How are BNC (and other coaxial) connectors gendered?

BNC connector gender can be a bit confusing. On our product pages, we classify them by their gender and if it is a plug or a jack.

What is a plug vs a jack?

  • Jack commonly (but not always) refers to a connector with the female electrical contact or socket, and it is more often what is affixed in a device or panel
  • Plug commonly refers to a movable connector, often (but not always) with the male electrical contact or pin, and is more often the cable mounted, or moveable connector of a pair

What is the gender of a BNC connector?

  • Male BNC connectors have a male center pin
  • Female BNC connectors have a female center socket

The gender of a BNC is derived from the gender of the center contact, not the gender of the bayonet connection. A BNC connector has a bayonet connection that is the opposite gender of the center contact.


Other Coaxial Connectors

Most coaxial connectors are gendered as described above, but some connectors, like SMB and RP-SMA, are what's called "reverse polarity" connectors. That means the gender of the connector is reversed: Plugs have a female contact and female threaded or bayonet connection, and jacks have a male contact with a male threaded or bayonet connection. In these cases, we make sure to describe them according to their "plug" or "jack" designation as explained above.

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