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coax splitter

 
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kenryan



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

So I am revisiting my (untested) installation that allows me to use my com antenna with a handheld. First I was going to use that little iCom box until Bob revealed that it is junk. So instead I installed a good quality splitter with a bulkhead connector on the panel. My brain must not have been working very well when I did the installation because I didn't think it through. I just blindly hooked the com radio to the "S" the panel to the "1" and the com antenna to the "2"

Later I got thinking that probably the com antenna should go to the "S" and the com radio and panel connector should use the "1" and the "2"
So I pulled the thing out and got out my continuity tester, and all the center pins test for continuity with each other. So now I am thinking that it doesn't matter which goes where, and that I can just put it back the way it was.
Before I do, I would like to confirm that all this thing is doing is connecting all three connectors together equally, and that there is no need or advantage to any particular order.
I am attaching a spec sheet for the part, which is a Mini-Circuits Splitter ZFSC-2-1+
Thanks,
Ken


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Eric Page



Joined: 15 Feb 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: coax splitter Reply with quote

I'm no RF engineer, but I don't think this will work as you hope. With both radios attached, one will be transmitting into the final amplifier of the other, in parallel with the antenna. It might work if you remove the non-transmitting radio and attach a 50-ohm terminator in its place (which obviously defeats the purpose of the installation). Otherwise impedance will probably not be seen as 50 ohms by the active transmitter, SWR will likely not be very good, and you risk damaging the non-transmitting radio.

Also, from the data sheet you attached, see the Maximum Ratings table at the upper left corner: "Power input (as a splitter): 1W" -and- "Permanent damage may occur if any of these limits are exceeded." Typical handheld RF transmit power is 3-5W and panel mount radios are typically rated around 8W in 14V aircraft and 16W in 28V aircraft. I don't think this splitter is intended for this kind of application, but rather as an instrumentation tool, or as a means to connect two receivers to one antenna. I suspect the 1W rating allows some overhead if an active (amplified) antenna is used.

Eric
kenryan wrote:
So I am revisiting my (untested) installation that allows me to use my com antenna with a handheld. First I was going to use that little iCom box until Bob revealed that it is junk. So instead I installed a good quality splitter with a bulkhead connector on the panel. My brain must not have been working very well when I did the installation because I didn't think it through. I just blindly hooked the com radio to the "S" the panel to the "1" and the com antenna to the "2"

Later I got thinking that probably the com antenna should go to the "S" and the com radio and panel connector should use the "1" and the "2"

So I pulled the thing out and got out my continuity tester, and all the center pins test for continuity with each other. So now I am thinking that it doesn't matter which goes where, and that I can just put it back the way it was.

Before I do, I would like to confirm that all this thing is doing is connecting all three connectors together equally, and that there is no need or advantage to any particular order.

I am attaching a spec sheet for the part, which is a Mini-Circuits Splitter ZFSC-2-1+

Thanks,

Ken


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Eric Page



Joined: 15 Feb 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: coax splitter Reply with quote

Eric Page wrote:
I'm no RF engineer...


Um, yeah, like I said...

Ever hit the "submit" button and shortly regret it?

OK, ignore the bit about one radio transmitting into the other. After reading an application note about splitter/combiners on Mini-Circuits' website, it's obvious these things offer isolation between the ports. So, one radio on port 1, one radio on port 2, antenna on the sum port.

Power handling is another issue. The unit you have isn't rated for the power levels we're talking about. It looks like they have plenty of units that are, however.

Eric

With fingers crossed, tapping "submit" again... now!


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Eric Page



Joined: 15 Feb 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: coax splitter Reply with quote

Eric Page wrote:
After reading an application note about splitter/combiners on Mini-Circuits' website...


Here's the application note, in case anyone else is interested:

https://www.minicircuits.com/app/AN10-006.pdf

Eric


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

On 5/16/2017 2:49 PM, Ken Ryan wrote:
Quote:
So I am revisiting my (untested) installation that allows me to use my
com antenna with a handheld. First I was going to use that little iCom
box until Bob revealed that it is junk. So instead I installed a good
quality splitter with a bulkhead connector on the panel. My brain must
not have been working very well when I did the installation because I
didn't think it through. I just blindly hooked the com radio to the
"S" the panel to the "1" and the com antenna to the "2"

Later I got thinking that probably the com antenna should go to the
"S" and the com radio and panel connector should use the "1" and the "2"

So I pulled the thing out and got out my continuity tester, and all
the center pins test for continuity with each other. So now I am
thinking that it doesn't matter which goes where, and that I can just
put it back the way it was.

