So NO to UHF Connectors

Say NO to UHF/PL-259/SO-239 connectors

OK I will be honest but I have to say it.

There is a kind of connector I just really really don't like and maybe even hate :

The widely used and famous PL-259 / SO-239 aka the UHF connector.

It appears almost on all modern HF equipment and sometimes even on VHF or UHF equipment (even though the limit is proven to be way less then 100Mhz). It's so general used and globally accepted in the hamradio world, that it's a lot of hamradio operators use it as the standard connector / socket in there shack and on there DIY equipment.

But why don't I like them ? I give you a general list :

  • they have a frequency limit of way less then 100Mhz (although some people say it won't link)
  • they have the bad habit to go tight
  • the threads and caps have the habit to get damaged
  • they are not waterproof (ok self-vulcanising tape can fixed that)

And my personal list :

  • can't really screw them on and off with gloves (I like to working in the field)
  • screwing them on and off takes a lot of turns so takes more time
  • it's design is Pre-WorldWar2, better designs are available now.
  • have I told you already that they don't like rain ?
More background info on the Pretty Lousy (PL-259) connector on this and this link.
But enough with the bashing. A few months a go I started to replace all my indoor PL-259 / SO-239 connectors / chassisparts / patchpanels with there BNCcounterpart. The reasons for this where simple (including the above) :

  1. I work only up to 23cm (when I every want to go higher indoor wil be SMA or N)
  2. don't use more power the 200W peak.
  3. change antenna's a lot because of having multiple transcievers, transmitters and recievers and other experiments laying around
  4. disconnect all my antennes when I'm not in the shack (dutch weather can have lighting from out of nowhere)
  5. like to work in the field so get wet sometimes
  6. I am energy efficient aka lazy, one 180dgr turn is better then ten 360dgr turns
  7. Like to keep it small on all my DIY equipment (SMA would also do see #5)
  8. it's a good standard (lot of measuring equipment uses BNC of N)

    My stationary antenna mast on the foof of my house isn't that big and because I like to build my own and experiment with different models, I exchange them a lot. That's why on all my stationary antenna's outside I use N type connector because they are low loss and above all weatherproof. So changing a antenna doesn't mean cutting away self-vulcanising tape and re-apply it after installing the new antenna. So all my antenna cables are equipped with N type connector and on the otherside of the cable they all have BNCc onnectors allowing easy switching antennes between equipment in the BNC standardized shack. A Win-Win situation.

    That doesn't mean I don't have equipment with the UHF style connector. My my FT-301, FT897D, FT817nd, FRG-7700 and my FT-227r still have them, but they are all stationary equipment which are hooked with low-loss patch cables to a BNC patchpanel making switching antenna's as light as feather.

    So :

    All of the above I my humble opinion and threaded as so. Readers should use the above on there own risk ;-)

    73 de Lex PH2LB