What are Blind Mate Connectors?

What are Blind Mate RF Connectors?

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- everything RF

Mar 29, 2021

Blind mate connectors are those in which the mating between connectors is done via a sliding or snapping action which does not require aligning the two connector interfaces in a particular way. They are constructed with a self-aligning feature that ensures a correct mating position on their own. These connectors are easy to connect and do not require wrenches or other tools.

A blind mate connector has a non-threaded interlock or at times no locking system at all (in this case they can be held by pressure on either end of the board or connector). Some blind mate connector varieties slide on, while others snap or use guide pins.

Blind mate RF connectors are most often used in situations where multiple connectors need to be mated simultaneously in blind mate conditions. Blind mate conditions are conditions are those where the connection area is hidden from viewing or can not be reached for alignment or using a wrench. They are typically used in a multi-pin rack and panel or module to module interconnections or similar applications where the connector is not mated by itself, but rather by the action of inserting the entire unit or module.

Image Source: MOLEX - A leading supplier of Blind Made Interconnects

Blind Mate RF Connectors are carefully designed to ensure consistent, reliable, and precise performance. These connectors can operate at high frequencies and typically achieve high electrical performance and high reliability.

Some examples of blind mate RF interfaces include BMA (OSP), BMMA (OSSP), SMP, SMPM, SMPS, and Planar Crown connectors. The frequency range of the connector depends on the type of connector being used. For example, the SMPS connector can operate up to 65 GHz, SPSM connector can operate up to 40 GHz and the SMP connector can operate up to 26.5 GHz.

Blind Mate RF Connectors can be used in applications such as wireless base station infrastructure equipment, microwave subsystems, test and measurement, medical equipment, navigation systems, and military radar and satellite communication equipment.

Blind Mate connectors are also used in a number of non-RF applications as well. These include power/signal connectors with cables or board mount connectors, optical connectors in fiber options and in a number of other applications. The connector interfaces in these applications are different but the overall principle is the same.