Give Your RF Connectors Some TLC!

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TNC mail, right angle cable connector

If you’re anything like me, I’m certain you can recall your mom’s ear-splittingly shriek at one point or another … “this is why we can’t have nice things…you need to be more careful”.

The simple fact is…it’s the truth… things do last longer when we take care of them. Todaywe may no longer leave our new bikes out in the rain, but what about how we treat the RF/Microwave Components we use everyday on the job!

Below are some helpful hints to treat your Connectors well so they’ll have a long, productive and reliable life.

1. Don’t use pliers on a “stuck” connector for any reason. There are wrenches for every size adapter, even SMAs bullets. If you can’t fit a wrench to the stuck connector, see below.

2. Learn how to clean connectors with alcohol and cotton swabs. Cleaning the threads is good practice, but stay away from cleaning the center conductor of an air dielectric connectors such as 3.5mm, 2.9mm and 2.4mm.

3. Learn how to gage connectors to determine if they are out of spec. One bad connector can damage many.

4. Don’t use higher frequency connector than you need. Save the 2.9mm and 2.4mm parts for millimeter-wave measurements.

5. Never use any part of a calibration kit as an adapter. Ever. If you need a special adapter, buy it!

6. Use a torque wrench. For most connectors with 5/16 inch hex nuts, use 6-8 inch-pounds. It’s OK to use less torque, but not more.

7. Don’t forget, righty-tighty, lefty-losey! The total damage done by people turning stuff in the wrong direction is second only to damage caused by klutzes who “thumb” hybrids.

8. Remember, you are not tightening lug nuts. The hardware you hold in your hands could very well be worth more than your automobile. So be gentle with it.

9. When you are tightening or loosening a connector, try not to spin the mating surfaces against each other. You should only be turning the threaded sleeve. Turning the mating surfaces means you are wearing out the connector for no reason!

(content credit: 2015, Prof. Luca Perregrini Dept. of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, microwave.unipv.it)


Coaxicom designs and manufactures an extensive line of standard, as well as custom microwave and RF Connectors all available in 50 or 75 Ohm impedance. We have proudly served Customers in industries including the U.S. military, automotive, medical, instrumentation, aerospace, telecom, wireless, alternative energy, network security, and more.

Coaxicom is committed to providing outstanding service, value and quality with made in the USA RF Connectors since 1984.

Coaxicom also offers world-class manufacturing capabilities necessary to deliver the quality and reliability our customers demand including Military specifications MIL-PRF 39012, MIL-A 55339, MIL-C-83517, and MIL-STD-348 as applicable.

Learn more about our RF Connectors. See the selection of Torque Wrenches. Or download the Coaxicom Product Reference Sheet here. Looking for a quote? Email us at Sales@Coaxicom.com.

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