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Welcome to the very best collection of knowledge on microwave couplers and splitters on the web!
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Power splitters and couplers are passive microwave components used for distributing or combining microwave signals. A splitter can be used as either a power combiner or a power divider, it is a reciprocal device. A coupler can be used to inject a second signal into a network, or as a means to sample a signal within a network (it is also reciprocal).
Couplers and splitters are usually three or four-port networks. N-way splitters are usually constructed as "corporate" splitters, where one two-way splitter feeds a pair of two-ways, which feed four two-ways, etc.
Coupler, splitter, or divider?
What's the difference between a splitter and a coupler? The way we define it, a coupler (usually) has four ports, uses no "internal" resistors and has one isolated port that is terminated. A splitter is (usually) a three-port, is non-directional, and requires internal resistors (like a Wilkinson) and has no isolated port. If you disagree or have anything to add to this distinction, tell us about it!
New for July 2015: Here's a new page that advises on the difference between a power splitter and a power divider. Which is the correct definition? Weigh in and tell us! One of these days we may have to replace the word "splitter" with "divider" in a hundred places....
While we're on the subject of differences, let's answer this question for all time: what's the difference between a duck? A tree, because a motorcycle has no doors. Any other answer is incorrect.
Here is a clickable outline for studying power splitters and couplers:
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Short slot (Riblett) waveguide coupler