Choosing the right antenna connector is crucial for building wireless systems that operate optimally. These interfaces between antennas and equipment must maintain proper impedance matching while withstand mechanical rigors. This guide provides an in-depth look at major connector types to consider for your specific application.

Antennas and antenna connectors have been an integral part of radio communication systems since the early 20th century…

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Antenna connectors serve the vital purpose of attaching antennas to transmitters, receivers…

Common Antenna Connector Types

Several major styles of antenna connectors have been designed over the years to suit various frequency ranges, power levels, and use cases…

SMA Connectors

Overview paragraph…

Key Characteristics:

  • Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Frequency range: DC to 18 GHz
  • Power handling: Up to 1 W
  • Voltage rating: Up to 500V
  • Coupling mechanism: Intermating thread and shell
  • Weight: 0.07 oz (2 g)
  • Temperature range: -65°C to +165°C

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Typical Failure Modes:

  • Loosening due to vibration
  • Broken center pin
  • Moisture ingress through poor seals

N-Type Connectors

Overview paragraph…

Additional characteristic details

Typical Applications:

  • Broadcast radio and antenna masts
  • 4G/LTE broadband mobile infrastructure
  • Satellite communication networks
  • Wireless internet service provider (WISP) links


  • Gold plated pins resist corrosion
  • Compatible adapters available


  • Bulky for compact devices
  • Costly for high volume manufacturing

Images showing real world installations

N-type connectors in base station antenna

N-Type connectors used to interface antennas in cellular base station.

TNC Connectors

Overview paragraph..

Key Characteristics:

Additional rows…


  • Excellent noise rejection
  • Easy solder termination


  • Not ideal for rapid prototyping

TNC connectors in drone antenna

TNC connectors outfitted on custom drone antenna system.

FME Connectors

Overview paragraph…

Typical Applications:

  • Analog and digital radio links
  • Remote site connectivity
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Retail store POS and inventory systems


  • UV resistant polymer insulation


  • Lower frequency support than SMA
  • Small contact area prone to failure

MMCX Connectors

Additional applications…


  • Allows 360° rotation


  • Not designed for frequent mating cycles

U.FL Connectors

U.FL Interfaces…

application examples


  • Care required when routing cables
  • Avoid perpendicular pressure to avoid damaging interface

Connector Comparison

ConnectorImpedanceFrequency RangePower HandlingCost Per Unit
SMA50 ohmsDC – 18 GHzLow$2-10
N-type50 or 75 ohmsDC – 11 GHzVery high$5-25
TNC50 or 75 ohmsDC – 11 GHzModerate$3-15

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Additional recommendations with product examples…

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications under 1 GHz are often well served by simple, inexpensive SMA connectors supporting up to 1 watt:

Higher frequency point-to-point backhaul radios transmitting data miles between base stations utilize ruggedized N Type connectors to maintain alignment in outdoor installations:

Emerging trends paragraph…

“The antenna connector space is rapidly evolving as new radio technologies emerge demanding increased data rates and bandwidth,” says Paul Syzdek, Product Manager at Amphenol RF. “We’re innovating next-gen connector solutions addressing size constraints while delivering reliability over wider temperature ranges.”

Syzdek sees expanded adoption of micro and nano connectors using precision manufacturing processes as more wireless functionality gets embedded into mobile devices. Their extreme compact dimensions with excellent electrical performance suit the ever shrinking footprint of electronics.

As the last physical interface before electromagnetic waves radiate through the air, ensuring connectors withstand harsh environments will remain essential. Companies like Rosenberger provide robust antenna connectors purpose-built for automotive sensors and communication modules placed in bumpers, doors, and windshields. They must survive years of -40° C winters and +125° C under-hood heat.

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