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UHF connectors? Come out of the dark ages !

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KU3X, Dec 23, 2017.

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  1. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Time for change. Don’t you think it’s time to change those junker UHF / PL 259 connectors in the primary station? UHF connectors are about 25 ohms and were invented, back in the 1940's to be used with radar. Pretty soon radios will be able to hear a Nat pass gas and see it on the pan adaptor but manufactures are still using those old UHF connectors.
    First of all, BNC’s are 50 ohms and super easy to use. I think ALL ham equipment, 500 watts or less should be using BNC’s. When it comes to little QRP radios, manufactures are finally using BNC’s, but I don’t thing it’s because they are 50 ohms or easy to use. Probably size is the issue. They are missing the point. For portable operating, I had to make my own small two position antenna switch for BNC’s. Try to find one on the internet.
    Did you ever reach behind a radio where it is hard to get to so you can attach a PL 259 and have a hard time getting the connector started? Then you have to make sure it’s actually on properly with the little dimples lined up on the SO 239. BNC’s are so much easier to use.
    For dependability, BNC’s win hands down. UHF connectors have a high failure rate compared to BNC’s. In the 42 years of my ham radio life, I have had numerous UHF failures. I have never had a BNC fail. Manufactures put N type connectors on radios when it comes to UHF, so why not BNC for HF ham gear?
    They can’t use the excuse that some hams don’t know how to put BNC’s on coax since lots of hams don’t know how to install UHF connectors. I have resolved my UHF connector failure by changing to crimp connectors. So now it’s time for manufactures to change to BNC’s. Let’s get out of the dark ages!
    Barry, KU3X
    KD8ZMN likes this.
  2. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    The industry I worked in it was BNCs, type N, or SMA. Never saw a PL-259. :)
    KA0GKT, KC3BZJ and N0TZU like this.
  3. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    BNC's have their own problems. For HF amateur work, PL259 is actually the best connector to use when all things are considered. Unless there is an overriding issue for small size, like in very portable equipment, the BNC offers no real advantage. They are inferior in a mechanical sense, and are prone to break more than PL259/SO239.

    UHF connectors have proven their mettle. There is no reason to change, absent some other need for small size.
    N4UP, K9ASE, K8PG and 4 others like this.
  4. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    So why does a lot of test equipment use BNCs in a rough environment...certainly more than hams? I never saw a BNC break...curious.
    KU3X likes this.
  5. W3WN

    W3WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    BNC connectors, when properly installed of course, are very easy to remove and/or put on. That would be my guess as to why you see them on so much test gear.

    And I’ve seen BNC connectors fail. Anyone who’d worked on a 10Base-2 network may have as well. Just takes one induhvidual who decided to move their desktop computer and pay no attention to the extra tension put on the cable... especially the crimped on ones. (And in all fairness, ones that were properly crimped with the correct tools were much less prone to fail... but that’s another story)
    N2EY and WU8Y like this.
  6. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    BNC has an advantage of easy/quick connect and disconnect. That is the main reason it is used on test equipment. I have seen plenty of BNC's break, especially the female connector.
    AJ6AH and WU8Y like this.
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In CATV work we have run the gamut. When I started in the early 70s they were still using UHF connectors on some older equipment.
    Nowadays, in a headend anyway, its almost all BNC since its mostly high speed data cables. The crimp on ones go on as fast as f-connectors.
    N7ZAL likes this.
  8. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just curious because I never saw a broken BNC in many thousands of applications...but it must happen somewhere at sometime. :)

    Back to the OP. I do use BNC connectors on my ham equipment as well as test equipment. No problem.
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    BNCs that fit RG-8 sized (0.405" diameter) cables are very hard to find.
    G8ADD, AE1P, VK4HAT and 4 others like this.
  10. G0JUR

    G0JUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    All my radio plugs have been changed to N type all sockets the same.
    W4JFA likes this.

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