Jul 212012

RF CONNECTORS’ Gender is often counterintuitive

  • Reverse polarization:  “RP”
  • Gender of threaded connectors is counterintuitive because:
    • The gender is referring to the pins inside–not the threads.
    • This applies to all of the following:  N, RP-SMA, RP-TNC, SMA, TNC
  • RP-TNC-female has a pin
  • RP-TNC-male has a socket
  • TNC-female has a socket.
  • TNC-male has a pin

Connectors with “RP” in the name are further complicated by the “reverse polarization” (RP):

  • The pins are female when they appear to be male, and vice versa.
  • If the documentation refers to the connector as “reverse ____”:
  • This is the same as RP-____ (e.g,  “reverse SMA” = RP-SMA)

N-Connector:  The N type of connector is available in threaded and slip on versions and offers a bandwidth of upto 11 GHz. Such connectors are usually used with smaller cables such as RG-225. These connectors are used mainly with coaxial type of cables that are designed to provide distortion free signals. N type connectors are available in right angled models that facilitate their use at cramped locations in order to let the WiFi antennas remain vertical.

BNC and TNC:  BNC or Bayonet Neill-Concelman connector is a locking connector. These connectors twist and lock onto the mounting post unlike many other connectors that press or thread onto it. Such connectors are used in situations where quick disconnect capabilities are required. TNC or Threaded Neill-Concelman version uses threads instead of the locking mechanism.

MCX:  They are smaller in diameter by 30 percent when compared to SMA coaxial connectors. Such a size enables further miniaturization of the hardware of the WiFi network. They are designed to press fit into the post on the router. They are mainly used with antenna cabling of smaller diameters.

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