Pigtail Connectors

As part of the design process, it is necessary to test a component’s performance to compare it to an RF circuit simulation. The only way to perform in-circuit tests is by designing in test points or by using RF coaxial pigtails. The Pigtail method is accomplished by soldering a connector at one end of a coax section and the other end is soldered to a point on a circuit board as a test point.  In this manner, a signal can be injected into an input or a signal can be sampled. Once tested, the soldered RF Pigtail test probe is easily unsoldered from the PCB.

P1dB offers RF pigtail cables in coax diameters from .020 inches, with a center conductor diameter is .004 inches, to coax diameters as large as .250 inches. This means that even a 0201 RF pad can be used as a test point with the use of a P1dB RF pigtail connector as a test probe. RF Pigtails are available in coax diameters from .020 to .250 inches in jacketed conformable, conformable, semi-rigid or even flex cable options. The most common RF Pigtail cable is an SMA Female Pigtail connector using either .034 inch or .047 inch semi-rigid coax diameters that is 2 to 3 inches long.

Although any lab technician can tackle soldering a coax center conductors as small as 0.004 inches in diameter, there is no guarantee that it will perform as required. Not because the technician is not capable, but because it is not their expertise nor do they typically have the specialized equipment necessary to build a cable. P1dB’s assembly staff has all of the necessary equipment to solder very small semi-rigid coax onto large connectors. As a matter of fact, they do it on a daily basis and can consistently build cables assemblies, such as RF Pigtail connectors, to meet low VSWR specs at frequencies to 65 GHz. Therefore, let your technicians focus on their expertise and let P1dB build cables using their expertise, such as Pigtail cables.

For more understanding on RF Pigtails refer to our Pigtail information page. You may also find various Pigtail test probes in P1dB’s RF Pigtail section.

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