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Author Topic: Best Coax Crimper?  (Read 4462 times)
W7APM
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Posts: 25




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« on: December 06, 2012, 01:07:18 PM »

Who sells the best coax crimper and fittings?

Thanks!
Marty
KL7AM
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K1AVE
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 01:32:50 PM »

I'm happy with the stuff I got at QuickSilver - great support too!
www.qsradio.com
73
Gene
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K0EKL
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Posts: 36




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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 02:28:35 PM »

Agreed; The crimping tool from QSRadio is very good.
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1377




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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 04:01:05 PM »

Who sells the best coax crimper and fittings?

Fortunately most crimping dies are getting standardized, I prefer crimp tools that use dies as one crimper handset can be used with lots of different types of dies. I use ratcheting crimpers with the little release lever in case I ratchet onto something bad (like the webbing between my thumb and fingers, it happened a long time ago and I still am in therapy over the incident <joke>).

A very popular (and fairly inexpensive) crimper die style looks like this; http://www.dcpwr.com/shop/images/Assortment,Crimper%20Dies.jpeg
There are many companies that make the crimper frames (handset) and the dies. Typical frames (handsets) may look like this;  http://www.pbase.com/image/94464268.jpg

The next step up (in price, 2-3x more) would be something like the RF Industries (the same people who make the Unidapt kits). These are sold in kits with varying numbers and assortments of dies;  http://fieldcomponents.com/graphics/00000002/RFA-4009-206.jpg

I am less impressed with the crimpers from Times Microwave (like for the LMR-400). They are non-ratcheting so you can end up with inconsistent results;  http://www.ripley-tools.com/IMAGES/Cablematic/CT240.jpg
Times Microwave brands it, so do other companies.

I own all three types of crimper styles, with a variety of styles, from a broad spectrum of manufacturers. I am partial to the RF Industries tools but I only want to buy a tool once and the cost of me going back out to fix a bad connection will pay for the right tooling. If I was in it only as an amateur I would go for what is affordable and gives repeatable results.

Cable prep with proper stripping to the right dimensions, no stray little pieces of shield or foil that is going to short things out. Not getting crazy with too much heat on the center pin (if you solder a PL-259 instead of crimp it) and taking your time to do it right will really pay off.

Crimped connections can get a bad reputation, usually it is the wrong type of crimper tool, bad technique or really cheap connectors. I do not suggest going for the $1.09 connectors sold in a giant bag, it is penny wise and pound foolish.

You did ask about "the best". Not the cheapest or the fastest.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
W0BTU
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Posts: 1561


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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 06:51:08 PM »

Who sells the best coax crimper and fittings?

For what type of coax?
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 03:46:44 AM »

I can't say "best," I've only been using a crimping tool for 6 months or so.  I've got this one:

http://www.hamcq.com/tools/crimping-tools-and-dies/coax-connector-crimper-tool-set-with-carrying-case/prod_473.html

This thing is GREAT, IMO.
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K3GM
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Posts: 1767




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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 08:25:06 PM »

I use Quicksilver's crimper and connectors.  They appear to be nearly identical High Sierra's (above).
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K0ACP
Member

Posts: 23




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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 08:55:18 AM »

I purchased the RF Industries kit that was described by K6AER in the article on crimped connectors here on eHam. 
At the time, I purchased the Crimp kit and the Times Microwave stripper/prep tool for LMR400, as well as the Times
LMR400 crimp connectors.  This may not be the cheapest soltuion, but from the first connector I used all were very
good connections and in three years of use, no a one has failed.  This is not a statistically significant sample, but for
me, I have found a very workable solution.  For the record, I have no affiliation with either Times or RF Industries other
than being a satisfied customer.

Here is a link to Mike's article : http://www.eham.net/articles/19257

73,

Art
K0ACP
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WB6DGN
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Posts: 584




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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 10:36:18 PM »

I agree with the others who recommended the RF Industries crimp tool set.  I bought mine while I was still working but, because I worked in the Portable shop, I had to pay for mine myself.  Still, with the quantity discount the shop got, the price was not much higher than some of the cheaper ones.
I use nothing but RF Industries connectors and I have never had a bad connection since I bought those tools.
The only negative that I have found is that, as of a year or so ago, they don't sell a die that will crimp the PowerPole products but the die sold separately by one of the PowerPole vendors sure looks as though it would fit.  Not quite ready to spend the money to find out for sure yet, though.
The kit I have consists of two handpieces with a different die in each covering almost all of the RF connections I'm likely to use.  As I recall, there are about six other dies available for other applications.  All in all, a very good set of tools.
Tom
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9888




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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 01:33:45 PM »

I got a heck of a deal on the complete coax crimping kit from High Sierra , the folks who also make the screwdriver antenna.  they got lots of other stuff too. nice folks, quick to ship and good stuff.
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W9GB
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Posts: 2597




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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 07:14:36 PM »

RF Parts sells the RF Industries kit: RFA-4005
(The RFA-4005 is supplied with one RFA-4005-020 crimping tool frame and two die sets, the RFA-4005-01 and the RFA-4005-02. All contained in a durable, padded, self-storage case.)
http://www.rfparts.com/coax_accessories.html

I picked my RF Industries Kit (w/carry case) in December 2008 for an embarrassing low price (single cents on $) on eBay (no bidders after 2 weeks).  Great Christmas gift!

RF Industries has strip instructions for each series of connectors with coax.
http://www.rfcoaxconnectors.com/

$60 gets you the RFA-4005-314 tool with DIE for LMR-400/9913, RG-213, and RG-8 (.405 OD coax)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 07:23:57 PM by W9GB » Logged
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