ANSI/SCTE 04 2021

Test Method for "F" Connector Return Loss

Executive Summary

The purpose of this document is to provide instructions to measure the return loss characteristics of a single type "F" connector-to-cable interface, at the beginning of a cable, from 5 MHz to 3000 MHz.


The purpose of this document is to provide a test method for measuring return loss of “F” male connectors with cable in the frequency range of 5 MHz to 3000 MHz by utilizing the time domain-gating feature of the network analyzer. Male “F” connectors that conform to SCTE 123, Specification for “F” Connector, Male, Feed-Through or SCTE 124, Specification for “F” Connector, Male, Pin Type that are used with 75 ohm flexible RF coaxial cable, such as, but not limited to, SCTE 74, Specification for Braided 75 ohm Flexible RF Coaxial Drop Cable.


Devices which have a poor return loss and voltage standing wave ration (VSWR) result in loss of signal power or degradation of signal information

Return loss is a way to characterize impedance mismatches. There are two major causes of return loss degradation in a network: discontinuities and impedance mismatches. Discontinuities occur at connections where cable is terminated to plugs or jacks and within the plug/jack connection itself. A discontinuity can also occur if a cable is bent too much, kinked or otherwise damaged.

Components need to have acceptable return loss in order to assure proper network operation.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this document is for development/design engineers, technical operations and installers.