View Full Version : Ham antenna cable?

05-05-2010, 11:38 AM
...after CM2010 I'm so incredibly sold on this Ham thing. with my 40's interior all ripped out, I think I want to run antenna cable to prep for the impending radio addition.

is Ham antenna Coax the same as CB coax? and do you attach with the basic pl259s? (I think I remembered that number correctly)

05-05-2010, 11:50 AM
Yes. PL-259. If you buy separate, get true Amphenol connectors. Not radio shack.

My :twocents: is buy the antenna you want. They usually come with the run of coax, with the end at the antenna side there. Otherwise, you will be mad because you bought coax that needs to be ripped out and replaced. Unless you do the homebrew 2M antenna, then a straight run of coax will be easy to connect.

05-05-2010, 12:15 PM
thanks Groucho. just the info I'm needin'. I'm going away next week for a real vacation and the preferred reading will be the Ham book.

05-05-2010, 02:56 PM
...after CM2010 I'm so incredibly sold on this Ham thing.


I felt bad when we were in the gas station parking lot and you held up your CB mic :hill: - I did plug my CB mic back in and tried to call you a few times, not sure if you ever heard me...I know I need to tune my CB antenna but it still doesn't hold a candle to HAM. I was listening to Red Chili and Hants discussing the road ahead and options when they were between Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs coming back from CM10. I was on C470 near 285 :)

05-05-2010, 03:19 PM
...I totally need to be part of that. I did catch your "road report" as I was in the canyon. Thanks!!

Bruce Miller
05-06-2010, 09:18 AM
The coax you want for mobile, 2 meter work is RG8X. HRO sells it by the foot, if it didn't come with the antenna you bought. But first, go to K0BG.com (kilowatt zero bravo gulf) and scroll down on the menu on the left hand side to "Coax and PL259's". Try to purchase silver plated, Teflon PL259's. There are a lot of cheap imitations and you will find that going cheap will be to your disadvantage when you solder the PL259 to your coax. I used to buy PL259's at HRO but they're not the real Amphenol brand.

We need to have a soldering class somewhere, sometime. Soldering PL259's isn't easy especially if you try it without some coaching.

Don't forget your VOM, too. Got to check your work.

05-06-2010, 10:39 AM
FWIW, the last batch of Amphenol UHF connectors I bought seemed to be the same as HRO is selling. You have to watch part numbers to get 'good' Amphenol, which is sold as Amphenol RF. The ones sold as Amphenol-Connex are their cheap line and generally made overseas. The part number you want for general purpose PL259-type connectors is 83-1SP-1050 or 83-1SP-15RFX and reducing adapter (for RG-58) is 83-185-RFX.

If you buy to part number 182121 (which was my mistake) you will get Connex and those in my experience are exactly what you get at HRO. They are still better than Radio Shack, but not quite what you expect from Amphenol. BTW, I get them from Newark or Mouser, they get $2/each for qty 1 and give bulk discounts at 10+, but usually electronics distributors have a minimum buy of $25. If people want I have a Newark account and get stuff sent to me here at work, which shaves a little off the regular price because of the nature of our Newark (and Digikey and Arrow) accounts.

BTW, not all RG-58, RG-8, etc. cable is the same. Those designations define characteristics but do not define quality. So the Belden RG-58 is fine for what it is compared to Chinese-made junk RG-58. So an off brand RG-8 might actually be less desired to a known RG-58 even. Spend the extra money to buy name brand cable.

Even with Amphenol you risk getting ones that seemed to have missed a QA step...



05-06-2010, 10:53 AM
I would wait til you decide what to get. Some of the antenna's have wiring with them, not that you couldn't re-solder things but it's not that hard to run cable, esp in a 40. I've learned that if you try to do something early you may be doing it over again anyway.

05-06-2010, 11:03 AM
I would wait til you decide what to get. Some of the antenna's have wiring with them, not that you couldn't re-solder things but it's not that hard to run cable, esp in a 40. I've learned that if you try to do something early you may be doing it over again anyway.
It's been my experience that you run cable many, many times anyway. Changing this, relocating that, different radios, different antennas, different mounting locations. I've gone from 3/8" bolt to NMO for the CB, various NMO places for the 2/70, right now a 3/8" for the HF but that could easily change to a SO239 if I was to get an ATAS120 or something. I'm still lousy at soldering PL259s just the same, but the quality of the braid makes ALL the difference there and since I can usually get a Larsen RG-58 mount soldered to a PL259 I think I'm not bad (they seem to use like to use mediocre coax from the factory). I once switched coax on an NMO mount but mostly I'm just lazy and leave what they put on because another thing I've found is that in your truck coax does not last forever and needs to be replaced once in a while (you DO check your feedlines periodically, right?). Mostly corrosion of the connections and break down of the dielectric from heat and flexing over edges kills coax. Best piece of equipment I've added was the MFJ-269, which gives you a distance to mismatch and sure enough the spot where you had to bend the coax around the evap canister or under the dash or whatever is an impedance discontinuity because the foam cracked in the coax...

05-08-2010, 08:32 PM
Here ya go Shawn, a mag mount antenna and coax, well worth $24.. http://denver.craigslist.org/ele/1718657238.html

edit: and a cheap radio for the 40: http://denver.craigslist.org/ele/1698569677.html

that's a $150 setup... ;)