Radio frequency (RF) connectors are electrical connectors that work with signals in the multi-megahertz range. They prevent outside signals from interfering with the information passing through coaxial cables. These connectors also enable signals to travel efficiently and reliably. RF connectors are used in a wide variety of applications, including antennas, Wi-Fi devices, radio systems and more.
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. We design and manufacture RF coaxial connectors for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace and defense. We also design custom RF connectors for your specific application.
Below is the list of different types of RF connectors offered:
SNAP-ON RF CONNECTORS
Connectors featuring a "snap-on" coupling mechanism are easily connected with a straight push and unmated with a straight pull. They are well-suited for connections in limited spaces or dense environments.
Radiall offers a broad range of standard and proprietary snap-on series. The most popular snap-on interfaces are SMB and MCX. One of the main benefits of snap-on connectors is their 360-degree rotation, which makes it easy to connect and orient a right-angle plug to a receptacle. It can be easy to accidentally unmate snap-on connectors by pulling on the cable or connector, which can be seen as a weakness.
Snap-on interfaces are sometimes proposed as "slide-on" types. To connect, simply push the male and female connectors together; mating is then maintained by spring-finger friction. Slide-on versions are useful when connectors must be mated and unmated frequently; this is the case for test and evaluation.
SCREW-ON RF CONNECTORS
Screw-on connectors provide a robust connection with high electrical performance. They are typically longer to install compared to Quick Lock types and do not allow high density connections.
They are preferred for test and measurement applications at very high frequency up to 67 GHz, but are also used in many applications from telecom to military. Most screw-on series require a wrench tool to apply the right torque.
BLIND MATE RF CONNECTORS
Blind mate connectors are designed for use in rack and panel or module to module interconnections, where multiple RF connectors need to be mated simultaneously in blind mate conditions. The blind mate connector has self-aligning features which allow for misalignment when mating. Blind mate RF connectors are mating either via a sliding or snapping action. They can operate at high frequency and typically achieve high electrical performance and high reliability.
HIGH FREQUENCY RF CONNECTORS
High frequency connectors are precision connectors used for test and measurement or for sensitive low loss, phase stable, high frequency microwave applications up to 67 GHz. They are made of high grade materials in order to allow for longer life cycle and higher durability.
Thanks to their high mechanical stability and screw-on design, high frequency connectors provide best electrical performance with superior repeatability and excellent reliability.
HERMETIC RF CONNECTORS
Hermetically sealed RF connectors are used to carry microwave signal in and out of an electronic package and to ensure no outside elements - including liquid, air or gas - can enter or leak. They are designed with a fused glass-to-metal seal soldered into the connector body and sealing the connector internally. Low-loss special glass is used for best electrical performance. Hermeticity is typically defined as a leak rate of less than 1x10-8 cc/sec of Helium at 1 atmospheric differential pressure.
Hermetic connectors are used for applications requiring an extremely rugged and reliable seal in high pressure environmental conditions. Hermetic sealed connectors are available with many interface type, the most popular one being SMA type.
WATERPROOF RF CONNECTORS
Waterproof connectors are designed with specific sealing O-rings to prevent water ingress. They are suitable for use in outdoor and harsh environments, including wireless telecom antennas, radio equipment, tactical radios and outdoor sensors. Waterproof connectors are sometimes referred to as watertight and are available in 2 main categories: panel sealed only and totally sealed.
They are available in many different interface types, with the most popular being TNC and SMA type.
SWITCHING RF CONNECTORS
RF switching connectors are PCB mount receptacles or adapters with a built-in mechanical switch function. This "two in one" solution provides a unique means of switching between two RF signal paths, typically between an internal and an external antennas.
The switch is activated by mating and unmating a standard plug to the switching connector. The features helps to increase the density on the PCB boards by reducing the number of components, which significantly reduces the cost of ownership. Several series include PCB connectors with a switch function, from micro miniature to medium power series.
NON MAGNETIC RF CONNECTORS
Non magnetic connectors are used for carrying RF signals within a magnetic field. Connectors must be transparent to the magnetic field, which means very low susceptibility and no field distorsion. Due to Radiall's dedicated manufacturing processes, raw material selection and specific non magnetic plating, we guarantee the low susceptibility level of our connectors at 10-5, as opposed to 10-2 for standard connectors made of brass/nickel materials. These connectors are mainly used in medical MRI imaging systems where a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is required.
Non magnetic connectors are available in various interface sizes, the most popular ones are MCX and SMP.