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10/30/2020 2:42:12 PM
Posted: 4/15/2011 1:06:20 PM EDT
I've veen looking for coax, as I have a planned relocation of the radio room.

It seems LMR-400 and quality equivalents are around .89/foot.

While looking further, I've got a place selling Andrew Superflex FSJ4-50  for $1/foot.


Any reason NOT to go with the superflex? Everything I've read says it's superior. Reportedly, since it is 1/2", folks have been able to use standard PL-239 and N connectors designed for LMR-400.
Link Posted: 4/15/2011 2:01:33 PM EDT
I've got some regular Times Microwave LMR-400 and some Times LMR-400 Superflex as well as some -240 Superflex.  Andrews is good stuff too, so if it's equivalent to the Times, I'd say go with the Superflex because that's not much price difference.  Superflex is a lot more pleasant to wrangle.  Of course if it's a one-time install and something you're not likely to move around, the extra money may or may not be worth it.  Connector-wise, you're good to go with either.
Link Posted: 4/15/2011 5:17:28 PM EDT
You might want to look at bury flex
Link Posted: 4/15/2011 6:00:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 338winmag:
You might want to look at bury flex


Any particular reason?

I am not burying it. In both cases, the coax will be routed around the house, and most likely, through my attic and down the wall.

right now I am using 8X from Wireman. New location is going to be a bit further, hence the thought to upgrade. Antenna is a simple Arrow J-Pole.
Link Posted: 4/15/2011 7:00:29 PM EDT
make sure the coax is the right stuff verse the chinese shit sold on ebay... watch for that one
Link Posted: 4/15/2011 7:11:28 PM EDT
Andrews Superflex or Times Ultra Flex uses stranded center conductor.

It's more flexible and works much better for rotating type antennas.

Specs/Pricing

Link Posted: 4/17/2011 5:39:47 AM EDT
What some are calling superflex is just a clone of LMR-400UF.



I get all my cable from this guy. Usually I buy in large lengths at the hamfests he goes to and it saves me shipping. COAX is heavy!! Sometimes you can get end of the roll from him at a little cheaper just to finish the roll out. You might have to get a little more than you need but you will need it for something later.



http://www.thewireman.com/coaxp.html
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 6:05:10 AM EDT
Used to be that the jacket on superflex was not UV resistant, and would not hold up outdoors. Not sure if that has changed in later production.
In spite of the name, it is not designed to be repeatably flexed.
Also, the outer conductor is very thin copper, easily dented or damaged, and not repairable afterwards.
I would not pick superflex for use in my home, but $1/foot is a good price.
I prefer Belden 8237 (solid dielectric) or 8214 (foam) for flexible RG8.
There are good equivalents around to both those cables.
I have a  150' run of 1/2" LDF for HF (tennadyne T-6) and one run of 7/8" LDF for VHF/UHF (tennadyne T-28) with 8237 jumpers on the tower.
GL de W1EL
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 10:02:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By NAM:
While looking further, I've got a place selling Andrew Superflex FSJ4-50  for $1/foot.

Any reason NOT to go with the superflex? Everything I've read says it's superior. Reportedly, since it is 1/2", folks have been able to use standard PL-239 and N connectors designed for LMR-400.

You're in a massively different league of transmission lines when you go to solid (including corrugated) conductor cables (commonly called "hardline") versus braided shield coax.  It's an order of magnitude more involved as far as the handling and installation.

If you're using LMR400/RG8 type connectors on hardline, you've pretty much lost any performance advantage that you might have gained in losses in the kludged together connectors.  Something to consider is that braided coaxial cables are commonly sized by the outside diameter of the completed cable while hardline is usually sized by the outside diameter of the dielectric under the shield.  Even the relatively uncommon "3/8" hardline" is somewhat larger than LMR400, 1/2" hardlines are much larger.

The name "superflex" in this instance only refers to the minimum bend radius versus similar solid shield cables.  With hardline you unreel it from the spool, and install it, keeping bending to a minimum.  It can be bent to the minimum bend radius - once.  Once there it should never be straightened.  I don't have my reference materials in front of me but if I remember right, the newer hardlines are using aluminum shield conductors as well which is how they are keeping the cost down.

Unless you need massive power handling or are putting together some real critical stuff for higher frequencies, its really ludicrous to seriously consider using hardline unless it's something that you're getting free as salvage or something like that.  The complexity and general PITA factor of handling and installing it far outweigh the minimal performance benefit for all but the most critical applications versus the current technology in higher performance RG8 sized cables.

