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Spinner Launches New Coaxial Connector System

Monday, October 28, 2013 by SPINNER

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Along with three leading suppliers, SPINNER has jointly developed a new coaxial connector system, which has been submitted for standardisation as the 4.3-10 connector system. The 4.3-10 connector system has been developed to make the deployment of mobile communication infrastructure simpler, more reliable and more powerful. The design was started from scratch with the increasing demands of the modern communications market in mind. Compared with the previous connector systems that were originally produced for other applications, this brand-new system has several advantages.

The relatively large size of the existing connectors is a restricting element. As more and more frequencies are released for mobile communication carriers, passive intermodulation (PIM) is becoming more problematic. The connectors normally used in networks have caused problems if they were not mated with the correct torque.

Additionally, one of the most important demands from the new connector was to decrease size and weight compared with the 7-16 connectors previously used, without losing the possibility of feeding the signals of several mobile carriers over a single cable. With a maximum 500W CW transmission power at 2GHz there is more than enough power capability for current and future demands with the new connector system. An inner diameter of 4.3mm combined with a 10mm outer conductor is adequate for this kind of power. The footprint of the fixed socket has been reduced from 1.26in x 1.26in in the 7-16 system to 1in x 1in, and the weight reduced by 60%.

The aim of SPINNER is to achieve the lowest possible PIM values for its products. Due to constructional issues, the PIM performance of all currently used connector systems relies on the torque applied to the coupling nut. If the nut is accidentally tightened incorrectly, poor intermodulation values are observed - a nightmare in today's multi-carrier, multi-frequency mobile networks.

The 4.3-10 connector system separates the mechanical and electrical reference planes, which was not the case in all previous systems. Instead of a direct contact dependant on the torque of the coupling nut, a spring loaded radial bushing is used for the outer conductor. This means that no additional coupling force is needed and the connector is extremely immune to PIM, which is an enormous advantage over existing connectors. For the 4.3-10 PIM performance is excellent even when mechanical force is applied to the connection, which is also demanded by IEC 62307.

But the concept of the separated mechanical and electrical reference planes has some other advantages as well. Since mechanical pressure was no longer an issue, it was possible to design two new coupling mechanisms that do not require any installation tools: one hand screw and a push-pull-type. Both have excellent PIM performance even under mechanical stress, both allow for a very high packaging density of 1in and use the same universal socket. With these characteristics the new connector system is much more versatile than the existing ones and allows for installation in confined conditions where tools cannot be used. In effect, the 4.3-10 connector system opens the door for a new and more compact generation of mobile communication components.

The 4.3-10 connector system is designed for frequencies up to 6GHz, which covers all mobile communication standards. All contacts and seals are protected against mechanical damage, which gives the system excellent mechanical properties and SPINNER guarantees its role as a modern alternative to the established connector systems in mobile communications.

The new system is currently in the standardisation process at DKE (German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). Connectors, test and measurement equipment and jumpers will be available, all produced to the well-known SPINNER quality standards by the end of 2013.