A Review of the Major Types of RF and Microwave Coaxial Connectors

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  • Author: Gary Breed
Connectors are everywhere in the electronics industry, delivering power to equipment, providing signal and power pathways within that equipment, and connecting it to external devices. All connectors have physical requirements—size, form factor, material used, temperature and humidity behavior, mating and unmating forces, etc. RF and microwave connectors have the extra requirement of proper characteristic impedance, adequate power handling, and maintenance of that performance at the desired frequency of operation. This tutorial presents a summary of some of the more common RF/microwave coaxial connectors in Table 1. We make no claim that this table is complete, since there are many specialized connectors with limited areas of application, obsolete connectors that still have some usage, and many uniquely-named connectors that have been adapted by the various connector suppliers to enhance specific performance features.