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Passive High Performance Blind-Mate Connector

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246556D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-16
Document File: 6 page(s) / 581K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

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PASSIVE HIGH PERFORMANCE BLIND-MATE CONNECTOR

David Henderson

I.                    BACKGROUND

This disclosure relates to high performance connectors and more particularly to high performance non-screw or non-power activation type connectors having blind-mating capabilities and even more particularly to a blind-mate high performance RF connector.

Radio Frequency (RF) connectors are used in a number of situations for the transfer of high frequency signals across a separable connection. In some high performance applications, such as testing situations where high reliability is required, RF junction points must serve to transfer the RF signals without leakage, attenuation or discontinuity and without changing electrical characteristics. The challenge is compounded when the connection is desired to be made by a single insertion of one portion of the connector to the other without requiring the connector portions to be screwed of power activated together.

In a typical high performance RF connection, one portion of the connector is screwed to the other. The screw mechanism imparts significant continuous mating force (sometimes in the order of several hundred pounds) on the connector portions causing them to remain firmly mated thereby yielding high reliability. In another performance RF connection, one portion of the connector is clamped to the other using external power activation. Power activation is achieved, in one embodiment, by pneumatic actuation of a piston having fingers which engage an outer edge of a housing formed around the female portion of the connector so as to pull the female portion into a tight mating relationship with the male portion.

In some situations, such as the use of robots to bring the portions of the connector together, it is desired to insert the male portion into the female portion with a straight-line motion. This straight-line motion enables blind-mating of the connector by eliminating the necessity for performing a circular screwing motion which would be necessary if the mating elements were to be screwed together. However, simply inserting the two portions together will not insure high performance because in such situations the respective connector portions can back away from one another or otherwise change their orientation, forming discontinuities and/or RF leakage.

II.                 SOLUTION

A two-part connector is achieved for high performance connectivity using blind-mate insertion by applying mechanical advantage or leverage to multiply the relative low force of straight-line motion to apply relative high clamping force between connector portions. In one embodiment, the male and female portions of a standard RF connector is securely mated so as to achieve high performance without the need for...