Ten Things to Consider when Choosing a Coaxial Connector

Ten Things to Consider when Choosing a Coaxial Connector


Coaxial cable remains one of the most popular information transmission mediums, and it looks like it's here to stay. With so many options for coaxial connectors, here are my top 10 things to consider when choosing a coaxial cable connector.

Ten Things to Consider when Choosing a Coaxial Connector
Coaxial Connector
Coaxial cable remains one of the most popular information transmission mediums, and it looks like it's here to stay. Coaxial cable, developed in the 1880s, was invented by British engineer and mathematician Oliver Heaviside, who patented the design to help develop long-distance communications. Today, coaxial cables still play an important role in communications, especially in mobile 4G.

With so many options, it's easy to get overwhelmed, so here's my concise guide to using coax connectors.

Here are my top 10 things to consider when choosing a coax connector.

1. Operation

Frequency is the number of times a periodic action occurs in one second. The SI unit for measuring frequency is Hertz. RF connectors are divided into series or series. Each series is designed to operate over a frequency range. SMA connectors are ideal for many applications due to their wide frequency range of 0-18GHz.

2. Characteristic impedance

Impedance matching is an important consideration in the design process. The SI unit for measuring impedance is the ohm. Most connectors operate between 50-95ohms. RF connectors used in audio and video applications, such as BNC and F connectors, typically operate at 75ohms. Most 2400MHz applications run at 50ohms.

3. Insertion loss

Insertion loss, expressed in dB as a ratio relative to the transmitted signal power, refers to the amount of signal power lost during transmission due to device interference. Insertion loss is often referred to as attenuation. The farther the signal must travel, the higher the attenuation. Many factors affect insertion loss, including coaxial cable type and length. The ultimate goal of any RF connector is to minimize attenuation.

If the power transmitted by the source is PT and the power received by the load is PR, then the insertion loss in dB is given by the following equation.

Low-loss cables manufactured by SOMI are growing in popularity as it reduces prices, making them a natural choice for many applications, such as antennas and high-end signal applications.

4. Power handling

Most RF connectors used in the telecommunications industry can operate safely at voltages up to 500 volts. Generally, the larger the connector, the higher the power handling capability. For example, N-type connectors can handle voltages up to 2,700 volts.

5. Gender

In the world of RF connectors, plugs are often referred to as "males" and have threads on the inside. Jacks are usually "female" and contain threads on the outside. Not all RF connectors are threaded. MCX connectors use a snap-fit mechanism. A good rule of thumb is that the plug accommodates the contact pins. Most commonly used in wireless networking systems, except for reverse polarity connectors with Mae body and female center contact.

6. Appearance

Size since the development of the first UHF connectors in the 1930s, coaxial connectors have been getting smaller and smaller. The miniature IPX connector is only 2.5mm in profile! But remember; there's a trade-off between size and power handling.

7. Durability

Many factors can affect the durability of an RF connector. How often do connectors connect and disconnect? Most RF connectors are rated for up to 500 mating cycles. Are the connectors for outdoor or indoor use? What temperature will the connector withstand?

8. Environmental considerations

The main factor to keep in mind about durability involves environmental considerations. Mil-Spec RF connectors pass testing standards that simulate environmental conditions such as vibration and corrosion. These standards are usually expressed in the MIL-STD-XXX format.

9. Coupling

Coupling style The mating mechanism associated with RF connectors is another durability-related factor. The universal threaded interface provides a secure connection for SMA connectors, but due to the bayonet locking feature of BNC connectors, frequent disconnections are inconvenient. Quick mates are becoming more common in more space-critical applications.

10. Cost

In most cases, while finding the perfect coax connector for your RF application, the final decision comes down to budget. SMC and SMB connectors are at the higher end of the price range, while F and BNC connectors are still at the lower end.

These considerations serve as a reference summary of top considerations when selecting coax connectors for your application. Trade-offs often occur between these factors. However, each project needs its own set of requirements. Determine which method works best for your project. If you are not sure what type of connector you need, or you already have an idea to buy a coaxial connector, please contact us.

SOMI is a professional custom antenna accessories manufacturer. We have our own engineers, so we can design and produce products according to customers' requirements. All products are produced by automatic machines and thoroughly tested to ensure the quality of our products. We have adopted the ISO9001:2008 quality management system as the guideline for all our company activities. Some products have passed CE certification.