RCA phono jacks on Heath gear

Ian Webb ian_webb at PACBELL.NET
Wed Oct 28 23:34:16 EST 1998

Since Collins also used RCA jacks for RF on their gear one might think that
using them isn't so bad after all.  Of course there are RCA jacks (sockets)
and there are RCA jacks.  Over the years I've seen some pretty crummy ones
with paper insulation or at least that's what it looks like and I've seen
ones that appear to have ceramic insulation.

I remember reading somewhere in the past that the good quality RCA jacks are
as good, if not better, than the PL/SO 239 series "UHF connectors" when one
looks at impedance bump (mismatch).  Since by the time the Heath gear became
popular, it was not uncommon to use the RG-58 sized cable for between unit
connections and even between a rig and an antenna relay or a linear, it
makes pretty good sense to use a smaller jack/plug combination.  Just
looking at the size of the UHF connectors and the RG-58 diameter cable one
can see a pretty big discontinuity in the line from the suddent transition
between the two.

I don't really believe that a GOOD QUALITY RCA jack is a problem at lower
power levesl.  Perhaps 200 W or less?  I've never seen a linear with an RCA
jack as its output!

What do you think?

Ian, K6SDE

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