Does a power divider can be used as a combiner?

Yes, a power divider can be used as a combiner, although typically with some limitations and considerations. A power divider, also known as a power splitter, is designed to split an input signal into multiple output signals with equal or proportional power levels. On the other hand, a combiner is used to combine multiple input signals into a single output with the combined power.

When using a power divider as a combiner, you essentially reverse its function. Instead of feeding an input signal and distributing it to multiple outputs, you feed multiple input signals into the output ports of the power divider, effectively combining them into a single output. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Symmetry: Power dividers are typically designed to be symmetric, meaning the input and output ports are identical. However, when used as a combiner, the power divider may not be perfectly symmetric for all frequencies, which could affect its performance.

  2. Isolation: Power dividers are generally designed with good isolation between the output ports, meaning that signals applied to one port are isolated from signals applied to the other ports. When used as a combiner, this isolation may not be as effective, potentially leading to signal leakage between input ports.

  3. Impedance Matching: Proper impedance matching is essential for efficient signal combining. The impedance of the input ports and the output port of the power divider should match the impedance of the input signals and the load, respectively, to minimize reflections and ensure maximum power transfer.

  4. Power Handling: Ensure that the power divider can handle the combined power of the input signals without exceeding its maximum power rating. Exceeding this rating can lead to distortion or damage to the device.

In summary, while it is possible to use a power divider as a combiner, it may not always provide optimal performance compared to a dedicated combiner designed for that purpose. It's important to consider the specific requirements of your application and test the setup to ensure satisfactory performance.

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