RF plugs sockets, connectors, couplers, T-pieces, PL259, BNC, N-type, TNC, RCA phono, coax… There are so many types of RF connectors that I thought I’d list a few here. I’m starting with the lesser known types, some of which are rather peculiar! I have shed loads more but it will take me some time to list them all. I’ve included RCA phono plugs and sockets because, apparently, they were introduced in the 1930s by the Radio Corporation of America and used for RF connectors by Collins. Although normally associated with audio gear, they are very good low loss 50 Ohm RF connectors… Don’t shoot the messenger, this is what I’ve read!
Below, you can see the Collins and Heathkit RCA phono antenna sockets on the rear panels of their radios. Using phonos to connect the rig to an ATU is fine. You could even use RG316 coax, bottom right photo. RCA connectors are still used for ALC and RF between transceiver and linear amplifier. RG316 coaxial cable will cope with power up to 400 Watts. It’s mainly used for baluns and hook-up cables rather than long runs. The PTFE insulation doesn’t melt when soldered. The coax is 3mm diameter, the same size as RG174.
The first connector, below left, is a two pin PL259 plug. Is this for Twinax or Twinaxial cable? The centre pic shows a 3.5mm mono jack plug to an SO239 socket. Rather odd? On the right is an SO239 to an internally threaded sleeve.
On the left, below, is a push-on or quick release PL259 plug. The centre pic shows a PL259 plug to an internally threaded angled tube. On the right is a PL259 plug to an insulated piece of metal.
Below on the left is a PL259 plug to a lump of insulated metal. Centre shows a push-on or quick release PL259 plug to an SO239 socket. On the right we have a PL259 plug to an RCA phono socket.
Below on the left is an N type plug to an SO239. Centre below is an PL259 to two SO239 sockets. Right below is a T piece with three SO239 sockets.
Below on the left is a T piece BNC plug to two sockets. Centre below is an F shaped connector, one BNC plug to two sockets. Right below is a BNC chassis mount with angled socket .
Below on the left is an SMA plug to an SMA socket angled. Centre below is an SO239 socket to an SMA female. Right below is a PL259 plug to an SMA female.
Below on the left is an SO239 in line socket. Centre below is an PL259 to PL259 coupler. Right below is a PL259 to something?
Below on the left is a 300 Ohm car aerial plug and socket. Centre below is a Belling Lee coax plug. Right below is a Belling Lee coax chassis mount socket.
Below on the left is a coax plug coupler. Centre below is an RCA phono plug. Right below is an RCA phono plug to a BNC socket.
Out of interest, and not yet pictured, a TNC connector is a screw on version of a BNC plug.
More to follow…