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Project Notes

#347 RF Connectors

Notes on miscellaneous RF connectors.



All about Radio Frequency connectors and cables, typical applications:

  • between VCR and TV receiver (back in the day!)
  • into cable TV, satellite dish
  • cable modems
  • ham radio
  • test equipment

Typically use coaxial cable.

“UHF” Connector

UHF Connector is dated terminology for RF connections using SO-239 (socket) and PL-259 (plug).

  • most common type used on HF, also used for VHF, UHF
  • scientific, test equipment
  • see UHF connector - wikipedia




BNC Connectors

BNC - Bayonet Neill–Concelman.

  • used on VHF, UHF, sometiems HF. Use in RF applications is gradually fading.
  • widely used outside of RF e.g. test equipment etc

See also:


How to install a BNC connector on RG-58 coax

w2aew has a great video on crimping your own RG-58 connectors:


A similar technique works for RG174, although with those I find extreme care is required not to destroy the inner pin (I’ve destroyed a few with just a little extra force when crimping)

Crimping Tools

I have an AN-02H1 crimping tool, which conveniently handles RG58 and RG174, among many others.


SMA connector

  • commonly used on VHF and above
  • used in low-power, mobile

SMA (SubMiniature version A) connectors are semi-precision coaxial RF connectors. SMA connectors can be visually confused with the standard household 75-ohm type F coax connector


Type N

The N connector is a threaded, weatherproof, medium-size RF connector used to join coaxial cables.

  • used for high power on VHF, UHF and above


F Connector

  • F Quick Connect - non-threaded, goes over thread
  • used RF splitter
  • RF adapter - F connect to RCA
  • F connector - wikipedia
  • F-Type connector series - Amphenol’s F-Type is a 75 Ω connector featuring 30 dB return loss at 1GHz.


Coaxial Cable

  • Coaxial cable - wikipedia
  • RG-58/U - 50Ω Used for radiocommunication and amateur radio, thin Ethernet (10BASE2) and NIM electronics, Loss 1.056 dB/m @ 2.4 GHz. Common.[22]
  • RG-59/U - 75Ω Used to carry baseband video in closed-circuit television, previously used for cable television. In general, it has poor shielding but will carry an HQ HD signal or video over short distances
  • RG-174/U - 50Ω - Common for Wi-Fi pigtails: more flexible but higher loss than RG58; used with LEMO 00 connectors in NIM electronics.
  • RG-213/U - 50Ω - For radiocommunication and amateur radio, EMC test antenna cables. Typically lower loss than RG58. Common.[30]

Typical Crimp Die sizes

Cable Pin Ferrule
RG-59 0.068/1.72 .255/6.48
RG-174 0.068/1.72 .178/4.52

Resources and Tutorials

RF Connectors and what they’re for: AD#35


Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.