Cost and Quality Considerations

Often times, minor details can substantially increase the cost of a cable assembly, and may not be necessary. Here are some ways to keep quality high and hold costs down:

  • Supply full-scale drawings, particularly where there are compound bends in two or more places.
  • Give precise dimensions with loose tolerances. Keep tight tolerances to a minimum. Measure dimensional requirements to three decimal places with a tolerance of +/- .030 inches.
  • Avoid female terminations since the connector may require special orientation.
  • Specify all dimensions from the connector reference plane.
  • Avoid direct marking; use shrink tube markers of self-laminating labels.
  • Specify center and outer conductor material if there are any special requirements.
  • Design bend radii as large as possible and identical if possible. Incorporate a “service loop” on short cable length.
  • Specify the cable or connector, but state “or equivalent” if possible. Different manufacturers often make identical parts but with wide variance in cost.
  • Avoid right angle connectors if possible.
  • As connector insertion loss becomes more critical (higher frequency, shorter assemblies), match connector and cable impedances.
  • Specify electrical properties only across desired frequency ranges, as over-testing can be expensive.