We’ve been asked to help the owner of a new Baofeng UV-B6 handheld radio to connect to a larger antenna with the aid of an adapter. Here’s the question:
“I am making a 2m slim-jim antenna. It will have PL259 at the end. Would you know by the chance what connector/converter will I need to attach it to UV-B6?”
As it’s not as easy of obvious as you’d hope, we thought it was worthy of a quick “how to” article.
Baofeng Antenna Connector
Unlike earlier Baofeng radios, this one has a recessed SMA socket, as pictured here:
Technically, what you are looking for is an SMA plug to SO-239 socket, but this is not a mainstream adapter. It’s the kind of thing you could pick up at an amateur radio rally, but you can get them on eBay – To find one, try here SMA to SO0239 Adapter on eBay UK
As it’s not an off-the-shelf adapter, there are two choices – making a patch lead, or using more than one off-the-shelf adapter.
Our challenge was to see what our local Maplin stocked that would do the job, and frustratingly, three adapters were needed:
This would do the job, but be a little ugly.
Here’s a picture of a similar arrangement –
Another option would be to terminate the antenna in a BNC plug, then a single SMA socket-to-BNC would do the job (sadly, not stocked by Maplin, so it’s the MM65V SMA Coupler and RS85G SMA Plug to BNC Socket combination, to do the gender change
With large multi-adapter solutions, there’s a danger of damaging the radio. Antenna cables tend to be thick and sturdy, and handheld rig sockets can be quite fragile, so movement of the antenna cable while connected could over-stretch the rig connection.
The alternative to adapters is soldering up a patch lead with an SMA socket on one end, and an SO-239 socket on the other end. The advantage here is that the patch lead can have some “play” in the cable, offering some protection for the radio’s socket. It can also be a neater solution
Hopefully that gives you a few ideas.
Having a laugh?
Keep to add one to my toolkit, I bought a SMA to SO0239 Adapter on eBay UK – £3.50… but look at the postage options. Free for 3 day delivery, or… how much???