5G Antenna system connector assembly

5G Antenna system connector assembly
4 November 2020 de Jong

The assembly off a 5G antenna system comes with their own challenges such as:

  • Lack of space between connectors.
  • Loss or intermittent contact due to under-tightened connector. Under-tighten a connector and you may get a high loss or intermittent contact which might not reveal itself for some time.
  • Risk of damaging connector over tightening connectors. Over tightening connectors has the effect of compressing the internal components and in severe cases causing pressure on the mating centre pins, which in turn can lead to failure of the joint between the centre pin and whatever it is connected to.
  • Working on height.

Connector torque is the amount of force required to make a proper connection between two threaded coaxial connectors. Connections in most RF & Microwave systems are made using coaxial connectors – these might by connecting two systems together with connectors soldered on a PCB, connecting a device to a coaxial cable or connecting a coaxial cable to test equipment.

To ensure a good RF connection, one must make sure that the connector interfaces are fully engaged during installation and remain engaged during use. To do so the right level of torque must be applied when making the connection.

The system designer, and those responsible for system installation and maintenance, use different connector types. In the production line, certain tests need a specified coupling torque to be used during the measurement process. Proper torqueing of threaded RF coaxial connectors is essential for reliable, maximum performance interfaces. It not only ensures that the initial contact is proper, it also protects against changes in geometry while handling and operational environment conditions.

The recommended torque level for threaded coaxial connectors is determined by the size of the connector and the materials from which it is made. Most connector types have recommended torque levels that should be applied in order to provide a good connection. The application of insufficient torque will result in a poor or unstable connection while an over-torque will damage the mating surfaces and coupling mechanisms.

The TrackWrench Solution
Due to the use of open end torque wrench head, TrackWrench® recommends to use a torque wrench that is equipped with an ISO interchangeable head. Depending on the type of connector and producer of the connector the torque range can vary between 1 Nm and 60 Nm. Open end heads mostly used: 7mm, 8mm, 16mm, 17mm, 19mm, 20mm, 22mm and 32mm.

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