High Frequency Measurements Web Page
Douglas C. Smith

 page header graphic

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)

Check out my public seminar offering in Boulder City, NV. This is one of the best seminar values around because the industry typical fee includes more than just the seminar and lunch, but Lincoln Towne car airport transportation in NV, lodging in the historic Bouder City Dam Hotel and Museum, and breakfast and lunch each day. Click here for more details.

Is your product failing ESD testing? Attend my webinar on sources of error in ESD testing. This webinar covers problems and mistakes often made in testing products for ESD compliance that can cause a good product to fail when it should pass. The webinar is given as both a scheduled event and on-demand. Contact me at doug@dsmith.org for more details. Don't let your product fail ESD testing unnecessarily. This webinar is an easy, cost effective solution.
    Need help with a design or additional training on technical subjects? Click on the image below to go to CircuitAdvisor.com, a new engineering resource for training, news, and fun.


    If you like the information in this article and others on this website, much more information is available in my courses. Click here to see a listing of upcoming courses on design, measurement, and troubleshooting of chips, circuits, and systems. Click here to see upcoming seminars in Boulder City, NV.

    Click here for a description of my latest seminar titled (now also available online as a WebEx seminar):

    EMC Lab Techniques for Designers
    (How to find EMC problems and have some confidence your system will pass EMC testing while it is still in your lab).

    Top of page

    Questions or suggestions? Contact me at doug@dsmith.org
    Copyright 2012 Douglas C. Smith