San-tron Blog: Let's Talk RF Coax

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) Cable Choices

Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are used in a wide variety of public areas to bring wireless service to areas with poor coverage. Some of these areas include: buildings, node installations in towns, underground tunnels, etc. Typically, a large single antenna radiating at high power would provide coverage, but in DAS installations they are replaced with a series of low power antennas to cover the same area as they are safer and more robust. The most expensive and time consuming stage of the DAS process is the installation, routing the coaxial cables around the antennas can be labor intensive. Having the right coaxial cables for the assembly makes the installation a much less strenuous a task. Necessary key features include, but are not limited to: high flexibility, stability in highly dynamic environments, low loss, plenum rated, and good passive intermodulation (PIM) performance.    Read more...

New Haunts for PIM in Distributed Antenna Systems

The Distributed Antenna System (DAS) has, in the last few years, begun to prove all of the claims made for it, like ubiquitous coverage in huge stadiums and multi-stadium events and delivering wireless capacity where it could never be achieved before. These installations are truly incredible feats of engineering, planning, and installation, and they all have one thing in common: the need to maintain low levels of Passive Intermodulation Distortion (PIM).   Read more...

Dispelling the Big Myth about Custom RF and Microwave Coaxial Cable Assemblies

Unfortunately, we've found that many RF and microwave designers still believe that the easiest, least expensive, and fastest way to find a RF/microwave coaxial cable assembly to serve an "unusual" situation is to buy a standard coaxial assembly and "make it work." While that may have been the case in the past, it's far from the case today. In fact, lead times for custom coaxial solutions now are no longer and cost no more than a standard coaxial product, and this applies to even truly odd combinations of coaxial cable type, connector, length, and other requirements. And by odd, I mean unlike anything you're likely to find on any RF/microwave coaxial cable supplier's Web site, ranging from combinations of connector type to unusual angles, cable types not generally specified for a particular application, assemblies for incredibly hostile environmental conditions, all or some of the above, and literally hundreds more. I sometimes think we've surely encountered every possible high performance or innovative coaxial cable/connector request, only to be proven wrong the next day.   Read more...

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