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Author Topic: Waterproof quick disconnect pl259's?  (Read 7984 times)
VA2FSQ
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Posts: 511




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« on: June 12, 2012, 05:21:18 AM »

Hi,
Does anyone know if there are any quick disconnect pl-259's available?
I currently have my antenna coax going into an outdoor box which houses a ground bar, some lightning arrestors and a connection to a good 3 x 10' ground bonded to the electrical service panel.  So everything is by the books.
On the other hand, the best situation would be to disconnect the coax at the box, before it comes into the house, but in my case it is inside a sealed box (screws hold it together).  It would be great if there were some quick disconnects that I could put in-line in the coax as it enters the house.  That way, no lightning will make it inside.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Tom
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VA2FSQ
KA4POL
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Posts: 2028




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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 05:36:33 AM »

Google can be your friend: http://www.shortwavestore.com/kc259-pl-259-quick-disconnect.html
One of about 560 000 results.
The quality of the connection may, however, not be the best.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3900




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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 09:17:22 AM »

I have basically the same set up.  what I do is simple disconnect the lead in cables that has barrel connectors, pull the lead in cables to the house out of the box and slide them into a slot that passes the RG-8 but not the PL-259s which is all under an aluminum "roof."

It's all very simple.  Disconnect the wires, pull them out of the box, slide the cables into the slot which is protected from the weather and go into the house!

This is especially fun when I forget to unhook them and then have to do this with the aid of the lightning lighting up the process.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 10:07:24 AM »

How you going to keep the water out of the quick-disconnects? What about rotor or other control cables.

You wouldn't find me outside handling the cables, trying to disconnect them, with lightning flashing all around.

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VA2FSQ
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Posts: 511




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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 03:06:30 PM »

Sounds like too much work to do every day during lightning season.
I guess if I had a box that opened easy, then I could unscrew the two antenna connections I have.
I was thinking more of an in-line connection on the outside of the box that could be undone.
Sure there are 500k hits on google, but there are a few million hams that must have thought about this.
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VA2FSQ
W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 04:51:00 PM »

Hi,
Does anyone know if there are any quick disconnect pl-259's available?
I currently have my antenna coax going into an outdoor box which houses a ground bar, some lightning arrestors and a connection to a good 3 x 10' ground bonded to the electrical service panel.  So everything is by the books.
On the other hand, the best situation would be to disconnect the coax at the box, before it comes into the house, but in my case it is inside a sealed box (screws hold it together).  It would be great if there were some quick disconnects that I could put in-line in the coax as it enters the house.  That way, no lightning will make it inside.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Tom


In my opinion, quick disconnects are a bad idea to begin with and any thought of a repeated ON/OFF connection using such is just asking for problems. PL-259 quick disconnects are a leftover idea from the CB craze and have no place in ham radio. Most experienced ham ops would not consider using them.

If you must disconnect the coax often (or daily?) I would use a high quality PL-259 and wrap the connection with some black tape. It will take a couple extra moments to peel off the tape and reapply it but your connection will last much longer and most likely provide a lot less problems with good results (SWR, losses, etc.). Better yet install a proper grounding system with lightning arrestors / static discharge units and don't worry about it.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KC9AXZ
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 05:25:31 PM »

There are "slip-on" adapters available. They do make it easy to disconnect your radios in a hurry. I've taken care of doing a good job grounding my station, and have never disconnected for a storm.

Jon KC9AXZ
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 02:55:59 PM »

We've used the quick disconnect PL259's on antenna patch panels at radio technician's work stations for many years and that application has nothing to do with the "CB craze".  It makes it quick and easy to switch antennas, meters, service monitors and other test equipment in a service environment. 

They are NOT waterproof and the test bench setting is one of the few valid uses I can think of for them.

Terry, WØFM
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W5DQ
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 03:15:23 PM »


They are NOT waterproof and the test bench setting is one of the few valid uses I can think of for them.

Terry, WØFM

I agree with you but for typical station connectivity, I can't ever recall seeing anyone use QC PL259's. My reference to CB's comes from the use of the slide in/out mounts with built-in QC slip-on coax connectors for CB radios that were sold back in those days at the 2 CB shops I happened to work at while in college.

And BTW, I worked for a year or so at the Heathkit store in Dallas as a bench tech for ham gear and when I came onboard they had some slip-on PL259's of dubious quality on the bench gear and I quickly did away with those and went to regular quality screw-on type.  No sense in adding possible problems to an already problem laden kit in for service after being built by someone with "4 left thumbs".  Cheesy

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
AC5UP
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 04:21:19 PM »

I used to shop at the Heathshkit store in Dallas.

It was a low self esteem issue.

 Tongue
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Never change a password on a Friday                
W5DQ
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 04:27:55 PM »

I used to shop at the Heathshkit store in Dallas.

It was a low self esteem issue.

 Tongue

They paid for my rent, food and gas while going to college there (not direct but by way of a paycheck)

BTW how many 'left thumbs' do you have Smiley

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 07:21:42 AM »

Good points, Gene.  Our guys never used the QC 259's for any critical measurements or diagnostics, but for high volume bench testing at ever-changing frequencies they found them very helpful.  And yes, they did evaluate several crummy brands before finally agreeing on the connectors now in use.

For critical measurements, etc, the obvious choice is always "N" connectors at higher frequencies.  (Which are waterproof as the OP inquired about, but not Quick Connect).

Terry, WØFM
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WR0F
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 08:36:58 PM »

These on ebay are the best we have seen.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/360471533169  
AmericanRadioSupply.com      Unlike the cheaper cb quick disconnect these are single piece and not 2 piece junk. I use 9 of these on my 8 position ameritron   remote switch outside   . I did squeeze 2 sides of the Q D  just a tad for solid connections.
These are nowhere water proof being  as I am sure they were designed for inside use but mine fit nicely under my Ameritron RCS-10L  with the cover protecting them.
 

I have all my 8 coax , rotor control cable and remote switch box all grounded down by the tower with 8 Alpha Delta arrestors inside a large metal box made by www.kf7p.com and a 12 connector surge protectors for rotor and remote switch   . All this is grounded  with 2 + 3 inch copper strap with 8 ground rods total   with 4 ground rods around the tower. Then every 16 ft we have a 8 ft ground rod untill we reach the main ground of our electrical system. on North side of house    

Then we use quick disconnect cables at my outside remote switch dropping all cables to ground level  as well as unhooking the remote cable cable and rotor cable that come into the house. It is overkill on the unhooking the last part at remote switches and coax cable  but its a quick 10 seconds for  added lightning security and peace of mind    
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 08:43:06 PM by WR0F » Logged
K5LXP
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 07:03:52 AM »

With a proper lightning ground and suppression system, you shouldn't need to be messing around with disconnecting things all the time.  Indeed, there will be that one time you step out or forget, the lines will remain connected and this failsafe fails.

Most hams never do this.  Do it right and you won't have to either.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 08:06:09 PM »

I agree with Mark.

I live now where there isn't any lightning, but I've lived in places where there was a lot of it (especially in Jacksonville) and used to operate right through lightning storms.

Who wants to be disconnecting stuff all the time?  If you do everything properly, no reason to disconnect anything.
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