Good Source for SMA Connectors?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by N0TZU, Dec 12, 2019.

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  1. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

  2. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    The dielectric should be PTFE (Teflon)

    Touch a hot iron to it, it should not melt.


    Edit: when I made them, the difference between 304 stainless steel, gold plated brass, and gold plated 304ss was unmeasurable.

    There is so little material, and the machining tolerances are easy to "hit" , I think that the likelihood of getting a bad one is pretty small.

    We would make "short runs" on a cnc lathe, but "standard" were made on swiss screw machines in such quanitys that we sold tgem by weight!

    Literally scooped them out of bins and weighed them on a butchers scale.

    It was cheaper to send the customer extras than to pay somebody to count them.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    N0TZU likes this.
  3. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe it is just the train driver in me, but for test cables and experimenting, I do not want cheap Chi-Com junk. Be honest with yourself, it is junk status. On my permanent installed equipment, and test jumper/cable I want the best quality that can be obtained. So depending on what the coax and connector type, I use Pasternack for the small stuff like SMA on something like LMR-100. Larger stuff usually make ourselves because we have all the special tools to work with it.

    As for making something like I did, LNA Loop Antenna Pre-Amps that get installed and not removed often if ever, you can get away with some of the Chi-Com stuff if it can perform at 1 Ghz or higher.
  4. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Two decade ago I built dozens of microwave transverters out of little homebrew modules with SMA connectors. I used hundreds of SMA connectors in the process. :)
    N0TZU likes this.
  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ah yes, Pasternack. "You'll never pay more!” as a coworker of mine was fond of saying about them. Their catalog makes a great pictorial reference though!

    I've worked professionally in flush environments down to low budget environments. It's great to have a huge budget and buy the best, but when you can't there are often ways to still make things work, provided you understand the pitfalls and check for them. A big part of engineering is staying within budget while still achieving an acceptable result.

    I’m willing to spend an extra minute or two to check for bad connections in various ways on my projects. My entire VNA was only $120, and the smaller display models cost half that. So it makes no sense to buy $15 SMA connectors for little projects. Increased mating resistance won’t even be discernible in most cases, let alone cause a problem in use.
  6. WB2UAQ

    WB2UAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can you use SMB? I prefer them for their size and ease of us for the things that I experiment with. Haven't checked for prices on them. I have the Nanovna but have converted over with adapters to other connector types.
  7. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ye very true, but when it is someone else's money I become a democrat. Seriously though I do understand and agree with you. One connector manufacture we use a lot by tens of thousands is Trompeter. They do not make PL259 connectors though. But their quality surpasses even Amphenol, Their big customers are military, aircraft, and Telecom. A bit expensive though. One of the few manufactures who make WECo. Their coax stripper is the best thing since sliced bread. We call it a electric pencil sharpener.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
    N0TZU likes this.
  8. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let's lay off the xenophobia.

    The problem isn't "cheep Chinese junk", rather our own devaluation of the US Dollar making it impossible for me to manufacture sma connectors and make a living doing it.

    If you want to begin to understand why search " the creature from Jekyll Island"


  9. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Chinese stuff works, but I've found they all have limited insertion/removal life cycles. The finger stock for the center female and the male outer ring quickly looses tension.
    Not the best quality, but they look purty.
  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the suggestion but I prefer the SMA right now.

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