[TowerTalk] Long Barrel Connectors

Jim Brown jim at audiosystemsgroup.com
Sat Aug 9 12:35:49 EDT 2008

On Fri, 8 Aug 2008 21:47:00 -0400, David  Thompson wrote:

>The coax types are sold by Radio works (www.radioworks.com) and Allen Bond
>WB4GNT of MGS.  As I recall WB4GNT only sells them at hamfests.

I would AVOID new connectors sold at hamfests (and by nearly all ham 
vendors) like the plague. I've bought a bunch, and lived to regret it. The 
new stuff sold at hamfests is mostly junk import stuff of lousy quality. 

Now, you say, how can something that looks as simple as a connector be 
junk?  Four ways have bitten me and cost me LOTS of grief (and in some 
cases, a LOT of money).  First, some of the adapters fall apart. Second, 
their interior construction is so flimsy that they either don't reliably 
make connection or can't handle the transmitter power. Either way, they 
overheat. And, of course, you have an intermittent connection. Third, some 
are made with a low temperature dielectric that melts when you try to 
solder the connector. This can lead to failures or a center conductor that 
is misaligned. Fourth, I bought a bag of ten imitation PL259s with screw 
rings that were a quarter inch or so short -- too short to screw onto the 
mating connector!  

The only connectors I'll buy at hamfests are used connectors of older 
vintage by major mfrs like Amphenol and Kings. They may be less shiny, but 
they're of very good quality, and unless badly corroded, will work very 

For PL259s, I go to industrial electronics vendors like Newark and Allied 
and by the silver plated connectors in lots of 20 or so (wherever the price 
break is). Same for DIN connectors and audio connectors, and I'll only buy 
Neutrik, Preh or Switchcraft. So far, the only low-cost connectors I 
haven't had trouble with are 4-pin and 8-pin "ham mic" connectors. 


Jim Brown K9YC

More information about the TowerTalk mailing list