Monday, January 25, 2010

Gizmo of the Day

Today EV is starting a new recurring installment, known as Gizmo of the Day.  

And the First Gizmo is...

Balanced 3 Way Splitter

These are relatively rare, and you will have to specifically seek them out.  Often times you wont need such precsicion and a regular 3 (or 4) Way splitterwill suffice.  

What do they do?

A regular 3 way splitter splits the signal once, and then from one of those splits, splits the signal again, to produce 3 outputs.  However the first split, that is not split again has only 3.5 dB loss or so.  The split that was split again into two, has an insertion loss on each output of 7 dB or so.  So the output ports are 3.5 dB down, 7 dB down, and 7 dB down from the input signal.  This can often be advantageous as you run the lowest lost (3.5 dB) output port and thus highest signal to your longest run of coax (which has correspondingly higher losses) or where there is another split down the line, or to your weakest tuner.   But sometimes you will be working with slim margins to dropout or would prefer the precision of Balanced 3 Way Splitter, which equalizes the loss to each of the 3 output ports to 5.5 dB or so.  

As I said it's uncommonly used and thus uncommonly found.  But now you know it exists! Pictured is a Regal Balanced 3 Way splitter.  Note that its looks exactly like a typical 3 Way splitter.

And that is the Gizmo of the Day! 

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