Your Guide to Two-Way SplittersOn August 21, 2021 by Walter Powell
The most common RF splitters that can both combine and divide signals are two-way devices. However, if you’ve never heard of this device, there are a few things you will want to know before you dive into using them.
Additional Insertion Loss
While each splitter will give you an expected insertion loss, these devices will actually lose more power than you expect. This is generally caused by the device’s small gauge wire windings and internal transformers and is unavoidable.
Like with any splitter, the two-way devices experience loss between the input and output ports. A balanced splitter has an equal loss for each of its output ports.
Flatness is the measure of amplitude vs. frequency, given in decibels, within a device’s passband. Note, the number can degrade if any unused ports are not terminated.
Insertion loss is the amount of power that is lost between the input and output ports. In an ideal world, the insertion loss would be distributed equally between the output ports, giving you a balanced splitter. However, this is not always the case, and whenever insertion loss is unevenly distributed between output ports, you have an unbalanced splitter.
Isolation is the amount of loss you experience when only one input and output port is used and all other ports are terminated. The lower the isolation, the better the quality splitter you have.
The passband is the operating frequency specification for a device that will provide an equal insertion loss. Even though splitters are considered flat-loss devices, you can receive more loss if you operate them outside the passband.
A power splitter may sound like a simple device, but it isn’t. These are complex devices that have plenty of factors affecting their operation. This is even true for the simple two-way splitters that are very common. Now that you know what a two-way splitter is, you can get started using them.