RF connector

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A type N coaxial RF connector (male) Male type N connector.jpg
A type N coaxial RF connector (male)
Electronic symbols for the plug and jack coaxial connectors Coaxial ConnectorSymbols.png
Electronic symbols for the plug and jack coaxial connectors
Time-domain reflectometry shows reflections due to impedance variations in mated RF connectors. TDR SMA BNC BNC term.svg
Time-domain reflectometry shows reflections due to impedance variations in mated RF connectors.

A coaxial RF connector (radio frequency connector) is an electrical connector designed to work at radio frequencies in the multi-megahertz range. RF connectors are typically used with coaxial cables and are designed to maintain the shielding that the coaxial design offers. Better models also minimize the change in transmission line impedance at the connection. Mechanically, they may provide a fastening mechanism (thread, bayonet, braces, blind mate) and springs for a low ohmic electric contact while sparing the gold surface, thus allowing very high mating cycles and reducing the insertion force. Research activity in the area of radio-frequency (RF) circuit design has surged in the 2000s in direct response to the enormous market demand for inexpensive, high-data-rate wireless transceivers. [1]

Electrical connector electro-mechanical device

An electrical connector is an electro-mechanical device used to join electrical terminations and create an electrical circuit. Electrical connectors consist of plugs (male-ended) and jacks (female-ended). The connection may be temporary, as for portable equipment, require a tool for assembly and removal, or serve as a permanent electrical joint between two wires or devices. An adapter can be used to effectively bring together dissimilar connectors.

Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field or mechanical system in the frequency range from around twenty thousand times per second to around three hundred billion times per second. This is roughly between the upper limit of audio frequencies and the lower limit of infrared frequencies; these are the frequencies at which energy from an oscillating current can radiate off a conductor into space as radio waves. Different sources specify different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.

Coaxial cable A type of electrical cable with an inner conductor surrounded by concentric insulating layer and conducting shield

Coaxial cable, or coax, is a type of electrical cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield. Many coaxial cables also have an insulating outer sheath or jacket. The term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing a geometric axis. Coaxial cable was invented by English engineer and mathematician Oliver Heaviside, who patented the design in 1880.

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See also

TV aerial plug

A TV aerial plug is a colloquial name for a connector used to connect coaxial cables with each other and with terrestrial VHF/UHF roof antennas, antenna signal amplifiers, CATV distribution equipment, TV sets and FM / DAB-radio receivers.

Optical fiber connector

An optical fiber connector terminates the end of an optical fiber, and enables quicker connection and disconnection than splicing. The connectors mechanically couple and align the cores of fibers so light can pass. Better connectors lose very little light due to reflection or misalignment of the fibers. In all, about 100 different types of fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the market.

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BNC connector

The BNC connector is a miniature quick connect/disconnect radio frequency connector used for coaxial cable. The interface specifications for the BNC and many other connectors are referenced in MIL-STD-348. It features two bayonet lugs on the female connector; mating is fully achieved with a quarter turn of the coupling nut. BNC connectors are used with miniature-to-subminiature coaxial cable in radio, television, and other radio-frequency electronic equipment, test instruments, and video signals. The BNC was commonly used for early computer networks, including ARCnet, the IBM PC Network, and the 10BASE2 variant of Ethernet. BNC connectors are made to match the characteristic impedance of cable at either 50 ohms or 75 ohms. They are usually applied for frequencies below 4 GHz and voltages below 500 volts.

N connector

The N connector is a threaded, weatherproof, medium-size RF connector used to join coaxial cables. It was one of the first connectors capable of carrying microwave-frequency signals, and was invented in the 1940s by Paul Neill of Bell Labs, after whom the connector is named.

Balun

A balun is an electrical device that converts between a balanced signal and an unbalanced signal. A balun can take many forms and may include devices that also transform impedances but need not do so. Transformer baluns can also be used to connect lines of differing impedance. Sometimes, in the case of transformer baluns, they use magnetic coupling but need not do so. Common-mode chokes are also used as baluns and work by eliminating, rather than ignoring, common mode signals.

F connector

The F connector is a coaxial RF connector commonly used for "over the air" terrestrial television, cable television and universally for satellite television and cable modems, usually with RG-6/U cable or, in older installations, with RG-59/U cable.

Hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) is a telecommunications industry term for a broadband network that combines optical fiber and coaxial cable. It has been commonly employed globally by cable television operators since the early 1990s.

C connector

The C connector is a type of RF connector used for terminating coaxial cable. The interface specifications for the C and many other connectors are referenced in MIL-STD-348. The connector uses two-stud bayonet-type locks. The C connector was invented by Amphenol engineer Carl Concelman. It is weatherproof without being overly bulky. The mating arrangement is similar to that of the BNC connector. It can be used up to 11 Ghz, and is rated for up to 1500 volts.

SMA connector

SMA connectors are semi-precision coaxial RF connectors developed in the 1960s as a minimal connector interface for coaxial cable with a screw-type coupling mechanism. The connector has a 50 Ω impedance. SMA is designed for use from DC to 18 GHz, but is most commonly used for hand-held radio and mobile telephone antennas, and more recently with WiFi antenna systems and USB software-defined radio dongles. It is also commonly used in radio astronomy, particularly at higher frequencies.

Feed line

In a radio antenna, the feed line (feedline), or feeder, is the cable or other transmission line that connects the antenna with the radio transmitter or receiver. In a transmitting antenna, it feeds the radio frequency (RF) current from the transmitter to the antenna, where it is radiated as radio waves. In a receiving antenna it transfers the tiny RF voltage induced in the antenna by the radio wave to the receiver. In order to carry RF current efficiently, feed lines are made of specialized types of cable called transmission line. The most widely used types of feed line are coaxial cable, twin-lead, ladder line, and at microwave frequencies, waveguide.

RG-58/U is a type of coaxial cable often used for low-power signal and RF connections. The cable has a characteristic impedance of either 50 or 52 Ω. "RG" was originally a unit indicator for bulk RF cable in the U.S. military's Joint Electronics Type Designation System. There are several versions covering the differences in core material and shield.

UHF connector

The UHF connector is a dated name for a threaded RF connector. The connector design was invented in the 1930s for use in the radio industry, and is a shielded form of the "banana plug". It is a widely-used standard connector for HF transmission lines on full-sized radio equipment, with BNC connectors predominating for smaller, hand-held equipment.

RG-59 type of coaxial cable

RG-59/U is a specific type of coaxial cable, often used for low-power video and RF signal connections. The cable has a characteristic impedance of 75 ohms, and a capacitance of around 20pF/ft (60pF/m). The 75 ohm impedance matches a dipole antenna in free space. RG was originally a unit indicator for bulk radio frequency (RF) cable in the U.S. military's Joint Electronics Type Designation System. The suffix /U means for general utility use. The number 59 was assigned sequentially. The RG unit indicator is no longer part of the JETDS system (MIL-STD-196E) and cable sold today under the RG-59 label does not necessarily meet military specifications.

Belling-Lee connector

The Belling-Lee connector is commonly used in Europe and Australia to connect coaxial cables with each other and with terrestrial VHF/UHF roof antennas, antenna signal amplifiers, CATV distribution equipment, TV sets, and FM and DAB radio receivers. In these countries, it is known colloquially as a PAL antenna connector, IEC antenna connector, or simply as a TV aerial plug. It is one of the oldest coaxial connectors still commonly used in consumer devices.

RG-6 type of coaxial cable

RG-6/U is a common type of coaxial cable used in a wide variety of residential and commercial applications. An RG-6/U coaxial cable has a characteristic impedance of 75 ohms. The term, RG-6, is generic and is applied to a wide variety of cable designs, which differ from one another in shielding characteristics, center conductor composition, dielectric type and jacket type. RG was originally a unit indicator for bulk radio frequency (RF) cable in the U.S. military's Joint Electronics Type Designation System. The suffix /U means for general utility use. The number was assigned sequentially. The RG unit indicator is no longer part of the JETDS system (MIL-STD-196E) and cable sold today under the RG-6 label is unlikely to meet military specifications. In practice, the term RG-6 is generally used to refer to coaxial cables with an 18 AWG center conductor and 75 ohm characteristic impedance.

GR connector

The GR connector, officially the General Radio Type 874, was a type of RF connector used for connecting coaxial cable. Designed by Eduard Karplus, Harold M. Wilson and William R. Thurston at General Radio Corporation. It was widely used on General Radio's electronic test equipment and some Tektronix instruments from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Hirose U.FL

Hirose U.FL, I-PEX MHF series, IPAX, IPX, AMC and UMCC is a miniature RF connector for high-frequency signals up to 6 GHz manufactured by Hirose Electric Group and others.

QMA and QN connector

QMA and QN connectors are quick-connect RF connectors that were designed to replace the widely used SMA and Type N connectors. The connectors have been available since 2003. The connector family was created by the Quick Lock Formula Alliance, which consists of Huber+Suhner, Radiall, Rosenberger Hochfrequenztechnik, and Amphenol.

Audio connectors and video connectors are electrical or optical connectors for carrying audio and video signals. Audio interfaces and video interfaces define physical parameters and interpretation of signals. For digital audio and digital video, this can be thought of as defining the physical layer, data link layer, and most or all of the application layer. For analog audio and analog video these functions are all represented in a single signal specification like NTSC or the direct speaker-driving signal of analog audio. Physical characteristics of the electrical or optical equipment includes the types and numbers of wires required, voltages, frequencies, optical intensity, and the physical design of the connectors. Any data link layer details define how application data is encapsulated. Application layer details define the actual audio or video format being transmitted, often incorporating a codecs not specific to the interface, such as PCM, MPEG-2, or the DTS Coherent Acoustics codec. In some cases, the application layer is left open; for example, HDMI contains an Ethernet channel for general data transmission.

An SR connector, or CP connector is a type of Russian made RF connector for coaxial cables. Based on the American BNC connector, the SR connector differs slightly in dimensions due to discrepancies in imperial to metric conversion, though with some force they can still be mated. There are however types of SR connectors that do not resemble their American counterpart.

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