Sunday, May 15, 2022

Crisis averted!

So it seems like just about every year there's some sort of major malfunction with my station right around April or May LOL.  Just before the 6m season starts.  This year was no exception to that!

I started to notice the past 3-4 weeks that my RX would simply drop out.  Like completely.  I was all mentally preparing for having to make some major changes with my main radio.  I kept trying to isolate where the issue really was, as finally I was disconnecting the coax from my amp to my band-pass filter and decided I'd bypass the band-pass filter just to see how it would behave.  There's about a 3 foot section of LMR600 there with N-Type connectors on each end, and on the end towards the band-pass filter lived a 90-degree N-Type Elbow adapter.  I noticed after I removed that the I didn't have any more issues with my RX dropping out.

So I took a closer look at the pins on this adapter and found it had been arcing for a while.  This connector sees 1300w fairly regularly.

It's now been about 3-4 days and the problem of RX dropping out has gone completely (I hope I'm not jinxing it!)

Here is a few photos of the connector.  This is NOT the first time I've had issues with N-Type connectors and high power.  It's not really a surprise but I wasn't seeing any SWR spikes so I didn't suspect this at all.

Anyway...should you be using Type-N connectors and have weak RX or no RX suddenly after TX'ing, check your connectors!  This is the 3rd time in 20 years I've had one of these things fail.  Sometimes they fail really badly too!  This wasn't spectacular thankfully!

Notice the pitting, and burn marks!  It's really high time I stop using Type-N connectors, I've never had a UHF connector fail.  I'm sure they can, but it's highly unlikely something like this would happen at the power levels I use.  

Thankfully this issue didn't cost me anything except a few sleepless nights!

1 comment:

  1. Tim, I feel your pain. This years failure for me was the fan in my Flex. quick fix but why is it never in the middle of winter?!!!
    My experience with 90 degree anything is avoid at all costs. If absolutely necessary then a swept type is the way to go.
    73 and maybe I'll catch you on phone again as I pass thru on my way to Franklin Fishing at the end of the month. Troy NW1B