Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

is also necessary; it is imperative to ensure that the seal is good but not over-torqued.


New bundled coaxial cable and multiport connector solutions support optimal speed, coverage, and latency requirements for 5G installations. A bundled cable design can help create the perfect flexible antenna jumper for applications requiring multiple runs. A spiral configuration of multiple flexible and ultra-flexible, low PIM jumper cables can be created under a common polyurethane outer jacket to promote easy installation and improved operation. The individual coaxial cable runs are spun together in a way that easily flexes, essentially creating a bundle, which is then run through a large jacket extruder where a ripcord is placed. This design enables four or five individual cables to be fed into the back of a multiport connector such as those based on the industry-standard MQ4/MQ5 design that encompasses a four-contact connector and a five-contact connector. MQ4/MQ5 connectors incorporate multiple RF ports, greatly reducing the number of cables to hook up, saving a lot of labor, and creating a more rugged solution. They also make the assembly more weatherproof and UV resistant.

5G technology requires a substantial expansion and upgrading of existing network infrastructure. To deploy 5G, the networks must be densified, which means more cell sites must be deployed in more locations to get the signal closer to users. 5G applications use antennas with multiple in/multiple out (MIMO) feeds, which substantially increases the number of RF ports. 5G antennas are also shrinking in size as higher frequency bands are used to accommodate larger bandwidth requirements. This translates into more antennas and the corresponding RF cables and connectors needed to power them — in a much smaller space. This type of equipment is also packed much closer together than traditional telecom towers were years ago; some cells are only 100 yards apart. Designing an interconnect system that will perform well and withstand extreme environmental and technical conditions reliably and consistently over long periods is a challenge. Densification creates additional challenges related to installation, torquing, sealing and ruggedization against weather conditions, and other application-specific factors. In addition, 5G small cells have limited space for equipment, so minimizing size and weight are also key goals. With so many components in such a small space, maintenance can be challenging. If an interconnect fails, it can be hard to troubleshoot the exact one. Moreover, installation can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and logistical nightmare. Hooking up the right cables, the right ports, and torquing are all concerns in this scenario. Proper weather sealing


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