Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Amateur Radio How-To's

Is there an advantage to "N" connectors?

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Smurf Hunter:
I was cleaning out my garage and came across a really nice 20' length of LMR400 coax with N connectors.  I used it with an 802.11b (wifi) antenna I built many years back.  This was way before wifi at every starbucks and pretty sure we didn't call it "wifi" yet.  I vaguely recall at the time choosing "N" for that project because someone explained they were prefered for the very high 2.4GHz wifi frequencies.

For a new HAM like myself starting out with 2M/VHF, is there any practical upside to "N" connectors, or should I stay with the more common PL259 (forget the female designation)?  Seems most gear has PL259.

Hopefully this isn't like the "AR vs. AK" debate. 

Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: Smurf Hunter on May 16, 2014, 11:12:34 AM ---For a new HAM like myself starting out with 2M/VHF, is there any practical upside to "N" connectors, or should I stay with the more common PL259 (forget the female designation)?  Seems most gear has PL259.

--- End quote ---

According to this paper:
http://www.qsl.net/vk3jeg/pl259tst.html
don't worry about it at 147 MHz, but when you get up to 440, it starts to matter.

Carl:
There is a bit more strength and a bit less loss,but not enough to use expensive adapters that actually add MORE LOSS .

backwoods_engineer:
At HF, it doesn't matter.  At VHF and high power levels, and at UHF, the lower return loss (read: SWR) of the N connector over the "UHF" (PL-259/SO-239) connectors makes a difference.

If you want to use N-connector cables, just get hold of some adapters for your rig.  If you use N-connector cables, and you build antennas at VHF/UHF, use N female connectors on the antennas.

Carl:

--- Quote from: backwoods_engineer on May 23, 2014, 11:01:21 PM ---At HF, it doesn't matter.  At VHF and high power levels, and at UHF, the lower return loss (read: SWR) of the N connector over the "UHF" (PL-259/SO-239) connectors makes a difference.

If you want to use N-connector cables, just get hold of some adapters for your rig.  If you use N-connector cables, and you build antennas at VHF/UHF, use N female connectors on the antennas.

--- End quote ---

But does not adding an adapter just put loss and weakness back into your system?
I know the answer...the adapter just negates all advantage of the N connector.

N connectors are stronger,and have less an impedance 'bump' at VHF.

The higher the frequency,the more cables look like plumbing and more
important they are to system efficiency.Check out microwave wave guides...

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