What are NEX10 Connectors?

By Amy Goetzman | January 25, 2022

Meet the Connector: NEX10 compact low PIM coaxial connectors

NEX10 connectors are a small, robust PIM-stable RF coax connector interface primarily used in datacom installations, including small cell (4G and 5G), in-building wiring architectures, MIMO, and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

These connectors were designed the meet the complex needs of 5G and MIMO installations in a small, lightweight format. NEX10 is significantly smaller than other connectors that serve this market. It is designed to reduce interference from unwanted signals generated by the non-linear mixing of multiple frequencies, or passive intermodulation (PIM), which can cause distortion in a coaxial transmission line. It operates up to 20 GHz/50 Ohms with excellent return loss.

NEX10 connector selection

The circular NEX10 connector interface consists of a center contact with a diameter of 1.5mm, an outer contact with a diameter of 5mm, and a flange of 12.7mm, with a fixed coupling nut. It is available with two coupling mechanisms: torque/screw (with hex nut), and Quick Lock (push-pull). The hand-screw format is the dominant choice, but for space-constrained applications, the push-pull version is ideal. It is one of the smallest coax connectors.

Radiall, HUBER+SUHNER, and Rosenberger jointly developed NEX10. “Our respective companies saw that with deployment of 5G and the densification of the network, as well as the growth of small cells, there was a need for a small, low PIM and robust connector. We all worked together in a consortium to codevelop NEX10,” said Ross Martinez, formerly with Radiall, now marketing manager for Trexon.

Design Notes 

  • Ease of use Ease of use is another factor driving the development of this connector. Antenna systems have faced challenges related to damage to contact sleeves occurring during installation. “If you hang 40 feet off a tower, it’s not always easy to see what the connector is, so we wanted to solve this problem,” said Daniel Troxler, Head Product Management Components, HUBER+SUHNER.
  • Standards IEC standardization is in progress. “It is our goal to make NEX10 the market standard in the communication market,” said Troxler.
  • Cable Considerations NEX10 is optimized for ¼” cable but can also be used with ¾” and ½” cable, including flexible (heliax) cable in a standardized multi-coax solution of up to four ¼” corrugated cables in one housing.
  • Mating Cycles More than 100 mating cycles.
  • Spacing NEX10 connectors are 53% smaller than the 4.3-10, enabling high density placement.

NEX10 comparison

  • Materials The connectors are typically constructed from non-ferromagnetic material and plating. An internal O-ring acts as a shock absorber, minimizing movement. A rubber boot adds ruggedization.
  • Ruggedization NEX10 connectors are highly robust to perform in harsh environments, including outdoor installations.
  • Sealing NEX10 connectors are rated to IP68. In areas with salt spray or ice build-up, the interface can be further protected from weather conditions with a boot seal.
  • Interference Excellent RF shielding and return loss, in addition to outstanding PIM (-166 dBc).
  • Timeline The NEX10 interface launched in 2017 and multi-coax interfaces (4 and 5) were introduced in 2018. Connectors, cables, adaptors, and microwave products are now available.

Markets, Sectors, and Applications

Small cell applications, low-power base stations, multi-operator/multiband DAS, blind-mate for panel connection, Test & Measurement, military programs 

Suppliers

NEX10 connectors are available from the NEX10 consortium companies,  Radiall, Huber + Suhner (available from Mouser Electronics and Newark), and Rosenberger (available from Mouser Electronics), in addition to authorized manufacturers.

Related Products

  • 4.3-10
  • RF Coax
  • Low PIM Connectors
  • Antenna Products

Like this article? Check out our other Meet the Connector, RF and Coax connectors, and Market Update articles, and our 2022 and 2021 Article Archives

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