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Re: [TenTec] Coax connectors

To: "Marinus Loewensteijn" <zl2ml@hotmail.com>, "Tentec list" <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Coax connectors
From: "Jim Brown K9YC" <k9yc@audiosystemsgroup.com>
Reply-to: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Sat, 31 May 2008 08:59:42 -0700
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
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 
>the PL239.

>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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