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I have recently started working with software-defined radio, and have replaced some connectors on RG-58 coax in preference to using multiple adapters.

RG-58 BNC connectors seem to come in three flavours:

I opted for clamp because:

  • They were cheap on ebay
  • They didn't require any special tools to assemble
  • I have found twist-on connectors troublesome

I struggled to find consistent specifications even from the same manufacturer, but all three seem to be available in a range of contact materials and work up to 4GHz. I can't find VSWR information for all three types to compare.

Crimps are quicker to assemble, but I don't have a tool.

So outside of the consideration of cost and east of assembly, are there any differences between the three types?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can't offer a detailed answer, but industry (Telecomms / RF) favours crimp &/or solder (solder centre pin on some). Twist-on ones are usually for cheap & cheerful / quick-and-dirty stuff like CB radio or TV where quality is low, installer skill is minimal & application is non-critical. \$\endgroup\$ – John U Feb 25 '13 at 12:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes - I see a lot of twist-on in CCTV applications as well. Technically they should be equivalent, by Amphenol's data, anyway. I can't find a single twist-on in my house though - all crimp, moulded (presume crimped underneath) or clamp. \$\endgroup\$ – Cybergibbons Feb 25 '13 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The CCTV industry is heavily populated with cowboys though, I've yet to be impressed by almost anything they do or make (and yes I have plenty of experience in that industry!) Critical/quality connections (coax or not) are almost always crimped these days. IDC is popular for some stuff, but you need control of the wire, the connector, and the tool to do it right. Solder is less popular, but mainly due to the time/equipment/safety/skill overhead. \$\endgroup\$ – John U Feb 25 '13 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess another aspect is pull resistance, but in a quick test I just did, I can't pull out a self-assembled clamp or crimp connection. \$\endgroup\$ – Cybergibbons Feb 25 '13 at 12:57
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I have had many headaches in this arena, I will answer you question directly, then ramble until I hear the potential down votes piling up...

For the electrical characteristics under ideal specifications, and in permanent, static installs, they should all be almost the same.

Now for ramblings...

You can generally buy a crimp kit that will have all of the hardware to work with rg 6, 58, and 59. Crimp kits may be all that are available for any odd size of coax, ie one of the 5 coax in a VGA cable.

Crimp kits with a seperate crip center pin allow you to make a very good connection to the center conductor; physically or with solder.

Twist ons I have no experience with.

The sleeve compression type are great if you are always using one size ( I usually am just running RG 6 quad), but I have had problems with tools and ends not working well together. The other bad part is that if you screwed it up, it may look 100% perfect on the outside.

I have screwed up a few of each of these pricey little connectors, usually when I buy a new crimp style the first one is bound to get screwed up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Very similar to my experience. I was hoping for something more concrete on the spec side, but it may not be there! \$\endgroup\$ – Cybergibbons Feb 27 '13 at 10:11
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I do agree with what has been said above. Twist is tempting but will always allow oxidation to get in. Soldering is always difficult unless you are doing this kind of job often. Crimping seems to be today's best in term of tine and reliability. Do not forget that all cars electric are crimped. For my boat, I decide to crimp all my BNC.

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