Background & Introduction

Mini-Circuits has introduced a quick-connect series of test cables, which is based upon an industry-unique quick lock connector that enables a quick, secure locked connection directly to a standard SMA female jack. This high integrity connection enables users to connect to an SMA jack without the need for twisting and torqueing as with any normal SMA connector, making it ideal for test applications.

In test applications, the number of cycles becomes of significant importance, although standard mating cycle testing is limited to 500 cycles (per mil-spec), in an RF test lab environment it is possible that this number of actual insertions can far exceed this standard and therefore validation of this new interconnect system at higher mating cycles is performed by Mini-Circuits.

Purpose

The purpose of this experiment is to establish baseline performance over a large number of mating cycles for the new quick lock interconnect system up to a maximum of 20,000 cycles. The basis of this extended reliability and qualification standards apply to all products including laboratory testing cables.

Scope

Quick-connect series quick-lock interconnect cable assemblies.

Conclusion

All five samples tested meet or exceed product specifications up to 20,000 cycles and meet or exceed acceptable limits of degradation over the same period.

Test Apparatus & Setup

Description of Device under test:

  1. Mini-Circuits quick-lock connector (Figure 1).
  2. Standard SMA connector (stainless steel jack) (Figure 2).
  3. DUT (test cable assembly) (Figure 3).
  4. Test setup.
  5. Insertion of the quick-lock connector on the fixed SMA male connector.
  6. Engagement of the quick-lock locking push-on shroud.
  7. Dis-engagement of the quick-lock locking push-on shroud.
  8. Extraction of the quick-lock connector from the fixed SMA connector.
Figure 1: Quick-lock.
Figure 2: Mating SMA.
Figure 3: DUT test cable.
Figure 4: Locked and unlocked position.

Test Sequence

  1. Five (5) DUT cable assemblies prepared for mating cycle test. Pre-test sweep from DC to 18 GHz, S-parameters compared to DUT specification.
  2. DUT No. 1 mounted in test fixture.
  3. Perform mating interconnection – 5000 mating cycles.
  4. Dismount DUT and sweep from DC to 18 GHz, S-parameters compared to DUT specification and previous measurements.
  5. Perform mating interconnection – 5000 mating cycles (10,000 total cycles).
  6. Dismount DUT and sweep from DC to 18 GHz, S-parameters compared to DUT specification and previous measurements.
  7. Perform mating interconnection – 5000 mating cycles (15,000 total cycles).
  8. Dismount DUT and sweep from DC to 18 GHz, S-parameters compared to DUT specification and previous measurements.
  9. Perform mating interconnection – 5000 mating cycles (20,000 total cycles).
  10. Dismount DUT and sweep from DC to 18 GHz, S-parameters compared to DUT specification and previous measurements.
  11. Repeaat for DUT No.2 through DUT No.5.

Test Results

Figure 5: Return loss DUT 01.
Figure 6: Insertion loss DUT 01.
Figure 7: Return loss DUT 02.
Figure 8: Insertion loss DUT 02.
Figure 9: Return loss DUT 03.
Figure 10: Insertion loss DUT 03.
Figure 11: Return loss DUT 04.
Figure 12: Insertion loss DUT 04.

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