Santron_DAS_Blog_Mini-DIN_240px This blog looks at Mini-DIN connectors in today's communications systems. What are they – and how are they used in Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and small cell networks.

As congestion builds, in cities, buildings and networks, service providers are looking for ways to increase coverage in limited areas. The most viable options to meet the increased capacity demands today are DAS and small cell networks.

By bringing the radios closer to the subscriber, in the case of DAS, or providing additional, small cells to handle the additional call and data handling required, coverage is increased meeting the demands of users on wireless services in a concentrated area.

However, enclosed buildings, whether offices or homes, or outdoor areas, where anything from two to literally hundreds of DAS nodes are located, are going to be buzzing with radio activity. This poses the threat of increased interference to and from the central hub. As service providers know poor service, and especially downtime, are not readily tolerated by subscribers. 

The DAS or small cell networks have to be able to handle the high capacity signals transmitted and received in a congested area. However, the DAS node transmits RF signals at lower power levels than conventional macro cell levels. Like macro cell sites, it can support multiple wireless service providers, all deploying an assortment of frequency bands and wireless technologies so the equipment used has to meet the challenge

When located outdoors, the nodes are placed in communal areas, on utility poles and usually at a relatively low level, to accommodate the smaller coverage area. This can cause both transmit and receive challenges and accessibility issues.

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As the networks grow, repeaters are installed, often in tight spaces, due to the confines of the building or structure. Alternatively, repeaters can be fitted on utility poles or in public access areas, to expand the network coverage. Consequently, quick and reliable connections are necessary to minimize interruption to the area and to the service.

Enter the RF Coaxial Mini-DIN connector. (Not to be confused with multi-pin mini-DINs used in other markets, which we'll explain in another post soon.) With a diameter of 9.5 mm, it is small enough to be used in confined spaces and rugged enough to withstand the rigors of a DAS installation. 

When dealing with small, confined spaces of DAS and multi-cell installations, this compact and reliable connector is vital for quick, easy maintenance checks and extension work. The mini-DIN 4.1/9.5 RF coaxial connector is a major upgrade from type N connectors as it is about the same size as a type N but offers performance levels aligned with the much larger 7/16 DIN connector style. In addition to its small form factor, the San-tron mini-DIN offers great weatherization, RF performance through 14 GHz, and PIM levels below -165 dBc. The San-tron 4.1/9.5 series can be supplied for PIM rated adapters, braided cables, conformable cables, semi-rigid, and corrugated cables.

For reliable, ease-of-installation and security, the Mini-DIN format is proving invaluable in helping system engineers meet the increasing demands in capacity for voice, data and video in DAS and small cell networks.