Are you a connector newbie? Below is a collection of terms relating to connectors with their corresponding definitions.
Attenuation – Decrease in power due to resistance or mismatch in transmission line.
Back Mounted – When applied to a coaxial connector it is that connector mounted from the rear of a panel with the fixing nut on the outside.
Bandwidth – Distance between two frequencies over which a RF or microwave device is intended to work.
Between Series Adaptor – An adaptor used to connect two different generic types of connector.
BNC – Bayonet Nut Connector.
Braid – A weave of metal strands used as an electrical shield for an insulated conductor or group of conductors.
– The type of connector fitted to a chassis using a single cut-out hole.
– The mechanism that joins the connector to the cable.
Cable Retention Force
– The axial force which a connector / cable join can withstand.
– A component such as a contact which is held firmly in position.
– That impedance at which the transmission line is intended to work. A change from the characteristic impedance along its length will cause mismatch and loss of power.
– The holding of a cable by use of a screw thread action.
Closed Entry Contact
– A female contact which is designed to prevent insertion of a contact larger than that specified.
– A transmission line where the one conductor is concentric inside another, often abbreviated to â€œcoaxâ€.
– A resistive element used to end a coaxial line in its characteristic impedance.
– A device for terminating coaxial cable to a PCB or bulkhead mount (a mechanical device and should not be confused with coaxial termination)
– Tradename covering SMB and SMC, both in 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm impedance (discontinued)
– The number of times a connector can be physically mated and still maintain its specified performance.
– The measurement of the DC electrical resistance between a pair of mated contacts. Usually specified as being measured after a given number of mating cycles.
– A discharge of electricity caused by the ionisation of the air around a conductor just prior to total breakdown or flashover.
– The action of distorting a metal tube to give intimate contact with a conductor; a good crimp should be gas tight and not be impacted by environmental change.
– The tool inserts which determine the shape of the distortion to create a consistently good crimp.
– The tool which holds crimp dies to apply the necessary force.
– The amount of signal which may be transferred from one signal carrying line to an adjacent line.
Cut Off Frequency
– The frequency at which the loss exceeds a predetermined level.
– A unit of measurement of RF power loss.
– The insulating medium which holds the center conductor concentric within the connector or cable.
– The electrical value of dielectric which determines the impedance in cables or connectors with constant diameters.
Dielectric Withstanding Voltage
– The maximum voltage that a dielectric material can withstand without failure.
– A common method of terminating connectors to semi-rigid cable by soldering the cable jacket to the connector.
– A dramatic change in characteristic impedance which gives rise to a reflected wave.
– The unused or lost energy in a system e.g. heat.
– An unwanted change in a signal wave form.
– A device connected to the end of a transmission line to absorb transmitted power and prevent reflected energy.
– A mechanical device attached to the mating face of an unmated connector to prevent ingress of contaminants and provide protection against mechanical damage.
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
– The ability of a device to operate within its intended environment without being effected by or generating electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Engagement and Separation Forces
– The forces required to mate and unmate a pair of connectors. The forces are usually specified as a max & min for each action.
– A connector that is provided with seals or other devices to prevent ingress of dust, moisture or other contaminants while mated which might impair performance.
– A coaxial cable where the outer conductor is flexible (usually braided).
– A measure of frequency representing 1 billion Hertz (cycles per second).
– See â€˜Characteristic Impedanceâ€™
– An adaptor which enables the connection of two connectors of the same generic type.
– The loss of power due to a particular component in a transmission line (e.g. cable).
– The electrical resistance between two conductors separated by an insulating medium.
– The mixing of two or more frequencies which are not intended to mix.
– The two surfaces of a connector which come into intimate contact when the two halves are mated.
– See â€˜Between Series Adaptorâ€™
– The measure of interaction between two or more transmission lines.
– One half of a mating pair of connectors. The jack interface normally goes inside the plug interface.
– The mean value of the rate at which energy is transmitted from one place to another.
– A transmission line consisting of a flat conductor on a dielectric above a single ground plane. (the ground plane is frequently a metalized face of the dielectric).
UG909B/U Female Bulkhead Clamp Kings Connector
– Very short electromagnetic waves. Frequency range above 1 GHz.
– The generic specification covering USA Military coaxial connectors.
– The generic MIL spec covering coaxial cables.
– The condition in which the impedance of the source and load are not the = same. This reduces power transfer and causes reflections.
– The design of the PCB or panel cut-out used to mount the connector. N Connector – This was the first true microwave connector capable of working to 18GHz, initially designed for test applications.
– Trade name covering SSMB & SSMC (discontinued)
– An external electromagnetic signal which interferes with the desired signal.
Non-captive – A component such as a contact which does not have a retention feature.
– This is a surface treatment applied primarily to stainless steel. The process removes contaminating iron particles and produces a passive surface.
– Is the maximum power which may be handled by a connector or cable.
– One half of a mating pair of connectors. The plug interface normally goes outside the jack interface.
– Abbreviation for â€œpositionsâ€.
– Abbreviation of polytetrafluorethylene. This is the most commonly used dielectric (insulator) used in professional coaxial connectors.
– Qualified Parts List. Parts approved to MIL-C-390 12 specification.
– A term used to describe a connector assembly usually bulkhead or PCB mounted.
– A reason for loosing RF energy due to signals being reflected due to a mismatch in a transmission line.
– The RF power lost from a transmission line or device. Measured in dB.
– The traditional prefix for MIL spec coaxial cables.
– The mating action of connectors which are joined using a screw thread (e.g. SMC)
– Cannon trade name for a flexible microwave cable assembly which has a performance similar to semi-rigid cable.
– A coaxial cable where the outer conductor is a solid metal tube.
– The tendency of alternating currents to flow near to the surface of a conductor; this increases resistance and becomes more marked the higher the frequency.
– Sometimes used as an abbreviation for slide-on variants of SMB. This is a misnomer, the more common use is for Surface Mount Device.
– A term used to describe the mating action of SMB and SSMB connectors.
– An SMA connector that can be connected to semi-rigid cable by compressing the inner body rather than by soldering (sometimes referred to as semi-rigid â€˜crimpâ€™ connectors).
– A method of building a microwave circuit. The circuitry is sandwiched between 2 ground planes. Sometimes referred to as Tri-plate.
– DuPont tradename for PTFE.
– The greatest force a device can withstand without tearing or pulling apart. This is frequently the method of determining the effectiveness of a crimp.
– Thread Nut Connector same size as BNC; the only obvious difference is the coupling nut.
– See Stripline.
– Used to indicate a connector made to US government spec.
Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)
– A way of expressing the resultant loss of power as a result of signal reflections due to discontinuity.