Circulators

Written by Kevin Little
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Circulators are in some ways the opposite of isolators. While an isolator restricts a signal to one particular port, a circulator allows a signal to travel freely between multiple ports. These devices are actually designed to promote signal transfer between ports, which usually number three.

These circuits have many uses, one of which is, oddly enough, the isolation of signals. While circulators and isolators could hardly seem more different in terms of design, they can actually operate in much the same way to eliminate signal reflection. A circulator stops the flow of reflection by diverting the reflected signal to another port, making it impossible for the reflected signal to go back along the cable.

Other Uses for Circulators

For those interested in modification of RF devices, one potential project involves turning a circulator into a diplexer by adding an additional piece (called a "high pass filter") to the second port of a three-port circulator. The signal that comes in through the second port will be sent out from both the first and third ports, though signal strength will be divided in two. Make sure you know what specifications you need your diplexer to have before you try such a task at home.

Those who simply want to buy circulators can find them listed on many different RF websites. Unless you already know exactly what you are looking for, consider a company that is as committed to assisting customers as it is to moving merchandise. That way, you'll be spared the headaches of trying to fit a square part into a round connection.


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