Flexible microwave cable assemblies match semi-rigid specifications

June 16, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Able to maintain electrical performance without the limitations of semi-rigid assemblies, these pre-configured assemblies combine Molex Temp-Flex coaxial cables and RF connectors in formats that are suited for smaller, lighter devices.

Flexible Microwave Cable Assemblies from Molex are designed to replace stiff, semi-rigid assemblies with a combination of Temp-Flex coaxial cables and high-performance RF connectors. They offer excellent electrical properties, and are assembled using a technique that minimises Voltage Standing Wave Ratio and insertion loss for a complete end-to-end interconnect solution.

The company comments that semi-rigid assemblies can suffer performance degradation and a shortened life-span when they are bent to fit into today’s smaller modules, and that these assemblies can be installed into virtually any size device, while still providing superior electrical performance and remaining competitively priced.

The assemblies are available in a wide range of standard and custom options and comply with both U.S. and European standards, for applications such as communications, radar, military vehicles, missile, RF ablation and test and measurement equipment. They are also easier to install than semi-rigid assemblies and provide greater reliability.

The cables come standard with silver-plated conductors, fluoropolymer (FEP) dielectric, double shields and FEP jacket. The solid-core, low-loss version uses proprietary low-loss FEP dielectric with 70% velocity of propagation (VOP) while the air-dielectric ultra-low-loss version use a unique air-enhanced design with up to 87% VOP. The cable impedance of 50 ±1Ω provides consistent electrical performance while the helically wrapped foil covered by a braided shield offers 100 dB or greater shielding effectiveness and protects signals from internal and external interference.