I was under the impression that a screw-on connection is better than BNC.
I prefer a screw on connection for all coax no matter what size it is I can always use a reducer or smaller coax for the final connection.
73 de Fred N0AZZ
The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
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I don't have a lot of experience with BNC's; my 2 HT's are both Yaesu - VX-6R & VX-7R. The VX-6R is my back-up, loaner, etc. The VX-7R has been a daily radio for more than 4 years now. When I first got it I worked at a ski resort, both as a patroller & in the terrain park (jumps, rails, boxes, etc.) With permission I did the free-band mod so I didn't have to use a patrol radio while working in the park and vice-versa. This required multiple antenna changes daily. From the 2/70 mag-mount on the way to work, the antenna designed for the correct resort frequencies & back again on the way home. When I got home, I'd disconnect the mag-mount, pop on an after-market 2/70 'rubber duck' & monitor with the radio on a window sill. While patrolling, the radio & mount were put under significant stress not only from the wet/cold conditions, but also from working with toboggans & patients. While working in the park, the stresses were more from crashes while testing out new features/setups.
After a couple years on the snow, I left the area & moved cross country to the Montana Rockies. I removed the free-band mod since I didn't need it anymore for work, but still used the radio as my mobile & 'base' station changing antennas daily. It still spent some considerable time in the even more adverse Montana winter while snowboarding on my own time. Last week I finally added a dedicated mobile system in my car, freeing the HT from mag-mount duty, however I still store the radio with the antenna removed in a camera belt pack, so I'm still removing the antenna a few times a week when I go from 'base' operations to hiking/kayaking/flyfishing.
Estimating a few thousand antenna changes, not to mention all the additional stresses put on the radio & mount, I'm still proud to report that this HT works flawlessly. The mount feels & operates the same as the first day I took it out of the box. I did destroy 2 antennas in the terrain park with 2 very hard crashes off a contest jump at high speed. Both were bent in half beyond repair but there was no damage/loosening of the mount.
Perhaps I got lucky or perhaps this heavy duty, submersible HT is just built like a rock. I'm not really sure, but it definitely gives me good faith in SMA mounts (and even more in Yaesu's design team!) As I said before, I've never had an HT with a BNC for comparison purposes and I'm sure with their long-time widespread use that they're very effective, but I have no reservations about the quality/sturdiness/resilience of an SMA on a well-manufactured radio.
This is one area where I think the Chinese HTs have an advantage over the Japanese HTs. If I am going to have an HT with an SMA connectot, I'd much rather have it so that I screw the antenna into the radio rather than onto a connector that sticks out.
I vote BNC all the way.
Originally Posted by N8NNX
The Yaesu ft-60 has a metal chassis that acts as a heat sink. The sma connector is attached to the metal chassis and the center conductor is mated to the board with a spring type connector. I would worry about the antenna breaking before the mount (because I have dropped the radio and broken a whip antenna with no damage to the sma connector.) The higher end Yaesu HT's may be constructed the same way.
Originally Posted by WB2WIK
SMA makes no sense to me, for HTs.
1) they're small and the internal solder connection is easily broken.
2) The center conductor pin is puny, and more easily broken than BNC.
I don't coddle my HTs either, so I need something more rugged. To me if something is "portable" it needs to be tough (or encased in something tough).
BNCs on the other hand:
1) larger base, mechanically superior and more robust than SMA
2) faster to change antennas! Push and twist, done. No "turn turn turn turn turn turn" to get antennas off.
3) just as good RF wise as SMA through 1Ghz.
Did I mention sourcing too? SMA is a royal pain to source parts for locally - nearly everything must be mailordered. Crimp connectors for SMA is a pain. BNC on the other hand is extremely common, and relatively cheap. Crimp connectors are very common even locally.
Last edited by KE7HQY; 06-19-2012 at 02:37 PM.
Interesting comment about SMA not being robust. While I'm a new ham, I've carried and used daily Kenwood commercial radios for many years. I've also dropped them a few times landing on the antenna. I have never broken off a connector yet. Since I seldom change antennas, SMA works just fine for me.
Originally Posted by WA6MHZ
I have three.
Originally Posted by N8NNX
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo