Quick connect PL259s

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K8EA, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Disconnecting antennas when "not is service" by unhooking them makes little sense. As you stated, you're putting wear and tear on a connector that was never intended to be used that way.

    I use Alpha Delta coax switches that connect the unused ports to ground when not in use, along with a proper protection on the coax and rotor lines coming in the shack - ICE and Polyphaser devices bonded to a well designed ground system.

    If you have overhead power distribution, do you unplug every appliance, TV, stereo, computer, etc. etc., when not in use? Those wires feeding your house are longer than any antenna you're going to put up.
    WA7PRC, K0UO and NL7W like this.
  2. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    They won't handle the power. At 100w they MIGHT work ok. A 1500w setup requires good connectors attached tightly. I use RG8X jumpers which IMHO are barely adequate. RG8 or 213 coax is best.

    I used the same antenna coax connector for 15 years on my amp output with no damage to anything.
  3. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me too...In a "free box". That might tell you something! I grabbed them for test cables but I still haven't ever used one.
    I prefer BNC connectors with an adapter to PL259 if needed.
    W2AAT likes this.
  4. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    It looks more like a "cable cutter," so that it doesn't distort or smash cable (as much) as scissors or diagonal cutters. Not like any crimp tool I have seen.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    RG-8X is OK for jumpers that do NOT handle full power; mostly inside and/or handling up to 100 Watts or so through 2Meters, and probably in some applications on 70 cm. If the jumpers are short (a few feet or so,) then RG-213/U is OK; so are some of the more flexible style LMR-400. It's often better to use GOOD (or better) quality right angle connectors with RG-213/U type cables in a particular installation, rather than trying to bend the cable to fit. Usually not a problem with flexible RG-8X type cables.
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Type "N" connectors beats them all.:D
  7. AF2Z

    AF2Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, a well designed ground system, ICE and Polyphaser, etc would be better. Lacking that it does make sense to disconnect the rig. I don't disconnect every other appliance-- just the PC & router. Other than that there's no expensive big TV, etc. to worry about here.
  8. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Several things:

    The "push type" PL-259 barrels are fine for places like test benches where a significant number of units are serviced every day. Using such is a lot more efficient than having to screw, and unscrew, the cable many times a day. The wear, and tear, on any single SO-239 is, basically, non-existent because the connection is just made, and unmade, once where each radio is concerned.

    When I owned the Motorola reconditioned equipment center for the south-central United States, the r.f. test equipment, on every workbench, had this type of connector. Most of the equipment had a maximum output of 120-watts. However, occasionally, equipment with output power of 250-watts and even 330-watts was serviced. For the time that the test equipment was in use, generally less than a minute, or 2, no problems with the "slip on" connectors. But, I definitely would not use this type of connector on higher powered equipment. In fact, for a permanent, or even semi-permanent, application I definitely would not even think of using the "slip on" connector.

    This type of connector is going to become loose over time which requires slightly bending the 4-sides inward with pliers, etc. Also, the "slip on" connector is very likely to disconnect because of all sorts of happenings including vibration, accidental contact, and so forth.

    The truth be known, the Type "N" connectors cannot handle as much power as the lowly PL-259 / SO-239 (UHF series) connectors. In the Type "N", the center conductor has only a fraction of the mass of the center conductor in the UHF connectors. On HF, the UHF connectors work just as well as the Type "N". However, as the frequency goes higher, then, for various reasons, the Type "N" performs better.

    The NFPA NEC ("National Electrical Code") requires that the coaxial cable shield be grounded at the point the cable enters the building. This is for lightning protection. The primary thing that arrestors accomplish is to get the shield grounded. Some, but not all, also help dissipate the static charge generated by the Van der Graaf action of the wind on the antenna as well as the energy from nearby lightning strikes. There are considerably cheaper methods of accomplishing both that comply with NFPA NEC. Putting a resistor from the center conductor of the cable to the shield eliminates Van der Graaf build up, etc., and grounding the shield with a conductor to ground satisfies NFPA NEC. The following illustrations show how to do this very inexpensively.



    Disconnecting the coaxial cable really doesn't do any good and, in many cases, can actually cause additional problems.

    Glen, K9STH
    K0UO likes this.
  9. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting statement. I would be interested in what you've seen. I know it's not practical at commercial tower sites, but I am unaware of any side effects from disconnecting coax on ham gear and either throwing it out the window or putting the coax end in a vary thick glass jar.
  10. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You did okay till you said that 'thick' glass jar. Not a good idea at all, sorry.
    K0UO likes this.

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