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Aircell 5 Co-ax


#1

Hi all

I’m looking to replace the 5m of RG58 I’ve been using for portable 2m/4m use with something less lossy. I’ve noted the Aircell 5 cable sold by Nevada, which claims to be good up to 6 GHz. Just wondered if anyone has used any for portable use? It does seem to be pretty flexible for coiling up. Also, are standard RG58 size connectors ok for it?

73
Jonathan
M6HBS


#2

In reply to M6HBS:

Hi Jonathan,

At the length of coax you require the losses will be pretty neglible. Though if that’s the route you have chosen then this link may be of use :-

http://www.diodecomms.co.uk/

You will find cable and connectors and Terry who runs it is a great guy.

73 Chris 2E0FSR


#3

hi JONATHAN

I USE AIRCELL 5 + THE 259 PLUG MADE BY THE SAME MANUFACTOR SUPPLIED BY NAVARD.THE PLUGS FIT THE CABLE SPOT ON,THE CABLE IS LESS FLEXIBLE THAN RG58 BUT COILS UP NICELY TO GO IN RUCKSAC (RECOMENDED).

                       73 COLIN G4UXH

#4

In reply to 2E0FSR:

At the length of coax you require the losses will be pretty neglible.

Agreed Chris. Though if you are thinking eventually of adding the higher bands Jonathan, the Aircell is good stuff. (But not with PL259 coaxial banana plugs.)

73
John GM8OTI


#5

In reply to GM8OTI:
Thanks all.

John - Yes, I’ll probably use it for 70cm too. As for plugs, I’ll probably use BNC connectors, although I’ll need to use an adapter for one of my antennas which has an SO239 socket.

73
Jonathan
M6HBS


#6

In reply to M6HBS:

Change the SO239 for a BNC trailing socket. The biggest problem with PL259 connectors is not the loss, often not as bad as rumoured but the completely naff way the coax is connected to them. (At this point someone is already starting to type their reply about how they have a sure-fire way to connect the coax and how actually connecting BNC/N connectors is harder than a PL259.) But let’s face it they’re the almost perfect example of tat.

Yes you can make a good job, yes you can buy quality PL259s. But the effort involved in fitting them correctly and the cost of decent ones is such that you may aswell use a connector that doesn’t make anyone with a modicum of engineering sense cringe. Compared to fitting N or BNC connectors PL259s are just so bush league. Nothing says “failure comes as standard” more than seeing a UHF antenna with a long run of RG58 terminated in a PL259 with a paxolin insulator. (They’ll be half way through typing their sure-fire PL259 fitting instructions by now.) There’s also the weight advantage… BNC connectors are significantly lighter than a PL259.

The PL259… the chocolate brown, rusty Austin Allegro of the RF connector world.

Andy
MM0FMF


#7

In reply to M6HBS:

Jonathan,

I agree entirely with Colin’s comment about this type of coaxial cable. Being semi-rigid it is far far easier to handle in cold or windy conditions than RG58. I use 5D-FB cable with BNC’s fitted and it is brilliant. Even though I only use a 5m length, it has a definite advantage on 70cms; even more so on 23cms.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#8

In reply to MM0FMF:
Andy

My first ever car being an Austin Allegro, I know exactly what you mean there…

The 2m antenna I’ve just made has a BNC trailing socket and any future homebrews will go the same way I think.

Jonathan
M6HBS


#9

In reply to MM0FMF:

While I of course agree somewhat with Andy. I have had far more trouble with BNC and N type plugs. I find them extremely fiddly to make up and to connect together. It always takes me ages to connect an N-type and BNCs are small and tricky with cold fingers or gloves.

I have had numerous occasions when I thought an N-type was connected okay but it had cross threaded and the centre pin was not making contact. I have had several cases of the centre pin breaking and remaining in the socket on both N and BNCs. The broken pins are then almost impossible to remove and the socket is then useless even if you have a spare cable. BNC’s seem to like to fall apart on me too, even when they have been sitting on the test lead of an oscilloscope in a box.

The biggest problem I have had with N and BNC plugs is coax stretching due to wind loading. The outer stretches more than the inner and the centre pin pulls in to the plug, resulting with an open circuit to the socket.

In conclusion all RF plugs and sockets are of poor design. It is time someone went back to the drawing board.

73 Steve GW7AAV

…and before someone mentions connector quality, I have used all the supposed good ones.


#10

The biggest problem with PL259 connectors is not the loss, often not as bad as rumoured but the completely naff way the coax is connected to them.

Compared to fitting N or BNC connectors PL259s are just so bush league. Nothing says “failure comes as standard” more than seeing a UHF antenna
with a long run of RG58 terminated in a PL259 with a paxolin
insulator. .

The PL259… the chocolate brown, rusty Austin Allegro of the RF connector world.

Andy
MM0FMF

Andy I could not agree with you any more! The above comments made me smile somewhat!

I have already voice my opinions on this site with regards PL-259! They really are the most vile things used for radios!

Why we have to put up with them on every single mobile/base radio I have no idea! I recently purchased a transverter for 4m and paid the the manufacturer an extra 5 pounds to fit N types! Just wish the Icom/Yaesu and Chinese made radios would fit Ns/BNC or TNC as standard! TNC would be a great choice of plug on the hill! Screwthread and lightweight!

Anyway have fallen off the soapbox, good luck with the Aircell! I am sure it will work well fo you!

73 Matt 2E0XTL


#11

In reply to 2E0XTL:

In my ‘All for a point’ post earlier, I described how I had strip my radio from Butser Hill and nip off to Portsmouth (to Navada Radio) for a bit of help before returning to go QRV. This all because my trusty N type connector had failed me!! Guess what, replaced with an N type to a PL-259 converter.

Anyway, I bought some Aircell 7 when I was there. It is, no doubt, good cable but is also quite expensive and not as easy to fold up and tuck away in the bag. Not recommended. I might try some Aircell 5 myself but for the 5m length I am using, the losses in RG58U are probably small.
Regards
Dave


#12

In reply to M0TUB:

This all because my trusty N type connector had failed me!!

That’s most unusual Dave. The only time I’ve had an N type failure is when I’ve used a plug spec’d for UR67 in conjunction with RG58 cable and then only rarely has a problem occured. I shouldn’t be such a cheapskate and resolve to buy the right version for my patch leads!

Anyway, I bought some Aircell 7 when I was there.

You get what you pay for. For more serious 23cms portable work I use a 4m length of LMR400 with the correct N types fitted which was quite expensive, but it works extremely well. Low loss is essential when running simple equipment developing just a few hundred milliwatts and with the RX front end in the transverter, not at masthead.

I don’t use PL259’s above 30MHz - haven’t done for the past 30 years when someone whispered into my ear…

73, Gerald G4OIG


#13

In reply to G4OIG:

I really should measure the performance of a PL259/SO239 combo sometime. I suspect that RF-wise they are not as bad as people make out but like Andy I think that their weakness is their poor mechanical design which leads to premature failure

I well recall, as a lad, visiting G2FNW - a 23cm pioneer. He used Belling Lee connectors throughout.

I seem to use SMAs most of the time these days.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#14

In reply to 2E0XTL:

Why we have to put up with them on every single mobile/base radio I
have no idea! I recently purchased a transverter for 4m and paid the
the manufacturer an extra 5 pounds to fit N types! Just wish the
Icom/Yaesu and Chinese made radios would fit Ns/BNC or TNC as
standard! TNC would be a great choice of plug on the hill! Screwthread
and lightweight!

I think I ought to point out that this side of the Atlantic (but not the other!) N-type sockets are fitted as standard for the 2-metre and 70-cm outputs of the FT857D and FT897D - and I find them a ruddy nuisance, an SO-239 adapter sits permanently in mine! Some Americans moan because of the 239 socket for V/UHF on their rigs - they don’t know how lucky they are!

Look, guys, you don’t have to buy paxolin plugs, other materials are easily available! Also I never use compression fittings, the braid is twisted into a pigtail, fed out through the side hole and quickly soldered in place with a hefty soldering iron. Simples! I have had N-types pull apart under stress, the pins are woefully delicate on BNCs, but the 259 seems pretty bomb-proof to me.

Oh well, as they used to say, different strokes…

73

Brian G8ADD


#15

In reply to G3CWI:

Yes Richard, the Belling-Lee connector was ubiquitous in the 60’s. I don’t think there was much else available at the time other than binding posts. Over the years things gradually improved. I remember being given some gash UR67 which was a considerable step up for me as it was quite expensive to buy new. I had to hunt down secondhand N types at rallies. Then the next year some gash FHJ2 came off a tower (complete with the paint it had acquired while in situ) and was passed onto me, fortunately with a couple of N types to suit - it is still in use at home. Now we are truly spoilt by the range of coax available which offers good performance and yet is comparatively lightweight and low cost.

As for SMA’s, their prime function is for interconnecting equipment and I wouldn’t really consider them for portable use. However, I have to use them on the 23cms and 4m stations because the handhelds are fitted with them and they are an absolute pain when it is cold.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#16

In reply to G8ADD:

N-type sockets…I find them a ruddy nuisance, an SO-239 adapter sits permanently in mine!

Hmmm, my SO-239 sockets have N type adaptors fitted to them. :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG


#17

In reply to G4OIG:

Now come on Gerald, That’s just silly :wink:

73,

Mark G0VOF


#18

In reply to G0VOF:

It’s what you call an upgrade Mark. If something goes wrong you can blame it on the rig as having been fitted with the lowest grade connector! :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG