Although they may not seem glamorous, RF connectors play a crucial role when it comes to achieving desired system performance. Making the effort to properly install connectors thus becomes extremely important. In the white paper, “Bulletproofing the Critical Connection: What You Need to Know About RF Connectors For Critical Communications Applications,” RF Industries delves into the methods that should be used to properly install and test RF connectors. The paper also explains how the requirements of future wireless networks are likely to produce new developments in connector technology.
Although it may seem like connectors have remained unchanged throughout the years, the paper begins by explaining that connector technology does indeed progress over time. Moreover, connectors do not have the luxury of backup protection. Thus, a bad connection can lead to negative consequences, ranging from slight voltage-standing-wave-ratio (VSWR) changes to complete failures.
The paper details a number of parameters, processes, and procedures that apply to connector installation. Foremost, the operational status of the system must be verified to ensure proper connector operation. In terms of successful connector installation, the focus should be on cable preparation and connector preparation, with an emphasis on proper cable cutting and stripping.
After identifying the right connector for the specific cable, the next step involves making the actual connection. A connector can be attached to a cable using one of three methods: solder/clamp, crimp, or compression. The document presents the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Of course, after making a connection comes the testing phase. The general rule is to first conduct a physical inspection. Once a connection has been physically inspected, it must go through electrical testing.
The white paper also discusses some causes of connection failures. For instance, contamination induced by foreign substances will likely lead to failure. Moisture is another frequent nemesis of connectors. The document concludes with a look at the future connector landscape.
RF Industries, 7610 Miramar Rd., San Diego, CA 92126; (858) 549-6340; www.rfindustries.com.