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Author Topic: use of 50 ohm terminators  (Read 469 times)

Keith Broughton

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use of 50 ohm terminators
« on: November 27, 2019, 07:11:50 am »

It has come to my attention that is good practice to terminate unused outputs of antenna distribution devices.
Would someone explain the technical reason for this?
Thanks :)
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Steve M Smith

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 08:31:49 am »

They are to attenuate reflections going back down the cable which could be seen as signal.


Steve.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 07:34:58 am »

I installed the terminators but want to follow up on the reason.
What "cable" do you refer to when it's an active splitter device?
I can see the impedance issue if using a passive divider but am less clear on the benefit in a active system.
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Henry Cohen

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 01:07:09 pm »

I installed the terminators but want to follow up on the reason.
What "cable" do you refer to when it's an active splitter device?
I can see the impedance issue if using a passive divider but am less clear on the benefit in a active system.

An active multicoupler ("antenna distributor", "active splitter", etc.) is merely a passive splitter network with a low noise pre-amp feeding the splitter's input (though better designs will also incorporate bandpass filtering).

The passive splitter network itself is designed around all ports being terminated by the appropriate impedance load (50 ohms in the case of RF). When a port has improper termination, or no termination, energy is reflected back into the network to both the summing (common) port as well to the other output ports. An unterminated port causes a change in isolation between ports by changing the overall internal impedance of the network.

Reflecting energy back into the summing port will back feed into the output of the LNA possibly causing IM mixing, saturation, and occasionally even damage in cheaper units.

That said, the better wireless microphone multicouplers are rather forgiving about unterminated ports, and that alone will not cause any significant detrimental effects. But coupled with other problems the wireless system might be experiencing, unterminated ports could exacerbate problems. Given how cheap this proper RF practice is, it's not worth ignoring.

Mini-Circuits has a rather good application note on passive splitter networks.
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Henry Cohen

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Brian Jojade

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 01:11:19 pm »

RF stuff is designed to have loads on it.  Without the loads, the results can become unpredictable.  While not always necessary, it's good practice to prevent problems.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 02:04:42 pm »

An active multicoupler ("antenna distributor", "active splitter", etc.) is merely a passive splitter network with a low noise pre-amp feeding the splitter's input (though better designs will also incorporate bandpass filtering).


Now it makes sense!
Thanks Henry. :)
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Keith Broughton

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 06:21:26 am »

So I installed the terminators on the unused outputs of a Sennheiser ASA 214 and found they got very hot!
I presume this is due to the DC voltage on the connector used to power the receivers.
Everything still works OK but I have concerns the terminators may be loading the DC power supply too much.
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 06:24:34 am by Keith Broughton »
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Pete Erskine

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2019, 11:36:28 am »

So I installed the terminators on the unused outputs of a Sennheiser ASA 214 and found they got very hot!
I presume this is due to the DC voltage on the connector used to power the receivers.
Everything still works OK but I have concerns the terminators may be loading the DC power supply too much.
Thoughts?

use DC blocks before terms... or they will burn out.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2019, 06:09:08 pm »

use DC blocks before terms... or they will burn out.
I suspected that would be the solution but just wanted to check.
Thanks.
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Re: use of 50 ohm terminators
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2019, 06:09:08 pm »


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