Part II: Say Goodbye to the BNC

I had previously commented on the how most of the handheld radios are adopting SMA connectors instead of BNC connectors. See Say Goodbye to the BNC. For example, the Yaesu FT-60 uses a female SMA connector for the antenna connection. I’d say this is the standard approach for the amateur radio market.

Female SMA on Yaesu FT-60

A few manufacturers have decided to use the male SMA connector as the antenna connection for their handheld radios. I suspect that these manufacturers are following the lead of commercial manufacturers (e.g., Motorola) who use the male connector.

Male SMA on Wouxun KG-UV2D

Many hams will want to adapt these SMA connectors back to the good old BNC, to connect to existing BNC connectors or HT antennas. I had commented that these adapters are mechanically weak but recently I have come across some more sturdy adapters.

SMA-BNC Adapters

The adapter in the center is the common adapter for cable use but arguably mechanically weak for adapting HT antennas. The adapter on the left adapts BNC antennas to an HT with a male SMA connector. The adapter fits snugly on the top of the HT and provides mechanical support. Similarly, the adapter on the right adapts BNC antennas to an HT with a female SMA connector.

The adapter on the left is available from Import Communications. The other two adapters came from Affordable Radio.

I have just started to use these more capable adapters so I am not sure how reliable they are in regular use. In any case, it makes sense to be careful to minimize the strain on any radio connector.

73, Bob K0NR

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Part II: Say Goodbye to the BNC”

  • Richard Corso:

    Anyone know where you can buy quality adaptors bnc to SO239 or PL259 instead of the Chinese crap that’s on ebay and other websites?

  • Phil McCleary N4LNE:

    Hello All
    I will be sorry to see the BNC connector go away. I have never had a BNC connection on a radio break or fail to connect. I have several antennas and adapters for the SMA fittings and they are very subject to failure. My ICOM IC-92AD refuses to work reliably with any SMA to BNC adapter. I would have been a lot happier with the radio if it had a BNC connector as the factory SMA antenna is just a little bit better than a dummy load.

    This is another example of fixing something that was never broke in the first place.


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