Protect the rear end of your 6700

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Having seen countless old military rigs in MARS warehouses with battered rear connectors
I have suggested to Flex  architects that there be overhang/brackets/whatever in the rear to protect all those BNCs and SMAs (SO-239s pretty tough).

So while we wait, I decided to mount handles in the rear (it works! I'd already done the front) - to both protect the unit and offer a cable support via a plastic rod(s) across the back.

     
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Alex - KM5YT

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Posted 4 years ago

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Ernest - W4EG

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Nice idea but an over kill!

Beside these connectors are easy to replace... NO NEED for overhang or bracket
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Alex - KM5YT

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Disagree - on all counts - alas - seen too much damaged gear.  Easy to replace?!
Tell that to a maritime mobile or someone w/o good shop facilities - "ounce of prevention ..." 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I've owned dozens of him rigs and I have never had a broken rear connector.
On the other hand I've seen what the Less than careful military can do to destroy almost anything.
Your suggestion is valid for the military but I doubt it has much need in ham radio

Of course the military is not spending their own money so they have no reason to be careful
(Edited)
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Alex - KM5YT

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Hope this continues for you.

But I've also seen used Ham gear in not-the-best conditions.

One of my concerns was also a sturdy, simple method of supporting cables.

(An e l e g a n t  way to do this is shown by Sony's PMW-EX3 video cam rear BNC connectors which slant down at ~30 degrees.) 

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Chris DL5NAM

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Having seen countless Ham Radio rigs worldwide with no battered rear connectors.

More, have never seen(!) any battered rear connectors at ham rigs.

Why? Ham op's spent own money to buy a rig. Then they take care for it :-)
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Alex - KM5YT

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Let us hope your life continues thus charmed!
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Chris DL5NAM

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born April 1956 - Ham since 1975 :-)
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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It's a good suggestion.  In my case, I have now replaced several crimped PL-259 (UHF) connectors on the 6700's rear panel.  It's not limited to the 6700.  With a small amount of force, crimped UHF connectors have a tendency to split at the junction of the cable entry barrel and the connector body.  This results in a connector that rotates even though it's locked into the mating receptacle. 

Just yesterday, I received a shipment of new crimped UHF connectors from Tessco.  Tessco is a large supplier of components to the cellular and telecom industries.  These are the RF Industries brand and not some cheap Asian knock-off.

I could see something like a set of side rack ears at both back ends.  Cabling would route 90 degrees from the back panel with a small strain loop and tie down to the corner panel ear.  This is how cable routing/dressing is done in the broadcast, broadband, and telecom industries. 

Presently, I have a tough time accessing the back of my gear as the countertop is pressed against a wall but there's a 1.5" gap for cable access.   Cabling is made long enough so that equipment pulls forward for access to rear panels.  As the shack is constantly changing, it's the forward/rear movement of gear that puts the back panel at risk of damage.  The next shack will be designed for full 360 degree access.

Paul, W9AC
(Edited)
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Alex - KM5YT

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Thank you Paul.  I have suggested use of more N-type connectors to Flex.  Might improve things?

(I'd prefer a general layout using vertical card-cage bus such as in the Hilberling PT-8000)

My secondary concern was cable strain relief; these rigs getting hairy in the rear end. 


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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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N connectors come with their own set of issues.  First, few hams know how to solder or crimp an N connector.  If the center pin extends too far, there's great risk of damage to the mating N receptacle.  The UHF connector has better power capability at HF through low VHF.  The N has better weather-proofing characteristics, but that's not needed in an inside shack.    

We could even get into the pros and cons of the Anderson PowerPole connector.  It's a connector I love and hate at the same time.  

The PowerPole is very vulnerable to damage from accidental equipment shifts.  Just me, but I would have much preferred an AMP Mate-N-Lok over the PowerPole. Of course, better DC connectors are available.  Neutrik makes some really excellent DC power entry types.  But even the Mate-N-Lok is mechanically and electrically superior to the PowerPole.  It's tough to beat a 360 degree electrical contact area vs. the sliding tongue of the PowerPole. 

I've measured excessive IR drop when using (properly crimped) cascaded PowerPoles (e.g., rig to RigRunner, then to a PowerGate device, then to the power supply with PowerPoles).  It all adds up.  They're fine for cable-to-cable interconnects with low to medium current demand -- but not as chassis hardware.  My 6700 uses the Flex-supplied DC power cable and terminates onto 1/4-inch bolts on the power supply with nothing in between.  A dedicated supply is used for the 6700 and a separate supply powers accessory devices from a RigRunner.

Paul, W9AC
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Alex - KM5YT

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I had the impression the N-types were less likely to be visible with a TDR - but I have not really used that many in devices I built, or contrasted them with the UHF connectors (which are surely more common and thus handier).  I'm too far out of component electronics these days, but miss tinkering.

But those Neutriks are beautiful - headed towards the mil rigs of my youth.  By that standard, Power Poles aren't impressive - at all!  I much like the idea of screw or some kind of locking mechanism, so I can't say I like the RCA connectors of the 6700 though they have evolved into a 'standard.'


Alex/KM5YT