Before I do, I would like to confirm that all this thing is doing is
connecting all three connectors together equally, and that there is no
need or advantage to any particular order.

I am attaching a spec sheet for the part, which is a Mini-Circuits
Splitter ZFSC-2-1+

Thanks,

Ken
Don't do it.


A splitter doesn't do the same thing as a switch box (hence, the
different names).

A splitter will send an antenna's signal to two *receivers*.

The switch box (cheesy though it is) actually switches the antenna
between two radios. Because it switches, it's ok to attach both
*transceivers* to the box. Only one gets connected at a time.

If you connect two transceivers through the splitter to one antenna,
then one transmitter will attempt to transmit directly into the other's
receiver. Not a good plan.

Charlie

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kenryan



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:35 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

Charlie,

I *thought* I was following Bob's advice, using the splitter instead of the cheezy switch. I can't find the thread but I think what he said was that the switch is far more likely to damage something (due to failure) than it is to perform as designed, when needed. 
Again, I am trying to recall ... but I think the idea is that if I ever need to use the handheld, the first thing I do is turn off the (non-functioning) com radio and only then use panel jack to connect the handheld to the antenna.
So now I guess I have two questions--my original (Does it make any difference which coax goes to what connector?) and now a second: As long as I turn off the com radio before connecting the handheld to the antenna, am I safe from damaging either radio?
Ken
On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM, Charlie England <ceengland7(at)gmail.com (ceengland7(at)gmail.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> AeroElectric-List message posted by: Charlie England <ceengland7(at)gmail.com (ceengland7(at)gmail.com)>

On 5/16/2017 2:49 PM, Ken Ryan wrote:
Quote:
So I am revisiting my (untested) installation that allows me to use my com antenna with a handheld. First I was going to use that little iCom box until Bob revealed that it is junk. So instead I installed a good quality splitter with a bulkhead connector on the panel. My brain must not have been working very well when I did the installation because I didn't think it through. I just blindly hooked the com radio to the "S" the panel to the "1" and the com antenna to the "2"

Later I got thinking that probably the com antenna should go to the "S" and the com radio and panel connector should use the "1" and the "2"

So I pulled the thing out and got out my continuity tester, and all the center pins test for continuity with each other. So now I am thinking that it doesn't matter which goes where, and that I can just put it back the way it was.

Before I do, I would like to confirm that all this thing is doing is connecting all three connectors together equally, and that there is no need or advantage to any particular order.

I am attaching a spec sheet for the part, which is a Mini-Circuits Splitter ZFSC-2-1+

Thanks,

Ken


Don't do it.

A splitter doesn't do the same thing as a switch box (hence, the different names).

A splitter will send an antenna's signal to two *receivers*.

The switch box (cheesy though it is) actually switches the antenna between two radios. Because it switches, it's ok to attach both *transceivers* to the box. Only one gets connected at a time.

If you connect two transceivers through the splitter to one antenna, then one transmitter will attempt to transmit directly into the other's receiver. Not a good plan.

Charlie

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:28 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

On 5/17/2017 8:33 AM, Ken Ryan wrote:

Quote:
Charlie,

I *thought* I was following Bob's advice, using the splitter instead of the cheezy switch. I can't find the thread but I think what he said was that the switch is far more likely to damage something (due to failure) than it is to perform as designed, when needed. 


Again, I am trying to recall ... but I think the idea is that if I ever need to use the handheld, the first thing I do is turn off the (non-functioning) com radio and only then use panel jack to connect the handheld to the antenna.


So now I guess I have two questions--my original (Does it make any difference which coax goes to what connector?) and now a second: As long as I turn off the com radio before connecting the handheld to the antenna, am I safe from damaging either radio?


Ken


On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM, Charlie England <ceengland7(at)gmail.com (ceengland7(at)gmail.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> AeroElectric-List message posted by: Charlie England <ceengland7(at)gmail.com (ceengland7(at)gmail.com)>

On 5/16/2017 2:49 PM, Ken Ryan wrote:
Quote:
So I am revisiting my (untested) installation that allows me to use my com antenna with a handheld. First I was going to use that little iCom box until Bob revealed that it is junk. So instead I installed a good quality splitter with a bulkhead connector on the panel. My brain must not have been working very well when I did the installation because I didn't think it through. I just blindly hooked the com radio to the "S" the panel to the "1" and the com antenna to the "2"

Later I got thinking that probably the com antenna should go to the "S" and the com radio and panel connector should use the "1" and the "2"

So I pulled the thing out and got out my continuity tester, and all the center pins test for continuity with each other. So now I am thinking that it doesn't matter which goes where, and that I can just put it back the way it was.

