Connector Selection and the Interfaces

This study is sponsored by BUPAT GLOBAL LLC and supported by Radiall.


Previously, we discussed the basics of an RF connector. If you have not read it yet, you can reach the article via https://www.evtechnews.us/post/the-basics-of-rf-coaxial-connectors. Let's continue with how we choose the connector for our project and explain some interfaces of the RF connectors with the support of Radiall.


The selection of an RF connector depends on five main topics and one auxiliary topic.


1- Electrical Criteria:

  • Characteristic impedance: It can be 50 or 75 Ω

  • Frequency: DC to 100 GHz

  • Others: Power, VSWR value, EMI, Loss, etc.

2- Mechanical Criteria:

  • Life Span and Strength: Number of mating cycles, cable retention, etc.

  • Locking System: Speed, easiness, robustness, etc.

  • Contact Captivation: Captive or non-captive, insertion - extraction

3- Economical Criteria:

  • Price / Performance

4- Dimensional Criteria:

  • Cable diameter: RG, NF, etc.

  • Size, space, density

5- Environmental Criteria:

  • Application: Air, Land, Naval, Space

  • Temperature

  • Altitude

  • Water or air sealing

  • Shocks and vibrations

6- Other Details

  • Connector Type and Gender : Jack or Plug, Male or Female

  • Geometry: Straight, Right Angle, Edge card, Tee

  • Cable Attachment: Clamp, Crimp, Solder

  • Mating System: Bayonet, Lock-on, Screw-on, Slide-on, Snap-on

When these criteria are answered, connector selection can be made easily.


The Interfaces


Radiall is proud to offer the widest range of RF coaxial connectors in the industry, with over 13,000 part numbers and 55 different product series. Radiall designs and manufactures RF coaxial connectors for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace and defense. Radiall also designs custom RF connectors for your specific application.


Type N

Type N connector was designed initially in the 1940s by Paul Neill for the US Navy. Later on it became standardized per IEC 60169-16. N connectors can be found in many RF applications in all markets. It is up to 11 GHz. A high frequency version operating up to 18 GHz is also available for test and measurement. Applications: Wireless communications, Civil and military radio-telecommunication equipment, Countermeasures, Navy equipment, Industrial applications.


BNC

The BNC connector is the most popular coaxial connector series in the world, featuring a two-pin bayonet coupling system for quick and reliable engagement and disengagement operating in the range DC- 4 GHz. Applications: Civil and military radio-telecommunication equipment, Test and measurement, Video communication, Broadcast, Industrial network, General electronics.


TNC

TNC was designed as a threaded version of the BNC to improve RF performance stability at higher frequencies. It is standardized according to IEC 60169-17. It is up to 11 GHz. A high frequency version operating up to 18 GHz is also available for test and measurement. Applications: Avionics, Aeronautics, Countermeasures, Telecommunications.




SMA

The SMA connector was originally designed in 1958 and standardized years later under IEC 60169-1. SMA connectors are the most popular coaxial RF/microwave connector. Stainless steel models are dedicated for high durability and MIL/aero applications, while brass version SMA-COM is reserved for commercial and telecom applications. The operating range is DC- 18 GHz. The range includes some SMA connectors specified up to 27 GHz. Applications: Civil & Military Telecommunications, Civil & Military Aeronautics, Military equipment, Space, Measurement systems.


BMA

BMA is a blind mate connector widely used to interconnect microwave modules with multiple coaxial ports, operating in the range DC-22 GHz. Float mount connectors are recommended for multiple interconnects. Applications: Airborne and ground radars, AESA antennas, Rack and panel telecommunication equipment, Military microwave modules.




Type C

The Type C connector was engineered in the late 1940s and named after its inventor, Concelman. It is similar to the type N connector, but with a bayonet coupling for rapid connection and disconnection. It is operational between DC to 11 GHz. Applications: Maintenance of aircrafts, Aerospace.



2.4 mm


2.4 mm connectors are 50 ohm precision connectors designed for use to 50 GHz. The design eliminates the fragility of the SMA and 2.92 mm connectors by increasing the outer wall thickness and strengthening the female fingers. Applications: Test and Measurement, Space, Telecom.




