eHam

eHam Forums => Antennas and Towers and more => Topic started by: K7NSW on September 27, 2012, 08:18:33 PM



Title: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K7NSW on September 27, 2012, 08:18:33 PM
Need 100 feet coax with connectors installed.  Have always heard Belden coax is the stuff to get.  DX Engineering sells stuff with their name on it and says it is the best quality.  Same with ABR.  True?  They do not disclose whose coax they are selling.  Maybe Chinese junk and they give it a good warranty and then they pray it will not fail any time soon?  Should I trust them or buy a spool of Belden and make my own?  I am putting up a GAP Voyager vertical for 160 -80 - 40- 20 meters QRO 1200 watts.  213 mil spec seems like the stuff I want.  Putting on PL-259 connectors.  What do you think?


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: N8CMQ on September 27, 2012, 08:30:05 PM
Quality has always been a concern with coax.

I bought a short jumper one time and it was too long, so I cut it in half.
When I stripped off the outer jacket, the braid was less than 50% shielding...
Needless to say, I removed the connectors and used good coax to build the jumper.

Belden, amphenol, and other makers give you specs in the catalogs for their coax.
The new stuff, like RG6 has a dual braid/foil shielding, but the impedance is 75 ohms.

I buy mine from Newark and Allied, as I can trust them to sell me what I ask for.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K5TR on September 27, 2012, 10:53:00 PM
Need 100 feet coax with connectors installed.  Have always heard Belden coax is the stuff to get. 

In my station I have pretty much settled on Davis RF BuryFlex as the only RG-8/213 size coax I use. The only UHF connectors that I use are Amphenol 83-1SP connectors.  They make a number of connectors with similar numbers.  I only use the 83-1SP version.  If there are numbers or letters after the 83-1SP is is a different connector.

This one:
83-1SP

Not these:
83-1SP-15RFX
82-1SP-1050


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K5FEX on September 28, 2012, 04:25:56 AM
I've been very satisfied with supply from the Coaxman. Don't have shipping due to being close to his place.  Has a website: www.coaxman.com

Check him out, you won't be sorry.

Wayne
K5FEX


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: N4NYY on September 28, 2012, 05:32:06 AM
I have used Buryflex. I think it is indestructible. The biggest problem I have with 9913 is that it does not liked to be stripped with the DX Engineering tool, nor the conventional coax stripper.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: KK5J on September 28, 2012, 06:22:09 AM
My comments FWIW. Im in 100% agreement with K5TR. I go with 83-1SP original Amphenol connectors. Might consider JSC for your RG213. If I recall, they are an American company with many years of manufacturing cable here. I really like Beldon cable, but they are always much higher in price than everyone else. I think its more to do with brand name recognition than quality. Times Microwave is good quality and manufactures more than just the LMR coax. You can find that and more at Davis RF.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K5LXP on September 28, 2012, 07:09:00 AM
They do not disclose whose coax they are selling.  Maybe Chinese junk and they give it a good warranty and then they pray it will not fail any time soon?

I went through this with a well-known amateur coax and wire supplier a while back.  I inquired about a specification for one of their coax cables and the upshot of it was they couldn't tell me, because their supplier (not named) wouldn't spec it.  In other words, if you want spec cable, buy it from someone that guarantees the performance and can supply you with a data sheet and a warranty.   Anyone can get house branded cable and quality can be all over the place, so in that case you'd want a vendor you can trust.  Or, go for the premium name brand stuff (Times, Belden, et al) and there shouldn't be any question at all. 

But you may be paying for performance you don't really need.  It works out for many applications, a few tenths of a dB or 90% vs 95% shield isn't going to matter at all and a cheaper cable will work just as well as a premium cable.  It's not like the cheaper stuff is really "bad", it's just not guaranteed to meet a tight spec.   So it really depends on the application what level of cable performance you really need. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM




Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K5KNE on September 28, 2012, 07:43:39 AM
I use Belden.  You may pay a little more for it, but considering you want it to perform and last for years - go first class.
 
Good Luck   Walter, K5KNE


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: W5WSS on September 28, 2012, 07:59:58 AM
Yeah longevity and performance two different considerations.

I know the Amphenol does both and the Times or Beleden also.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: NJ3U on September 28, 2012, 08:06:16 AM
Buy the good stuff once and be done with it.  I would suggest Belden 9913 from Joel @ RFConnection in Maryland.  Great vendor, prompt service, you can see him in person at many East Coast HFests.  He will provide terminated lengths or DIY supplies  - call him directly @ Joel -1-800-783-2666

Amphenol and Belden - once and it's done.

http://www.therfc.com/9913f.htm

The 9913 is great for the HF bands and will certainly handle full legal limit.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: KB2HUK on September 28, 2012, 08:40:24 AM
I have ordered jumpers premade by ABR and was very satisfied with the materials and construction check out there ad here on Eham .  John Molenda kb2huk


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: N6AJR on September 28, 2012, 10:40:47 AM
I buy  spools of coax and wire when I see a "deal" on them.  one time I got 2300 ' of lmr 400 delivered for $600, and I bought four 500 ' spools of RG8x at 87 bucks a spool delivered, and so on.

