Micro IDT Coaxial Connectors

The first time I came across these connectors was while repairing a broadcast camera. The connector had to be removed each time the camera was disassembled and because the issue was intermittent, this was happening numerous times before the problem was resolved. As it happens, this final time was when a new problem arose with the camera, and led me to discovering how expensive a replacement turned out to be, but also just how wonderful technology has advanced in cabling and connectors.

The Micro IDT Coaxial connector is designed to connect 30, 40, or 50 circuits capable of supporting currents of 200mA on a connector with a 0.4mm pitch. Each cable is a micro coax type which provides excellent shielding and grounding between connectors which is not possible with other technologies such as FPC (flexible printed circuits) more commonly found.  Another great feature is that the can be routed through gaps and flexible joints more easily and robustly. Cable size is AWG42.


Anyway, back to my problem. In not recognising the technology involved, I was less careful in disconnecting the connector at some point, and thus the fault occurred.  A 10x magnifier was required to spot the damage. A single cable at one end of the connector was loose. At first thought, I assumed a simple repair could be made to reconnect the wire, however this is just not possible with theses connectors.

My warning, if you see these connectors in equipment you service, be extremely careful in how you remove and connect them.

I have no doubt that these will be used in more and more equipment due to the fact that they can be fabricated in house and because of the noise immunity and EMF characteristics they possess.

Each 42 AWG coax cable is approx. 0.3mm in diameter, it is silver plated with a  48 AWG silver plated copper Helicoidal screen. The sample I have appears to be a single inner core.

KEL Corporation (Tama, Tokyo) came to market with micro coaxial cable connectors (USL series) in 1998, according to a company history published on their website.

From published news June 2006 it is printed that Molex was the first company in the world to utilise IDT termination technology with coaxial cable on a pitch as small as 0.40mm (.016”).


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