How Does a Line Splitter Work?

How Does a Line Splitter Work?

When you’re shopping for an AC line splitter, you have to know the basics. Line splitters work by bridging a 2-wire power cord with a standard AC outlet, allowing you to accurately measure the current with a clamp meter. Unlike a traditional power cord, your new AC line splitter won’t damage your cord.

COAX Trace

To determine whether a COAX Trace line splitter is installed, look at the reflection of the coax run on the device. If you see two reflections, that means there is a 2-way splitter. A good quality splitter has un-terminated output branches.

The COAX trace will show a negative impedance change where the splitter is. This indicates that the splitter is not working well and must be replaced. Another good sign is if the trace shows two reflections after the splitter. This is because the system has multiple reflections and a bad splitter will create these reflections.

A good quality splitter should have at least one positive reflection per unterminated branch. You can easily check this by looking at the COAX Trace. A four-way COAX Trace should show four positive reflections, as shown in Figure 6. The COAX Trace should reflect all four branches.

Impedance change

The Impedance change in a line splitters is the difference between the characteristic impedance of the source and terminating impedance of the line. Normally, the characteristic impedance and terminating impedance of a line splitter must be equal. Otherwise, the source will experience points of maximum and minimum currents, which correspond to the nodes and antinodes of the standing current wave.

A high-quality line splitter should have an impedance change of only a few ohms. If the splitter’s reflection is large, it means that the impedance is not matched correctly. A good splitter should have only two reflections, while a bad splitter should have three reflections. If the reflections are large, the splitter must be replaced.

The frequency response of a line splitter depends on the rated impedance of the source and the input load. Mic level splitters will give better results if they are designed for splitting up mics. Line splitters also tend to be less expensive than mic level splitters, because they do not need phantom power to function. Their prices vary based on supply and demand.

The phase of complex impedance refers to the phase shift between voltage and current in real circuits. For many applications, the relative phase of voltage and current is not critical. However, if it is, the impedance of the two sides of the splitter is affected, and therefore, the two signals may appear to be mismatched.

Direct wire path

Direct wire path for line splitters are a simple device that connects two cables with different types of connections. One end of the splitter has a red and blue wire identifying one network connection and the other has a grey wire indicating unused wires. These two cables are then plugged into a second end of the splitter. The second cable connects to a computer, switch, or router.

When using COAX as a test signal, make sure the splitter has good impedance matching. If the impedance difference is very large, it means the splitter has not been chosen carefully. Similarly, if you observe reflections in the COAX trace, you must check if the splitter has multiple reflections in its output ports. This is a clear indication that the splitter is not up to standards.