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Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question
From: John Becker <>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 14:45:37 -0600
List-post: <">>
A little more clarification here relative to my inquiry:

I am only interested in the differences between the different Amphenol PL-259 plugs. I won't consider using a generic plug from an unknown supplier.

The plugs I have with either dark yellow or light yellow insulators are marked 83-1SP. Amphenol's published data says these have silver plating on both the body and the center pin.

I was incorrect in stating that I had some with blue insulators; they actually are green and they are marked 83-1SP-1007. I haven't found any description of this variety on Amphenol's website. These were very common at Motorola before I retired. I wonder if they were a special Motorola-only variation.

The plugs I have with Teflon insulators are marked 83-886. Amphenol's published data says these have nickel plating on the body and silver plating on the center pin.

There is a variation 83-886-2050 which is Teflon with silver plating on both the body and the center pin, but I have never seen one of these. R&L Electronics is selling them for $9.95 each. For comparison, they sell the 83-1SP for $3.95.

Amphenol's UHF Connector brochure says the insulators used are PTFE (Teflon), co-polymer of styrene, or mica-filled phenolic. It does NOT say which insulator is used on each specific part number.

A couple of people have recommended the 83-1SP because the silver plated shell is easier to solder than nickel plated varieties. I have also observed this to be the case.

I have found no explanation from Amphenol as to why they use phenolic insulators in some and PTFE in others. This is what I would like to understand. Is there some application of a PL-259 where PTFE is demonstratively superior to phenolic? Or is this just a marketing ploy to justify a significantly higher price? I would guess that the difference in material cost between phenolic and Teflon is very low in the quantities Amphenol buys.

73, John, K9MM


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