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Technical Tidbit - February 2012
The Melted BNC Adapter

view of melted BNC barrel

Figure 1.
End View of Melted BNC Barrel Adapter


Abstract: I often solder wires or components to BNC hardware to make voltage probes and magnetic loop probes. The process usually goes smoothly, except this time. Who would have guessed that the metal portion of BNC hardware could melt from the heat of soldering!

Discussion: Figure 1 shows the result of trying to solder a US AWG 16 brass wire to a BNC barrel adapter to make a magnetic loop probe. Figure 2 shows another view. Apparently, the metal from which the BNC barrel adapter was made had a melting pointing not much different than solder.

This particular BNC barrel adapter was very inexpensive and not well made. By looking into the opposite end of the barrel from the soldering attempt, one could see little metal teeth making a press fit between the center assembly and the inside of the barrel instead of the smooth fit I usually see. I wonder how this piece of BNC hardware would perform electrically as measured by a network analyzer (before the melting)?

View of Melted BNC Barrel Adapter

Figure 2.
Another End View of Melted BNC Barrel Adapter


Remember the old Latin saying "Caveat emptor"or "Let the buyer beware." If you are going to solder to BNC hardware, be sure to use high quality product.

Summary: There is some really poor quality BNC hardware out there. Be sure to use high quality BNC hardware if you intend to solder to it or use it for applications where the electrical and mechanical properties are important.

Additional articles on this website related to this topic are:
  1. DC to 1GHZ Oscilloscope Probe Plans
  2. Noise Injection for Design Analysis and Debugging (~1.4MB)
    • (2009 DesignCon paper)

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    Copyright 2012 Douglas C. Smith