Cable Company Doubles As Connector Supplier

Sept. 20, 2005
More associated with their hand-formable flexible cables, this firm also offers high-performance RF/microwave connectors for use with printed circuit boards and cables.

Some firms are synonymous with particular product lines. Even the name of EZ Form Cable Corp. (Hamden, CT) suggests their long association with cable products. But this is a firm that also offers extensive lines of RF/microwave coaxial connectors, ranging from lower-frequency BNC and TNC connectors through high-power Type N connectors and high-frequency SMA connectors. These connectors, of course, can be supplied with the company's cables as standard- and custom-length cable assemblies, or by themselves for use in a wide range of commercial, military, and space applications.

Miniature MMCX connectors are small enough for handheld communications devices and in PCMCIA cards. The 50-(omega) snap-on connectors are usable from DC to 6 GHz and feature maximum VSWR of 1.25:1 for straight connectors. The force required to engage a mated pair of connectors is 3.4 lbs. or less while the force to disengage the connectors is 1.4 to 3.4 lbs. Rated for as many as 500 mating operations, the MMCX connectors can handle maximum working voltages to 170 V RMS and feature dielectric withstanding voltage of at least 500 V RMS. They are built with gold- or nickel-plated brass bodies with Teflon insulation. Male connectors have a gold-plated brass center contact while female connectors offer a beryllium-copper center contact.

At higher frequencies, the company's straight and right-angle SMA connectors are usable from DC to 18 GHz. Versions are available for crimp attachment to flexible cables, for direct solder to semirigid cable, and for panel-mount and PCB applications. Straight connectors exhibit VSWR of 1.05 + 0.015f:1 (where f is frequency in GHz) while right-angle connectors exhibit VSWR of 1.15 + 0.015f:1. For example, for a straight SMA connector at 10 GHz, the VSWR is 1.30:1. Insertion loss is no more than 0.16 dB for a straight SMA connector and no more than 0.24 dB for a right-angle SMA connector, both measured at 16 GHz. With RG-173 cable, the SMA connectors have a maximum voltage rating of 750 V RMS, which is also the maximum rated dielectric withstanding voltage. The connectors do a capable job of controlling RF leakage, with specified minimum performance of –55 dB at 3 GHz.

As with the MMCX connectors, the SMA connectors feature gold- or nickel-plated brass bodies with Teflon insulation. The center contact is gold-plated brass for male types and beryllium-copper for female. The SMA connectors are designed to work over operating temperatures from –65 to +165°C.

In between the MMCX and SMA connectors, the firm's BNC, TNC, and Type N connectors support higher-power applications from DC to 4 GHz, DC to 11 GHz, and DC to 12.4 GHz, respectively. The BNC and TNC connectors show insertion loss of 0.2 dB at 3 GHz with maximum VSWR of 1.30:1. Both connector types are rated for RF leakage of –55 dB, maximum voltage of 500 V RMS, and maximum dielectric withstanding voltage of 1500 V RMS. The Type N connectors offer insertion loss of 0.15 dB at 9 GHz and VSWR of 1.30: at 10 GHz with excellent RF leakage of –80 dB at 10 GHz. The maximum voltage rating is 1500 V RMS while the maximum dielectric withstanding voltage rating is 2500 V RMS.

These and the company's other connector types, including SMBs and quick-connect connectors are suitable for a wide range of applications, including in test equipment, broadband communications equipment, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), cellular base stations, and wireless local-area networks (WLANs). Additional details and outline drawings for the connectors can be found on the firm's website. EZ Form Cable Corp., 285 Welton St., Hamden, CT 06517; (203) 785-8215, FAX: (203) 785-0466, Internet: www.ezform.com.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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