Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

CB and Ham Radio Techs Love Their Bird Wattmeters

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Let's see what the hammer damners say.

This one claims there is no measurable difference:

This one thinks it's a Apple vs PC, Red vs Blue, Ford vs Chevy thing.   "An argument that really has no answer, but people think they know the answer, and what answer they have is held firmly and vigorously."    This is going to be good.... :-DD

He claims in Europe everything is N.  USA used the old UHF connector.   Makes sense.  We can't even sort out the metric system here.   After watching,  I'm thinking to swap out the N's on all of my test equipment for the old 1930's UHF connectors so I can be more American!  USA USA   :-DD :-DD

Measure your silver ones and lets see what you get.   


--- Quote from: joeqsmith on September 27, 2023, 03:16:10 pm ---This one thinks it's a Apple vs PC, Red vs Blue, Ford vs Chevy thing.   "An argument that really has no answer, but people think they know the answer, and what answer they have is held firmly and vigorously."    This is going to be good.... :-DD

--- End quote ---

He talked a lot, showed some drawings, but didn't show any data to back up his opinions. I figured that was going to be the case before I even watched it.  ::) An argument that has no answer he says? Red vs Blue, Ford vs Chevy? PC vs Mac? Ridiculous!  >:(

I found some graphs that show some very good data (S21 & others). The site is here -

The insertion loss plot shows that the N connector is clearly better than the PL-259 (UHF) connector (SMA and TNC are even better), particularly at the 220 MHz ham band and above. N connector probably gets to a max insertion loss of 0.3 dB @ 580 MHz and doesn't get any worse all the way to 1 GHz.
The best UHF connector overall (they show several different types, see explanation in link) is almost 1 dB worse than the N at the worst spot (850 MHz) (even though another UHF type that is worse overall is better than the other one at that particular spot). The more inferior types of UHF connectors just get worse than that. See link for more detail and other types of plots.
 So no, video HAM dude, there is an answer, you just didn't look for the data. Your video was dated two years ago - 2021. The linked article I found was dated Dec 2016. You are LAZY.


--- Quote from: joeqsmith on September 27, 2023, 03:05:49 pm ---Note the photo of my BNC barrels.  One of them is not like the others.  Guess which one is silver. 


I wonder about some of these super low cost Chinese connectors.  Some are < $10.  They have some "precision" ones around $50 but none have any data.

--- End quote ---

The least shiny one is the silver one.

There is also the fact that there is silver and silver!

Many years ago, EEs at the (then) PMG's Dept Research Lab did some tests on large self-supporting coils made out of copper pipe, which were part of a LC tuned anode circuit of a tube PA at HF frequencies, as they had been reported as becoming hot in service.

The coils were silver plated, using a standard commercial plating service & were very pretty.
As a control, the "ginger beers" made up a set of coils from unplated copper.

Under test, they were surprised to find that the plain copper ones ran considerably cooler.
As this was counter intuitive, they then had to go down that "rabbit hole"!

It turned out to be due to two interacting things:-

(1) Copper available in the late 1950s contained many fewer impurities compared to that from the early part of the century when silver plating definitely did improve efficiency in "tank" circuits.

(2) Silver plating methods had changed since those early days, as platers introduced various compounds which increased the brilliance, wear & tarnish resistance of plating for their primary purpose of making things look "pretty".
Unfortunately, this caused a very large increase in the resistivity of the plating.

They concluded that the "laid back" attitude of "just dropping your stuff into the local plating shop" obviously needed a serious rethink!

A few other articles from I believe the same author, along with his resume:


Attached showing an antique detector.  Guess which connector has the lower frequency and which was for the higher...

Here's the side risers with correct dimensions. Fit well so on to the next step.


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