On Sat, 31 May 2008 15:35:16 +0800, Marinus Loewensteijn wrote:
>When I was browsing around looking for dummy loads I noticed a lot
>of N connectors on these.
Mostly these are surplus from 2-way and cell phone systems.
>I have only a few cables at this moment but more gear is due to
>come into the shack and I am not exactly thrilled with the use of
>Out of the whole range of connectors that is available which are a
>better solution to move to than the cheaply (perhaps better
>mentioned: junk quality) PL239?
There's nothing wrong with PL259 (UHF) connectors -- IF you buy
good ones. On another list, I noted that most connectors sold to
hams are junk -- imitations of the real thing with inferior metals,
plating, and insulating material. BUT -- REAL, good quality
connectors are still available. You simply have to go to
traditional electronics parts suppliers to buy them. In North
America, the good brand is Amphenol. I buy the silver plated
versions because they are MUCH easier to solder to. I pay about
$2.50 each in lots of 20-25.
I can buy JUNK imitations of PL-259s for a buck or so. I can also
buy JUNK adapters (N to BNC, N to UHF, elbows, Tees, etc.) for a
few bucks, but they are cheaply built, have excessive loss,
inferior metals, and often fall apart. Examples of failures: I've
had four different N to UHF go intermittent and/or fall apart. I've
had Tees fall apart. I've had the dielectric of UHF connectors melt
and the center contact bend when I solder to it. I even bought one
bag of imitation PL259s with screw shells that were a quarter inch
or so short, so that they didn't screw onto a mating SO239!
The WORST junk connectors are the imitation DINs sold for a buck or
so by ham vendors like RF Connection and others. Their insulation
melts when you try to solder to them, and you CANNOT solder to them
because the metal plating on the contacts don't take solder! REAL
DIN connectors are still available from mfrs like Tuchel and
Switchcraft. They cost $5-$7. I work in the world of pro audio.
We've tracked lots of problems with intermittent contacts to metal
problems in junk connectors sold by vendors like Radio Shack and
hi-fi shops. Again, REAL mfrs like Switchcraft, Neutrik, and
Amphenol still make quality products, but they cost more. You get
what you pay for.
And, of course, there are counterfeit parts. I serve on the
Standards Committee of the Audio Engineering Society, along with
engineers from many well known companies like Shure, Belden, AKG,
JBL, Neutrik, and Switchcraft. I have heard MANY reports of
counterfeit parts -- connectors, microphones, electronic components
-- that look absolutely identical to the real thing, complete with
logo and trademark.
Jim Brown K9YC
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