What is the application for the cable you are looking at?
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 10:18:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Oldford:
Used to be that the jacket on superflex was not UV resistant, and would not hold up outdoors. Not sure if that has changed in later production.

I think all of them use polyethylene jackets now, I have little experience with the "superflex" line though.

In spite of the name, it is not designed to be repeatably flexed.
Also, the outer conductor is very thin copper, easily dented or damaged, and not repairable afterwards.
I would not pick superflex for use in my home, but $1/foot is a good price.

Agree with all of the above.  I think the $1/ft is because of the change to aluminum shield.

I prefer Belden 8237 (solid dielectric) or 8214 (foam) for flexible RG8.

You should take a look at the newish 9913F7 as an alternative to 8214.  It's nothing like traditional 9913 and seems to be an excellent choice in a flexible cable.  I haven't been able to get any solid information on how the jacket stands up outdoors, although it should be at least as good as any vinyl jacketed cable.

There are good equivalents around to both those cables.
I have a  150' run of 1/2" LDF for HF (tennadyne T-6) and one run of 7/8" LDF for VHF/UHF (tennadyne T-28) with 8237 jumpers on the tower.
GL de W1EL

Despite my advice against hardline I have some installed too  It was free though, and I got connectors on a clearance deal for like $2.50 to $5 each.
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 11:38:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
What is the application for the cable you are looking at?


I've never worked with hardline before. I assumed superflex was significantly more forgiving, but it appears I was wrong.

I'm relocating the shack eventually, and installing a tower. Right now I am using 8X for HF and VHF/UHF (simple 2m/70cm...nothing fancy).

Since the new location is slightly further, I figured might as well move up in coax size/quality. I'm sure the 8X will be fine for HF, but if I'm going to buy something nicer for VHF/UHF, might as well buy extra.

As mentioned, I never worked with hardline before. But when I saw the price was very close, it piqued my interest.
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 11:59:01 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Gamma762:
You should take a look at the newish 9913F7 as an alternative to 8214.  It's nothing like traditional 9913 and seems to be an excellent choice in a flexible cable.  I haven't been able to get any solid information on how the jacket stands up outdoors, although it should be at least as good as any vinyl jacketed cable.







9913F7 is an excellent choice where you need something that flexes. I have multiple pieces of LMR400 and LMR400 ultraflex here that have broken conductors in them from flex.  I would never use LMR400 or ultraflex for a portable setup where you will be uncoiling and coiling the coax.   The only thing I did notice about the 9913F7 is that the Jacket seems to be softer and more susceptible to abrasion damage than many other types.  I did have one piece with damage on the Drummond Island DXpedition.   That being said it is what I plan to use on my home VHF tower setup this summer.  Won't be using LMR400 for any antennas that will be rotated again.   Back in the 1980's and 1990's 9913 was the best available.   We had to work around the water problems.  Now for fixed applications on omnidirectional antennas I would use LMR40o, LMR600 or like we are doing on the new 440 repeater LMR900.  For directional antennas my choice will be Belden 9913F7.  The other mentioned Belden cables are fine for HF or even 6 meters.  Anything higher I will use something else.

That being said I did use a 25 ft length of 8214 for my rover feedline for the VHF sprint last monday.



 
Link Posted: 4/19/2011 7:04:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2011 7:45:56 PM EDT by F350PSD]
Found this today for anyone that might want LMR.

USACoax


ETA 4/20: Ended up going in with a buddy and ordered 365' of various length LMR400 cables.  I'll report back when it comes in. Painless web ordering. (Unlike MFJ)
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 1:39:08 AM EDT
I got a closeout length of Times microwave LMR600 for the 440 repeater.  178 ft for $0.52/ft  Gotta thank an arfcomer for finding this for me.  This project is getting expensive enough.   At first we were gonna just move the existing repeater to my location.   Now we have a new Kenwood repeater, new controller getting 2 new link radios, new power supply with battery backup.  County emergency management is begging for a lot of features.   I wish someone would help with all the expense.  The guy who had the repeater is furnishing the repeater, duplexer and controller but it is still expensive for me.  It looks like when the project is done we should have one of the widest coverage 440 machines in the area.  
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 8:35:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By km:
Drummond Island DXpedition.    

i was not invited?!!?!?!  

ps
drummond island is one of the best well-kept secrets of off-road motorcycling.  some very challenging (rocky) trails and a very unique experience as it is the only island in the continental USA that you can ride singletrack on.

ar-jedi















Link Posted: 4/20/2011 9:20:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By km:
Drummond Island DXpedition.

i was not invited?!!?!?!  

