RF connectors are primarily used for connecting electrical devices, especially in the case of radio signals. You must have glimpses of different connectors attached with a co-axial cable connector, twisted pair cable, or optical fiber. I know that many know very little about the functionality and applications of these connectors. When someone needs to buy connectors, only then he/she pays heed to the matter and finds it difficult to answer-which connector should I buy? Don’t worry because in this article you will find all the answers related to types of RF connectors, function, range, application and what not.
What are RF Connectors?
RF connectors or Radio Frequency connectors are electro-mechanical devices widely used for transmitting radio signal via radio, antenna, coaxial cable, etc. These connectors come in different shapes and sizes with a variety of functionality. Different RF connectors have different applications. We can find RF connectors possessing a frequency level of up to 100GHz and more.
Male and Female RF Connectors
You will see a pin coming out from some RF connectors; these are the Male RF connectors which are named as the plugs. You will also find out that some RF connectors have a socket or hole in the middle portion for receiving the pin; these are called female RF connectors or simply as jacks.
A thread is used to cover the shell of the plugs or the jacks so that the device remains strong and rigid. Some RF connectors may be shielded with thread inside, and some may have on the outside part of the body. You can differentiate between several types of RF connectors on these bases too.
Types of RF Connectors
RF connectors can be categorized in terms of size, shape, frequency range, gender, and application. There are many types of RF connectors available on the market. In this section, we will try to gather some information on the different types and uses of each of the RF connectors.
Type-N connectors are medium-sized RF connectors. The pin of a type-N male connector is relatively smaller and the threads remaining inside. On the other hand, the threads of a type-N female connector have their thread outside of the body. The frequency range of a type-N connector is between 10GHz to 15GHz. These connectors are widely used for satellite and RADAR communication.
BNC connector is a small-sized RF connector with low frequency. BNC connector is used in the fields where you do not need more than 2-3 GHz of frequency. BNC connector has some military and video signal applications.
SMA connectors are medium in size. These are the most popular RF connectors due to their reliability and wide usability. These connectors come with a frequency range of up to 25GHz. There are many applications of SMA connectors like- UHF communication, microwave and telephone signal, amplifiers, GSM, and antennas.
TNC connectors are complex in design. The male pin has the thread inside and the female counterpart has the thread outside. TNC connectors have some varieties which can show reverse polarity i.e. male connectors possess socket in place of pin and female connectors possess the opposite. Application: transmitting a radio signal.
The full form is Ultra High Frequency. UHF connectors are not waterproof and hence require attention not to get in touch with water. Unlike the name, the UHF connector conveys a signal up to the only 100MHz. Its plug pin is quite larger in length compared to other connectors. It can be used in amateur radio applications because of its lower frequency level.
It is a small-sized and simple designed RF connector. The cost is also on the lower side. Hence, the SMB connector is quite popular on the market. Frequency range: more or less 5GHz. SMB connectors are used in the fields of medical equipment, radio instruments, and base stations.
RF connectors are part and parcel of electro-mechanical devices that we use in our day-to-day life. The existence of different types of RF connectors helps us to use them in a variety of fields. You should choose a specific type of RF connector according to the requirement of the application.