Coaxial connectors play a small but often critical role in communications systems. Since they are often an afterthought in the design of a complex system, poorly designed connectors can add to intermodulation-distortion (IMD) levels and become expensive items in loss budgets. Fortunately, the QN connector from Huber + Suhner (Essex, VT) offers the first practical alternative to Type N connectors in some time, capable of operating from DC to 11 GHz with low IMD and high power-handling capabilities.

The QN connectors (see figure) are optimized for use from DC to 6 GHz, but exhibit low loss through 11 GHz. They can be fitted on flexible and corrugated cables as well as on semirigid cables, and can handle power levels to 300 W CW at 2.5 GHz. The connectors achieve low levels of IMD, typically better than −155 dBc, making them well suited for use in the transmit path of mobile-radio base stations.

The quick connect/disconnect QN connector features a unique snap-lock design that is ideal for hand assembly, requiring about one-tenth the connector/cable assembly time of threaded Type N connectors. The QN connector's QuickLock mechanism employs a special spring-loaded contact element to ensure steady and uniform contact of the outer conductors; the spring force (and uniform contact) extends all the way around the face of the connector's bush contact.

The new QN connectors support higher package densities than conventional Type N connectors, since wrenches and other tools are not required for assembly (as well as the savings in additional tools).

The QN connectors feature full 360-deg. rotation of the plug to reduce stress on cable assemblies and eliminate the need for retightening hex nuts after installation. The QN connectors are available for use with cables and as panel-mount versions for use with enclosures and packaging. Huber + Suhner, Inc., 19 Thompson Dr., Essex, VT 05452; (802) 878-0555, FAX: (802) 878-9880, Internet: www.hubersuhnerinc.com.