In today's competitive environment designers and engineers are looking for any features that can give them the edge. When it comes to RF connectors, areas where that advantage can be gained are in the speed of installation, flexibility of connection and efficient utilization of space. The QuickLock family of RF connectors has been developed to fulfill these requirements, with the latest addition being the QuickLock N (QN, patent pending) series, which joins the QuickLock SMA (QMA) series.
Designed as an alternative to type-N connectors for many RF applications, particularly in new generation telecommunication systems such as GSM, PCS, WCDMA and UMTS, they facilitate fast, secure and easy matings with minimum space requirements. No torque wrench is required as the QN connectors feature a positive snap-on locking system, which not only ensures a secure link and eliminates the risk of loose or overtorqued connections, but also eradicates the risk of damaging or scratching the panel during installation.
With this snap-on mating system, connections are made in approximately two seconds in field conditions, making them 10 times quicker than usual screw-on N models (see Figure 1 for comparisons). Also significant is that the connectors are smaller than corresponding traditional screw-on N models and, as no tool is needed, space can be saved. Therefore, in high density applications, distance between connectors can be optimized. Moreover, the cabled plugs can freely rotate around the panel jacks, avoiding any stress on the cable and allowing more flexibility during the mounting process.
Exhibiting the same operating frequency range as N series connectors between DC and 11 GHz, the QN series connector performance has been optimized from DC to 6 GHz for 50 W applications. The interface typically features a voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) of 1.05 from DC to 3 GHz and 1.12 from 3 to 6 GHz, while the corresponding return loss is 32 dB from DC to 3 GHz and 25 dB from 3 to 6 GHz. Furthermore, the high screening effectiveness enables a level of RF leakage as low as -90 dB from DC to 3 GHz and -80 dB from 3 to 6 GHz. The intermodulation (IMP3) level is -155 dBc (-112 dBm), the power rating is 300 W at 2.5 GHz and the engagement life is 100 matings.
As far as options are concerned, the series offers a large range of connectors including straight and right angle plugs, bulkhead jacks, flange receptacles, PCB receptacles and adapters. Models can be either full crimp, crimp or solder type for flexible, semi-rigid or conformable cables. EZ-fit versions for corrugated cables are also available.
As the range performance is watertight (IP 68), the connectors have been designed for use indoors and outdoors in every RF application requiring both high power levels and low loss transmission. For example, they are suitable for base transceiver stations (BTS) in new generation telecommunication networks (GSM, PCS, WCDMA and UMTS), and antenna jumpers and feeders. The series also meets the requirements of many other RF applications such as test and measurement systems, military equipment and industrial networks.
In order for today's installation engineers to meet the competitive demands placed on them, the onus is on speed of installation, simplicity and flexibility. With its no tools required and snap-lock operation, the QN series not only cuts time but also saves space, which is becoming increasingly important in the drive towards more compact systems. Applications are numerous and varied in the RF field, particularly in new generation telecommunication systems.
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