[time-nuts] OT: Re: TNC connectors

J. Forster jfor at quik.com
Tue Jun 23 13:11:22 EDT 2009

> Chuck, please realise we're in the UK


> Metric vs Imperial:   Wasn't the USA supposed to go Metric decades ago?
> Many instrument makers managed it (IBM, HP, TEK etc.)  But the folklore I
> remember when I was in the US just down 101 from San Jose back in the
> early 90's, states that most small (jobbing) metal bashing suppliers just
> plain refused to push the "Metric" button on their CNC machines  ;-)
> Certainly, the ones we used would and could do metric if you really
> wanted, but they didn't half grumble about it...  (They did a good job
> though!)

Yes, but it really didn't happen. HP and maybe Tek did switch for the
world market as did the car makers, but metric fastners are still a
minority here. Most 'home centers' do carry some sizes in small quantities
at high prices.


> "Radio Shack" never existed in the UK.  There was a brief period where
> "Tandy" was on the high street, with Rat Shack branded products.  "RS"
> over hear stands for what used to be "Radio Spares".  Now RS Components,
> one of the big (huge) catalogue based component suppliers, like your
> Mouser or DigiKey (who are also over hear in a small but expensive way.)

Their motto is "You got questions, we got cell phones". Actually, they do
have a minimal selection of parts (about the only people in most areaws
that do) but it's really cell phones, toys, and consumer electronics like

> Even then, Tandy went for the "Gadget" toy and phone market, abandoning
> even the small line of components they had, their products were of
> doubtful quality as well from what I remember.   The closest now in the UK
> would be Maplin, though they are slowly moving away from components,
> towards toys, gadgets, PC's and phones etc.  Go in to there and start
> asking for TNC connectors, and you'll probably get a blank stare...
> What you call RCA connectors, we call "Phono" connectors.  Another
> example.

Both names are used in the US.

> Interestingly, Maplin do this...
> http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1587&C=SO&U=strat15
> A TNC Male, to BNC Female adapter.  For the impressive cost of £1.89
> Useful to know.   Now all you have to do, is find a store with one in
> stock, and what the "Quality" is like is anyone's guess at that price.
> Pipe threads and mounting poles...   We can't just go to "Any US plumbing
> supply store".  There are DIY equivalent stores here of course, but you'd
> be very lucky indeed to find any iron water piping for domestic use these
> days.  Threaded or otherwise!  Even our water plumbing (Hot as well as
> cold) is moving towards plastic and push fit fittings.  (!)

Iron pipe comes in two types: Black and galvanized. The former is for gas,
the later for water (and is rarely used, except for old work these days).
The water systems in the UK used to be very different than here, with
supply pressures from 30 to 120 PSI. There have also been some massive
problems with plastic pipe fittings leaking. Copper w/ soldered
connections has been the best choice although that may be cfhanging.
Plastic, because it's flexible, is cheaper to install.

> Again, please be aware we are not in the USA, and 90+% of all our
> suppliers are exclusively metric, so it can be an issue to get the
> "correct stuff", when it is critical, and it is some odd (to us) imperial
> size or thread fitting..

I don't know if there is a Metric standard corresponding to NPT, but 've
seen fittings (like Swageloc) for Metric tubing with NPT threads.
> Strangely, the more common it is in the US, the scarcer it is over hear it
> seems.  Bit like trying to by Tea bags and Branston Pickle in the US.  Not
> to say a decent electric kettle!  :-)

The first and third are common.


> 'Nuff said I think.
> Regards to all.
> Dave B.
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