RF Connector Mounting Features

RF Connector Mounting Features

This article provides an overview of common RF connector mounting features. There are a multitude of variations amongst mechanisms such as right angle and elbow shapes, in the interest clarity these have not been listed. Illustrations used in this educational article have been provided with the generous assistance of Automatic Connector.

Mounting Feature Description Illustration
2-Hole Flange, Front Mount

Connector is fed through and mounted from the front. Used to transmit signal from internal circuitry through a panel, using a flange with two holes to accommodate mounting screws or bolts. Best suited for use with thin panels.

Two hole flange panel front mount RF connector
2-Hole Flange, Rear Mount

Connector is fed through and mounted from the rear. Used to transmit signal from internal circuitry through a panel, using a flange with two holes to accommodate mounting screws or bolts. Best suited for use with thin panels.

two hole flange, rear mount RF connector
4-Hole Flange, Front Mount

Connector is fed through and mounted from the front. Used to transmit signal from internal circuitry through a panel, using a flange with four holes to accommodate mounting screws or bolts. Best suited for use with thin panels.

four hole flange front mounted panel RF connector
4-Hole Flange, Rear Mount

Connector is fed through and mounted from the rear. Used to transmit signal from internal circuitry through a panel, using a flange with four holes to accommodate mounting screws or bolts. Best suited for use with thin panels.

four hole flange, rear mount RF connector
Bulkhead, Front Mount

Used to transmit a signal from internal circuitry through a panel, using a single mounting hole. Best suited for use with thick panels. Mounting nut is behind panel.

Bulkhead front mount RF connector
Bulkhead, Isolated Ground

A secondary coaxial dielectric insulates the connector body from the panel. A solder lug is provided to transmit the ground signal from the connector body.

Bulkhead isolated ground RF connector
Bulkhead, Rear Mount

Mounting nut is in front of panel. Used to transmit a signal from internal circuitry through a panel using a single mounting hole. Best suited for use with thick panels.

Bulkhead rear mount RF connector
Bullet
Free Hanging

The most traditional type of RF connector cable connection, representing the attachment of the connector to an ordinary coaxial cable.

Free hanging RF connector mounting feature
PCB
PCB, End Launch

PCB End Launch, or Edge Mount, RF connectors are designed to be soldered directly on the edge of the PCB surface. This style of connector offers the strength advantage of through hole mounting, with the performance of surface mount technology.

PCB End Launch RF connector courtesy of Southwest Microwave
PCB, Surface Mount

Surface mount connectors are designed to be soldered directly onto the PCB surface. This type of mounting is used in conjunction with a coplanar waveguide or stripline to carry an RF signal over the PCB circuitry.

PCB surface mounted RF connector
PCB, Through Hole

Through hole connectors are mounted using pins that are inserted into pre-drilled holes on the PCB on one side, and then soldered to pads on the opposite side. This type of design is more durable than surface mount RF connectors.

PCB mounted RF connector through hole mounting
Press-Fit

Press-Fit connector mounting is a method of attaching a connector through a bulkhead panel where the body of the connector itself is forcibly punched into the surrounding panelling. This type of connector body typically has serrations to produce a friction or interference fitting between the two surfaces. 

Press Fit RF connector mounting feature
Thread-In

Thread-In connector mounting involves a simple mechanism whereby the thread on the supplied connector is matched on the panel, so that that the two can be screwed together.

Thread-in RF connector mounting feature