Inspecting Connectors

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Because of the very small and precise mechanical tolerances of mmWave connectors, minor defects, damage, and dirt can significantly degrade repeatability and accuracy. In addition, a dirty or damaged connector can destroy connectors that are mated to it. For this reason, NEVER use a damaged connector.

To Inspect Connectors:

Threads

  • The connector nuts should move smoothly.

  • All threads should be free of burrs, loose metal particles, and rough spots.

  • Damaged threads will usually cause metal flakes to be deposited into other parts of the connector, causing severe damage.

Outer Conductor Mating Surface

  • Inspect for deep scratches, evidence of misalignment, or excess torque.

  • Deep scratches generally indicate that one or both of the mating surfaces was not clean or has a high spot or burr.

  • Any scratch that goes through the plating should be carefully inspected under magnification to see if the scratch has left a high spot of displaced metal. This will damage other connectors.

Center Conductor

  • Male pins should be straight and centered appropriately to engage the female contact.

  • Female contacts should all be straight and aligned.

Normal

Light burnishing of the mating plane surface consisting of uniform, shallow concentric scratches distributed evenly over the plated surface is normal.

Bent and gouged contacts

Missing contacts

Contact Integrity

Perfectly formed contacts

Normal wear will spread contacts slightly

Damaged contact will look electrically capacitive

 

Concentricity (Female)

Perfectly concentric

Slightly off center

Excessively off-center
Do NOT use

 

Concentricity (Male)

Perfectly concentric

Slightly off center

Excessively off-center
Do NOT use