The motivation behind the "Three Quick Tips for Using U.FL" tutorial
Technology is always changing (though not necessarily improving) and today’s silicone rubber may one day be thought of the way we see Bakelite plastic now. Of course the same is true for electronics - transistor radio kits from the late 50’s can’t hold a match to the complexity of electronics that hobbyists have access to now. One thing that hasn’t changed is the gap between the ability to handle small tolerances between hobbyists and industrial component consumers. It was the case when Raytheon produced the CK722 for the hobby market, and it’s still true, as evidenced by the funky way I had to hold my antenna during the ProRF 1W range test to keep the U.FL connector from popping off.
See, we have an interesting relationship with the latest and greatest stuff. On one hand, using super small components makes a satisfyingly compact board with plenty of shiny, not to mention that you can fit more inside an enclosure. On the other hand, soldering a 0.5mm pitch FPC can challenge even an experienced soldering tech.
The U.FL connector is one of those items that saves a lot of board space but definitely requires a little extra effort to take care of and use in a project. Not only is it easy to accidentally disconnect, but it can also be damaged by using it incorrectly. Since we want your RF gear to last through as many projects as possible, we wrote a tutorial called Three Quick Tips About Using U.FL. It will help illuminate why and how we take care of our U.FL connections.
Since technology isn’t showing any signs of slowing down it’s up to us hobbyists to improvise, adapt and overcome!