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Re: [TowerTalk] In shack cable quick disconnects?

To: "jimlux" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] In shack cable quick disconnects?
From: "Richard M. Gillingham" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:09:23 -0400
List-post: <">>
You can use connectors with the same number pins.  Just reverse one set 
(male/female...the other female/male)...  Here's some pretty good water 
proof ones.

Not cheap, but worth the ride (imho)

Good luck
Gil, W1RG

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "jimlux" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] In shack cable quick disconnects?

> Paul Ferguson wrote:
>> I want to put some quick disconnect connectors in my shack on cables to 
>> my
>> rotor control and antenna switch. Both are 8-conductor cables. I want to 
>> use
>> two sets of plugs/sockets with different numbers of pins so I do not
>> interchange the rotor and antenna switch.
>> I looked for Cinch Jones Plugs, but found them difficult to find in 8, 
>> 10, or
>> 12 pin sets.
>> What would you recommend for plugs and sockets that are reliable and easy 
>> to
>> use in cable to cable applications inside the shack?
> I used to build lots of cables for use on special effects gear for use
> on set, and I've gone through probably every kind of connector known to 
> man.
> Good (rugged, easy to mate/demate) connectors tend to be pricey, so you
> need to carefully consider what you need it for.
> How often do you need to connect/disconnect?
> You can gang up a whole bunch of Anderson PowerPoles to make a
> rectangular block of almost any size.  There are clever clip/bracket
> things to chassis mount them, too.  A piece of nylon cable tie cut off
> and jammed into a housing instead of the contact makes a fine key to
> prevent mismating, but I've just done it by configuration (e.g. for 12
> pins, you can stack 3x4 or 4x3)
> the CPC (Circular Plastic Connector) series is fairly nice.  They look a
> lot like the round metal connectors on military and aircraft equipment.
> Housings are a few bucks, and you get separate pin/socket inserts which
> slide in.  It's worth investing the couple bucks in the little tool to
> remove them (it's a piece of tubing of just the right size that
> compresses the side prongs).  There's dozens of shell sizes and pin
> configurations, including ones suitable for AC line current and/or coax.
> For low current, modular 8 pin jacks (like used for network hookups) are
> another possibility. They really aren't designed for a lot of
> mate/demate cycles, and the little locking tab tends to rip off, but
> they are inexpensive and fast.
>  XLR connectors are available in 3,4,5, and 6 pin configurations, and
> are pretty rugged, but the "more than 3 pin" flavors are pretty expensive.
> I hate any of the Sub-D connectors, particularly the high density 15 pin
> one in the E sized shell (aka the VGA connector).. The metal shroud on
> the plug side is too easily bent, it's easy to mismate and bend/break a
> pin, etc.  They're really designed for "mate once" applications.
> Micro-D are even worse.
> The standard MIL-C-38999 (aka "triple 9") series connectors are nice,
> and you can find them surplus inexpensively.  I like the bayonet style
> as opposed to the screw thread.  The challenge is in the insert
> keying/clocking.  In theory, you can pick keying that makes it
> impossible to mismate, but somehow, Bob the Gorilla can always jam the
> wrong plug into the wrong socket.
> There are some very nice IEC pin/socket multipin connectors used for
> power, etc.  They mate nicely, have a rugged latch that holds them
> together, and optional spring loaded covers.
> There are trailer plug/sockets available at the autoparts store in pin
> counts up to about 8.  They're ok, but not wonderful, and lately, it
> seems that the drive to lower prices has resulted in lower quality
> connectors that are harder to assemble and don't seem as durable.  The
> other problem is that the pin side is almost always only available as a
> chassis mount.
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