Standards are essential requirements for any industry seeking to eliminate the chaos that would ensue if manufacturers had no defined performance and construction guidelines to follow. For example, although RF and microwave cables, cable assemblies, and connectors aren’t the most complex devices, without standards there would be hundreds if not thousands of incompatible products, with no way to easily compare them. Yet, specifying these products in today’s robust market can still be very confusing, and the goal of this article is to provide basic information about U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) standards related to cables and connectors.
As the DoD has infamously demonstrated, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing when the burden posed by standards effectively creates the chaos they’re intended to eliminate. That is, while standards are essential, it was inevitable that they would grow like weeds until they became so unmanageable that it turned into enormous burden to anyone who had the temerity to use them.