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Standard Coaxial Cable Assemblies

Figure 1

RF Depot offers a broad range of standard coaxial cable assemblies in both flexible and semi-rigid type cables. Standard assemblies are offered in custom lengths with quick delivery at favorable prices. RF Depot cable assemblies are carefully assembled and DC tested. RF testing to 2.5 GHz on a go-no go basis is available as an option with little or no impact on delivery. Testing to 20 Ghz and 40 Ghz with read and record data is also available. Typical small quantities of flexible cables and most semi-rigid cables are shipped within one week of receipt of order. Prototypes of semi-rigid cables formed to meet custom requirements (for customer approval) are shipped within 10 days of receipt of order. Within any one manufacturing lot, flexible cables are built to a tolerance of 0.25 inch with a typical tolerance of 0.12 inch. Semi-Rigid cables are cut to within 0.03 inch of prescribed length with typical tolerance of 0.015 inch.

If electrical length is critical, electrical length must be specified as RF Depot recommends that a phase reference standard cable be maintained.

For cost effective semi-rigid formed cable assemblies, the following rules should be followed:
a) Use a constant bend radius wherever possible.
b) Specify radii from center line of cable. Standard RF Depot tooling for both 0.085 and 0.141 inch diameter cable provides for bend radii of: 0.625 inch, 0.50 inch, 0.375 inch, 0.312 inch, 0.250 inch and 0.220 inch. For 0.085 cable only, Standard RF Depot tooling also provides for center line radii of 0.150, 0.125 and 0.10 inches. Slightly smaller radii can be provided for 0.141 cable where absolutely necessary.
c) Use a straight section at the connector interface of at least 1.0 inch on 0.141 dia. cable and 0.50 inch for 0.085 cable wherever possible.
d) For angle bends, specify both rectangular coordinates in true size projection.
e) If scale drawings are made, use full scale and not half or twice size. Provide measurable dimensions such as outside of cable to connector end with theoretical dimensions as reference only.
f) Provide all useable tolerances on dimensions, even if such results are +0.5 inch minus 0.0 inch or similar. Cost effective tolerances for bend locations are two cable diameters with one-half cable diameter typically provided.
g) If providing customer drawings, locate and dimension all tangent points, connector reference planes and trimmed cable ends.

Figure 2

RF Depot flexible cable assemblies using RG-223/U cable and smaller are precision trimmed using rotating cutters specifically designed for that purpose.

Semi-Rigid cable is trimmed using rotating cutters or on a specially adapted miniature lathe. Whenever possible, semi-rigid cables are formed prior to connector installation to provide maximum freedom for the center conductor to form in a neutral position. When the cable center conductor forms the male inner contact, the cable center conductor is precision pointed using a special pointing tool on rotating cable. When a separate connector contact is not used, RF Depot recommends a steel (copper flash with silver plate) center conductor. Unless otherwise specified, RF Depot semi-rigid cable assemblies will be supplied with steel center conductors.

Figure 3

To minimize delivery time and provide maximum cost effectiveness, RF Depot will lay out cables within a customer furnished assembly, provide forming data suitable for subsequent manufacturing and completely adequate for customer preparation of formal assembly drawings, at nominal cost.

RF testing of SWR (return loss) and insertion loss can be provided at optional cost. Typical delivery impact is 10 to 14 days unless special setup charges are provided.

RF Depot can provide standard cable marking at nominal cost. Care should be exercised to minimize the marking data particularly when the marker must be serviced around sharp bends. Our standard method is permanent heat stamped characters on heat shrinkable black or white sleeving. Shrinkable tubing with a meltable inner wall or color coded vinyl tapes are available as a standard option where required or appropriate. Small diameter cables with large connectors on both ends such as 0.141 semi-rigid with type N plugs cause difficulty and increase the cost of manufacturing because tubing that fits over the connector does not shrink tightly to the cable diameter. For marginal situations special large diameter. For marginal situations special large shrink ratio sleeving is available but the legibility of the characters suffers somewhat and the 3:1 ratio shrink sleeving is more expensive than the standard 2:1 shrink ratio.

How to Order Coaxial Cables

Whenever possible order cable assemblies by the corresponding RF Depot part number. For flexible cables and straight lengths of semi-rigid cable, RF Depot part numbers can be determined from Table 1. For pre-formed semi-rigid assemblies, RF Depot will assign a unique accession number to facilitate ordering and subsequent reordering. Dimensions of the connectors and cables used on standard cable assembly part are given in the following tables and figures.

Standard cable assembly part numbers describe the assembly as follows:

in 1/10 inches

Customized Options

When ordering cables with markers, specify characters in legible format and designate which end or center position for each marker. For logistical support applications contact RF Depot for a specific accession number that will designate all cable markers. For other orders specify markers on face of purchase order as follows:

Example 1: Example 2:
2 ea 8TS-M0A7-0300 3 ea 1TS-M0N5-0060
marked as follows: marked as follows:
MO none MO P1
Center W 9000-04 Center none
A7 none A7 J60

Figure 4

For flexible cables, optional heavy wall shrink tubing with meltable inner wall can be supplied to provide excellent strain relief. Add suffix SR to any part number . These strain reliefs are applied in a manner for the inner meltable wall to adhere to both the connector backshell and the cable jacket. The use of such reliefs is recommended whenever a cable may be subjected to rough handling such as field use. These reliefs however are effective only where the cable jacket OD and the connector backshell OD have a ratio of approximately 1.5:1 or less.

Coaxial cables can be supplied with other than coaxial connectors such as alligator clips or "banana jacks". When two banana jacks are specified, the center conductor and dielectric are withdrawn through a small opening in the shield. The shield is left intact and is insulated with shrinkable sleeving. The vee joint is treated with inner wall meltable tubing and a cosmetic vee joint is formed similar in appearance to a molded junction.

Custom Formed Cables

Custom formed cable assemblies are assigned a unique RF Depot accession number. When cables differ only in marking a slash number is added to the accession number to identify the specific marking. In all cases, /01 identifies a cable with no markings. To facilitate customer coordination, copies of RF Depot control drawings showing accession numbers and markings are available to the specifier/originator only. Reasonable requests for such copies are honored at no charge.


30 inch long straight assembly of SMA straight plug and 2 hole SSMA panel jack on 0.085 dia. cable with tin plated outer, and silver plated copper flashed steel inner is RF Depot part:

This same assembly custom formed without markers is RF Depot part:

This same assembly custom formed but each with 2 different markers or designators are RF Depot part numbers:


3 digit accession number uniquely assigned by RF Depot

Custom Right Angle Assemblies

Right angle bent assemblies as shown in figure 4 are a stock item at RF Depot.

By using low profile SMA connector and utilizing custom made tooling we are able to eliminate the need for a conventional right angle SMA connector.

Special Orders

RF Depot maintains a large inventory of coaxial connectors and invites inquiries for assemblies using other than the "standard" designated connectors. The standard connectors however have been selected for best utility and reliability together with most reasonable cost effectiveness and should be deviated from only under special circumstances.

There are many reasons for choosing a particular coaxial connector for a specific application. RF Depot invites discussions and inquires on specific applications and considerations. For instance, a properly terminated SMA connector without center contact on 0.141 dia. semi-rigid cable offers lower insertion loss than does a connector with a separate contact even though the separate contact is usually gold plated.

RFDepot.com Inc.

7850 Browning Road, Pennsauken NJ 08109
(856) 488-2000 / Fax (856) 488-2020

Email:our email address

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