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Industry News

RF Connector Series Offers Greater Axial and Radial Float

July 12, 2010
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In response to market needs, HUBER+ SUHNER has developed a new series of RF board-to-board connectors that can cope with significantly greater axial misalignment. The new series of connectors addresses the fact that continuing miniaturization and tight space constraints have resulted in the need for more board-to-board connections. Owing to the complex stack-ups and larger piece part tolerances, this growing need is accompanied by an increasing demand for the connections to have greater 'axial float' in order to cope with significantly greater axial misalignment. This is particularly true in the field of radio base stations (BTS), but is also the case in the industrial, medical, defense, automotive, test and measurement, and aerospace sectors.


In order to meet these requirements and the rise in demand, HUBER+SUHNER has further developed its well-established and proven MMBX RF connector series and extended the product portfolio with the MBX family. In particular, the MBX series has been specifically designed to satisfy ever increasing demands with regards to axial and radial misalignment.

Performance Characteristics
The new product family exhibits the following important performance characteristics:

  • Greater axial float (±1.2 mm is possible)
  • Power up to 260 W
  • Minimum board-to-board distance of 13 mm
  • Robust and reliable design

The result is low total cost of ownership, high output power, and reliable mating and assembly. The connectors are also suitable for low weight modules. In addition, HUBER+SUHNER offers real added value in terms of technical support.

The basic MBX range offers the following: Straight board connections—male and female board connectors for through-hole and SMT technology; barrels for three board-to-board distances—13, 18 and 28 mm; and cable connectors (for testing)—straight and right angle. Also, a number of MBX to SMA adapters are available for measurement purposes. A coupling/de-coupling tool facilitates handling, and assembling of the within-series adapter (32_MBX) completes the range.

Figure 1 The MBX connector is designed to accommodate an axial misalignment of ± 1.2 mm.

Blind Mateable Connection
As a blind mateable board-to-board connection, the MBX series enables the design of direct RF connections between the boards. This design advantage enables size and weight reductions with regard to the RF modules, particularly in the case of remote radio units. As well as the previously mentioned axial misalignment handling of ±1.2 mm (shown in Figure 1), other advantages include excellent power handling and the fact that the MBX product family complies with current and upcoming power specifications for radio modules.

The dimensions of the MBX interface are similar to those of the SMA connectors, which ensure robustness and good power performance. Significantly, the minimum board-to-board distance is a mere 13 mm, enabling a broad range of applications. Thanks to the 'ball joint' design (shown in Figure 2), no forces act upon the piece parts or soldering joints, which ensures a high level of reliability.

Figure 2 The ball joint design eliminates forces on the piece parts or soldering joints.

Reduced Cost of Ownership
The MBX Series' technical specifications, particularly the range of axial misalignment (±1.2 mm), which means that users can utilize the interface for complex stack-ups, results in a significantly lower total cost of ownership. As the mechanical tolerances can now be greater with regard to modules, boards and other individual parts, the costs naturally fall, which is a driving factor in today's economic environment with its preoccupation with cost-saving.

As has been outlined, the MBX series comprises a variety of RF connectors. The range for the product launch was defined based on the predominant market needs, but additional designs based on specific customer requirements can be realized. As HUBER+SUHNER designs, develops and produces in a user-oriented manner, customer-specific designs are available on request; for example, it can meet customer requirements for specific board-to-board distances to meet particular applications and the needs of the end-user.

HUBER+SUHNER has responded to market needs and developed a new series of RF board-to-board connectors that can cope with significantly greater axial misalignment. Miniaturization is effectively supported by having blind-mateable, direct board-to-board connections in place of assemblies. This makes smaller RF modules possible, with correspondingly reduced weight.

With the MMBX, the company introduced an interface that can handle extremely small board-to-board distances of 6.7 mm. With the new MBX, it has launched an interface that can handle the greatest axial misalignment, and features a very small board-to-board distance in the frequency range of up to 6 GHz.

HUBER+SUHNER AG,
Herisau, Switzerland
+41 71 353 41 11,
www.hubersuhner.com.
RS No. 301

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