Getting Started Guide to RF Cable Connectors

Getting Started Guide to RF Cable Connectors


Do you know what is an RF cable connector? Do they have gender? If this all sounds foreign to you, don't worry. The information below will turn you into a pro in no time.

Getting Started Guide to RF Cable Connectors
RF Cable Connector
Did you know that RF cable connectors are gendered? Also, the type of connector varies from device to device? If this all sounds foreign to you, don't worry. The information below will turn you into a pro in no time.

What is an RF Cable Connector?

It is an electrical connector that allows radio frequencies to operate in the megahertz range. You'll find them used with coaxial cables that connect to devices like routers and TV set-top boxes. For example, the metal part at the end of the cable that connects your TV to an outdoor antenna is an RF cable connector.

Originally, their function was to maintain the shielding of the cable. However, newer models now minimize signal reflections and power loss. Additionally, they block external interference from electromagnetic signals and captive pickups. Additionally, the RF cable connectors have a fastening mechanism for a better connection between cables and devices. For example, the RF connectors for router cables use a threaded mechanism.

RF Cable Connectors - Gender and Polarity

RF cable connectors can be male or female, depending on how the device is connected. The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at their design features. The male connector or plug has a pin in the center and fastening threads in the housing. Instead, a female connector (also known as a jack) has a receptacle in its center. In addition, fastening threads are located on the housing covering the center.

Polarity refers to the electrical characteristics of each connection. It can be positive or negative, depending on the device and connector type. In a normal polarized connection, the male connector has a center pin with fastening threads on the outside. However, in some cases, reverse polarity works best. For example, WiFi routers have reverse polarity connections. The male connector has the socket in the center, but the threads remain inside the housing.

There are three things you need to be aware of when choosing which connector to use:

Your connection will only work if the connectors have similar polarity.

The best connections are between connectors. For example, BNC connectors can only be used with BNC connectors.

Finally, male connectors can only be connected to female connectors. However, you can bypass rules two and three by using a coaxial adapter.

How to Choose RF Cable Connector?

It's important to know which connection is best for you. The following are important things to consider when selecting an RF connector.


Impedance is the resistance to current flow compared to the flow of energy when you apply voltage to a circuit. In RF connections, each connector provides a specific impedance limit for proper operation. The standard impedance limit for most connectors is 50 ohms. However, you can still find other products that allow impedance levels of 75 ohms. For example, the connection between an outdoor antenna and a TV provides an impedance of 75 ohms.

Frequency Range

Radio frequencies travel from source to receiver in a wave-like pattern. Limits may vary based on connector type and the current flowing through the circuit. Depending on the type of connector you use, you can get anywhere from 20kHz to 300GHz. For example, BNC RF connectors give you a frequency range of up to 10GHz, which is unheard of in UHF connectors.

Despite this impressive capability, not every BNC connector you buy can achieve these levels. Therefore, you must check the manufacturer's specifications before committing to a purchase. Finally, always source connectors from reputable manufacturers as they comply with the latest industrial production and quality standards.

Power Handling

The point of contact between the plug and jack needs to be undamaged and free of dirt for your connection to work seamlessly. Additionally, the material that makes up the contacts determines how well your connection can handle power. For example, high-power handling connectors have gold or silver plating on their jacks and plugs.

Coax Compatibility

Some things come together naturally. Again, the type of connector you use will depend on the type of cable. Always purchase connectors that match the size and diameter of the cable being used.


The power requirements of the circuit will determine the amount of voltage it needs. In short, you need to use connectors with good voltage headroom to handle any fluctuations in equipment operation. Another thing to consider is environmental conditions. They can also affect your connector's ability to manage voltage levels.

Straight Line or Right Angle?

You might be wondering why is this a problem. However, cable layout and connection type can improve or degrade performance. A direct connection provides the best functionality. Signals travel shorter distances with minimal insertion loss. In addition, straight connectors have a lower VSWR ratio. Therefore, always refer to the manufacturer's data sheet when purchasing an RF connector.

Connector Plating

RF connectors are available in a variety of finishes. Depending on the level of performance you want, you can choose from silver, nickel or gold. As the frequency level increases, most of the current is concentrated on the outer surface of the conductor.

As a result, you experience performance degradation as most of the signal is reflected outwards. Nickel only offers a thickness of 0.71 nanometers, which is not ideal for RF signals. Therefore, you are better off using gold or silver-plated connectors as they have a skin depth of 2.4 and 2.0nm respectively.

In Conclusion

RF connectors are essential devices in today's digital world. The above information gives you an insight into their function, design, and application in daily life. If you want to learn more about cable assemblies and connectors. Welcome to contact us.

SOMI is a professional custom antenna accessories manufacturer. We are specialized in the production of high-quality cable TV system accessories such as cable TV amplifiers, cable TV splitters, satellite splitters, cable TV wall sockets (junction boxes), audio and video connectors, and connecting cables. manufacturers. We have our own engineers, so we can design and produce products according to customers' requirements. All products are produced by automatic machines and fully tested to ensure the quality of our products.