Bike rider eh?  I knew I liked you for a reason



We could have used the help.  We may go back again sometime, as propagation really sucked for last Septembers' contest and we really made a pitiful number of contacts compared to what we were expecting and hoping for.  June contests usually have better prop on 2m+, as well as better E skip for 6m, but it's harder for me to get away in June than September.  Also getting equipment a lot more squared away in the meantime so should have better performance.

Those trails would have been a lot more enjoyable on a dirt bike than in a 4x4 pickup

(sorry for the threadjack)
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 1:47:28 AM EDT





Those trails would have been a lot more enjoyable on a dirt bike than in a 4x4 pickup







I didn't tell ya to bang your head on the roof of the pickup.



 
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 1:59:34 AM EDT
one of the earlier threads about Drummond Island

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=22&t=637737



a few of the pictures.























enough of that.  Jedi,  you are now required to come along the next time we do it.  


Link Posted: 4/21/2011 6:30:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2011 6:35:40 AM EDT by ar-jedi]
LOL

"Chuck's Place" on your QSL card
http://keithmillerphotography.com/FD/drummondQSL%20copy.jpg
and
http://losdos.dyndns.org/public/riding/02aug2004-sixdays/IMG_1381_sm.jpg

Originally Posted By km:
enough of that.  Jedi,  you are now required to come along the next time we do it.  

i'm in.  it's only a 1200 mile drive ... and i always end up doing something stupid when i get there.  just a side note, riding across the Big Mac on a 220 lb enduro bike in high winds is, well, "exciting".  attach your metallic ballset before setting out.  

ar-jedi








Link Posted: 4/21/2011 7:20:12 AM EDT





It's a landmark  



This picture wasn't taken very far from Chuck's Place.







 
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 10:42:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2011 12:21:16 PM EDT by Gamma762]
Originally Posted By km:
enough of that.  Jedi,  you are now required to come along the next time we do it.  

Now that you've shown him what the operating station looked like he may choose to stay on the bike


(better pic of my homebrew 6m antenna )

We'd have to remember rule #1 of a multiop contest station - which we forgot this time - noise reduction headphones/headsets.  It's really hard to talk on the radio, call CQ etc when you're hearing the other ops doing the same thing... and hard to hear received stations when the other op is speaking, without NR headphones.  That and a voice keyer would be exceptionally useful.
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 1:21:21 PM EDT
jedi, there is some creepy looking guy standing next to your bike in the pictures.



Link Posted: 4/21/2011 6:43:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By VRMN8R:
jedi, there is some creepy looking guy standing next to your bike in the pictures.


1) anytime you want to go for a "little ride", let me know.  warning –– wear roost protection...



2) it's all fun and games until you are going 40MPH between trees 4 feet apart.



3) i eat trees for breakfast.



4) you haven't actually been *really* tired until day 5 of a 6 day enduro is behind you.  



5) my pit crew brings up the looks average significantly.



6) working on your bike at 2am, in the rain, gives you a whole new appreciation for "maintainability".



7) bring some entertainment items with you on the off chance you don't have to work on your bike...




ar-jedi
Link Posted: 4/22/2011 3:15:35 PM EDT
That looks like LOTS o fun jedi.

How did the bike fair against the tree?
Link Posted: 4/22/2011 3:47:12 PM EDT
now I know what I did wrong.   I didn't take a bike or rc plane along.   both stayed home.   but I did have the bike trailer.
Link Posted: 4/22/2011 3:55:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
2) it's all fun and games until you are going 40MPH between trees 4 feet apart.

