Page 50 - Power & Data Connectivity Expand Electronic Capabilities eBook
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The connectors
As mentioned above, high coverage antennas like those used in 5G applications have led to substantial growth in the number of ports on antennas and RF devices. Hooking up the right cables and ports, and proper torquing, are all concerns in this scenario. Proper weather sealing is also a necessity; a good, but not over-torqued, seal is imperative.
The use of MQ4/MQ5 connectors is an optimal solution as this type of “RF cluster connector” incorporates multiple RF ports. Bundle cable designs manufactured with standardized MQ4/MQ5 connectors encompass a four-contact connector and a five-contact connector. These can greatly reduce the number of cables that have to be hooked up, saving a lot of labor, and creating a more rugged solution. They also make the assembly more weatherproof and UV resistant.
Using the four or five connector solution eliminates the need to create five individual weather seals, resulting in tremendous labor savings. Furthermore, this reduces the need to worry about coupling torque. This is critical because all it takes is any kind of error on just one weather seal to create a point of ingress for water that could create a multitude of problems. With this cluster connector solution, any potential system troubleshooting becomes much easier.
Finally, the possibility of hooking up the wrong cable to the wrong port is eliminated. The solution is keyed, so the cables can only be hooked up a certain way — no torque wrenches, know-how, or special techniques required.
Additionally, the standardized four-contact and five-contact connector designs use a spring outer contact so that PIM performance is not tied to how well the tip of the outer contact is engaging with its mate. The connection between the male and female cluster connectors is sealed to IP67 as are the connector bodies and the transition from the cluster connector to the bundled cable. In addition to the male-to-male bundled harness, the female bulkhead connector can also be built as a finished assembly that is ready to be installed into the box and engaged with the printed circuit board.
Finding and qualifying an RF interconnect supplier for 5G applications can be a lengthy and costly process. When it comes to selecting RF cables and connectors, look for a supplier with a long history of building quality cable and connectors, along with the skill, processes, techniques, and materials to bring custom solutions to life.
 Visit Times Microwave to learn more.

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