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An F-Connector is a coaxial cable connector designed for radio frequencies up to 2 GHz (although some are available for up to 3 GHz), running over 75 Ohm cable.

It's most common use is for CATV (frequencies normally up to 900 MHz, although Telstra has prepared for frequencies up to 1 GHz) and SMATV (frequencies between 900 MHz and 2150 MHz). Anyone who has Cable-Television or Cable-Internet services would see these connectors on the cable connecting their set-top-unit/cable modem to their respective wall-socket.

F-Connectors are becoming popular in professional MATV installations due to their superior quality over PAL-Connectors.

F-Connectors should not be used for Wireless LAN applications, since they are poor quality connectors for anything other than reception. Although higher quality F-Connectors are appearing on the market to satisfy the demands of CATV networks operating interactive broadband cable internet services, and digital television (DVB-C), they should still be avoided.

The problem is primarily due to the fact that the copper core of the cable itself is commonly the conducting pin in the connector, and doesn't provide solid mating, or accurate impedance matching, resulting in a poor VSWR. To add to this, the threaded ring which holds the connector together also provides the ground/sheild connection. This threaded ring is problematic due to vibration, dust, and temperature fluctuations, and professionals will almost always lightly tighten it with a spanner or wrench.

For Wireless LAN, you should use N-Connectors. Some European CATV networks are switching to 75 Ohm BNC Connectors due since they last longer, and can cope with the demands being placed on their networks by a vast array of digital services.

Version 1 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:11:59 +1000
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