Wellbrook Loop BNC BS

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ridgescan

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We have had some high winds and lots of rain here this season, to the point where the feedline connection at the antenna has worked itself loose twice. I am realizing that the BNC connect point is not reliable enough for outdoors on this loop. I have read that others feel this way. Anyone out there have this problem with theirs?
I am considering fabbing a protector from PVC that would attach to the side of the loop amplifier housing with 4 screws waterproofed, to protect and relieve the feedpoint. For now, I have taped the hell out of it, though there aint much on the female receiver to hold tape!
 

WA8ZTZ

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Maybe take some electrical duct seal suitable for outdoor use (ie-- NEER) and knead it around the connector and coax to provide waterproofing and strain relief. Has worked well for me on various installations.
 

jim202

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We have had some high winds and lots of rain here this season, to the point where the feedline connection at the antenna has worked itself loose twice. I am realizing that the BNC connect point is not reliable enough for outdoors on this loop.
My only real comment is that you probably have not secured the coax cable enough to prevent it from moving around and causing connector movement. BNC connectors are secure. They need pressure to lock the connector in place over the 2 retaining pins. I have even has some that didn't mate correctly and you had to really push hard and they would turn hard. Trying to take them apart is even a task.

As with all outside connectors subjected to the weather, they need to be tightly sealed against moisture intrusion. Sealing takes on a skill in itself. The normal is to use 2 layers of a good electrical tape like Scotch 33. Then use some fusion tape with 2 layers. Finish it off with another 2 layers of the electrical tape. Make sure the last 2 wraps should not be done with tension. Otherwise the tape will pull back and start flying in the wind. If it is in a location that is hard to get to, I tend to put a black tie wrap over the end of the tape to add an extra safety measure to prevent the tape from un-wrapping itself.
 

ridgescan

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Thanks for the replies. I actually use the Scotch 33 like you said Jim because it's flexy enough to choke up on the mere sixteenth of an inch on the female you have to work with once the male is connected, to secure it. I do several tight turns there then spiral down the coax about 4" where I end up with a soft no-stretch seal like you said. What happens is after so much wind hits it, the weight of the taped end coupled with the fact that the connector is sideways causes the connection to move compromising signal strength. What Wellbrook should do is make a longer female terminal on the amplifier to accept a good wrapping of stronger stuff like WA8ZTZ suggested. I have some Christy's here that would be perfect for this but it wouldn't be doable with what little surface there is now.
 

ridgescan

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Well last night we had a pretty aggressive rainstorm with winds up to 38MPH on my weather station's wind gauge. The antenna took another prolonged beating and this AM the signal meter was acting up again. So when the rain stopped I went up there and this time I removed the BNC plug from the coax. I discovered that the center conductor shell of the BNC plug is loose IE moving around like it was about to fall out. With this bayonet style coupler both working parts need to be tight! This may explain the signals cutting in/out with the wind. So I got another one and installed it. I think this may have been the trouble. We'll see. Just putting this in here for if anyone else has trouble. Right now it's operating 100%.
 

ridgescan

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Good to see you found the problem. :)
Thanks brother! It's putting up with 23MPH winds with 15MPH sustained and not one hiccup so fingers crossed we nailed it.
Kind of funny to think that without that infinitesimal connect point, 5 comms receivers are rendered useless. Hence the obsession:)
 

bharvey2

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Thanks brother! It's putting up with 23MPH winds with 15MPH sustained and not one hiccup so fingers crossed we nailed it.
Kind of funny to think that without that infinitesimal connect point, 5 comms receivers are rendered useless. Hence the obsession:)
I have a BNC connector on my scanner yagi. I formed a loop about 4" in diameter to act as a strain relief. I've tie wrapped it to hold it's shape. If you current solution doesn't hold up, maybe something like I described might help. Nothing more frustrating that bad connections up in the air. - Hope you've got it solved.
 

WA8ZTZ

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I have a BNC connector on my scanner yagi. I formed a loop about 4" in diameter to act as a strain relief. I've tie wrapped it to hold it's shape. If you current solution doesn't hold up, maybe something like I described might help. Nothing more frustrating that bad connections up in the air. - Hope you've got it solved.
Forming a strain relief loop is a good idea.

Here is another thought... to help weatherproof the connection, try using liquid electrical tape. It will adhere well to the connection and could be painted around the minimal area of the female bnc connector on the antenna.
 

ridgescan

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Thanks for the good tips. I like how Diamond protects the feedpoint on the d130j. The coax goes up inside the final mast at the discone and screws in with a PL259. Nice and safe in there, and all you need to do is secure the coax to the bottom mast right where it comes out that other one to prevent coax pulling.
 
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