What is so Special About the 4.3-10 Coaxial Connector?
There are many coaxial connectors used in wireless and wired networks, including DIN 7/16, N, 4.1/9.5, and the 4.3-10 interface. Typically, the choice of a connector boils down to economics, power handling, size, and installation criteria. However, the increasing number of wireless network bands and mobile data rates pose a very stringent requirement for transmission fidelity. This is especially the case for upcoming non-standalone 5G radios (NSA 5G NR) recently specified by the 3GPP, which add frequency bands in the 3 GHz and 5 GHz portion of the radio spectrum, where performance could be impacted by PIM and other nonlinearities with 4G systems. Hence, new coaxial connector interfaces, such as the 4.3-10, are becoming increasingly necessary to meet network performance goals in the latest wireless systems.
The 4.3-10 coaxial connector exhibits some important differences when compared to previous coaxial connectors, incorporating design features that were not in the similar-sized 4.1/9.5 connector The most important feature may be the separation of the electrical and mechanical mating planes within the connector. This allows the connector to achieve its transmission and PIM properties even when not fully torqued. Additionally, the electrical contacts and electrical mating plane are protected by the outer body of the connector making the connector better-suited for field installations. Size is an important feature as well. A 4.3-10 connector, including flange mounting can be accommodated within a 1 inch-square space. These features, collectively make the 4.3-10 connector a compelling choice for new systems and retrofits.
Expanding on the separation of the mating planes, the design of the 4.3-10 connector doesn’t couple the coaxial electrical contacts and the mechanical mating hardware. This means that the amount of front contact force necessary for 7/16, N, or 4.1/9.5 connectors isn’t necessary for the 4.3-10 connector. This is due to the radial contact, which requires much less force to ensure optimum contact points. Hence, high torque isn’t needed with the 4.3-10 connector, and screw, hand-screw, and push-pull designs are all possible without sacrificing electrical performance. Moreover, the hand-screw and push-pull style 4.3-10 connectors can allow for cable rotation during installation, easing complex routing tasks.
As stated earlier the 4.3-10 connector is designed with the electrical contact surfaces protected within the mechanical connection hardware, protecting it during handling. This design feature prevents mishandling from degrading electrical performance, which can often lead to greater insertion loss, PIM, and potential system failures. This approach also grants the female/jack connector to universally mate with any type of male/plug coupling mechanisms, instead of having to have a separate female/jack connector for each type of male/plug.
The small size of the 4.3-10 design enables the dense interconnect pitches, down to 1 inch. The reason for this is that the hand-screw and push-pull 4.3-10 connectors can be closely packed, and don’t require a torque wrench during installation. For high density multi-input multi-output (MIMO) and antenna arrays used in the latest 4G LTE, 5G, small cells, and distributed antenna systems (DAS) applications, the high performance, reliable, and high density features of the 4.3-10 connector present modern benefits that most wireless infrastructure and mobile wireless equipment systems can’t manage without.
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