Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Using IPX connectors

For my VNA i have a RF demo kit using IPX connectors. I wanted to see how easy or difficult it is to use this small IPX connectors for my own projects, so i ordered some and also some PCBs at JLCPCB 

The first connector i soldered was a failure. Measuring with my ohm meter gave a short circuit. However the next attempts went a lot better. I first tinned the connection pad with alsomost no solder. After that i placed the connector. Heated up the connections and the solder joints were made. Measuring showed they where electrical oke. I got very optimistic and almost was convinced that everything was going more easy than expected.
The only real problem that i did see at that moment was the orientation of the connector. When looking on the top of my (probably to cheap) connector there are 2 possibible orientations that i could not distinguish. And one of them is wrong. So the correct orientation of the connector looked the difficult point. For the rest it was going much more easy than expected. 

Using the connectors showed the real problem. On the RF demo board i had no problem connecting and disconnecting IPX cables. However using my own soldered connectors gave problems when trying to  disconnect the cable. The connector would not detach easy and in some occasion the connector sticked to the cable while detaching from the PCB.

Removing the connector from the cable without the PCB was even more problematic. A part of the connector did stay in the cable part.

I will continue with some experiments using the IPX connectors (that are also a lot cheaper than the SMA connectors,
Perhaps my soldering skills will improve to avoid damaging cables with IPX plugs. However i expect i will more use the SMA connectors and also order more SMA connectors and some additional SMA to IPX cables.


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