Times Microwave Systems has designed a family of microwave cable assemblies for the small electronics boxes being used in emerging RF applications. InstaBend™ cables are extremely flexible for bending around tight corners, using a new connector design that reduces the required space behind the connector. This helps fit more cables within a small space while maintaining low loss and VSWR.
InstaBend assemblies are offered in two sizes: InstaBend 086 and InstaBend 047 (see Table 1) and are available in various lengths to make connection with minimum footprint. Connector types including SMP, SMA and 2.92 mm. InstaBend is available within short lead times: standard configurations are stocked by many distributors, including DigiKey and Mouser, and custom configurations are available from Times Microwave with lead times of two to four weeks.
THE RIGHT FIT
The ever higher frequencies of RF/microwave communications require installations densely packed with even more technology in tight spaces. The tighter packaging makes cabling from the front panel to the board more complicated, as packing more interconnects into smaller spaces is tricky.
Semi-rigid cables have traditionally been used for these applications, but they are fragile and prone to break with tight bends, making them challenging to use in small spaces. Semi-rigid is also more complicated and time consuming to manufacture because the cables must be bent to their final configurations at the factory. The new InstaBend line can reduce system design work when compared to semi-rigid assemblies that require predetermined bends, saving substantial engineering time and money.
InstaBend, on the other hand, offers more flexibility. It is designed to interconnect between RF circuit cards, modules and enclosure panels in the tightest spaces while maintaining excellent RF/microwave performance. The cable bends close to the connector to minimize cable routing and save space. The assemblies are rugged, using the solderless attachment of the cable outer conductor to the connector. This crimp-on assembly is reliable and eliminates a solder joint that can break under stress, such as when the cable assembly is bent.
InstaBend’s flexibility makes it well suited for aircraft, test and measurement—any commercial or military application where space is constrained. Times Microwave first developed these RF board solutions to meet stringent military specifications for flight applications, where performance is more important than cost. However, commercial applications such as 5G demand more economical and scalable solutions, so Times used its experience with military products to develop InstaBend at a price suitable for commercial markets, where price is one of the primary requirements.
InstaBend cable assemblies provide highly reliable interconnections to meet the growing demand for miniaturization in small electronic equipment. These cable assemblies meet the electrical, mechanical and environmental requirements of emerging applications such as 5G and automotive radar, providing performance to mmWave frequencies with ruggedness for many applications. To keep development schedules on time, InstaBend cable assemblies are available in standard configurations through distribution and custom assemblies can be delivered in a few weeks.