Modern communications are completed using vast networks. Connecting all of the equipment on a network can pose a challenge. It's important that the signal received or generated by the network is routed to the appropriate transmitter or receiver.
Circulators are often used to help streamline signal transfers. A circulator is a unique component that acts as a hub for signals. The signal travels through the circulator and exits at the appropriate port. All quality circulators share some unique characteristics that help them function efficiently.
1. Ferrite Construction
Circulators are constructed using ferrite. This material is classified as anisotropic, which means that it has properties which vary depending on direction. Wood is another example of an anisotropic material. The grain pattern is not oriented the same in all directions. The same principle applies to ferrite.
Circulators will exhibit different properties depending on the direction in which a signal enters. The anisotropic nature of ferrite allows for greater control over the movement of signals throughout a network.
2. Non-Reciprocal Design
Another characteristic that is shared by quality circulators is their non-reciprocal design. Reciprocal devices, like cable or resistors, display uniform signal travel patterns. The signal entering a reciprocal device will travel the same way in both directions.
On the other hand, non-reciprocal devices can manipulate a signal so that it displays different characteristics when traveling in different directions. The non-reciprocal design lets a circulator connect multiple components within a network without the worry that signal patterns will move to the wrong port during operation.
3. Multiple Ports
A network consists of many different components. Some of these components are designed to receive signals, while others are meant to transmit signals. A circulator has the ability to connect components with varying purposes. This is due to the multiple-port design that circulators display.
Once a signal comes into the circulator, it moves in a circular motion to the next port. This unique design lets you control the movement of incoming and outgoing signals, with a single device.
Some circulators have a port that has been blocked by a matching signal load. These circulators, referred to as isolators, help protect a signal source, by absorbing some of the reflected energy produced when a source's energy exceeds the load capacity of the components connected to the circulator via the other open ports. This protects the source from sustaining any serious damage, while it is connected to the network.
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27 June 2019
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