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[TowerTalk] Connectors

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Connectors
From: (Tom Rauch)
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 10:14:32 -0400
Hi Chris,

> After many years of struggling with soldering into little holes on
> lousy connectors, I gradually started migrating to N connectors.  They
> are less lossy, generally waterproof and mate more reliably than UHF
> connectors. Unfortunately, ham equipment suppliers continue to churn
> out high-power equipment with UHF connectors, for reasons that I
> cannot understand.

I hate to start another owl thread, but UHF connectors get a bad 
rap mostly through folklore and misunderstandings. Now there are 
cheap connectors of both types, that aren't worth a hoot, but in 
general UHF connectors are very good connectors.

UHF connectors handle much more power than N connectors. 
They are much more reliable when the load is mismatched or 
power is high.

The loss in a UHF connector is negligible, and they are actually 
less lossy at VHF and lower than most N's (which also have 
negligible loss at HF). They handle much more power than a N 
connector, which is really like a BNC dimensionally.

They are not as water resistant as properly installed N connectors 
with rubber seals, but actually neither connector should be left 
exposed to moisture. Both types should have some type of 
weather shield when used outdoors.

UHF connectors are very easy to install, and mechanically stronger 
than most N connectors.

These reasons are why you will not see anyone changed to N 
connectors, unless the equipment is at upper VHF or UHF or is an 
impedance-critical application. I'm just the opposite of you on this. I 
HATE connectors and remove them whenever possible.

I machine the UHF N connectors I get on surplus hardline into UHF 
female connectors. It is always worth the work just by the 
improvement in reliability alone.
73, Tom W8JI 

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