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Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Re: Most Connectors sold to Hams are JUNK

To: "Tower Talk List" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Re: Most Connectors sold to Hams are JUNK
From: "Jim Brown" <>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 22:06:08 -0700
List-post: <">>
On Tue, 20 May 2008 00:22:51 -0400, Roger (K8RI) wrote:

>> I chose my words carefully, and I meant exactly what I said. What I 
>> see sold by vendors catering and advertising to hams is JUNK. 
>And there is a very good, valid reason for SOME vendors doing that, but 
>your sentence is all inclusive. 

1) The word "most" (see the subject line above) is not all inclusive. 
You appear to have confused "most" with "all." :) 

2) The only reasons I can think of are ignorance or greed. That is, the 
vendor doesn't know it's junk, or knows and doesn't care. Which of those 
do you consider "very good and valid?" 

I'm not talking about "tweaky" esoteric high quality vs run of the mill, 
I'm talking JUNK. Several examples have been cited. In the last five 
years, I've bought connectors where the metal used for contacts are 
dissimilar to those with which they are intended to mate, or with a 
dielectric that melts at an unsuitable low temperature (I've seen PL259 
copies, DB9 copies, and the DINS), PL259 copies where the shell is a 
quarter-inch too short, so you can't screw it to an SO239! This in 
addition to the cheaply made stuff that literally falls apart. Or the 
UHF right angles where the center conductor is a thin spring. I've had 
this stuff fall apart in the shack, where I'm trying to patch gear 
together for testing, not outside where there's stress on it. 

Someone mentioned Amphenol connectors that are hard to solder to. That's 
the plating on the shells. You won't melt the dielectric with your iron, 
and you CAN solder to them if you scrape the plating with a blade or 
sandpaper. The better ones have silver plated shells, and solder VERY 
nicely without a lot of heat. That's what the smart guys use. They cost 
a bit more. What's your time worth? And the smart guys buy them in 
quantity to get the significant price break. 

Are you aware of the market in counterfeit parts? I'm a member of the 
Standards Committee of the Audio Engineering Society. Engineers from 
many well known manufacturers of equipment, wire, cable, and connectors 
serve with me on that committee and its Working Groups (among them are 
Belden, Switchcraft, Neutrik, Shure, Neumann, AKG, Schoeps, and JBL). In 
off the record discussions, many of them have cited significant problems 
with counterfeit versions of their products -- products that are 
intentional copies, look absolutely identical right down to the mfr's 
trademark, but are of inferior quality. 


Jim Brown K9YC


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