• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

Commercial antenna termination

Status
Not open for further replies.

LakeMan2

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
107
I feel somewhat stupid asking this question (but will anyways). Why do many/most/all commercial exposed dipole seem to have a default configuration with a male connector main termination? All my cables have male ends. I would think that the antenna would be female. I believe you can order them with female ends, but I don't understand why they don't default to that. It makes me think I am missing something, some standard (maybe a female/female jumper?) that perhaps I should follow instead of ordering a female termination. But why add extra connectors to the equation. Why not just connect the standard male terminated cable to the antenna directly (which would require a female termination on the antenna)?
 

jonwienke

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
9,258
Location
PA
Coax connectors use the center conductor to designate gender. So a SO-239 connector is female, and a PL-259 connector is male. Perhaps you're under the mistaken impression that the outer conductor defines gender?
 

chief21

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
959
Location
Summer - western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
Many commercial exposed dipole antennas are typically connected to higher-diameter coax or heliax that require special connectors. The special connectors are usually field-installed and are available in either male or female gender. The installers simply use whichever gender is necessary... no adapters required.

John
 

LakeMan2

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
107
@jonwienke

Sorry, I did not state that this is UHF, so everything is n-type. Still, I am aware that the gender is determined by the center conductor. All the jumpers I have as well as the my hardline ends with n-type male (with center pin). The fiberglass verticals I have end in n-type female (center hole) as makes sense to me. The commercial exposed dipole I have been looking at typically indicate they terminate with n-type male connectors. That is what does not make sense to me. I would need a barrel connector to attach a male cable to a male antenna, so why would the antennas come with male connectors?
 

LakeMan2

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
107
Many commercial exposed dipole antennas are typically connected to higher-diameter coax or heliax that require special connectors. The special connectors are usually field-installed and are available in either male or female gender. The installers simply use whichever gender is necessary... no adapters required.

John
Thanks. I was looking at from the standpoint of having heliax with connectors already installed, in which case they are usually male connectors. I suppose that if you are also installing the connectors, it is a simple matter of picking the one to match. I suppose that as long as you can order the antenna either way it does not really mater, just order what matches your cable if connectors are already installed. It just seemed odd (to me) that the default antenna connector was male.
 

ko6jw_2

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
833
Location
Santa Ynez, CA
N type connectors are available in male or female for use on coax. You do not need barrel connectors if you install the correct gender on your cable.
 

ramal121

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
1,636
Location
Sonoma, CA
This kinda tweeks me too. If an antenna has a connector at the base it will be female. If the antenna, be it a folded dipole or whatever, terminates in a short coax pigtail it will always be male. Is this some kind of unwritten rule among manufacturers?

Makes you think twice when you are trying to spec a job.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
8,099
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
Its that way because it makes the most sense at installation time. As others have mentioned most of these antennas will be installed with a large low loss cable that is not very flexible and you want to use a short flexible jumper between the large feedline and the antenna.

If the connector is hard fixed to the antenna then a female makes more sense because a typical jumper will be male on both ends. In the case of a dipole array with a flying lead, its usually plenty flexible and no jumper is needed to connect to a large feedline, so a male makes the most sense there.

Nearly all Heliax runs I encounter towers have an N female connector near the antenna and a male to male jumper made of RG-213, RG-214 or a very small dia Super Flex Heliax. You would never connect a large dia Heliax cable directly to a hard fixed connector on an antenna.
prcguy

This kinda tweeks me too. If an antenna has a connector at the base it will be female. If the antenna, be it a folded dipole or whatever, terminates in a short coax pigtail it will always be male. Is this some kind of unwritten rule among manufacturers?

Makes you think twice when you are trying to spec a job.
 

LakeMan2

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
107
Its that way because it makes the most sense at installation time. As others have mentioned most of these antennas will be installed with a large low loss cable that is not very flexible and you want to use a short flexible jumper between the large feedline and the antenna.

If the connector is hard fixed to the antenna then a female makes more sense because a typical jumper will be male on both ends. In the case of a dipole array with a flying lead, its usually plenty flexible and no jumper is needed to connect to a large feedline, so a male makes the most sense there.

Nearly all Heliax runs I encounter towers have an N female connector near the antenna and a male to male jumper made of RG-213, RG-214 or a very small dia Super Flex Heliax. You would never connect a large dia Heliax cable directly to a hard fixed connector on an antenna.
prcguy
Thanks. That was not a convention I was aware of. My current antenna has a hard fixed connector which is female. Since my run between antenna and repeater is short (~40'), I ran 1/2" heliax and put a male connector near the antenna, which is actually directly connected to the antenna. If I switch out the antenna to a dipole array with a flying lead, a male connector there is a issue I will have to deal with if I can't order it with a female at the end of the flying lead. Or I may consider changing the connector at the end of my feedline to female.

It is good to know what the convention is and why.

Thanks again.
 
Last edited:

lmrtek

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
533
Commercial antennas are most always fed with heliax

So they always put female connectors up on the tower so a coax jumper can be easily connected to feed the antenna if it doesn't come with attached coax

You never want to feed an antenna directly with hardine or heliax that's why they come with flexible coax attached from the factory

Expansion and contraction will eventually cause connection failure if you connect heliax directly to an antenna connector
 

talkpair

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
920
Location
Clinton County, MO
It could be gender decisions were made for safety.

Imagine how dangerous ordinary house wiring would be if all of your electrical outlets were male instead of female.
 

kayn1n32008

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,637
Location
In the \'patch
Thanks. I was looking at from the standpoint of having heliax with connectors already installed, in which case they are usually male connectors. I suppose that if you are also installing the connectors, it is a simple matter of picking the one to match. I suppose that as long as you can order the antenna either way it does not really mater, just order what matches your cable if connectors are already installed. It just seemed odd (to me) that the default antenna connector was male.
for repeater installs nothing is pre made for the feedline. You do not, for example, buy 325' of 1-5/8" hardline with the connectors pre-installed, then have it installed on your 300' tower.

It makes sense for the antenna to be terminated with a male connector. When antennas are installed on towers, the hardline(usually) is 'cut to fit' and appropriate connectors are installed at the time the antenna is attached to the feed line(or before the hardline is installed on the tower).

N are common for V/UHF installs. above UHF I would guess most connectors used would be 7/16 DIN
 

kayn1n32008

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,637
Location
In the \'patch
If I switch out the antenna to a dipole array with a flying lead, a male connector there is a issue I will have to deal with if I can't order it with a female at the end of the flying lead. Or I may consider changing the connector at the end of my feedline to female.

It is good to know what the convention is and why.

Thanks again.
You may be able to order the dipole array with what ever connector you want on the end, I believe Sinclair allows a large variety of connectors, N-male/female for sure, and 7/16DIN as well.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top