Tag Archives: antenna

Glossary for rf connector

Attenuation (a)
The decrease of a signal with the distance in the direction of propagation. Attenuation may be expressed as the scalar ratio of the input power to the output power, or as the ratio of the input signal voltage to the output signal voltage.


Back Mounted (rear mounting)
When a connector is mounted from the inside of a panel or box with its mounting flange inside the equipment.


BNC (Bayonet Neill Concelman)
Coaxial connector with bayonet coupling mechanism. Available in 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm versions. Frequency range DC – 4 GHz (50 Ohm) and DC-1 GHz (75 Ohm), respectively. Named after Amphenol Engineer Carl Concelman, and Bell Labs Engineer Paul Neill.

Main, or largest, portion of a connector to which other portions are attached.

Bonded Assembly
A connector assembly in which the components are bonded together using an electrically appropriate adhesive in a sandwich structure to provide sealing against moisture.

Woven wire used as sheilding for insulated wires and coaxial cables. Also, a woven fibrous protective outer covering over a conductor or cable.

Braid Coverage
A calculated percentage which defines the completeness with which a braid or shield covers the surface of the underlying component.

A term used to define a mounting style of connectors. Bulkhead connectors are designed to be inserted into a panel cutout from the rear (component side) or front side of the panel.

Butted Contact
When two conductors come together end-to-end, but do not overlap, with their axis in line.

Cable television (previously community antenna television) technology, commonly employed by broadband LANs for signal distribution.

Cable Assembly
A completed cable and its associated hardware (e.g. connector).

The property of an electrical conductor (dielectric in a capacitor) that permits the storage of energy as a result of electrical displacement. The basic unit of capacitance is the Farad, however measurement is more commonly in microfarads or picofarads.


Coaxial Cable
A transmission line consisting of two concentric conductors insulated from each other. In its flexible form it consists of either a solid or stranded center conductor surrounded by a dielectric. A braid is then woven over the dielectric to form an outer conductor. A protective plastic covering is placed on top of the braid.

Amphenol Engineer after which many coaxial connectors are named: C, BNC, TNC, etc.

Connector Assembly
Includes housing and contact plus additional components such as hardware used to hold the assembly together and/or make the assembly a functional connector.

The conducting part of an interconnect at the interface between the connector and the lead on the device being connected.

Contact Alignment
Defines the overall radial play which contacts shall have within the insert cavity so as to permit self-alignment of mated contacts. Sometimes referred to as amount of contact float.

Contact Cavity
A defined hole in the connector insert or housing into which the contact must fit.

Contact Durability
The number of insertion and withdrawal cycles that a connector must be capable of withstanding while remaining within the performance levels of the applicable specification.

Contact Engaging & Separating Force
Force needed to either engage or separate pins and socket contacts when they are in and out of connector inserts. Values are generally established for maximum and minimum forces. Performance acceptance levels vary by specification and/or customer requirements.

Contact Plating
Deposited metal applied to the basic contact metal to provide the required contact-resistance and/or wear-resistance.

Contact Pressure
Force which mating surfaces exert against one another.

Contact Resistance
Measurement of electrical resistance of mated contacts when assembled in a connector under typical service use. Electrical resistance is determined by measuring from the rear of the electrical area of one contact to the rear of the mating contact (excluding both crimps) while carrying a specified test current.

Contact Retention
Defines minimum axial load in either direction which a contact must withstand while remaining firmly fixed in its normal position within an insert.

Act of compressing (deforming) a connector ferrule around a cable in order to make an electrical connection.

Crimping Dies
A term used to identify the shaping tools that, when moved toward each other, produce a certain desirable shape to the barrel of the terminal or contact that has been placed between them. Crimping dies are often referred to as die sets or as die inserts.

Crimping Termination
Connection in which a metal sleeve is secured to a conductor by mechanically crimping the sleeve with pliers, presses or crimp dies.

Crimping Tool
A term commonly used to identify a hand held mechanical device or table press that is used to crimp a contact, terminal or spice.



Relative measure of signal power where the reference 0 dBm is equal to one milliwatt. See also decibel.

Decibel (dB)
A relative unit without dimensions calculated as ten times the logarithm to the base 10 of a power ratio or as twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of a voltage ratio. Note: What is commonly measured as VSWR in the RF world is referred to as return loss and measured in dB in the CATV industry.

Delay Line
A cable that delays electrical signals by a specified amount of time.

A situation where a lead or pad was at one point in the soldering process wetted by the solder, but due to extended time or temperature, the presence of intermetallics, volatiles or other causes, has become withdrawn from the wetted surface.

In a coaxial cable, the insulation between inner and outer conductor. It significantly influences electrical characteristics such as impedance, capacitance, and velocity of propagation.

Dielectric Constant
Electrical property of a material that describes its behavior in an electric field. The dielectric constant of the dielectric is the most important design parameter for coaxial cables and determines dimensions, losses and propagation characteristics.

Dielectric Loss
In a coaxial cable, the losses caused by transformation of electromagnetic energy into heat within the dielectric material.

Dielectric Strength
The voltage which an insulating material can withstand before breakdown occurs.

Dielectric Withstanding Voltage
The maximum potential gradient that a dielectric material can withstand without failure.

(1) Pertaining to the utilization of discreet integral numbers in a given base to represent all the quantities that occur in a problem or a calculation. It is possible to express in digital form all information stores, transferred or processed by a dual-state condition; e.g., on-off, open-closed and true-false. (2) Compare with analog.

DIN 7/16 
50 coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism providing excellent intermodulation characteristics. Suitable for medium to high power applications. Frequency range DC – 7.5 GHz.

