What is an RF Tapper?

What is an RF Signal Tapper and how is it different from a directional coupler?

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Apr 9, 2018

An RF Tapper is a device used to split an input signal into two parts. The ratio in which the signals are split is called the Split Ratio - This usually varies from 1:2 to 1:10000 - Depending on the application and power level. In theory, RF signal tappers are very similar to directional couplers.

Differences between RF Signal Tappers and Directional Couplers

  • Tappers usually operate over a broader frequency range
  • Tappers do not have an isolated port, as a result, there is no isolation between the two ports
  • Tappers are Bi-Directional, i.e the input and output ports can be switched. Directional couplers have a fixed, input and output port (Dual Directional and Bi-Directional Couplers are Bi-Directional)
  • In tappers, the Input and Output ports have excellent VSWR but coupled port has bad VSWR. While in directional couplers all 3 ports have excellent VSWR
  • Tappers are usually less expensive when compared to directional couplers

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