LMR 400 question...

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jim202

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does the LMR 400 have PL 259 connectors? or does it depend on the manufacturer?
I know most RG8 have PL259

I have never used the PL-259 connector on anything but RG-58 type cable. Reason being is that isn't ability to work well at the higher frequencies is limited. At VHF it works well, but go above that, the connector does not do well. So that has migrated most users to go with the type N connector for most of their cable connector needs.

There are a number of choices for connectors in the use of LMR-400 that generally use a crimp connector. You just need to make sure you have a tool with the correct size jaw being used. These tools are not just a $5.00 expenditure. They run into the $80 to $100 region depending on how many sets of different connector jaws you purchase to go along with the different types of coax cable you work with.

Then to confuse the issue, the different radio vendors chose to use connectors like mini UHF for Motorola. TNC connectors were used for a couple other vendors like MA-COM, Harris and Tait.
 

rescue161

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Standard PL-259 connectors will screw right on to LMR400. Just fold the braid back and screw the connector on, then solder the center pin.
 

mmckenna

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does the LMR 400 have PL 259 connectors? or does it depend on the manufacturer?
I know most RG8 have PL259
Not sure if the above replies clearly answered this for you, but I figure one more reply won't hurt….

You can purchase pre-terminated LMR-400 cables with PL-259 connectors. Other connectors are available, including type "N", BNC, TNC, etc. The type of cable does not limit the type of connector. You can certainly purchase your own connectors and install them yourself. I've had really good luck with the LMR-400 "E-Z" type connectors. It requires a fairly costly crimping tool, however.
 

Darkstar350

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Thanks all for the replies - very informative...

so yeah that's pretty much the conclusion I came to about the LMR 400 is that the end connectors for the most part you have to either solder or crimp yourself - which I was kind of trying to avoid if possible - but I am now looking into a permanent mount for my outdoor antenna and I know LMR 400 is pretty much the best of the best when it comes to coax...

I have a few coax cables as of right now - 50ft of standard RG6 that came with the antenna, 20ft of RG58 and 10ft of RG 8
The RG58 and RG 8 have pl259 which I had to get adapters for to fit on the antenna transformer
I have been using the outdoor antenna in temporary setups because I have not weatherproofed it yet... I would put it up on a piece of pipe or something while I was using it and then take it down when I was done but now I am going to put it on my roof so 50 feet is pretty much what im looking for...

The RG6 seems like kind of a "multi tool" of coax the only reason i use it is because it came with the antenna but for a permanent setup i definitely want something better

I have read numerous times that it is best to use a 50ohm RG8 or RG58 coax when it comes to scanners so at first all i could find was the 20ft of the RG58 and upon reading more on this subject i have seen that RG58 is not as good as RG8

so i finally came across only 10 feet of RG8 which is no where near enough for a permanent mount but it was all i could find
if i could find 50 feet of it that would be great but i can only find 50 feet of RG58

that's why i am now looking into the lmr 400 if i could get it 50ft with BNC on both ends that would be optimum

thanks again all
 

mmckenna

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I know LMR 400 is pretty much the best of the best when it comes to coax...
Well, no. LMR400 is good for hobbyists as it's relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and performs better than anything you'll find at Radio Shack. Best of the best is stretching it. You can certainly get better cable with hardly any effort, but it's going to cost more, be harder to install, but it will perform better.

You can get crimp on BNC connectors for LMR 400, but I'd be cautious about connecting directly to anything. The cable is pretty stiff, and BNC connectors can be kind of weak, so it's an accident waiting to happen.
It's a much better idea to use smaller, more flexible jumpers where you connect to your radios.

If there was any standard, I'd look at using N connectors, they perform very well at higher frequencies, and if installed correctly, are watertight. Use flexible jumpers from the N connectors to whatever matches your radio.
 

Alacrity174

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For a short run of 50' or less LMR400 is in my opinion overkill. Why not try simple RG214, it is a double braid coax, very flexible and in plentiful supply from just about any cable vendor (Anixter usually carries some). The basic N-Type either crimp or solder works well and can be replaced easily if needed, these come in PL259 or N-Type also and are inexpensive. I would say that the whole feeder system with RG214 would cost less than a single LMR-400 connector.
 

n5ims

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I would say that the whole feeder system with RG214 would cost less than a single LMR-400 connector.
I'll give you $5 for a 50' run of RG-214 with N connectors on both ends. Me thinks you're thinking about LDF4-50A connectors, not LMR-400 connectors. If you examine the provided link (that justifies my $5 price) you'll notice that the same connector is used for both LMR-400 and RG-214.

Texas Towers, Texcom CR400NM-S Page

Sorry, got 213 mixed up with 214 (although often the same connector will work on both, which is probably why the above connector came up with my search on 214 compatible connectors).

Here's another $5 (OK, it's really $5.25) N connector that's specified for 214. http://www.tessco.com/products/displayProductInfo.do?sku=80428&fromSuggestion=true
 
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prcguy

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Have you priced RG-214 lately? Its not only double shielded, the braid and center conductor are silver plated and depending on the vendor, 214 can run upwards of $10/ft. A local guy recently had a surplus 500ft roll of RG-214 and didn't really know what it was so I jumped on it for $75 and that is a steal.
prcguy

For a short run of 50' or less LMR400 is in my opinion overkill. Why not try simple RG214, it is a double braid coax, very flexible and in plentiful supply from just about any cable vendor (Anixter usually carries some). The basic N-Type either crimp or solder works well and can be replaced easily if needed, these come in PL259 or N-Type also and are inexpensive. I would say that the whole feeder system with RG214 would cost less than a single LMR-400 connector.
 

prcguy

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That sort of connector install will set you up for failure. The PL-259 threads will cut into the braid, weakening it and with lots of flexing the braid connection will fail. You really have to follow the instructions and solder the braid through the PL-259 holes.
prcguy

Standard PL-259 connectors will screw right on to LMR400. Just fold the braid back and screw the connector on, then solder the center pin.
 

krokus

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+1 for using soldered N connectors and pigtails to connect to the gear and antenna.

N connectors are well worth learning how to install.

Sent via Tapatalk
 

Darkstar350

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Ok so I have the 50FT LMR400 on order with BNC male and PL259 male
the reason being is I already have the adapters for the PL259 to fit on the transformer(they were very hard to find) and I have had great results with the 10FT of radioshack brand RG8 coax - audio is clear as ever
I don't think they make 50 feet of their RG8 or I would have got that but yes it is very thick, stiff cable and I would imagine the lmr400 is possibly even more stiff so yeah I probably will look in to some of those flexible cables
 

Darkstar350

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So I got the LMR400 - I can definitely see that this is the real deal
however I must have assumed that the connectors would have already been attached so I suppose im going to have to do some soldering(which I was kind of trying to avoid...haven't done much soldering)
I heard you could also just crimp on the connectors but that requires a special tool that's expensive and it dosent give the best connection...
 

ko6jw_2

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I suggest finding someone who can help you and is experienced with these connectors. Do not use crimp on connectors. A poorly attached connector will defeat the purpose of getting good coax. If you decide to do it yourself, get some cheaper coax at Radio Shack and some cheaper connectors and practice. Follow the instructions for stripping the coax exactly - it's important. I've been installing PL-259's for over 40 years and I still hate them. I've never seen a BNC that could attach to LMR-400 directly. For the final product get silver plated Teflon connectors (Amphenol or equiv.). Don't use CB shop or Radio Shack connectors.
 
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