Cable Connectors

Similarities between connectors and naming conventions can often make identifying connectors difficult.

To make things easy, follow this rule:

Male Connector – has the protruding metal centre pin
Female Connector – contains a hole that receives the male connectors metal pin, called the receptacle.

7/16 DIN
7/16 series connectors are threaded coupling connectors for high wattage transmissions, requiring very low VSWR and minimal intermodulation.

The name is derived from the inner and outer contact dimensions – 7mm OD inner contact, 16mm ID outer contact.

You’ll commonly find 7/16 DIN connectors on 1/2 and 7/8″ feeder cables connected to LTE and WCDMA base station antennas.

7/16 connectors are also popular in defence, broadcast and other microwave applications.

identifying male female 7/16 DIN connectors

Female 7/16 Connector Male 7/16 Connector

BNC
This is one of the most common antenna connectors, primarily used in VHF/UHF systems.

The ‘B’ in BNC refers to the bayonet twisting interface, with the female connector featuring two bayonet lugs on either side allowing connection to be achieved with only a quarter rotation.

Ideally suited to RG58/59 and subminiature cables, BNC connectors offer good performance from DC to 4GHz and have either 50Ω or 75Ω resistance.

All BNC connectors on our website are 50Ω.

Male BNC Connector Female BNC Connector
Male BNC Connector Female BNC Connector

F Type
Primarily used for cable TV, HFC, set-top boxes, cable modems, the F coaxial connector is a 75Ω connector often used in conjunction with standard RG59 and RG6 75Ω coaxial cables.

The connector has good performance characteristics up to about 1GHz and is not suitable for modern day broadband requirements.

Male F Plug coaxial connector Female F jack coaxial connector
Male F Connector Female F Connector

FME
This is the standard 50Ω connector for all mobile phone and wireless broadband antennas.

The FME connector is selected for its excellent performance in the 0-2GHz frequency range, and small connector diameter making it easy to fit in tight places.

Rarely seen in any other RF applications, the FME connector is used almost exclusively for cellular telephony and data applications.

FME male coaxial connector female FME Connector
Male FME Connector Female FME Connector

MC-Card
The MC-Card connector is a microminiature 50Ω that features snap-on mating, suitable for RF devices operating between DC and 6GHz.

This connector is often used as a substitute for MMCX in many wireless and telecom applications due to its similar performance and physical dimensions.

MC Card Male connector MC-Card female PCB connector
Male MC-Card Connector Female MC-Card PCB Connector

MCX
The MCX or Micro Coaxial connector, is a 50Ω miniature coaxial connector for RF applications between DC and 6GHz.

It has identical inner contact and insulator dimensions as the more common SMB connector, but with a 30% smaller outer diameter, making it ideal for tight installations.

This connector is often used for GPS, TV tuner cards, RF hardware, and is often PCB mounted.

MCX male connector MCX female connector
Male MCX Connector Female MCX Connector

Mini-UHF
A minified connector based on the larger UHF connector, designed for space-limited RF applications.

Like its larger counterpart, the Mini-UHF series has a variable impedance and is suitable for transmissions between DC and 2.5GHz.

You will find this type of connector on many different RF applications, most prominently in UHF/VHF communications, where its variable impedance (around the 50Ω mark for good quality connectors) isn’t as important.

Male Mini-UHF Connector Female Mini-UHF Connector
Male Mini-UHF Connector Female Mini-UHF Connector

MMCX
The MMCX or Micro-Minature Coaxial connector, is a miniature version of the 50Ω MCX coaxial connector.

It performs well between DC to 6GHz and has a snap-lock function allowing 360 degree rotation once connected.

Most often you will see this connector PCB mounted on PCMCIA cards, modems, and GPS devices.

MMCX male connector MMCX female PCB jack connector
Male MMCX Connector Female MMCX Connector (PCB Bulkhead)

N Type
N connectors are the 50Ω connector of choice for most high quality antenna systems due to their wide performance band – DC to 11GHz.

This large sized connector has a wider diameter than most connectors but is easily tightened by hand.

You will find this connector on most RF applications including radar, mobile base stations, electronic instrumentation, and of course most microwave band antennas.

n male connector cable n female connector
Male N Connector Female N Connector

QMA
The QMA connector has a snap-lock mechanism designed for easier, faster and safer coupling.

Often used to replace SMA, the connector can be seen in cellular base stations and defence applications.

This 50Ω subminiature coaxial connector has a frequency range extending up to 18GHz.

qma plug male connector qma jack female connector
Male QMA Connector Female QMA Connector

SMA
A smaller 50Ω connector, most often found on the back of desktop modems and as the physical interfacing screw thread of some smaller antennas.

Some antennas come pre-terminated with an SMA connector over the normal FME connector for hassle-free connecting to desktop wireless broadband modems, like the Bigpond Wireless Gateway series.

SMA is designed for a diverse range of RF applications and is suitable for communications DC to 18GHz.

SMA male connector sma female coaxial connector
Male SMA Connector Female SMA Connector

SMB
Similar in size and performance to the SMA connector, SMB is designed with a snap-on interfacing.

SMB connectors have a 50Ω or 75Ω impedance, and are suitable for RF applications from DC to 4GHz.

You will find SMB connectors in a wide range of areas, from telecommunications through to industrial equipment.

The gender of SMB connectors can often be confusing, as the male has the socket/jack body, with the female having the pin/plug body.

male SMB connector female SMB connector
Male SMB Connector Female SMB Connector

SSMB
This connector is the subminiature version of the SMB connector.

It is a 50Ω impedance coaxial connector with good performance from DC to 12GHz.

Like its larger brother, SSMB also has a snap-on interface.

The gender of SSMB connectors can also be confusing, like the SMB connector, the male has the receptacle, and the female has the centre pin.

SSMB plug Mini-SMB male connector female SSMB jack pcb connector
Male SSMB Connector Female SSMB Connector

TNC
It is identical to the BNC design, but has a threaded connector.

Operates better than the BNC connector at microwave frequencies.

TNC are miniature, threaded weatherproof units with a constant 50Ω impedance, and operate from DC to 11 GHz.

Widely used in WiFi equipment, radar, and military/aerospace systems.

Male TNC Connector TNC Female Jack Bulkhead
Male TNC Connector Female TNC Bulkhead Connector

UHF
The UHF series are variable impedance connectors for low frequency operations 600KHz to 300MHz.

This very large connector is used almost exclusively for radio and UHF applications.

The low cost design of UHF connectors often results in impedance varying between 30-40Ω causing significant reflections above 300MHz. Despite this, the connector remains popular with CB/UHF (477MHz) users.