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.
Subject:Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question
From:John Becker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
73, John, K9MM
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