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Author Topic: N type connectors  (Read 3258 times)
KK4AXX
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« on: December 02, 2012, 11:30:30 PM »

I'm pulling down my 2 Meter antenna for maintenance and was thinking of changing out the connectors to the N type while everything is down.  IF, that is it would be worth it over the long run.  To date I've had no issues with my system despite heat, humidity, nearby lightning, hurricanes, and squirrels.  I have a two foot length of RG213/U from radio to a pass-through.  From there is a 35 foot run to the current balun and vertical dipole.  A long trip it ain't!  So, considering all of the above, is it worth the time?  No complaints on performance as on most any day I can clear into stations @75 miles and have never yet brought my radio (FT-2900R) to its full power of 75W.

...and another thing.  Why, if N types are better do we not see radios with them?  Money, I suppose...
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G3RZP
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 01:05:16 AM »

N types are  nominaly weatherproof. PL259s can be weatherproofed, but if you have them sealed, I wouldn't bother changing.
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G4IJE
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 01:38:52 AM »

N-types are better than PL259s, but you need to use a lot of them to see (hear) the difference at 145MHz. My FT-8900R has an N-type connector, but I believe the USA model has an SO-239.
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K5KNE
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 10:26:28 PM »

I recently re-did my 80' tower and used 9913 coax.  I have some N Connectors on it, but I doubt that it was the extra time and trouble it took to learn how to put them on right.

You probably will probably never know if you have made your station any better with N Connectors over PL-259s.

Just enjoy hamming without trying to get everything perfect.
 
Walter  K5KNE
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K0IZ
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 03:24:33 PM »

As mentioned above, probably not worth it, except for the weatherproofing benefit.  I use the N-200 N connectors from RadioWorks.com.  They assemble like PL259's, easy.
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VE1GA
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 06:21:26 PM »


Manufacturers data frequently refers to the "N" Connector as being "weatherproof".  But as William Shatner (Weird or What) is often heard saying, "If you believe that, you'd be wrong".  There is indeed a rubber casket inside the male "N" connector which provides a limited degree degree of waterproofing. This is by no means a complete waterproofing. I've always believed describing this connector as waterproof is a misnomer.  Water can and will migrate into this connector and the attached coaxial cable. 

Always weatherproof your antenna connectors, including the "N" connectors. Professional installers know this and have their preferred methods. One I've experienced and which has been a proven survivor is this:

1.  an initial wrap with vinyl tape ( such as 3M Scotch 33 )
     followed by:
2.  a wrap with friction tape (such as 3M Scotch Temflex 1755 )
     followed by:
3.  a wrap with a self amalgamating tape (such as 3M Scotch 130c)
     followed by:
4.  a final wrap with vinyl tape ( Such as 3M Scotch 33 or 88 )

There are undoubtedly other methods which may work well. My experience has been limited to the rugged Maritime climate of Atlantic Canada. Desert climates could prove somewhat different. The "N" connector by itself is certainly NOT WATERPROOF in this environment.

73,
Leigh - VE1GA








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G3RZP
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 08:36:30 PM »

I 'waterproof' all external connectors with:

1. wrap of PTFE (Teflon) plumbers tape - makes it easy to break the connection if necessary, and stops the connector getting messy.
2. wrap of Coax Seal
3. wrap of electricians PVC tape
4. wrap of self amalgamating tape
5. wrap of PVC electricians tape
6. cover of heat shrink PVC shrunk down
7. Another layer of PVC tape.

Totally over the top, of course.  PL259s dealt with this way are clean, bright and shiny ten years later, and no water in the cable.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 10:04:22 PM »

That's a lot of layers and different types of tape!

I just use electrical tape stretch-wrapped a few times over everything, in addition to using clear, non-hardening silicone dielectric compound inside my outdoor connectors. Never had any corrosion or discoloration of the silver contacts even after taking them apart many years later.
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WB6DGN
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 03:21:05 AM »

Quote
There is indeed a rubber casket inside the male "N" connector...

I hear people are just dying to get some of those connectors!  Your typing is almost as bad as mine but I think I've still got you beat.  My typos are not as amusing as yours, though.
Tom
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VE1GA
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 01:43:00 PM »

... DGN:  Don't you just have have to love those over zealous "auto-correct" features to brighten your day!  Looks like it might be time to upgrade my reading glasses by another diopter before I get caught again!   TU de VE1GA



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WB6DGN
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 10:58:05 PM »

Quote
Don't you just have have to love those over zealous "auto-correct" features to brighten your day!

My pet peeve is when they insist on capitalizing a proper noun that I deliberately wrote lower case to make a statement!

Regarding the original post; I've had friends that have told me that I needed a rubber room, but the rubber casket is taking things to a whole new level!
Tom
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KB5ZSM
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 01:16:00 AM »

Don't quote me but as I understand it PL-259s have no impedance rating where as the 'N' connector does. I have seen 'N' connectors rated as 50 and/or 75 ohm. I have also been told that the PL-259s are used in lower frequencies such as HF where their losses won't be felt quite so badly due to their mismatch and that they're used because they're cheaper. 'N' connectors are better suited for the higher UHF frequencies as they don't pose such a high impedance mismatch.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 02:56:13 AM »

50 and 75 ohm N types are NOT mateable to other impedance without damaging the connector.

The mis-match on a PL259  is not that bad at 70 cms, and provided you don't have a string of them, it is unlikley that in practice you'll see a difference between ns and PL259s even there. For a proper power handling UHF connector, you need to go to DIN7-16.

N types have been found in multi-tx installations (such as cellular base stations) to give problems with introducing IMD. Again, as a ham, not something that's likely to bother you.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 07:53:27 AM »

I've got a Hustler G7-144 antenna which has an N type connector on it for a co-ax connection.  I simply got an N type to SO239 adapter and used a co-ax with a PL259 connector on it.  I then wrapped the whole thing with electrical tape to 'weatherproof' it.  However, the antenna spec sheet warns NOT to weatherproof the connection because moisture WILL drain through the area on the antenna where the N connector is.

I wrapped the connector from the knurled area of the adapter down to the cable anyway.  It's been up about eight years with a yearly take down for maintenance, and the connector is just as clean and dry as when I first put it up.  Tarnished a bit, but clean and dry.
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 05:54:24 AM »

N connectors are nice, and are much cheaper than they used to be.  However, I would not bother to switch to them for FM communications.
If you are doing "weak signal" work with VHF/UHF frequencies and LARGE antennas you might consider it.  Think multiple phased yagis on a 50 foot tower using CW/SSB on 430 MHz!
73s.

-Mike.
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