R&M has launched a new fibre optic connector for extreme outdoor applications. The harsh environment connector (HEC) was developed for the fibre optic connection of 5G and mobile communication antennas. In addition to fibre to the antenna (FTTA), R&M sees potential fields of application wherever fibre optic data transmission is installed in harsh environments. This includes aerial deployment for broadband supply in rural areas. The new outdoor connector housing can be used to connect fibre optic cables in railway, wind power and industrial facilities, chemical plants and ports, on oil platforms, in mining and in the event sector.

R&M is launching two versions: HEC-BR (Bayonet Release) with a 32-mm diameter and HEC-QR (Quick Release) with a 19-mm diameter. R&M has tested the HEC in accordance with all the rules for outdoor cabling. It meets the requirements of protection class IP68, Telcordia GR 3120, IEC 61753-1 and MIL-STD-883.

This means that the housing remains waterproof for at least seven days at a depth of three meters. It can withstand temperatures from -40°C to +85°C and high mechanical loads such as a tensile load of 450 N. This makes the HEC one of the strongest outdoor connectors in its class.

The quarter-turn (bayonet) fastener compliant with IEC 60603-7 variant 01 (ODVA) decouples the connector and the inner housing. The QuickRelease features an innovative push-twist-pull fastener. This allows top packing densities without having to compromise on performance.

The decoupled housing of the HEC-BR and HEC-QR minimise the influence of temperature fluctuations, cable shrinkage and mechanical loads. The «blind mating» assembly technology developed by R&M makes it possible to couple the HEC with one hand wearing gloves in low visibility.

The blind-mating elements also protect the ferrules in the mounted connectors if the HEC is not plugged in or closed with a protective cap.