"Where the coaxial cable is employed on a cellular communications tower, for example, unacceptably high levels of PIM in terminal sections of the coaxial cable and resulting interfering RF signals can disrupt communication between sensitive receiver and transmitter equipment on the tower and lower-powered cellular devices. Disrupted communication can result in dropped calls or severely limited data rates, for example, which can result in dissatisfied customers and customer churn.
"Current attempts to solve these difficulties with field-installable connectors generally consist of employing a pre-fabricated jumper cable having a standard length and having factory-installed soldered or welded connectors on either end. These soldered or welded connectors generally exhibit stable impedance matching and PIM performance over a wider range of dynamic conditions than current field-installable connectors. These pre-fabricated jumper cables are inconvenient, however, in many applications.
"For example, each particular cellular communication tower in a cellular network generally requires various custom lengths of coaxial cable, necessitating the selection of various standard-length jumper cables that is each generally longer than needed, resulting in wasted cable. Also, employing a longer length of cable than is needed results in increased insertion loss in the cable. Further, excessive cable length takes up more space on the tower. Moreover, it can be inconvenient for an installation technician to have several lengths of jumper cable on hand instead of a single roll of cable that can be cut to the needed length. Also, factory testing of factory-installed soldered or welded connectors for compliance with impedance matching and PIM standards often reveals a relatively high percentage of non-compliant connectors. This percentage of non-compliant, and therefore unusable, connectors can be as high as about ten percent of the connectors in some manufacturing situations. For all these reasons, employing factory-installed soldered or welded connectors on standard-length jumper cables to solve the above-noted difficulties with field-installable connectors is not an ideal solution.
"Accordingly, during movement of the connector and its internal components when mating with a port, the conductive components may break contact with other conductive components of the connector or conductors of a coaxial cable, causing undesirable passive intermodulation (PIM) results. For instance, the contact between a center conductor of a coaxial cable and a receptive clamp is critical for desirable passive intermodulation (PIM) results. Likewise, poor clamping of the coaxial cable within the connector allows the cable to displace and shift in a manner that breaks contact with the conductive components of the connector, causing undesirable PIM results. Furthermore, poor clamping causes a great deal of strain to the connector.
"Thus, a need exists for an apparatus and method for a connector that provides efficient clamping of the coaxial cable and the outer conductor."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A first general aspect relates to a clamp comprising an annular member having a first end and a second end, the annular member including an internally threaded portion, the internally threaded portion of the annular member configured to threadably engage a coaxial cable; and a ramped surface proximate the first end of the annular member, wherein the ramped surface is configured to engage an outer conductor of the coaxial cable, wherein the annular member is disposed within a connector body of a coaxial cable connector.
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