Importance of Connector Savers for PIM Test Equipment
Connector wear is an issues that concerns test equipment including PIM analyzers, test cables and low PIM terminations. It is no so much an issue for field installations because connectors of low PIM components are mated only a few times, for initial system measurements and final mating. Test equipment at the other hand, is in permanent use and has to endure many mating cycles. Manufacturers guarantee typically 500 mating cycles with sustainable PIM ratings before connectors start to degrade. The reason is clearly not low quality but the fact that asperities can undergo only a limited number of deformation cycles. Furthermore, attrition of conductors’ plating due to mechanical friction reduces the thickness of the plating steadily.
In any production environment, 500 mating cycles between low PIM analyzers or terminations and the devices under test (DUTs) are soon attained. With only 50 tests per day, connector plating starts degrading after only 10 days. Connector savers protect the equipment against expensive repairs. Savers are easily replaced and help to maintain the full performance of PIM analyzers.