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L-Series Multiport Electromechanical Coaxial Switches

Technical Overviews

Product Overview

In today’s competitive world, automated test systems demand higher accuracy and performance than ever before. The Keysight Technologies, Inc. L Series L7104A/B/C and L7106A/B/C terminated and L7204A/B/C and L7206A/B/C unterminated, multiport switches offer the improvements in insertion loss repeatability and isolation necessary to achieve higher test system performance. Long life, repeatability, and reliability lower the cost of ownership by reducing calibration cycles and increasing test system uptime and are vital to ATS measurement system integrity over time.


The L7104/L7204A,B,C SP4T and L7106/L7206A,B,C SP6T multiport switches provide the life and reliability required for automated test and measurement, signal monitoring, and routing applications. Innovative design and careful process control creates switches that meet the requirements for highly repeatable switching elements in test instruments and switching interfaces. The exceptional 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability is warranted for 2 million cycles at 25 °C. This reduces sources of random errors in the measurement path and improves measurement uncertainty. Switch life is a critical consideration in production test systems, satellite and antenna monitoring systems, and test instrumen­tation. The longevity of these switches increases system uptime, and lowers the cost of ownership by reducing calibration cycles and switch maintenance.

High-performance multiport switches for microwave and RF instrumentation and systems

  • SP4T and SP6T configuration
  • Magnetic latching
  • 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability for 2 million cycles
  • Excellent isolation, typically > 85 dB at 26.5 GHz
  • Opto-electronic indicators and interrupts
  • Terminated and unterminated ports
  • TTL/5 V CMOS compatible (optional)

High-performance multiport switches at an affordable price

0.03 dB repeatability ensures accuracy and reduces calibration cycles for the entire 2 million cycle operating life.

Operating life of 5 million cycles typical

Unmatched isolation maximizes measurement accuracy and improves system dynamic range

Economical price minimizes budgetary constraints

Operating up to 4 GHz (A models), 20 GHz (B models), and 26.5 GHz (C models), these switches exhibit the exceptional isolation performance required to maintain measurement integrity. Isolation between ports is typically > 90 dB to 12 GHz and > 85 dB to 26.5 GHz. This reduces the influence of signals from other channels, sustains the integrity of the measured signal, and reduces system measurement uncertainties. These switches also minimize measurement uncertainty with low insertion loss and reflection, which make them ideal elements in large multitiered switching systems.

All the L7104/L7204A,B,C and L7106/L7206A,B,C are designed to fall within most popular industry footprints. The 2¼ inch square flange provides mounting holes, while the rest of the 2½ inch long by 2¼ inch diameter body will easily fit into most systems. Ribbon cable or optional solder terminal connections accommodate the need for secure and efficient control cable attachment.

Option 100 provides solder terminal connections in place of the 16-pin ribbon drive cable. Option 100 does not incorporate the “open all paths” feature.

Opto-electronic interrupts and indicators improve reliability and extend the life of the switch by eliminating DC circuit contact failures characteristic of conventional electromechanical switches. These switches have an interrupt circuit that provides logic to open all but the selected ports, it then closes the selected ports cutting off the current to the solenoids of the ports. These switches also offer independent indicators that are controlled by optical interrupts in the switch. The indicators provide a closed path between the indicator common pin and the corresponding sense pin of the selected path.


Multiport switches find use in a large number of applications, increasing system flexibility and simplifying system design.

Signal routing

The simplest signal routing scheme takes the form of single input to multiple outputs. These matrixes are often used on the front of an analyzer to test several two-port devices sequentially or to test multiport devices. In surveillance applications, a multiport switch can be used to select the optimum antenna for intercepting a signal. Two methods can be used to accomplish the single input to multiple output arrangement. Traditionally where isolation greater than 60 dB was required, a tree matrix composed of SPDT switches was used. While this gave great isolation, it was at the cost of more switches (Figure 3). These switches have port-to-port isolations typically greater than 85 dB at 26.5 GHz, eliminating the need to use a tree matrix in order to achieve high isolation (Figure 4). In addition to the reduced part count, the path lengths are shorter, so insertion loss is less, and paths are of equal length, so phase shift is constant.

Full access switching

Full access switching systems give the flexibility to route multiple input signals to multiple outputs simultaneously. Full access switching matrixes are used in generic test systems in order to provide flexible routing of signals to and from many different devices under test, and stimulus and analysis instrumentation. Cross-point matrixes, using single pole double throw and cross-point switches, have traditionally been used in order to maintain high channel-to-channel isolation (Figure 5). As with the tree matrixes, this is at the cost of hardware and performance. Full access switching can also be achieved using multiport switches (Figure 6).

The advantage of the multiport matrix over the cross-point matrix is lower insertion loss and improved SWR performance due to consistent path length and fewer switches and connecting cables.


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