Before I do, I would like to confirm that all this thing is doing is connecting all three connectors together equally, and that there is no need or advantage to any particular order.

I am attaching a spec sheet for the part, which is a Mini-Circuits Splitter ZFSC-2-1+

Thanks,

Ken


Don't do it.

A splitter doesn't do the same thing as a switch box (hence, the different names).

A splitter will send an antenna's signal to two *receivers*.

The switch box (cheesy though it is) actually switches the antenna between two radios. Because it switches, it's ok to attach both *transceivers* to the box. Only one gets connected at a time.

If you connect two transceivers through the splitter to one antenna, then one transmitter will attempt to transmit directly into the other's receiver. Not a good plan.

Charlie


You might get away with it, but I wouldn't do it.

The ports are not symmetrical in all three directions. See the labels on the data sheet. The 'S' (sum, as in adding) port is the combining of ports 1 & 2. If you were using two simple radio *receivers*, the antenna would go on the S port and the radios would go on ports 1 & 2. Or if using 2 antennas to feed one radio (not common, but it does happen), the radio would go on the S port.

Why not just duplicate the electrical schematic of the cheesy switch, but replace the 1/8" normalizing jack with a simple miniature toggle switch? Replace the jack function of the normalizing jack with another BNC connector. That way, you can leave the handheld *and* the panel radio both plugged into the box, and if there's a problem with the panel radio, reach under the panel & flip the switch to connect the antenna to the hand held.

Realistically, if the handheld is for emergency communications only, why not just use the rubber ducky that comes with it? It'll work for 10-15 miles, so what's not to like? Simple, reliable, no extra parts to fail, etc etc.

Charlie
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

Quote:
On May 17, 2017, at 10:29 AM, Charlie England <ceengland7(at)gmail.com (ceengland7(at)gmail.com)> wrote:
why not just use the rubber ducky that comes with it? It'll work for 10-15 miles, so what's not to like? Simple, reliable, no extra parts to fail, etc etc.


A 1.5W battery-powered hand-held in to a rubber whip antenna has difficulty transmitting more than a mile. It’s even worse when you’re inside a metal skinned aircraft.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:12 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

At 09:29 AM 5/17/2017, you wrote:
Quote:
On 5/17/2017 8:33 AM, Ken Ryan wrote:
Quote:
Charlie,

I *thought* I was following Bob's advice, using the splitter instead of the cheezy switch. I can't find the thread but I think what he said was that the switch is far more likely to damage something (due to failure) than it is to perform as designed, when needed.

Again, I am trying to recall ... but I think the idea is that if I ever need to use the handheld, the first thing I do is turn off the (non-functioning) com radio and only then use panel jack to connect the handheld to the antenna.

So now I guess I have two questions--my original (Does it make any difference which coax goes to what connector?) and now a second: As long as I turn off the com radio before connecting the handheld to the antenna, am I safe from damaging either radio?

The only recommendation I have posted for
this application is the idea of a crew-accessible
splice connection in the antenna's feed line.

This allows the pilot to open the feed line
and connect it to the hand-held. There ARE
devices that will allow two transceivers
to share a common antenna but they are expensive,
big and heavy.

The 'power splitter' is used to let two small
signal devices to share the same source/load.
They are used with two receivers and in some
bench test situations. As others have pointed
out, it is not suited to the proposed task.

I once proposed a panel mounted dpdt toggle
switch and dummy load that would transfer
a single antenna between two transceivers
while presenting a proper load to the transceiver
not in service.

[img]cid:.0[/img]
The switch can be a miniature toggle.
Coax to the hand/held can be routed
of the switch to a bnc jack on the
panel . . .

But give the reliability of modern elex,
it seems a bit of over-kill. A
splice in the feed line mitigates
the rare failure event with a minimum of
cost.



Bob . . .


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:18 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

