In the world of coaxial switches, the terms “terminated” and “non-terminated” refer to the presence or absence of terminations within the switch itself. This may also be referred to absoprtive (terminated) or reflective (non-terminated).

A terminated coaxial switch refers to a switch that has a built-in impedance termination at each port. The impedance termination matches the characteristic impedance of the coaxial transmission line, typically 50 ohms. Terminated coaxial switches are designed to minimize signal reflections and maintain the integrity of the signal passing through the switch. They are commonly used in applications where signal quality and integrity are critical, such as high-frequency and RF systems.

There are two types of terminated switches. Internally Terminated coaxial switches have built-in terminations within the switch housing. Externally Terminated coaxial switches allow for higher power terminations outside of the switch housing. Both types match the characteristic impedance of the coaxial transmission line, typically 50 ohms. Terminated switches ensure that the impedance of the switch is consistent with the impedance of the connected coaxial cables. This impedance matching minimizes signal reflections and optimizes the signal integrity.

A non-terminated coaxial switch does not have the built-in impedance termination at its ports. Instead, the ports of a non-terminated switch are left open or unterminated. Non-terminated coaxial switches are generally used when the termination is provided externally or when the application requires flexibility in the choice of termination. They can be easily connected to external impedance terminations or devices with the desired impedance.

Non-terminated switches offer more flexibility in terms of impedance matching because different terminations can be selected depending on the specific requirements of the coaxial system.

The choice between terminated and non-terminated coaxial switches depends on the application and the specific coaxial system. Terminated switches are suitable in situations where the characteristic impedance of the coaxial system is known and consistent, and impedance matching is critical for proper signal transmission. Non-terminated switches are more flexible and can accommodate different coaxial systems with varying characteristic impedances by allowing external terminations to be added or changed as needed.

View the schematic diagrams below for additional information:

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