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Coaxial 101 - Vol. 9 No. 32
(Tuesday, June 30, 2009)

L-com Global Connectivity
Coaxial Connectors 101
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Volume 9, Number 32

Coaxial Connectors 101

The terminology used when specifying coaxial connectors on either cable assemblies or antennas can vary depending on the user. This can often lead to an incorrect connector being specified. The following article concentrates on some of the connector basics in hope of sorting out some of the confusion.

Anatomy of a Coax Connector

The above is a typical BNC plug connector with its components. “Plug” type connectors are often referred to as “Male” connectors. Such is the case with “Jack” connectors being referred to as “Female” connectors. Let's take a look at what makes up a Plug and Jack connector.

When talking about connectors, there two main parts that determine the gender of the connector.

There is the Body and the Pin.


Let's look at the body first:

This is a Plug:This is a Jack:
Note that it has threads
on the inside of the body.
Note that the threads
are on the outside of the body.

Now, the Pin:

This is a Male Pin.This is a Female Pin.
Male Pin
Female Pin

So, what makes up the different types of connectors?

Here is a Plug connector:
Plug Body
Male Pin
It is made up of a Plug Body and a Male Pin.
Often when these two components are put together they are referred to as a “Male” connector.

Now, here is a
Jack connector:
Jack Body
Female Pin
It is made up of a Jack Body and a Female Pin.
Often when these two components are put together they are referred to as a “Female” connector.

So, what is a Reverse Polarity Connector?
Reverse polarity connectors are ones in which the gender is the opposite of what you'd expect. Reverse polarity connectors are sometimes used in an attempt to "key" connections so that incorrect connections are not possible. L-com Reverse Polarity style connectors include TNC, SMA, MMCX, N-Type and BNC.

Here is a Reverse Polarity Plug connector:
Plug Body
Female Pin
It is made up of a Plug Body and a Female Pin.
The polarity of the pin is reversed, thus making it a Reverse Polarity
Plug connector.

Now, here is a Reverse Polarity Jack connector:
Jack Body
Male Pin
It is made up of a Jack Body and a Male Pin. Again, polarity of the pin is reversed, thus making it a Reverse Polarity Jack connector!

It is important to note these differences when ordering either cable assemblies,
antennas with coax leads or connectors themselves. If you are unsure,
check out L-com's convenient, handy reference guide
or call us at 1-800-343-1455.

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