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Matters needing attention when using RF cable assemblies and adapters

Author: Date:3/14/2019 7:16:55 PM
  The most vulnerable to damage during use is the RF cable assembly and RF adapter.Therefore, it should be properly maintained and used during use. 


1) Do not use pliers to secure the RF connector.


Almost every size of the RF connector has a suitable wrench, which of course refers to the plug of the hexagonal nut, while the round nut can only be removed by hand. Neither the nose pliers nor the vise can grasp the correct torque of the connector and can damage the connector. A torque wrench should be used to tighten the connector. Many hexagonal connectors with a sleeve size of 8 mm can be tightened and disassembled with a torque wrench. The tightening torque is preferably less than its specified torque, but not larger.


2) Cleaning the RF connector.


Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the connector, but do not use a cotton swab to clean the inner conductor of the air media connector, such as 3.5mm and 2.92mm.


3) Follow the barrel principle - use adapters and cables that meet the test requirements.


Try not to use RF adapters and test cables that are much higher than the current test frequency. For example, when testing the spurious signals of cellular base stations (this test usually requires 12.75 GHz), test cables and adapters with 18 GHz SMA interfaces can be used instead of 40 GHz 2.92 mm interface cables and adapters.


4) Do not use the adapter in the calibration kit for normal testing.


The adapters in the calibration parts, such as N(ff) and SMA(ff), have typical return loss of less than -34dB, which can only be used for straight-through calibration of S-parameter measurements. It is used for transfer in normal testing. If not, I would rather spend money to buy one.


5) Master the correct operating posture.


When unplugging the test cable assembly from the instrument, be sure to grab the connector and never pull it out at the root of the cable, which can easily cause the cable and connector connections to malfunction. The cable failure  has accounted for a large proportion of this.


6) Put a protective cap on the adapter.


Those externally threaded connectors, such as N(f) and SMA(f), are subject to wear. Especially SMA(f), if it is accidentally dropped on the ground, the thread is easily deformed. Therefore, it is best to wear a plastic protective cap to the connector when it is used up, and it can also play a dustproof role.