Radio frequency waves are utilized for a wide array of modern day applications. Areas where radio waves are vital include television broadcasting, satellites and global monitoring, radar systems, remote controls and, naturally, radio broadcasting. Most people use or experience the use of radio frequency devices on an everyday basis. Here are three tools used in the transmission of radio frequency waves that are part of virtually any equipment used in telecommunications.
- Power Dividers
RF power dividers are passive devices. Each divider takes a single incoming signal and splits it, outputting two or more signals. These are sometimes classified under the umbrella of “splitters,” though this is a term generally used for devices that lose a considerable amount of power when splitting signals and dividers usually break signals up with minimal power/energy loss.
- Power Combiners
Power combiners are the direct opposite of power dividers. In fact, in theory, the same exact piece may operate as either a divider or combiner, though in real life requirements for the two are different. Combiners are also sometimes referred to as “splitters.” RF power combiners are essentially power dividers run backward.
- Power Couplers
Power couplers also function passively like dividers and combiners. Couplers are very similar to dividers, enough so that they are sometimes confused as the same thing. Both of them split signals, but there are a few key differences. One difference is that some couplers (unidirectional or multidirectional) experience no power loss while dividers always lose a small amount of energy. They also contain different numbers of ports, with dividers usually having three ports and directional couplers having four. Dividers also break energy into equal portions as opposed to couplers, which split it into unequal parts.
Radio frequency devices have become near indispensable to many industries today, especially those involved in communications. Dividers, combiners and couplers come in different types, with usage dependent on a multitude of factors; they are valuable components that help with the distribution of signals.