That looks like most of my childhood.  Grew up wanting to be a trials rider

5) my pit crew brings up the looks average significantly.
http://losdos.dyndns.org/public/riding/02aug2004-sixdays/IMG_1074_sm.jpg

I noticed that.... she have a sister
Link Posted: 4/23/2011 8:18:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By VRMN8R:
That looks like LOTS o fun jedi.
How did the bike fair against the tree?

gee, thanks for asking about ME!  

that little shunt broke the pin off the steering stabilizer and gave the bar and forks a 10 degree misalignment from center.  i think it would be useful to mention here that i rode the rest of the trail and then back across the Mackinac Bridge with the tweaked bars.  honestly it's easier to ride on the road with tweaked bars than ride off-road without a steering stabilizer.  every root and rock you hit ends up jarring your shoulders.

that said, there is an amusing camaraderie associated with riding.  it's hard to explain to folks not involved in the sport.  the ability to laugh under really crappy circumstances is what separates folks on the trail and back at camp.  below, my friend john is holding something –– it's the right hand side radiator from his bike.  he had crashed up on the U.P. somewhere and split the radiator.  on the trail basically you throw some JB Weld over the problem, empty the contents of your Camelback bladder into the radiator, and carry on until either it seizes or you get back to camp.  meanwhile i and another rider are absolutely carving into him, it's unbelievable how hard you can laugh at 1am about this situation.  the next day we found this place to play Travis Pastrana X-games and naturally he crashed, bending the OTHER radiator in the process...  good times.

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 4/23/2011 9:47:43 AM EDT



Originally Posted By ar-jedi:



Originally Posted By VRMN8R:

That looks like LOTS o fun jedi.

How did the bike fair against the tree?


gee, thanks for asking about ME!  



that little shunt broke the pin off the steering stabilizer and gave the bar and forks a 10 degree misalignment from center.  i think it would be useful to mention here that i rode the rest of the trail and then back across the Mackinac Bridge with the tweaked bars.  honestly it's easier to ride on the road with tweaked bars than ride off-road without a steering stabilizer.  every root and rock you hit ends up jarring your shoulders.



that said, there is an amusing camaraderie associated with riding.  it's hard to explain to folks not involved in the sport.  the ability to laugh under really crappy circumstances is what separates folks on the trail and back at camp.  below, my friend john is holding something –– it's the right hand side radiator from his bike.  he had crashed up on the U.P. somewhere and split the radiator.  on the trail basically you throw some JB Weld over the problem, empty the contents of your Camelback bladder into the radiator, and carry on until either it seizes or you get back to camp.  meanwhile i and another rider are absolutely carving into him, it's unbelievable how hard you can laugh at 1am about this situation.  the next day we found this place to play Travis Pastrana X-games and naturally he crashed, bending the OTHER radiator in the process...  good times.



ar-jedi



http://losdos.dyndns.org/public/riding/02aug2004-sixdays/IMG_1228_sm.jpg



http://losdos.dyndns.org/public/riding/02aug2004-sixdays/IMG_1413_sm.jpg
Well, to my defense, youre standing with a smile on your face. That gave you away a little.



I raced cars for 25 years so I know the ribbing you can do about much of the mishaps and stuff. What can you do but laugh? Getting POd sure doesnt put your equipment back together very fast.



I never was much of a motorcycle riding kind of guy. I loved them but didnt do a lot of riding except some casual trail stuff. Nothing I would call "extreme" anyhow.

Now stock car racing, gimme a steering wheel and 4 wheels and Im good to go.





 
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 1:44:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 1:45:18 PM EDT by F350PSD]
Back on topic with follow up on USACoax.

Order arrived yesterday. Actual American made Times Microwave LMR-400 with heat shrink on the connectors and soldered center pins.

One small problem is that the 15' jumper that I ordered arrived as a 10'.

Email this AM to the company got a response this PM from the owner.  Credit card refund of the difference in prices.

(I could have sent the cable back at THEIR expense as per their advertised policy for an exchange/refund, but I offered the solution taken).

This weekend we'll be pulling 3 150' coax runs through conduit at a buddy's house.

Looks like a good company to deal with.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 7:44:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By F350PSD:
This weekend we'll be pulling 3 150' coax runs through conduit at a buddy's house.

Please take note of the minimum specified bend radii for LMR400, for a single bend and repeated bending.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 4:52:57 AM EDT
With RG-8 and LMR-400 types, is their a major downside to stranded center vs solid? The only type I've ever used was stranded... I assumed in this size, it was all stranded.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 5:01:36 AM EDT



Originally Posted By NAM:


With RG-8 and LMR-400 types, is their a major downside to stranded center vs solid? The only type I've ever used was stranded... I assumed in this size, it was all stranded.


