Coaxial cable connectors are as important as coaxial cables. They are used for connecting cables with devices. Using a high-quality connector will provide a durable and long-lasting connection. Another thing about connectors is that they help protect the shielding of the coax cable.
Coax connectors are grouped into two different categories: female and male. Male connectors have a metal pin sticking out from the center while female connectors come with a hollow center to receive that pin.
Coaxial cable connectors can also differ based on a coax cable. When buying coax connectors, make sure that it is rated for the cable that you are using. If the connector is not the right match for your cable, it will not fit. Every connector is different and works with specific coax cables.
In this guide, we will discuss the Coaxial Cable Connectors Types to use with coaxial cables. Knowing the types of coax connectors will help you choose the right one for your cable.
Know The Coaxial Cable Connectors Types
There exist many types of coax cable connectors, and each of them is rated for specific coaxial cables. Go through the details to know more about the connector types.
Bayonet Neill-Concelman or BNC is probably the most common type of coax connector available in the market. It features a simple design that is easy to connect and use. Unlike other coax connectors, you won’t need any special tools to connect a BNC connector.
BNC connectors are known to provide firm and secure connections. It prevents accidental disconnection resulting from sudden movements or vibrations. The only drawback is the limited frequency range. This type of connector is widely used in RF test equipment and commercial video/audio transmission systems.
Subminiature Version A or SMA connectors have an impendence of 50 Ohm. The main advantages of SMA are that they are compact and lightweight. This makes them ideal for applications where weight and size are a concern.
SMA coax connectors are available in different formats such as right-angled, male and female, straight-through, and more. Another good thing about SMA connectors is that they have a very high-frequency range of up to 18 GHz. However, these types of connectors are not suitable for harsh settings. They are best suited for telecommunication equipment, wireless antennas, and microwaves.
Threaded Neill-Concelman or TNC is an improved variation of BNC connectors. While BNC operates at a frequency of 4 GHz, TNC has a frequency range of up to 11 GHz. Plus, they are more durable and waterproof.
Another advantage of TNC connectors is the high mating cycle life. They can be used for over 500 cycles. Furthermore, they are less susceptible to variations. Despite all the good things, TNC connectors are large and bulky, and therefore, they can be used with only specific types of coax cables. They are commonly used in RF antennas and mobile telephones.
QMA connectors might have a few similarities with SMA connectors, but the former is faster and better. The snap-lock feature of QMA connectors makes it easier to connect and disconnect them. Additionally, they can be rotated 360 degrees for easy installation.
There are various advantages to using QMA connectors. For starters, it can handle higher power levels and operate at 18 GHz frequency.
These specs are way higher than some other connectors. The only problem with QMA connectors is that they are not waterproof. This makes them unfit for humid or moist environments. They are mainly used in communication and industrial applications that require the protection of the shielding material.
5. 7/16 DIN
7/16 Deutsches Institut fur Normung comes with a threaded design and can handle higher power levels easily. They are primarily used for high-wattage transmission applications. Compared to other types of connectors, 7/16 DIN has a higher intermodulation rejection.
Like most other connectors, 7/16 DIN also has a few drawbacks. It is difficult to connect and disconnect. Another problem is that they are not suitable for every country or place. For instance, they are more common in Europe, and not in the U.S. The common applications include broadcast communication systems and base stations.
Radio Corporation of America connectors is also popular as cinch connectors. It features red, white, and yellow plugs and jacks. The good thing about this type of connector is that they are available everywhere. Plus, they are not as expensive as other connectors.
However, some users find the color code system confusing. As a result, they tend to avoid using these connectors. You will find RCA connectors mostly in AV systems such as digital cameras, televisions, camcorders, and stereo systems.
Micro Coaxial connectors are compact and similar to SMB connectors. Due to their small size, they are commonly used in applications where size is a big factor. Unlike other connectors, MCX is not difficult to install. The snap-on coupling design allows for easy and quick installation.
Like BNC connectors, MCX has a low-frequency limit. It operates at a 6 GHz frequency. Also, they vary in size, which makes it difficult to find the right match for the cables. This type of connector is used in RF hardware, digital cellular systems, TV tuner cards, and global positioning systems.
Q1. What are TNC connectors used for?
Ans: TNC coax connectors are widely used for RF antennas and mobile phones.
Q2. What is the advantage of using SMA coax connectors?
Ans: The biggest advantage of SMA connectors is the high-frequency range. It can operate at 18 GHz frequency which is more than other connectors.
Q3. How to choose the right coaxial connector?
Ans: The type of coax connector you need will depend on the coaxial cable and equipment you are working with.
Q4. Is 7/16 DIN available in the United States?
Ans: 7/16 DIN is not very popular in the United States. They are mainly made for the European market.
Q5. What are MCX connectors used for?
Ans: MCX connectors are used for a variety of applications such as TV tuner cards, digital cellular systems, and RF hardware. They are also found in GPS systems.
To make the most of coax connectors, you must choose the right one for your coaxial cable. This will ensure a secure and firm connection. Now that you are familiar with the seven types of coax connectors, it should be easier for you to make the right pick.
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