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Low cost coax connectors

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Oct 26, 2007.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Folks,

    The recent SMB vs SMX thread brought it up again: Suppose you must be in
    a much lower cost bracket. I often use <gasp> RCA, even at 100MHz. They
    work surprisingly well, especially if you terminate source and target so
    a wee reflection won't hurt. However, lately they must have stiffened
    the ground prongs and one client told me that they don't want them
    anymore. Over there we had to resort to pliers to unplug RCAs, else the
    fingers would become seriously calloussed.

    So, what's out there for under 50 Cents a pop and (unlike BNC) easy to
    mount onto RG174 and stuff like that? It doesn't have to be pretty or
    shiny, it's all inside of systems.
  2. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Maybe buy the RCA plug and jack from the same source ?:)

    ...Jim Thompson
  3. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Or type-F ??

    ...Jim Thompson
  4. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Mini phone plugs/jacks should be fine at 100 MHz.

  5. Cable TV hardware?
  6. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    For the slow leftist weenies, that's what type-F is that I mentioned
    earlier today.

    Sturdy versions, though, are NOT cheap.

    When I get back from some errands I'll photograph what I've been using
    to replace the old connections in the house.

    ...Jim Thompson
  7. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Can you put small coax, like RG174, into an F? They're usually used
    with big ugly 75 ohm cable, like RG59.

  8. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest


    You strip the coax pretty much in the usual fashion, but the
    "crimping" is different.

    The stripped coax slips in the blue end of the connector.

    The "crimper" actually forces the blue sleeve into the metal barrel
    squeezing the coax.

    (The Cox Cable technician, who introduced me to the method, says they
    are "weather tight".)

    Really easy to use, and the threaded portion turns easily, as opposed
    to how some conventional crimpers distort the barrel.

    Runs about 35¢ per connector when bought in Qty 50.

    Available at Lowe's ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  9. Mark

    Mark Guest

    a 3 pin header works surprisingly well. center cond to the middle
    pin and shield to both outer pins...

  10. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

  11. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    They're probably as good as RCA connectors.

    Radio Shack's new slogan is, "Do Stuff." Gag...
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    They are size-specific. Mine are for RG-6 and I know there were
    connectors at Lowe's marked for RG-59. It might be worth contacting
    the manufacturer to see if they're made for other styles of coax.

    ...Jim Thompson
  13. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    What kind of "stuff" are they planning on "doing" ?:)

    ...Jim Thompson
  14. Those work well with RG-6, but the RG-174 Joerg is working with might
    not crimp correctly. Sometimes, thin coax can be 'padded' with a heat
    shrink sleeve over the inner insulator and over the outer jacket. But
    the end product isn't going to be a precise fit.

    Sometimes the labor involved in making things fit costs more than using
    the correct connector system.

  15. We don't use word like that over here. Get folks seriously calloused
    over it.

  16. You're nuts.
  17. That will probably work fine until someone plugs a live AC wall wart
    into the plug and vaporizes your radio. I think they call that an
    "attractive nuisance" or "warranty magnet".

    About 25 years ago, my employer embarked on yet another bean counting
    cost reduction adventure. Someone decided that all the coax cables
    connectors going between boards was too expensive. So, I contrived a
    stamped, board mounted, receptacle. That by itself wasn't very
    interesting as those were already being sold by AMP. I eliminated the
    coax plug by simply tinning the coax cable braid and the center wire.
    We were using RG188a/u, which is the PTFE dielectric version of
    RG174a/u. Cut the end off squarely and remove the outer jacket. Tin
    the outer braid being carful not to let the braid bluge. Then run it
    through a rotary blade stripper to trim the tinned braid to length,
    expose some dielectric, and strip the center conductor. Tin the
    center conductor, trim, and you have the world's cheapest coax plug.
  18. RG-59 or RG-6. Never seen RG-174 "F" connectors.

  19. The new style DC power jacks would likely show better characteristics.
  20. They are quite cheap. You just have to know how to "source" them.

    Grab a cable TV installer dude, and he will likely give you a whole
    handful for a ten spot, or free even.

    It all depends on where you grab him ;-]

    Our cable system uses very high quality terminations.
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