One topic that garnered much interest at the Samtec booth at the International Microwave Symposium was a dynamic stress test of Samtec’s microwave cable.
This demonstration proves that our low-loss, microwave cable withstands high flex cycles and still maintains signal integrity.
In this video, Steve McGeary, Samtec’s Director of RF Business Development and Product Management, walks us through the demo and reviews the cable’s insertion loss and return loss results, all in about two minutes.
We take a five foot strand of Samtec MWC low-loss microwave cable, and attach it to a rolling test fixture. One cycle rolls and unrolls the cable over an 2 foot track.
A Keysight PNA-L network analyzer generates 20 GHz signals, which are run through the Samtec cable, and back through the VNA.
The system measures both the insertion loss and return loss of the cable during the cycling.
The live results are displayed on a monitor, and of course cumulative results are recorded for summary charts. And those results are impressive. We compare insertion loss results after 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 cycles. The plot below compares IL results 10,000 cycles.
We also compare return loss after 1,000 cycles, 5,000, and 10,000 cycles. The plot below compares RL results after 10,000 cycles.
As you can see, Samtec microwave cable offers superior repeatability and stability.
The insertion loss is typically < 0.2 dB delta after 10,000 cycles, and the return loss also has a <2.0 dB delta after 10,000 cycles. In other words, the cable exhibits negligible return loss change after 10,000 cycles.
This cable is manufactured at Samtec’s High Speed Cable Technology Center in Oregon.
Samtec has been investing in vertical integration to be able to offer cable, connectors, and full engineering support of the RF microwave market, with an emphasis on high frequency, precision RF.
If you have questions about this test, or want to learn more about Samtec high frequency, precision RF products and capabilities, contact the RF Tech Group.
By the way, hats off to Steve for making this video under a bit of time pressure. Of course there were a few hiccups.