3M Communication Markets Division has introduced two new Slim Lock Closures for wireless weatherproofing of smaller RF connections at the cell site. The 3M Slim Lock Mini and the 3M Slim Lock Nano support the wireless industry’s move toward using Mini-DIN and N-Type connectors on Multiple In and Multiple Out (MIMO) antennas and radios for LTE deployments. The Slim Lock Closures were recently named a finalist for CTIA’s Emerging Technology Award.
The Slim Lock Closures protect signal integrity by blocking out moisture at both the antenna and Remote Radio Unit (RRU) in tower and roof top installations, said 3M. The closures offer a re-enterable weatherproofing solution that installs in less than a minute using just one hand, helping to reduce time and simplifying installation for tower hands, according to 3M.
The original Slim Lock Classic (SLC-716) can be used with standard DIN 716 connectors, while the Slim Lock Mini (SLC-A-MINI) and Slim Lock Nano (SLC-B-NANO) work with a variety of Mini-DIN and N-Type connectors, in conjunction with nominal half-inch coaxial jumper cables. All Slim Lock Closures have been tested in extreme weather conditions and meet the industry-standard IPX8 rating for water protection.
The Slim Lock Mini and Slim Lock Nano Closures use the same technology as the original Slim Lock Classic 716. The conformable gel pad solution inside each Slim Lock Closure surrounds the connector and cable, displacing the air completely and creating a robust sealing interface. The new closures also incorporate the same application of the 3M Glass Bubbles technology to make them re-enterable and re-usable, limiting signal interruption and replacement costs, said 3M.
“More and more wireless providers are moving to smaller RF connectors to reduce tower loading with MIMO/ multi-band equipment that enhances service. However, these connectors are crowded together on the antennas/radios, creating a denser area, making it even more difficult to utilize traditional weatherproofing solutions as well as our Slim Lock Classic,” said Sesh Natarajan, marketing manager, 3M Communication Markets Division, in a statement. “Seeing this challenge, we developed two smaller sizes of our successful Slim Lock Closure, the Mini and the Nano, that could effectively protect connections in this tighter environment while offering the same under-a-minute, easy, one-handed installation process as the original.”
Availability: The new Slim Lock Mini will ship in October 2014, followed by the Slim Lock Nano in winter 2014.