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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 25th Feb 2021, 9:08 pm   #1
Sparks
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Default BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

I've not fitted many but I've mainly used the right-angle type with the screw connection, albeit soldering the centre conductor to an eyelet tag. Ive also used the solderless type with a grub screw to penetrate the coax screen. I never worked out how to fit the solderless type with the long hexagonal nut that you're meant to twist anticlockwise. I have some straight solder types en-route so I need to watch an assembly video first. I have never had a crimp type - I don't have the right crimping tool.

Overall, which would you say is the superior BNC ?
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 9:19 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

In times-past I dealt with installations that used tens of thousands of BNC connectors [RG62A/U coax for IBM 3270 display-terminals/cluster-controllers] and I always specified the crimp-type.

Same applied when speccing the old 'thinwire Ethernet' coax. But you need to use the right crimp-tools: different connector-brands have different crimp-tools and if you use the wrong crimp-tool you can get an indifferent, unreliable connection.

For personal RF-stuff these days I use the classic compression-gland type with the centre pin soldered to the coax-core. Good to 450MHz and 150 Watts of RF.

[Hint: if you're doing a lot of these, spring a few quid and buy yourself a set of the proper spanners for tightening the compression-gland. It avoids a hell of a lot of frustration!]
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 9:32 pm   #3
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

I would say that Greenpar are the king of RF connectors when it comes to quality and ease of assembly. Their compression gland plugs are the best.

There was a surplus supplier who used to attend some of the military shows years ago who had thousands of them for sale, I picked up a few from them one year. The following year I went back for some more, I was told that as they hadn't sold that many of them they had got an apprentice to open all the packs, take the metal parts out for recycling and skip what was left...
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 9:48 pm   #4
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Thankyou both. It is the compression gland type that I have bought. I can easily assemble Lemo connectors so I'm sure I'll figure out how to build these. Better than forking out for different crimp tools for only occasional use.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 9:55 pm   #5
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Agreed on the proper spanners, I've had these for years and they make assembling BNC and similar connectors a doddle
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 10:01 pm   #6
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

They are just ordinary AF spanners but thinner than normal. RS own brand are the best BNC plug.
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 10:46 am   #7
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

I'd second the crimp method. Any plug you can dismantle and reuse is obviously one that isn't meant for permanent connection - the only way to reuse a crimped plug is to replace it!
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 4:47 pm   #8
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

For the clamp type the ones with a "top hat" you push over the inner conductor are better than the "wrap the screen over a tapered washer" type. For ease of use (and up to a GHz ish) the right angle ones are the best, you can't loose the middle pin for a start and you don't need a special thin spanner either.
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 5:10 pm   #9
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

If you've got a lot to do, take a look at Neutrik crimp types- as with any crimp-type connector, you need exactly the right plug/collar and crimp jaws for the particular cable type, but I was very impressed with the Neutrik types. They are the folk who took a fresh look at the then somewhat ossified Cannon XLR types and transformed them and they have done a similarly good job on the long-running BNC connector.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 2:03 pm   #10
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

I have used good many BNC over the years so here's my two penn'orth.
For a fixed installations the crimp BNC cannot be beaten, but you must have the correct BNC and tools, both crimp and stripper, to match the cable. I don't think it matters whether the centre core is solid or stranded though I prefer stranded.
For cables that are going to be connected/disconnected many times ie patch/test leads then the compression gland type with the "top hat" braid connector I find the best as the clamps make good connection to both the screen and outer insulationr. Here I always use a stranded centre core and the cable is usually UR70 with RS matching plugs. Greenpar make/made and excellent set of spanners, and RS I think are the same.

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Old 1st Mar 2021, 4:46 pm   #11
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Greenpar were always my general "go-to" for RF connectors in days-past, except for semi-solid coax when it-had-to-be-Andrew.

Worth noting that Greenpar, along with AMP [who were once Amphenol, and before that "The American Phenolic Company] are now part of the Swiss-owned "TE Connectivity" family.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 4:52 pm   #12
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

AMP and Amphenol were different companies before their many takeovers.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 5:02 pm   #13
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Caswell View Post
I have used good many BNC over the years so here's my two penn'orth.
For a fixed installations the crimp BNC cannot be beaten, but you must have the correct BNC and tools, both crimp and stripper, to match the cable. I don't think it matters whether the centre core is solid or stranded though I prefer stranded.
For cables that are going to be connected/disconnected many times ie patch/test leads then the compression gland type with the "top hat" braid connector I find the best as the clamps make good connection to both the screen and outer insulationr. Here I always use a stranded centre core and the cable is usually UR70 with RS matching plugs. Greenpar make/made and excellent set of spanners, and RS I think are the same.

John
I've lost count of the number of patch and general test cords where one end of the cable was yanked out of the connector (tripped over etc). Crimps were no different unless exactly the right tool was used. I generally repaired them with compression BNCs with the top hat soldered to the braid. A bit tricky with polythene dielectric, but easy with teflon. No problem after that, and no measurable effect on the return loss either.
Am I the only one doing this ?
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 5:03 pm   #14
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Lots of recommendations for crimp types, they have two flaws (for us hobby types anyway)...
One, you can't reuse the connector unless someone has a stock of inner pins and outer shrouds.
Two, those crimp tools are obscenely expensive unless you use a cheapo job which may do a bad job.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 5:17 pm   #15
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrymagrec View Post
AMP and Amphenol were different companies before their many takeovers.
Hadn't realised that: the names were always used interchangeably in my world.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 2:37 pm   #16
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

AMP= Aircraft Marine Products.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 8:11 pm   #17
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Another vote for Greenpar soldered centre pin connectors with the 'top hat' braid contact, the only acceptable type of self-fit BNC IMO. If I have an application where the cable is going to be connected and disconnected a lot, then nothing less than pre-made cables with the BNCs manufactured / moulded onto the ends will do.

The ones with a tapered ring to trap the braid under are hopeless, and I have a deep distrust of any type of crimp connector, especially BNC ones, after a spell as a CCTV field engineer where they were the bane of my life.
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Old 3rd Mar 2021, 8:52 pm   #18
John_BS
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Other quality makes are Suhner and Radiall

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Old 3rd Mar 2021, 9:11 pm   #19
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

I worked in a major broadcast TV centre in London so as you can imagine we had many many thousands of BNC connectors, always crimp, always Suhner. Never a problem.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 7:56 am   #20
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Default Re: BNC plugs - which are best overall ?

Crimp.
Radiall.
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