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Re: [TowerTalk] " Most Connectors sold to Hams " rant

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] " Most Connectors sold to Hams " rant
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 06:43:19 -0700
List-post: <">> wrote:
> Someone really needs to calm down some.  It's a connector for hobby 
> applications for heavens
> sake.    Hams, like consumers in general , vote with their pocketbook.  It's 
> a rather
> patronizing attitude that simply because one takes the hobby to the level 
> where only Amphenol
> quality connectors will do, then the rest of the ham population is purchasing 
> out of
> "ignorance".  There's nothing wrong with a properly assembled bakelite 
> dielectric 259 for
> example,  ...hams used them for decades without problems, and continue to do 
> so.

That's actually a phenolic dielectric, I believe.  In any case, it's a 
thermosetting resin, not thermoplastic, which makes a huge difference 
when soldering.

It's not the venerable 1950s designs that folks are complaining about, 
but newer versions, say using polyethylene (which melts on soldering) as 
the dielectric, or using low quality plating, or poor dimensional 
tolerances.  None of these latter were particularly common in 1950.

> It might be more accurate to say "Most connectors sold to hams fully meet 
> their requirements of
> casual hobby application and the associated budget for same".

Or, hams' expectations in terms of quality vs price are not necessarily 
realistic for new merchandise, often being based on very low prices for 
surplus components in history (e.g. tons of PL-259s made to federal 
procurement standards).  Eventually, the surplus goes away, but the 
going price for surplus (usually < 1/10th new) sets a new price target 
for new manufacture, and to hit it requires some compromises.


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