Intelliconnect, a leading RF and Microwave interconnect product supplier for many of the leading American and European Defense, Medical, and Marine OEMs, has developed standard and reliable waterproof interconnect solutions. The Pisces series are waterproof connectors and adapters that are available in multiple connector types including TNC, SMA, N Type and MCX. These connectors can be used in a wide range of industries including the oil and gas sector.
A UK start-up company was developing a unique product to remotely monitor the wall thickness of pipelines used in the petrochemical and oil and gas industries. They were doing this by connecting RF modules to specific points on the pipeline and continuously measuring and monitoring the wall thickness using a remotely managed solution. Traditionally this would be done manually, with staff inspecting the pipeline at different points. The wireless solution was more efficient and cost-effective. It required equipment to be installed outside and operate in a wide range of environments that included deserts, artic regions and other regions with harsh environmental conditions. As a result, the connectors needed to be waterproof and capable of withstanding sand and dust.
A range of waterproof TNC/MCX bulkhead mount adaptors, waterproof TNC plug connectors, waterproof quadraxial (4-way for signal and datalines) connectors were required all of which were required to be ATEX approved in the equipment by the customer. There were also some internal cable assemblies requiring ATEX approval –(careful selection of heat shrink sleevings). On top of the interconnect solutions being waterproof, they also had to operate at temperatures of 200 degrees C.
Intelliconnect worked with the company to develop TNC/MCX adaptors and a new quadrax (4 way) connector as part of its Pisces series of connector solutions. Standard and reverse polarity designs ensured that incorrect device connections could be eliminated, and the material, data and samples were submitted to undergo ATEX approval testing. The adaptors were waterproof both at the bulkhead and sealed internally to prevent moisture ingress through the internal connector components.
A mating TNC plug connector, sealed to IP68 rating was developed, assembled with a 200 degree Celsius rated cable (approved by the customer) was proposed to meet the specific requirements. A custom designed 4 way mated pair of connectors were designed, developed and prototyped to be submitted for customer approval and qualification. The design in Atex approved materials required a specially designed alignment feature to ensure successful mating of the 4 contacts whilst still providing an IP68 sealed connector.
The TNC/MCX adaptors (standard and reverse polarity) are now firmly established as a standard production Pisces adaptor, and have been in production for over 12 years. Similarly, the mating half TNC plug connector is now in full production and is a standard item in Pisces waterproof connector range.
The 4-way connectors housed in an identical TNC adaptor body, are currently in production and available for other applications. The same IP68 rating applies meaning the connectors are sealed in their unmated condition as well as to the bulkhead panel.
Click here to learn about the Waterproof Interconnect Pisces Series from IntelliConnect.