4.1-9.5

4.1-9.5 is designed to provide similar performance to 7/16 with smaller size and weight, using a proven screw on coupling mechanism. It is up to 6 GHz. Applications: Telecom, Medical, Industrial.






4.3-10

Designed for major telecom equipment manufacturers, the 4.3-10 series offers a small, lightweight solution for outdoor telecom applications up to 6 GHz where high performance is essential and low intermodulation is required. Applications: Telecom, Medical, Industrial.





DIN 7/16

DIN 7/16 interface was developed originaly in the 1960s and is standardized according to IEC 60169-4. This high power low intermodulation RF connector is widely used in cellular network antenna systems up to 7.5 GHz. Applications: Mobile communication infrastructure networks: combiner, diplexer, filter, Jumper and feeder cables assemblies, Radio links.




HN

HN is a high voltage version of the N connector released in the 1950s and is standardized according to IEC 60169-2. It is up to 5000 Volts and 3 GHz. Radiall continuously strives to improve the range of HN coaxial connectors for nuclear and harsh environments. Applications: Imaging, Industrial, Military, Aerospace.




BNC HT/MHV

Bayonet coupling miniature high voltage connector, operating in the range DC-2 GHz. By redesigning the BNC HT interface in order to benefit from its high performance to serve MHV, Radiall created BNC HT/MHV. Radiall BNC HT/MHV is fully compatible with BNC HT with MHV interface according to MIL-STD-348. Applications: Imaging, Industrial, Military, Aerospace.



SHV

SHV is easily recognizable due to its protruding insulator design, which makes SHV connectors safer for handling high voltage than MHV. These safe high voltage connectors meet all requirements of the NIM Standard (Nuclear Instrumentation Module) Specification ND 545 Amendment A. A mated pair of connectors is rated at 12,000 VDC. It is operational up to 2 GHz. Applications: Military, Nuclear Electronics, Medical.



THT 20

This large size screw-on interface has a 4 mm internal diameter female center contact which allows testing with standard banana plugs. THT 20 features the highest test voltage with a rating of 20 000 VDC for a mated pair, operating in the range DC-1 GHz. Applications: Military, Nuclear Electronics, Medical.




UMP

UMP is a robust proprietary SMT connector designed in the 2000s for cable to PCB connections, up to 6 GHz. It is recommended for professional handheld and mobile devices. Applications: Cable-to-board (SMT) in telecom and datacom wireless terminals, GPS Receivers, Mobile phones, RFID, WLAN, Automotive,




MMS

MMS is a cost effective proprietary connector designed in the 1990s for cable to PCB interconnections using SMT technology. It is operational up to 6 GHz. Applications: Automotive, Satellite reception terminals, Instrumentation, Wireless datacom networks, Automated payment systems, Video communications.




MMT

MMT is a robust proprietary SMT connector designed in the 1995s for cable to PCB interconnections. It is operational up to 8 GHz. MMS and MMT series were the first coaxial connectors truly designed for SMT applications and adapted for automatic pick and place machines. Applications are the same with MMS.




MC-Card

MC-CARD series with cable plugs and switching connectors was introduced in the 2000s for wireless LAN remote antenna connection thanks to its high durability. Switching connectors are operational up to 8 GHz. Applications: Cable-to-board / edge-card in telecom, PCMCIA cards, WLAN, Mobile Phones.




MMCX

MMCX was designed in the 1990s and is standardized in European CECC 22220. MMCX series is dedicated for wire to PCB connection where low space above the PCB is available (less than 2.1 mm). MMCX is adapted to high volume applications and Pick & Place manufacturing processes. It is operational up to 6 GHz. Applications: Wireless telecom, PCMCIA cards, RF test ports, Medical.



MML

MML was launched in the 2010s. These connectors are suitable for cable to PCB interconnections in high volume applications such as Wi-Fi access points, GPS and mobile devices, handheld radios. It is operational up to 6 GHz. Applications: Handhelds/GPS/WLAN, GSM/CDMA/WCDMA/TD-SCDMA cards.