  I get 1000' spools of 16 and 18 g Teflon coated  hook up wire for 5 bucks a spool when ever I see them, and such.

 I even pick up weird stuff, like a thousand feet of rg 174 ( tiny stuff) for making point to point connections in side a  piece of gear, and rg 6, 58 and 59 which is often used to make coils and such.

 I even got 1000 foot of rg59 receive only coax ( cable TV stuff, ) it makes great radials  for a vertical antenna. I also grab connectors when I find them cheep, ( I just got 122 N connectors for LMR 400 for $150 shipped.

 so I always have something here to build a cable from and also can afford to give a 50 chunk to a new ham for his first outside antenna. 


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: G0VKT on September 28, 2012, 01:09:15 PM
Quote
Need 100 feet coax with connectors installed

Why can't you fit your own connectors? We are Hams. We are supposed to do practical stuff.
Fitting connectors is so basic that if you can't do it then I wonder why you are on the air!

I do not mean any offence, but this is taking plug and play ham radio to another level!
At least if you fit them yourself you will have an appreciation of what good coax looks like.

Paul.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: AD5ZC on September 28, 2012, 01:35:00 PM
Quote
Need 100 feet coax with connectors installed
Fitting connectors is so basic that if you can't do it then I wonder why you are on the air!

Having basic social skills in a social hobby is so basic one has to wonder why YOU are on the air!


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: KK5J on September 28, 2012, 02:20:20 PM
G0VKT
If you read the original post, he intends to prep his own cables. That is why we all added comments on the Amphenol connectors. He just wants to stretch his dollar and get the best value of cable.

However, you also make a very good point.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: WB2WIK on September 28, 2012, 02:43:12 PM
FWIW, Belden and Times (and a few others) are actual manufacturers; many other "brands" are just private labels on cable made by factories not owned by the brands.

However, "Certified Quality" from the Wireman, "Buryflex" from Davis RF and many other private label products are very good, as they seem to maintain quality.

RG-213/U that is real "mil-spec" RG-213/U made by anybody should be nearly identical to all other real RG-213/U.  I've seen small variations in flexibility due to different jacket compounds used, but they are all nearly the same.

There are many "RG8" type cables that are all over the map with regard to materials, construction and quality.  Many I've seen and measured aren't any kind of RG8, they're just labeled that way.  Some have undersized center conductors (saving a bit on copper costs) and aren't even 50 Ohms, they're closer to 60.  Usually won't make much difference, except they'll have more attenuation due to the smaller center conductor size.  Many are foamed dielectrics of various sorts.  Some like 9913 use a spiral and sleeve of solid PE with air in between, leading to a much larger center conductor that works with PL-259s but may not work with some other connectors.  (LMR400 and its clones also have an oversized 9.5 AWG center conductor; RG8 "foam" should be 11 AWG, regular RG-213/U is 13 AWG.)

The "low loss" cables in the 9913/LMR400 families are all double shielded and the real RF outer conductor is the aluminum-mylar foil, not the outer braid, so braid coverage isn't quite as important with those.  But more braid provides better connector contact area and more strength for clamp connectors.

I usually buy NOS (surplus, unused) mil-spec coax from govt surplus houses.  It's about half the price of "new" and very high quality.  Most isn't very old, and has been stored indoors in a dry environment, so it's the same as new.



Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: W5WSS on September 28, 2012, 03:43:26 PM
Yeah 25 years ago I aquired 100ft of some RG-214 with Amphenol 83-1sp uhf PL-259 connectors that was installed indoors never outside linking an indoor panel bulkhead to the indoor equipment. and still have and can use if the need arises.

The coaxial cable is as afficient now as it was when it was made.

I will use it.



Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K7NSW on October 04, 2012, 05:35:58 PM
ME AGAIN: thanks to all of you for your thoughts and referrals to suppliers.  TO G0VKT: I am not offended.  Well, maybe a little.  Your wording is a bit harsh but I have often said the same thing to myself when I have bumped into appliance ops here and elsewhere.  If anyone is interested, I have been a ham going on 52 years.  For many years I refused to send out any signal that did not originate in a transmitter I built.  My first 3 stations I built everything.  Yes, the complicated stuff was HeathKit but I still built it.  I am now in the fall of my life and enjoying my made in America Ten-Tec stuff.  I have soldered my share of PL-259s onto big and small coax.  I try too hard to do a "good job" and usually over-heat the connector when working on the shield.  I get real nervous when I see the dialectric getting mushy.  I have visions of the center conductor migrating through the gooshy hot dialectric towards the braid.  YIKES!!!  I now have a nice amplifier (T-T pair of 3-500s) and am very "touchy" about getting decent coax and connectors so my amp does not arc to ground.  I feel no guilt about ordering a factory made xmsn line for my new antenna.  Thanks again and best 73.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: W8JI on October 04, 2012, 05:44:19 PM
I you have a wet sponge handy, and use a big hot iron, and file or scrape the connector shell, it is damn easy to solder.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: KI4SDY on October 04, 2012, 06:05:06 PM
The only coax I have ever bought in my lifetime that I felt was substandard is a jumper length of 8x from Cable X-Perts I used to wind a balun with. I noticed the outer casing was a little soft. Later inspection revealed that the cable was distorting and almost melting in the hot Florida summer sun.  8)

A few weeks ago, I found the reason my antenna was dead. The PL259 connector installed by Cable X-Perts had released from the cable and was no longer connected.  :o

I have reattached another PL259 connector with a superior method to the one used originally by the maker of the cable and it is working fine, but I will not buy any more cable from Cable X-Perts.  >:(

You are forwarned!  :(


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: K7NSW on October 06, 2012, 05:42:59 PM
TO W8JI: thanks for the suggestion.  I inherited an old style electric soldering IRON.  This thing has the old style cloth wrapped electric cord and a lot of steel/iron wrapped around a wedge tip.  Has a wooden handle.  If you are an old timer you probably know exactly what I have. This baby is a big heavy heat sink that stores a lot of it and dumps it into the solder joint.  It might be just the trick to get into and out of a PL-259 shell without doing a lot of collateral damage.  I recognize the practice of roughing up the surface of the connector.  I used to do that when they were nickle plated - otherwise the solder simply ran off like water.  The silver plated connectors I have used recently do not seem to need it.  But I will give it a try.


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: W9GB on October 06, 2012, 08:16:52 PM
Quote from: K7NSW
Need 100 feet coax with connectors installed
Pres Jones, N8UG will do that for any coaxial cable you purchase from The Wireman.  He has been offering that service for elderly, handicapped, and amateurs in a hurry for over 30 years that I have known him.
http://www.thewireman.com/

Quote from: K7NSW
 I inherited an old style electric soldering IRON.  This thing has the old style cloth wrapped electric cord and a lot of steel/iron wrapped around a wedge tip.  Has a wooden handle.  If you are an old timer you probably know exactly what I have. This baby is a big heavy heat sink that stores a lot of it and dumps it into the solder joint.
AMERICAN BEAUTY.  
Still made in USA for Coppersmiths, artisans, and Stained Glass industry.
https://www.americanbeautytools.com/site/models/si

BTW, they still provide replacement tips, parts and perform service.
They can put a new handle and cord on older irons -- as needed.
https://www.americanbeautytools.com/site/repair

American Beauty Soldering Tools
c/o Assembly Technologies International, Inc.
1177 West Maple Road
Clawson, MI 48017-1059
United States   
Toll Free - (800) 550-2510
Main Line - (248) 280-2810
Fax Line -(248) 280-2878
Email - info@americanbeautytools.com

===
SOLDERING EDUCATION
https://www.americanbeautytools.com/site/bulletin


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: WA2OLZ on October 07, 2012, 05:59:06 AM
I have been quite pleased with Times Micro LMR-400 UltraFlex coax. It's excellent quality. There are some places one EBay that will provide it with your choice of connector types nicely installed.

73/
Jack


Title: RE: WHOSE COAX TO BUY?
Post by: AB4D on October 07, 2012, 11:57:16 AM
I recently purchased 600 feet of Davis Bury Flex, after looking at everything that is available.  The cable looks just as good as any of the Belden and Times stuff I've purchased in the past.  The reason I did not go with Belden again, they still use less durable PVC or PVC blend outer shells.  Times and Davis both use tougher PE outer shells.

Davis is the "House Brand" coax for Davis RF. I understand, the Bury Flex was specifically designed with the amateur market in mind, with an expected life span of 20 years.  Davis RF consulted with Pres Jones "The Wireman Inc." and Advanced Digital Cable during the design of Bury Flex.  IMO, it's about the best thing out there right now.  If you are buying from the The Wireman, some of his offerings is coax from Davis RF.  I've dealt with The Wireman as well when buying coax and wire, and it is another great source of materials for the amateur market.

http://www.davisrf.com/amateur.php

73