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Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question
From: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 02:04:20 -0000
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I have been using 83-1SP for decades.  I believe that the insulator used to 
be dark and the new ones are almost white, perhaps they changed materials. 
The knurling and marking certainly changes.  Once I had a defective one 
where the threads inside the shell were not deep enough and unfortunately I 
didn't notice this until after it was soldered and there was already a 
connector on the other end.

John KK9A
Subject:Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question
From:John Becker <>
Date:Fri, 16 Nov 2012 14:45:37 -0600

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 

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 

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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