[VHFcontesting] Type N crimpers?

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Wed Dec 3 17:38:40 EST 2008

David Olean wrote:
> Hello Jack,
> I had been using clamp type N male connectors for many years,  but recently 
> switched to crimp type N s for LMR-400. I have tested them, and actually 
> think they are better than the clamp type when used along with a manual wire 
> stripper. It makes a better cut, and is more uniform with no loosening of 
> raid as the connector gets flexed . The clamp type are touchy to assemble, 
> as the braid must be carefully combed out and formed over the internal metal 
> ring, or the connector works loose over time. Few people are that careful 
> when assembling those connectors. I get the crimp connectors from RF 
> Connection in Maryland. Joel also sells a hand coax stripper for LMR-400. 
> The crimp tool I use is a RF Industries RFA 4005-020 with replaceable jaw 
> inserts for different cable types. The latest version of this tool is pretty 
> good. Older versions were not as strong. I broke the first one, but the 
> latest one has been re designed and looks very rugged for the price. I am 
> sure there are better ones, but this RFI one is good enuf.  The Crimp 
> connectors stay tight and have excellent RF properties.
>     I do not use the readily available "ham" solder type N connectors that 
> resemble UHF connectors in their construction/assembly. I found that 
> soldering them alters the VSWR and phase. They work, but I chose not to use 
> them for those reasons. For lower freqs they are probably fine.  The RF 
> Connection LMR-400 crimp connectors have a very nice heavy ring ferrule that 
> crimps very positively. I have seen others that are much thinner and not as 
> rugged.
> Dave K1WHS

Wow, Dave sounds like he's been through exactly the same path I have. 
Same tools and all.

The only difference is that if I can, I like using "well-known brand 
name" crimp connectors... any of the well-known RF manufacturers.  I'll 
have to try out the RF Connection's ones.  They're probably fine.

Definitely agreed on those "fake" N connectors that solder on.  I put a 
couple on a test cable, took the cable outside, spun it around my head 
an launched the connector I'd spent an hour putting on, into the 
neighbor's  yard.  Just to make sure I hadn't done it wrong, I consulted 
with others, put another set on, and did the same thing.  They suck.

Plus... when it only takes MAYBE 10 minutes to put the crimp-on 
connectors on (if you're SLOW and METHODICAL about it), and they never 
have problems like that... why bother with the other stuff anymore? 
Times have changed.

(I'll still solder on RF connectors for some applications, but that's 
mostly because I still have them in the junk box!  Not because I enjoy 
it anymore...)

This article on eHam by Mike K6AER has some nice photos and prices, and 
isn't too old.  He has written a couple of nice articles on the high 
quality of crimp-style connectors for a number of uses these days, and 
probably has more detailed ones available if you contact him than this 
one that Google found on eHam:


You might contact him -- I think he also did some RF connectivity 
testing later on.  Not sure.

He's given his "using crimp on connectors" presentation at just about 
every ham club in the Denver Metro area for a couple of years running, 
now.  (He also does a decent tower climbing/safety talk, trying to drag 
hams into the 20th Century by explaining the benefits of full fall 
arrest climbing harnesses and modern gear...)

Nate WY0X

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