Dip Solder Terminal
The terminals on a connector which are inserted into holes in the PC board and then soldered in place.

Direct Current (DC)
An electric current which flows in only one direction.

Unusable or lost energy, such as the production of unused heat in a circuit.

An unwanted change or addition to a signal or waveform when it is amplified. This definition excludes noise which is an extraneous signal super-imposed on the desired signal.

Dummy Load
A dissipative device used at the end of a transmission line or waveguide to convert transmitted energy into heat, so essentially no energy is radiated outward or reflected back to its source.

Dust Cap
A device attached to a connector to provide protection against dust and foreign debris.

A short tube to make solderless connections to shielded or coaxial cable (e.g. as in crimping).

Fiber Optics
The technology for guidance of light waves through optical fibers; specifically when the optical energy is guided to another location in order to transmit information.

A projection extending from, or around the periphery of, a connector and provided with holes to permit mounting the connector to a panel, or to another mating connector half.

The pattern on the printed circuit board to which the leads on a surface mount component are mated. Also called a land or a pad.

Frequency Modulation (fm)
A scheme for modulating a carrier frequency in which the amplitude remains constant but the carrier frequency is displaced in frequency proportionally to the amplitude of the modulating signal. An fm broadcast is practically immune to atmospheric and man-made interference.

Fretting Corrosion
A form of accelerated oxidation that appears at the interface of contacting materials undergoing slight cyclic relative motion. All non-noble metals (tin) are susceptible to some degree of fretting corrosion and will suffer contact resistance increases.

Front Mounted (front mounting)
A connector is front mounted when it is attached to the outside or mating side of a panel. A front mounted connector can only be installed or removed from the outside of the equipment.


Gigahertz (GHz)
One billion cycles per second (1×109).

Global Positioning System

Global System for Mobile communication, a digital standard for wireless service for high-performance cell phones; European and defacto world standard.


Insertion Loss
The loss in load power due to the insertion of a component, connector or devise at some point in a RF transmission system. Generally expressed in decibels as the ratio of the power received at the load before insertion of the apparatus, to the power received at the load after insertion (for more information please refer to Appendix).

Intermodulation (IMD)
A phenomenon that occurs when two or more fundamental frequencies are present in an electronic circuit.


A connecting device into which a plug can be inserted to make circuit connections. The jack may also have contacts which open or close to perform switching functions when the plug is inserted or removed. See also: receptacle.

An outer non-metallic protective cover applied over an insulated wire or cable.

A surface mount lead configuration where leads are bent into curves. Infrequently used on interconnects.


MCX (Micro coaxial)
Micro coaxial connector with snap on coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm versions. Frequency range DC – 6 GHZ.

Miniature Microcoax connector with snap on coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm versions. Frequency range DC – 6 GHz.

Moisture Resistance
The ability of a material to resist absorbing moisture from the air or when immersed in water.

N (Neill) 
Coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm version. Frequency range DC – 18 GHz (50 ohm) and DC-1 GHz (75 ohm), respectively.


In coaxial RF connectors the plug is usually the movable portion, and is usually attached to a cable or removable assembly. Plugs mate with receptacles, jacks, outlets, etc.

PTFE (polytetraflouroethylene)
The thermally most stable and chemically most resistant carbonaceous compound. It is unaffected by sunlight, moisture, and virtually all chemicals. Temperature range is -200oC to +260oC / -392oF to +500oF. Electrical properties are very constant over temperature and wide range of frequencies.

Radio frequency.

Symbol used to designate coaxial cables that are made to government specification (e.g., RG-58U; in this designation the “R” means radio frequency, the “G” means government, the “58″ is the number assigned to the government approval, and the “U” means it is a universal specification).

A cable containing a flexible inner core and a relatively inflexible sheathing.

SMA (Subminiature A)
50 ohm – subminiature coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC-18 GHz.

SMB (Subminiature B)
Subminiature coaxial connector with snap-on coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC – 4 GHz.

SMC (Subminiature C)
Subminiature coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC – 10 GHz.

Subminiature coaxial connector with slide-on coupling mechanism. Frequency range DC – 4 GHz.

Snap on
Used to describe the easy removal or assembly of one part to another. A connector containing socket (female) contacts into which a plug connector having male contacts is inserted.

TNC (Threaded Neill Concelman)
Coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism. Available in 50 ohm and 75 ohm versions. Frequency range DC – 11 GHz (50 ohm) and DC – 1 GHz (75 ohm), respectively.

Coaxial connector with screw type coupling mechanism invented in the 1930′s by Amphenol engineer E. Clark Quackenbush for use in the radio industry. Non-defined impedance. Frequency range DC.

Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
A Federal Communications Commission designation for the band from 300 MHz to 3,000 MGz (3GHz) on the radio spectrum.

Very High Frequency (VHF)
A Federal Communications Commission designation for the band from 30 to 300 MHz on the radio spectrum.

See Voltage Standing Wave Ratio and Standing Wave Ratio.

The distance, measured in the direction of propagation, of a repetitive electrical pulse or waveform between two successive points that are characterized by the same phase of vibration.

Wave Soldering
The most widely used mass soldering process, primarily for through-hole boards, where the board is passed over a wave of solder which laps against the bottom of the board to wet the metal surfaces to be joined.

Wideband-Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).

The ability of liquid solder to attach itself to the surfaces being joined through the formation of intermatallic bonds.

Wiping Action
The action which occurs when contacts are mated with a sliding action. Wiping has the effect of removing small amounts of contamination from the contact surfaces, thus establishing better conductivity.

Wireless Local Area Network.

Wireless Local Loop.