SMP

SMP was introduced in the 2000s for high frequency blind mate applications and is standardized according to MIL-STD-348A fig. 326. It is up to 40 GHz and intermateable with GPO®. Applications: Active array antennas, Satellites, Airborne / Ship / Ground radars, Communication equipments, High speed electro-optical devices, Board-to-Board applications.



IMP-LP

IMP-LP Board-to-Board connector meets all next-generation requirements by offering a small form factor and excellent RF performance up to 18 GHz. It simplifies installation and maintenance by removing soldering steps. IMP-LP is a true coaxial line that provides excellent RF performance in one small package. IMP-LP has been qualified for demanding MIL-AERO environments that require resistance to vibration and shocks. Applications: Radars, EW, Military radios, Antennas, Board-to-Board applications.


MOEBIUS

Moebius was designed in 2005 to replace MC-Card for wireless LAN remote antenna connection due to its extremely high durability which guarantees 25,000 mating cycles up to 6 GHz. Applications: Telecom base station equipments, RF power amplifiers.



QLI

QLI was launched in 2013 with similar performance as 7/16 but much easier to connect, smaller, lighter and cost effective. QLI connectors are designed to provide performance similar to DIN 7/16 with a very low intermodulation level, and a quick and safe connection, without any tools. Applications: Telecom, Medical, Industrial.




K (SMA 2.9)

SMA 2.9 also called "2.92 mm" or "K" connector was developed in the 1980's and is standardized per IEC 61169-35. The range includes some SMA 2.9 connectors specified up to 46 GHz. Applications: Instrumentation, Microwave measurements (VNA ports), High speed optical network, Close-range targeting radars, Missile autopilots, Wide band jammers, Space payload, Multimedia satellites.



SMB


Sub miniature snap-on connector SMB was developped in the 1960s and is standardized according to IEC 60169-10. It is up to 4 GHz. Applications: Mobile communication systems, Civil and military telecommunications, Aeronautics, Automotive.





SMC

SMC was developped in the 1960s to meet the needs of a smaller threaded connector than SMA and is standardized according to IEC 60169-9. Sub miniature screw-on connector, operating in the range DC-10 GHz. Applications: Civil and military telecommunications, Aeronautics, Missiles.





SMP-LOCK™



A secure connector based on SMP interface developed by Radiall. Features a robust locking mechanism, which dramatically increases the retention force of the interface and prevents accidental disconnection. Designed for high reliability applications up to 40 GHz. SMP-LOCK was added to the SMP range in 2010. Applications: Airborne radars, Avionics, Satellites, Missiles, UAVs, UGVs, USVs.



SMP-MAX

SMP-MAX was designed in the 2010s for board to board applications requiring very large misalignment tolerances up to 6 GHz. Applications: Broadcast, RF components, Wireless communications.





MMBX

MMBX was designed in the 2000s specifically for board to board applications with high misalignment tolerances. It is operational in DC-12 GHz. Applications: Board to board applications, Base stations,






SMPM

SMPM was launched in 2009 and is standardized according to MIL-STD-348A fig. 30% smaller than SMP, SMPM connectors are designed for very high frequency applications where space and package density are a necessity up to 65 GHz. They are intermateable with GPPO® (Gilbert Engineering Inc.). Applications: Active array antennas, Satellites, Radars, Communication equipments, High speed electro-optical devices


SMPM-LOCK by RADIALL™

This micro-miniature product features electrical performance up to 65 GHz. It is the smallest SMPM connector on the market with a locking system and space optimization, even in the tightest spaces, thanks to our right angle plug version. SMPM-LOCK features a robust locking mechanism, which dramatically increases the retention force of the interface and prevents accidental disconnection. Applications: Radars, Missiles, Electronic Warfare, Drones, Auto Directors, Radios.


SMPW

Radiall's new subminiature coaxial connector features higher data rates and frequencies for next-generation equipment. It also features a frequency range from DC to 100 GHz with exceptionally-low VSWR. Radiall is proud to introduce SMPW, a G3PO-compatible product. Applications: Radars, Electronic Warfare, Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) Modules, Array Combiners, Modulator Links, Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKID)





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