Understanding Coaxial Terminations

Posted on 10 July 2024

Types of Coaxial Terminations: Dry vs. Oil-Filled

Understanding Coaxial Terminations

Coaxial terminations are essential components in any RF system, designed to absorb transmitted signals without causing interference or reflection. By presenting a matched load to the system impedance (typically 50 or 75 ohms), coaxial terminations ensure smooth signal transmission, preventing issues like ghosting, false signals, overheating, or even sparking that could damage equipment.

Key Features of Coaxial Terminations

Frequency Range

VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio)

Connector Type

Power Handling Capacity

The Two Main Types of Coaxial Terminations

Oil-Filled Coaxial Terminations

Oil-filled terminations utilize oil to dissipate excess RF energy, making them ideal for high-power applications. These terminations can handle power ratings in the thousands of watts, making them suitable for industrial or large-scale operations. However, they require specific installation orientations and stable environments due to their fluid-filled nature.


High power handling (thousands of watts)

Effective cooling mechanism


Requires specific installation orientation

Larger and heavier due to the oil and cooling system

Dry Coaxial Terminations

Dry terminations use RF-absorbing materials to dissipate energy through convection or conduction, often using metal fins or external heat sinks. These terminations are versatile, easy to install, and suitable for moderate power applications, handling power in the hundreds of watts range. Their compact size and lighter weight make them ideal for field applications.


Can be installed in any position

Easy to install and uninstall

Smaller and lighter

Suitable for a variety of shapes and sizes

Cooling fans can be integrated for higher power dissipation


Lower power handling compared to oil-filled terminations (hundreds of watts)

Common Questions About Coaxial Terminations

What is the purpose of a coaxial termination?

Coaxial terminations absorb transmitted signals to prevent reflections, ghosting, and potential damage to the equipment.

What are the differences between dry and oil-filled coaxial terminations?

Dry terminations are smaller, lighter, and can be installed in any position, suitable for moderate power applications. Oil-filled terminations handle higher power but require specific installation orientations and are larger.

Which type of coaxial termination should I use for high-power applications?

Oil-filled coaxial terminations are recommended for high-power applications due to their superior cooling capabilities.

Can dry coaxial terminations handle thousands of watts of power?

No, dry coaxial terminations typically handle power in the hundreds of watts range.

How do oil-filled terminations dissipate heat?

Oil-filled terminations use oil to cool the system and dissipate excess RF energy.

Are there any specific installation requirements for oil-filled coaxial terminations?

Yes, oil-filled terminations often require specific orientations for proper installation and effective cooling.

By understanding the types and applications of coaxial terminations, you can ensure optimal performance and longevity for your RF systems.


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