Bob,
How damaging is it to a modern 5W or 10W transmitter to transmit into an open circuit?
Quote:
On May 17, 2017, at 11:10 AM, Robert L. Nuckolls, III <nuckolls.bob(at)aeroelectric.com (nuckolls.bob(at)aeroelectric.com)> wrote:
At 09:29 AM 5/17/2017, you wrote:
Quote:
On 5/17/2017 8:33 AM, Ken Ryan wrote:
Quote:
Charlie, I *thought* I was following Bob's advice, using the splitter instead of the cheezy switch. I can't find the thread but I think what he said was that the switch is far more likely to damage something (due to failure) than it is to perform as designed, when needed. Again, I am trying to recall ... but I think the idea is that if I ever need to use the handheld, the first thing I do is turn off the (non-functioning) com radio and only then use panel jack to connect the handheld to the antenna. So now I guess I have two questions--my original (Does it make any difference which coax goes to what connector?) and now a second: As long as I turn off the com radio before connecting the handheld to the antenna, am I safe from damaging either radio?
The only recommendation I have posted for this application is the idea of a crew-accessible splice connection in the antenna's feed line. This allows the pilot to open the feed line and connect it to the hand-held. There ARE devices that will allow two transceivers to share a common antenna but they are expensive, big and heavy. The 'power splitter' is used to let two small signal devices to share the same source/load. They are used with two receivers and in some bench test situations. As others have pointed out, it is not suited to the proposed task. I once proposed a panel mounted dpdt toggle switch and dummy load that would transfer a single antenna between two transceivers while presenting a proper load to the transceiver not in service. <325e15d9.jpg> The switch can be a miniature toggle. Coax to the hand/held can be routed of the switch to a bnc jack on the panel . . . But give the reliability of modern elex, it seems a bit of over-kill. A splice in the feed line mitigates the rare failure event with a minimum of cost.
Bob . . .



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:31 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

At 10:17 AM 5/17/2017, you wrote:
Quote:
Bob,

How damaging is it to a modern 5W or 10W transmitter to transmit into an open circuit?

Probably none . . . it's stone simple to
incorporate internal swr sense hardware
that will reduce drive to the transmitter's
output stage under poor swr conditions.

I've not studied the constellation of
products out there but I cannot imagine
anyone NOT making this part of their
elegant design . . . cost of doing
so is trivial . . . return on investment
is significant.



Bob . . .


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kenryan



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

Thanks everybody, for saving me from my myself. I have tried to review all the previous threads, and cannot figure out how I came up with doing what I did.

On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 7:30 AM, Robert L. Nuckolls, III <nuckolls.bob(at)aeroelectric.com (nuckolls.bob(at)aeroelectric.com)> wrote:
Quote:
At 10:17 AM 5/17/2017, you wrote:
Quote:
Bob,

How damaging is it to a modern 5W or 10W transmitter to transmit into an open circuit?

  Probably none . . . it's stone simple to
  incorporate internal swr sense hardware
  that will reduce drive to the transmitter's
  output stage under poor swr conditions.

  I've not studied the constellation of
  products out there but I cannot imagine
  anyone NOT making this part of their
  elegant design . . . cost of doing
  so is trivial . . . return on investment
  is significant.



  Bob . . .


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

<< A 1.5W battery-powered hand-held in to a rubber whip antenna has
difficulty transmitting
<< more than a mile. It’s even worse when you’re inside a metal
skinned aircraft.

Not sure what hand-held radio you're using, but using my Sporty's SP-400
with the "rubber ducky" antenna, I was able to talk to my local tower
crew from 15 miles away. They said I was a bit "scratchy" but
understandable. At 10 miles, it was pretty much crystal clear.

That said, I have a coax connector in my plane so I can plug it into the
external antenna. Using it that way, I was talking to ATC from about 25
miles away.

Jim Parker


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: coax splitter Reply with quote

ICOM A24. I have a Sporty’s SP400 but even when off it drains the batteries in 7 days, then they leak all over the inside. Piece of trash.


Quote:
On May 17, 2017, at 2:14 PM, <jim(at)PoogieBearRanch.com> <jim(at)PoogieBearRanch.com> wrote:



<< A 1.5W battery-powered hand-held in to a rubber whip antenna has
difficulty transmitting
<< more than a mile. It’s even worse when you’re inside a metal
skinned aircraft.

Not sure what hand-held radio you're using, but using my Sporty's SP-400
with the "rubber ducky" antenna, I was able to talk to my local tower
crew from 15 miles away. They said I was a bit "scratchy" but
understandable. At 10 miles, it was pretty much crystal clear.

That said, I have a coax connector in my plane so I can plug it into the
external antenna. Using it that way, I was talking to ATC from about 25
miles away.

Jim Parker








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Joined: 15 Feb 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: coax splitter Reply with quote

I did a little more poking around online and found this device:

http://shakespeare-ce.com/marine/product/as-2-switch/

It covers DC-600MHz and handles 30W. It sells for between $70 and $130 online. I found it on eBay, Walmart and a number of marine retailers.

One big caveat, however: it requires 12VDC to operate, so in the event of total electrical failure, it won't switch. If the panel radio was the last to transmit, your handheld/backup radio would not see the antenna. That said, how likely is total electrical failure?

If you want an active, automatic switching device, perhaps one that defaults to a handheld-to-antenna connection when not powered would be the best solution. Haven't found one of those yet...

Eric

EDIT: This will need a few PL-259 male to BNC female adapters. Cheap on eBay.


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