The single conductor LMR400 can't tolerate much flexing.   I wouldn't use it for antennas that require a rotor loop.  Had 2 break from the flexing on my vhf/uhf beam antennas.  Great for fixed antennas where the coax won't be subject to continous flexing.



 
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 5:04:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By km:

Originally Posted By NAM:
With RG-8 and LMR-400 types, is their a major downside to stranded center vs solid? The only type I've ever used was stranded... I assumed in this size, it was all stranded.

The single conductor LMR400 can't tolerate much flexing.   I wouldn't use it for antennas that require a rotor loop.  Had 2 break from the flexing on my vhf/uhf beam antennas.  Great for fixed antennas where the coax won't be subject to continous flexing.
 


Any significant loss in stranded vs solid? I don't know what the future will bring. Right now, it's all verticals...but I may go for a beam in the future.

*wishes he never sold that PDL-II*
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 5:49:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By NAM:
Any significant loss in stranded vs solid?

Not at typical amateur radio frequencies.

LMR400 is great stuff, when used correctly.  In the case of the standard LMR400 with the copper coated aluminum center conductor, that means installing it and then it NOT moving or flexing, at all.  There are LMR400-like cables on the market with solid copper center conductors which will handle more flexing, I've used one made by Andrew and another company as well I think.  Stranded center conductor cables normally have some variant of a vinyl jacket for better flexibility, at the sacrifice of jacket durability and UV resistance.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 8:41:10 PM EDT
Done. Pulled/pushed 2 LMR-400s through appx 2.5 inch conduit that already had an RG8U in it. Only 1 90 degree bend.

I thought that we would need to remove the RG8 and pull the 3 together, but we tried pulling over the RG8 and it was fine.

Staggered the pre-installed PL-259s and made a "nosecone" to smooth the transition.

Plenty of Ideal wire lube and some sweat. Went pretty smoothly and quickly.


Here's some pix of the cruise in/carshow that we attended before the pull. A pleasant day in the mountains.

You-WereThere
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:10:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By F350PSD:
Only 1 90 degree bend.



Hopefully you used one of those conduit curve section bends and not a sharp 90 degree fitting.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 12:36:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 12:37:28 AM EDT by SandHillsHillbilly]





Originally Posted By Gamma762:





Originally Posted By F350PSD:


Only 1 90 degree bend.











Hopefully you used one of those conduit curve section bends and not a sharp 90 degree fitting.
+1 if it was an LB, LR, LL then the bend radius it too tight. It might not break but it will cause dielectric migration and the impedance will change at the bend point. Need to use preformed 90 if PVC or bend your own if using metallic conduit.






ETA: one of the reasons there is a minimum bend radius listed for coax.





 
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:55:50 PM EDT
An FYI for anyone reading the thread:

LMR-400 SPECS
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:42:00 PM EDT
don't try and soldering that shit
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 8:27:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 8:28:39 PM EDT by Gamma762]
Originally Posted By shasta69:
don't try and soldering that shit

The copper cladding on the inner conductor solders just fine.  The aluminum end of the wire does not.  I always solder LMR-400, don't trust a crimp to hold onto the wire considering the aluminum core.
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 4:33:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By shasta69:
don't try and soldering that shit

The copper cladding on the inner conductor solders just fine.  The aluminum end of the wire does not.  I always solder LMR-400, don't trust a crimp to hold onto the wire considering the aluminum core.


Well when one puts just a little too much heat and turns the air core into marshmellow and can't figure why swr is crazy....
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 4:52:01 AM EDT



Originally Posted By shasta69:



Originally Posted By Gamma762:


Originally Posted By shasta69:

don't try and soldering that shit


The copper cladding on the inner conductor solders just fine.  The aluminum end of the wire does not.  I always solder LMR-400, don't trust a crimp to hold onto the wire considering the aluminum core.




Well when one puts just a little too much heat and turns the air core into marshmellow and can't figure why swr is crazy....
Here is a helpful hint when soldering LMR400 or bigger. Actually I like using it no matter what size, but it is more helpful on the larger sizes.



Use the largest wattage soldering iron you can find with a large flat tip. That large center conductor sucks up the heat and with a small wattage iron, those usually around 40 watts, you have to stay on the part too long. With an 80 watt iron and the right tip I can just touch it and it is ready to wick up the solder. Also helps if you have a dummy load and an antenna analyzer to check your cables. Best money I have ever spent on test equipment. Saved a lot of headaches.





 
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