signals and produces one output. Basically, it is a splitter that is being used in reverse. All it does is combine signals to amplify them. Signals go in through two or more ports and are output through one port. To remember this part’s function, most people note that it takes signals and combines them to produce an output that is the sum of these inputs. 

For people working with antenna signals, it is a good idea to understand splitters and combiners. Remember, splitters reduce a signal based on how many output ports there are. Meanwhile, combiners amplify multiple input signals to create an output that is the sum of these. You can tell them apart by remembering that splitters split and combiners combine. Knowing this information will help you grown your knowledge about how antennas work.