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[TowerTalk] PL-259 question - Amphenol catalog pages

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Subject: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question - Amphenol catalog pages
From: "Kimo Chun" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:04:23 -1000
List-post: <">>
I do not claim expertise or complete accuracy. I just have several of their
catalogs from 1978 to 1991 and tried to read all the fine print.

I am sending John a large PDF of a number of catalog pages showing part
numbers and breakdowns of specs and for fun a 1992 wholesale price list

If you want a copy let me know.


Bunker Ramo / Allied / LPL / or whoever owns it now at some point created
the RFX "Commercial" line that was a little different than their General /
RF / Microwave line.  The spec sheets show that there were differences in
what spec symbol matched what material, e.g.,  General Line: D5 insulation =
Polystyrene whereas in the RFX Commercial line: D5 = Diallyl Phthalate, Type
SDG  (and D6 = Polystyrene). So you need to check the right spec sheets for
the right product line. However, it looks like they kept their materials
straight for identical connector P/N (with or without the RFX). Note: I only
compared the PL259 specs.


I believe their "AstroPlate" trademark was used for their Nickel plating or
perhaps more correctly "Bright Nickel" plating IF they had two types.


In the 1991 RFX "Commercial" line:  P/N 83-822-RFX   Insulation D1 = TFE
(Teflon), Plating P2 = Nickel body, Silver contact.

In the General line: P/N  83-822  Insulation D1 = TFE or equivalent per
MIL-P-19468A, Plating P1 = AstroPlate (Bright Nickel),  Silver contact.


In their 1978 AID-5 Catalog: 83-1SP-1050*  Insulation = Filled Bake,
Plating = AstroPlate , Silver contact.

*For silver plated body, order 83-1SP


My prior posts on this in 2008 and 2006 have some errors. Funny how you get
better at catching the details the more times you look at it.

I have notes showing P/N  83-1SP 1007  on both sample connectors with the
green and blue colored insulations that Motorola sometimes passed out. I
don't know what insulation they are. Perhaps better than the "Bakelite or
Filled Bakelite or equivalent" they commonly list? Motorola still used the
UHF connectors at 450 MHz way back then, though the basic connector is
specified to 300 MHz by Amphenol.


I have a 100 pc. bulk purchase of 83-886-2050 (likely from Motorola in 9/96,
labeled  Amphenol P/N 83-886-2050   Motorola  RBP-28-80325A29 (from their
2nd Edition "Silver Book" Motorola Communications Parts and Data Handbook).
These are definitely all silver plated (contact, body and shell) with TFE
insulation plus a small TFE washer you place over the center coax conductor.
Whether necessary or overkill, it looks like the pinnacle of PL259s.  These
cost me $2.59 each plus shipping (in 1996) -<grin> and on my posting of
Oct.28, 2008, I had looked up R & L and their online catalog showed this P/N
at $9.00 each. This P/N does not appear in any of my Amphenol catalogs.


But as others have said the 83-1SP is plenty good enough at U.S. amateur
power levels at HF. I haven't ever tried more so..

I guess I am just mirroring what John mentioned before. No specs found for
the 83-1SP 1007 that we are both curious about. I concur about it being
easier to solder to the silver body versus AstroPlate./Nickel.


Kimo  KH7U



Message: 7

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 14:45:37 -0600

From: John Becker <>


Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259 question

Message-ID: <>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


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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