Saturday, June 20, 2015

RF Devices: A Buyer's Guide

RF devices have a variety of uses in everything from military settings to industrial warehouses. If you aren't sure how to shop for them, however, let this be your guide.

1. Give Yourself a Budget
Even if you don't know how much the ideal equipment is going to run you, you're still aware of how much your bank account can afford to lose. Give yourself two numbers when you draw up a budget: The first should be the amount you hope not to exceed, and the second should be the amount you cannot exceed.

2. Know Your Needs
Are you shopping for military-grade equipment or something for a small commercial business? Do you need power dividers or low-pass filters? You'll save a lot of time if you know what you're searching for before you start browsing. You'll also be less tempted by impulse purchases if you have a clear goal in mind.

3. Research Suppliers and Manufacturers
Some companies are more affordable than others. Some brands are known for their specialized or high-quality parts that can't be found at the same value anywhere else. For example, you can find a hybrid coupler at and other similar sites, but it's doubtful that the same product will be in your local hardware store.

4. Read Third-Party Reviews
This goes for both the product and the manufacturer. Does the company have a good reputation in the industry? Will their products last for a long time or break down as soon as they're in use? Is the website accurate about things like delivery time? Check out reviews from customers, blogs and magazines.

5. Prioritize the Features That Matter to You
Maybe you need something with extra weatherproofing for outdoor use. Maybe you're looking for directional couplers that are tolerant of mismatches. There are a million different things you might prioritize depending on your work, so make a list and put them in order before you go shopping.

These are just five things to keep in mind as you search for RF devices and their parts. Good luck!