SwitchesSource: Dow-Key Microwave Corp.
Dow-Key Microwave specializes in the design and manufacture of customized, high-performance coaxial switches, waveguide switches, high-reliability (space) switches (including T-switches and switch blocks), as well as switching systems such as RF matrices (electromechanical, solid state, and fiber optic) and integrated PXI modules. We also offer system-level rack integration, programmable attenuators, and delay lines.
An electromechanical switch made primarily for routing microwave signals/RF energy from one point to another within a transmission line. Coaxial switches can be used in either an industrial environment or in the lab. These electromechanical devices are also used for RF testing equipment and in large RF communication systems and networks. Coaxial switches vary by port configuration, switch type, maximum frequency, isolation, insertion loss, voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) and package type. Coaxial switches are able to route RF signals over a broad bandwidth from DC to 40 GHz, and are now offered with the Low PIM option which will improve Passive Intermodulation levels from -110dBc (standard switch) to -160dBc.
Dow-Key integrates larger scaled switching systems using its own coaxial switches (electromechanical switches). Using an electromechanical matrix allows users to route multiple RF signals to multiple output paths, in the form of: Crossbar - one path exists between the input signal and the output path. Fan-Out - divides the input signal so that it can be routed simultaneously to different output paths. Fan-In - Combines all input signals and routes them simultaneously to the same output path.
These systems are designed for the applications: ATE (ideal for testing UUT) and SATCOM (for switching between communication signals in a larger scale). The primary advantages to using these units are the broad bandwidth, high density switching (route many inputs/output signals), and their perfect compatibility with low and high RF power applications. The trade-offs to using the units though are their slower switching speed, limited life, and larger systems. There are also a variety of software controls that come with all matrices including LCD/keypad or touch screen for manual control or Ethernet, RS-232, HTTP, LabView or GPIB for remote control. Our high-quality electromechanical matrices are engineered with precision and vary by Matrix type, Input/Output Configuration, Connector type, Frequency, and type of Software control.
Dow-Key fiber optic matrices are designed to switch signals in pure optical domain with the use of MEMS switches. The systems are equipped with a touch screen for GUI control, Windows-based PC, removable HDD, Ethernet, and dual power supplies with LED indicators. Our fiber optic matrices vary by Input/Output configuration and bandwidth. These matrices are precision made and will continue to prove their quality, time and time again.
Dow-Key solid state matrices are precision made switching systems, manufactured using solid state switches that are configured as a: Fan-In Matrix: Combines all input signals and routes them simultaneously to the same output path. or Fan-Out Matrix: Divides the input signal so that it can be routed simultaneously to different output paths. These systems are designed for the applications: ATE (ideal for testing UUT) and SATCOM (for switching between communication signals in a larger scale.) The advantages to using these units are their infinite life, fast switching time, and compact solution. The trade-offs to using these units are their limited bandwidth and that they are primarily used for low RF power applications. Solid State Matrices are available with Touch Screen for Graphical User (GUI) manual control, Ethernet and RS-232 for remote control, dual power supplies with LED indicators, and each are equipped with a Windows-based PC, removable hard drive and USB port. The solid state matrices vary by Matrix type, Input/Output Configuration, Connector Type, and Bandwidth.
Used for both manned and unmanned space missions. These space qualified coaxial switches, waveguide switches, and switch block assemblies are of the highest grade and made with absolute precision. Dow-Key space qualified switches vary by number of inputs, sizes, frequencies, actuator types, and power grade. These high-quality devices are built to last and have an in-flight free record from over 100 different space programs.
Waveguide switches are electromagnetic switches with hollow circular or rectangular cross-sections and are used for routing RF energy in microwave communications, broadcasting, and in radar applications. Waveguide switches can be used to transfer both power and communication signals, and the bandwidth of a waveguide is in relation to its size, and thus always referred to by its size (e.g. WR112, WR90, WR75 etc.). Compared to coaxial switches, waveguides can route extremely high power signals over a narrow bandwidth at low to high frequencies, and now Lightweight Waveguide series is available.