Dividers Split Power With Minimal Loss

May 17, 2012
These compact, low-frequency, passive coaxial power dividers can be supplied with up to 16 output ports, perfect for broadband radar and communications applications requiring tight phase and amplitude control.

Distributing signals evenly across a radar or satellite communications (satcom) system requires passive circuit design with tremendous attention to detail. One possible solution is an N-way power divider, but it must operate with low insertion loss and high isolation among the outputs and across a multi-octave, low-frequency operating frequency range. Such precision and performance can be found in a growing line of RF/microwave passive power dividers from TRM Microwave. These offerings incorporate variations of ferrite, resistive, microstrip, and stripline topologies. Of particular note, the company recently welcomed the model DL162030a compact, 16-way power divider.

Model DL162030 is designed for use from 20 to 3000 MHz, a 150:1 bandwidth (Fig. 1). It controls insertion loss through each signal path to 4.5 dB or less while providing at least 18 dB isolation between output ports. The maximum input and output VSWR is 1.60:1, and the power divider is rated to handle input power levels to 20 W. It maintains amplitude unbalance between output ports at 0.8 dB or better, with phase unbalance between ports held to 10 deg. or better. Model DL162030 measures 9.4 x 3.0 x 0.5 in. and can be supplied with female SMA or BMA connectors. It has been tested to deliver its rated performance levels across operating temperatures from -15 to +55C.

For higher frequencies, the company has also developed its broadband model DMS 1645 16-way power divider for applications from 2.5 to 6.5 GHz, including radar and satcom systems. It features low insertion lossless than 1.8 dB at 6.5 GHzwith at least 20 dB isolation between ports at that frequency. The maximum input-port VSWR is 1.50:1 while the maximum output-port VSWR is 1.25:1. The 16-way power divider boasts excellent channel-to-channel balance, with amplitude unbalance of only 0.5 dB among all output ports and phase unbalance within 8 deg. Also available with either SMA or BMA female connectors, model DMS 1645 can handle input power levels to 3 W and is designed for operating temperatures from -15 to +55C.

When so many output ports are not needed, the firm offers a full complement of dividers with lower division ratios, including two-way, four-way, six-way, and eight-way models. For example, model DL62030 (Fig. 2) is a six-way power divider for applications from 20 to 3000 MHz. It has insertion loss of 5 dB or less across the frequency range, with at least 18 dB isolation between output ports. Its six output signal paths are precisely controlled to achieve amplitude unbalance of an impressive 1 dB across the full frequency range. The maximum VSWR is 1.80:1 at both the input and output ports. Model DL62030 is supplied with SMA female connectors and measures 4.25 x 2.00 x 0.50 in. It is rated for maximum input power of +30 dBm (1 W) across temperatures from 0 to +40C.

Over that same frequency range, model DL82030 is an eight-way power divider that measures just 4.0 x 2.0 x 0.5 in. with SMA female connectors. It exhibits maximum insertion loss of 4.5 dB with minimum isolation between ports of 18 dB. The input VSWR is typically 2.0:1 from 20 to 100 MHz, improving to 1.80:1 from 100 to 3000 MHz. The output VSWR is typically 1.80:1 from 20 to 100 MHz and typically 1.50:1 from 100 to 3000 MHz. This is a high-frequency power divider with tightly controlled electrical paths, achieving worst-case amplitude unbalance of 0.4 dB and worst-case phase unbalance between channels of 4 deg. Finally, model DL82030 can handle input power levels to +33 dBm (2 W) across operating temperatures from -40 to +70C.

TRM Microwave
280 South River Rd.
Bedford, NH 03110
(603) 627-6000
FAX: (603) 627-6025

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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