At IMS 2011, W. L. Gore & Associates Inc. (Booth 320) will spotlight a rugged 18 GHz cable assembly recently added to its GORE® PHASEFLEX® RF/microwave test assemblies line. This rugged cable assembly is specifically engineered for high throughput production test applications in the wireless infrastructure market. The increased durability of this assembly reduces total costs for testing because it lasts longer, decreasing the frequency of cable assembly replacements. Its stable performance ensures precise measurements and repeatability, which reduces the risk of testing errors and the need for time-consuming troubleshooting and system calibration. In addition, the ergonomic design of this cable assembly eliminates the need to use a torque wrench to connect and disconnect accurately, which increases throughput on the manufacturing line.

Gore’s new rugged cable assembly maintains the same reliable performance as all GORE PHASEFLEX Microwave/RF Test Assemblies. The robust connectors on these assemblies minimize failure by incorporating maximum strain relief at the point where the cable and connector meet. The assembly’s internally ruggedized construction is more durable, delivering crush resistance of 187 pounds per linear inch (85 kg/cm).

Available in 1.0 and 1.5 meter lengths with both SMA and N-type male connectors, this cable assembly is easier for the operator to use because it is smaller and lighter weight, and it can be connected and disconnected manually. These assemblies withstand 100,000 flexures at a minimum bend radius of one inch. Like all GORE PHASEFLEX Microwave/RF Test Assemblies, this cable assembly is engineered to withstand the frequent torque and bending that is common to testing environments on the manufacturing floor.

According to Reneé Burba, GORE Microwave/RF Test Assemblies Global Product Manager, cable assemblies have a significant impact on the total cost of testing in production environments. “Frequent troubleshooting, time-consuming recalibration, and retesting all have a direct impact on throughput in a manufacturing process, which in turn significantly increase costs. Also, having to use a torque wrench to connect and disconnect each product from the test equipment slows down the testing process,” Burba explained. “After several customers voiced concerns about these issues, we engineered a small, durable microwave/RF cable assembly that reduces costs in production testing by delivering consistently precise measurements in an easy-to-use construction. Using the same internally ruggedized construction as the high-frequency GORE PHASEFLEX Microwave/RF Test Assemblies enabled us to deliver the durability and reliable performance our customers expect.”

The complete line of GORE PHASEFLEX Microwave/RF Test Assemblies deliver precise, repeatable measurements, while providing excellent phase and amplitude stability with flexure. The rugged, lightweight construction of these cable assemblies delivers reliable performance with longer service life and reduced equipment downtime resulting in lower costs for testing in laboratory, production, and field test environments. Additionally, the crush, torque, and kink-resistant construction also results in longer service life.