Belling-Lee connectors

prpr

Well-Known Member
quite possibly it was my dodgy assembly of the Belling-Lee connectors that was to blame
Did you solder the inner conductor of the cable to the centre pin of the plug? People say "you don't need to" and "you can get away without", but I never trust things like that and you leave yourself open to all sorts of odd faults somewhere down the line. Of course it will work for some people, which is why they misguidedly swear by doing it that way, but I think it's b@ll@cks.
In any case, it is a better idea to use F connectors on the cable (which makes using splitters easy - see below) and fit F-Belling adapters where needed. Then you get a much better overall result with no soldering and no dodgy connections.
Oh and don't use cr@p cable. Foam filled CT100 (WF100) with a proper overall copper (not aluminium) screen is what you should use.
 
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Mike2

Forum Supporter
I am feeling déjà vu again on this one. Someone is next going to suggest that a slight kink in the middle conductor is sufficient, followed by an almighty :duel:
 
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Trev

The Dumb One
Someone is next going to suggest that a slight link in the middle
I would prefer a kink in the middle connector. But that's me. (But links are always good in the rest of the cable).
A kink in the inner CANNOT be as electrically or mechanically secure as either soldering or a screw connector especially if DC is to be fed up the cable to an amp or magic eye etc.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Are we talking about the usual kind of UHF aerial plug as required to connect to a TV? I find the grub screw type utter crap, the screws usually break out of the plastic - and I've never seen one that can be soldered.

In the absence of any better solution, I do usually kink the core so that it contacts the centre pin on both sides - but that should be fine unless you are using phantom power (no DC path required, so a little capacitive coupling is all that is needed at hundreds of megahertz).
 

Trev

The Dumb One
The ones with the hole in the end of the centre conductor are meant to be soldered. I have never come across one that can't either be screwed or soldered and have not had problems with the screw type, apart from loosing the damn screw.:mad:
Re kinks. You are correct in that 'it should be fine', but it often isn't and is just another 'fault point' to check which soldering/screwing eliminates.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
  1. I find the grub screw type utter crap, the screws usually break out of the plastic -
  2. and I've never seen one that can be soldered.
  1. Agreed
  2. I have. Sometimes you can even solder the ones with the grub screws. Just don't melt the plastic.
 

Mike2

Forum Supporter
I bought two of those 1-2 connectors that allow a cable to carry terrestrial and satellite signals. They appear to work well.

 
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prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
I bought two of those 1-2 connectors
Where from?
that allow a cable to carry terrestrial and satellite signals.
You're not supposed to use them like that. Satellite LNBs often generate out-of-band noise (as far as satellite is concerned i.e. below 950 MHz) which falls right across the UHF band.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Regardless of the technicalities, I can't quite get my head around how the splitter is relevant in this thread. (other irrelevant posts excepted).
Just as a reminder from three pages ago.
We've been experiencing a problem with recordings from BBC HD channels suffering from picture freeze/skipping accompanied by audio drop-out for some time now.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The ones with the hole in the end of the centre conductor are meant to be soldered.
No, never seen one like that - and I've been fiddling with aerial leads since I was knee high to a grasshopper.

I recently bought in a batch for stock, so I had a look at them and found... screws. Apart from the lack of strength in the microscopic thread in plastic, the head of the screw is very close to the case and therefore a point of capacitive shorting.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
@ BH. You have never seen a Belling Lee plug like THIS?:frantic: I don't believe you.:roflmao:

What are you talking about? I've never seen a standard UHF TV aerial plug (if that's what you are calling a Belling Lee) that has a hole in the end of the centre conductor - by which I assumed you meant a radial hole not a concentric one. Even the screw type have a concentric hole, necessary for inserting the core conductor of the cable!

How would you solder one like that? Any residue on the outside of the pin interferes with the mechanical fit in the socket, and risks melting the plastic insulator. I expected a solder bucket at the inboard end of the pin, and a thermally resistant insulator. How do you know these are supposed to be soldered - where does it say so?

OK, I found this, which gives instructions - but that is not a spec sheet, just somebody's advice:

http://www.megalithia.com/elect/bellinglee/

...in which it says

"Unfortunately the plastic holding the pin is made of a low-melting point plastic. Touch the soldering iron to the protruding centre of the cable and not the pin - the solder will wick up into the pin as it melts but you get a few seconds more before the plastic melts"


...which says to me it is not manufactured with soldering in mind. I have never soldered an aerial lead, I would rather leave the screws unfitted (if it has them), and I have never suffered from:

"If you absolutely insist you can't solder the inner conductor, then at least bend it about 10 degrees 0.5 cm from the end so it makes contact with the pin when the plug is freshly made. That will last you about 6 months to two years of acceptable contact in practice. If you don't bend it all bets are off - you are about to make a scratchy, intermittent connection whatever you do."

Utter balls. Perfect contact is not necessary, unless you require a DC path for powering an aerial amp. I do kink the core, but that's only because the core on a modern cable is too thin to be a snug fit in the concentric hole. I have also folded the core and pinched it to fit.

The article also says

"DTT demands the right way" (the "right way" being soldered of course)

As far as I know, DTT imposes no greater demand on the quality of the connection than analogue did, unless you are in a marginal reception area (or have a poor aerial) and need every last dB to get up the cliff edge (which for analogue would be graceful degradation).

OK, I'm not saying you shouldn't solder, only that before this discussion I hadn't heard of it. I maintain that the plugs are not designed to be soldered, and doing so is a bodge. Note that the cable end shown in Trev's link is not soldered in the manner described. I would prefer to crimp than solder, because soldered leads are more brittle.
 
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prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
An air gap between the centre pin of the plug and the centre conductor of the cable doesn't make for a reliable connection (and introduces needless loss). Nor does putting a screw in. Nor does putting a kink in the conductor hopefully to make it touch the centre pin somewhere. You are just inviting a diode effect with a bit of corrosion or oxidisation or whatever at the tiny contact point.
I've no idea about crimping these things.
Let's face it, the B-L plugs/sockets are horrendous things from decades ago when plastics were not so advanced (hence their lack of solderability) and things have moved on.
Like I said up-thread, use F connectors and adapters if necessary (no idea about af123's twist on B-L connectors, as I've never seen one).
I win!
 
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