SEMI-RIGID ASSEMBLIES

Not all semi-rigid cable assemblies are alike. Using basic techniques, inexpensive labor and imported connectors, one can manufacture a reasonable semi rigid cable assembly with good electrical performance that will satisfy many requirements. However, if tight phase-matching, precision bending, guaranteed repeatable performance, plating integrity or excellent solder joint fill are required, then consider semi rigid cable assemblies from Micro-Coax. We have decades of heritage supporting precision military, space, test and telecommunications applications using Micro-Coax cable and approved connectors of our own design or from a small number of rigorously approved sub-contractors. At Micro-Coax precision does not necessarily imply high cost, either. Where appropriate, we employ fully automated bending techniques and high capacity production cells with real-time x-ray, drop-in inspection fixtures and fully automated testing to ensure repeatable reliable and affordable cable assemblies leave our factory. Many features contribute to designing an excellent semi-rigid cable assembly. If requirements allow consider the following guidelines:

  • Employ a single common bend radius
  • Avoid the cable minimum bend radius for improved electrical performance
  • Define cable assembly “ends” with respect to the connector reference plane in lieu of physical end of the connector. In the case of right angle connectors, utilize the connector center-line
  • Avoid specifying specific vendor part numbers for connectors unless absolutely necessary
  • Specify electrical performance testing only in bands of interest and only for critical performance tests. Excess electrical testing, while nice, also becomes expensive
  • Where possible, do not design bends-on-bends. A design tool may allow this, but it often proves difficult to realize practically
  • If designing a phase matched assembly, be sure to consider “forming areas”. These are “open” areas in the system that allow the “take-up of variations in cable length as a result of phase matching
  • Specify thermal-conditioning only when necessary. Usually this is only needed for phase sensitive applications

Contact a Micro-Coax applications engineer to discuss any specific semi rigid cable assembly requirements you may have.