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Improved Flex Life For Coax (RF) Assemblies

by | Oct 16, 2023

Coaxial cable, sometimes referred to as coax cable, is a type of electrical wire used to transfer radio frequency (RF) signals from one location to another. Coaxial cables are a popular option due to their shielded construction, which enables the center conductor to carry data swiftly while being sheltered from harm and interference.

Coax (RF) cable assemblies are expansively used in aerospace, military, communication, and industrial environments. So, improving the flex life of Coax (RF) Assemblies is crucial for ensuring their longevity and reliable performance, especially in applications where cables need to endure frequent bending and movement.

This article will explore various coaxial cable assemblies, their performance, configurations, Keysight technologies, configurations, cable designs, and different parameters.

Strategies To Flex The Life Of Coaxial Assemblies

Improving the flex life of coaxial assemblies is crucial for ensuring their long-term reliability and performance, especially in applications where the cables or connectors are subject to repeated bending or flexing. Here are several strategies to enhance the flex life of coaxial assemblies.

1. Use High-Quality Components

Start with high-quality coaxial cables and connectors, such as precision stainless steel connectors. Inferior materials can degrade more quickly when flexing, so investing in better components is a primary step.

2. Use Right Angle Connector

When feasible, use right-angle connectors instead of straight connectors. Right-angle connectors are less prone to damage during flexing because they reduce the bending stress on the cable.

3. Environmental Protection

If the coaxial assembly is exposed to harsh environmental conditions, using ruggedized cables with additional protection against moisture, UV radiation, and other factors can accelerate wear and tear.

4. Cable Management

Implement proper cable management practices to reduce the stress and strain on coaxial assemblies. Use cable trays, clips, and ties to keep cables organized and prevent excessive bending.

The flex life of coaxial assemblies can vary based on factors like the quality of components, environmental conditions, and how they are used. By following best practices and selecting the right components, you can extend the life and reliability of your coaxial assemblies in flexible applications.

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Choosing The Right RF Coaxial Cable Assembly For Your Application

Choosing the right RF (Radio Frequency) coaxial cable assembly for your application is crucial to ensure optimal signal transmission and performance. RF coaxial cable assemblies are used in various applications, including telecommunications, broadcast, aerospace, defense, and more. Steps to help you make an informed decision are-

1. Identify Your Application Requirements

Determine the frequency range of your RF signals.
Assess the power handling requirements.
Consider the environment in which the cable assembly will be used.
Understand the impedance requirements.

2. Choose the Right Cable Type

Select a cable type matching your application’s impedance, frequency range, and power handling requirements.

3. Consider Cable Diameter and Flexibility

Choose a cable diameter and flexibility that suits your needs depending on your installation requirements. Smaller and more flexible cables are easier to install in tight spaces.

4. Connector Compatibility

Ensure that the connectors on both ends of the cable assembly are compatible with your RF equipment. Common connector types include N, SMA, BNC, TNC, and F-type connectors.

5. Evaluate Signal Loss

Check the cable’s attenuation characteristics at your operating frequency range. Lower-loss cables are better for long-distance or high-frequency applications.

6. Shielding performance

Consider the level of shielding performance required for your application. RF cables typically come with multi-layer shield construction.

7. Temperature and Environmental Conditions

If your application involves extreme temperatures or harsh environmental conditions, choose cables with suitable jacket materials and protection against moisture, temperature, UV radiation, and chemicals.

8. Cable Length

Select the appropriate cable length to reach your equipment with some extra length for flexibility. Longer cables can introduce more signal loss, so balance length with signal integrity.

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Semi-Rigid Cable assemblies

Semi-rigid cable assemblies are coaxial cables used in various electronic and RF (radio frequency) applications. Some key features of semi-rigid cable assemblies include-

1. Construction

Semi-rigid cables typically consist of a solid outer copper, aluminum, or stainless steel conductor. The inner conductor is usually a solid wire, and the dielectric material separating the inner and outer conductors is typically polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

2. Low Loss

Semi-rigid cables are known for their low signal loss, insertion loss, and high electrical performance. They are essential in applications where signal quality and minimal attenuation are critical, such as high-frequency RF systems.

3. Connector Compatibility

Semi-rigid cable assemblies often use specialized connectors for rigid or semi-rigid cables. These connectors, such as vented connectors, ensure a secure and low-loss connection.

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Flexible Cable Assemblies

Flexible cable assemblies are used for applications requiring increased flexibility. They are designed specifically to bend and flex more easily, making them suitable for applications where cable routing requires frequent movement or where space constraints are present. The key features of these cable assemblies include-

1. Low Loss

Flexible cable assemblies are engineered to have low insertion loss and low VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio), which helps maintain signal quality and minimize signal degradation.

2. Phase Stability

Flexible cable assemblies are known for their excellent phase stability, making them suitable for applications requiring precise phase control and timing, such as radar systems and test equipment.

3. Connector Options

Flexible cable assemblies have various popular connector options, allowing them to be easily integrated into different systems and setups.

High-Performance Braided Flexible Coaxial Cable

High-performance braided flexible coaxial cables are high-performance cable assemblies designed for transmitting high-frequency signals. These cables are engineered to provide low loss, high shielding effectiveness, and both flexibility and durability. The features and characteristics of high-performance braided flexible coaxial include:

1. Braided Shielding

These cables typically feature a braided shield made of copper or aluminum wires. They provide excellent electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radiofrequency interference (RFI) protection, crucial for maintaining signal integrity in high-frequency applications.

2. Low Loss

These cables are engineered to have insertion loss and low attenuation, meaning that the signals passing through the cable experience minimal loss as they travel from the source to the destination, which is essential for maintaining signal quality over long distances.

3. High-Quality Materials

The materials used in constructing these cables are of high quality to ensure long-term reliability without compromising performance.


We’ve covered enhancing coaxial assemblies, various types, configurations, and selecting the right one for your needs. As discussed, coaxial assemblies play a pivotal role in contemporary communication and data transmission systems. They offer a dependable method for transmitting high-frequency signals, protecting against interference, and preserving signal quality. Feel free to reach out for your cable assembly requirements.

Amulya Sukrutha

Amulya Sukrutha

About the Author

Amulya Sukrutha, passionate computer science engineer specialized in Data science field. I also describe myself as a enthusiastic strength and endurance trainee. I have played professional Tennis during my early years and found my path in Software development and machine learning later. I’m also passionate about creating content, and learning about new technologies.