Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

Using the four- or five-conductor solution eliminates the need to create individual weather seals, resulting in tremendous labor savings. Furthermore, it reduces the need to worry about coupling torque. This is critical because all it takes is an error on just one weather seal to create a point of ingress for water that could create a multitude of problems and even potentially shut the system down. With a bundled solution, the connection between the male and female cluster connectors is sealed to IP67, as are the connector bodies and the transition from the cluster connector to the bundled cable. Any potential system troubleshooting becomes much easier. Finally, the possibility of hooking up the wrong cable to the wrong port is eliminated. The solution is keyed, so the cables can only be hooked up a certain way— no torque wrenches, know-how, or special technique required.

to function without affecting other equipment in the same environment. Called electromagnetic compatibility or EMC, the connector’s signal leakage issues often result in failed EMC tests. In short, the SMP’s lack of proper electrical bonding and shielding exposes the conductor’s signal to external influence. Another major failure area in the SMP’s design makes it susceptible to ingress from saltwater, fuel, and other contaminants. The lack of an environmental seal due to their mechanical openings makes SMPs prone to corrosion and failure. Another problem arises with using SMPs in high-vibration applications, where their easy connect/ disconnect design makes them susceptible to unwanted de-mating in high- vibration environments. A new generation of locking miniature push-on (TLMP) and locking miniature blind mate (TLMB) connectors have been introduced, specifically designed to overcome performance issues arising from typical SMP connectors’ susceptibility to EMI and EMC interference, and liquid and salt ingress. Their rugged, sealed design is more durable, enabling these connectors to operate in harsh environments.


The RF industry has been using sub-miniature push- on (SMP) connectors for decades. SMP connectors are easy to install by simply pushing against each other to connect and then pulling apart to disconnect. Installers can mate connectors without threading, eliminating the need for small wrenches and other tools. The SMP enables a small amount of radial misalignment during mating, which would be unacceptable with threaded connectors. While SMPs are still a valuable connector option for many designs, they pose problems as applications demand higher and higher frequencies. One critical issue is shielding and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Similarly, the SMP’s design reduces its ability


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