Homebrew, open source, repurposed, hacked, software defined, open hardware

Monday, 27 June 2011

Custom RF and AV wallplates

Commercially available AV wallplates don't always blend in with standard wallplates, and sometimes you simply can't get off the shelf wallplates with some types of RF connectors.

This is how I use blank wallplates which match my existing wallplates to make custom AV, radio and whatever wallplates.

First of all, decide where to put the connectors. This will depend on connector size, wallplate size, wallplate curvature, ease of connector use if closely spaced, and loss of strength if you swiss cheese the plate too much, and of course, aesthetics.

In this case, two N connectors will be mounted, with their centres spaced 13 mm from the centreline. A set of calipers is used to score the plastic. The wallplate has centrelines already moulded in.

Having done this, carefully drill pilot holes centred on the marks.

Next, a step drill is used to make a hole the right size for the connector body. Step drills are indispensible for this sort of thing.
Next, accurately mark the wallplate where the mounting screw holes have to be drilled.

Then carefully drill at the marked locations

Then mount your connectors

Then prepare your cabling for the connectors and mount the wallplate.

Then use it! This wall plate brings the quad band antenna to the FM8900.
N connectors are better than BNC or SO-239 connectors for VHF, UHF and microwave bands, as they are less lossy on account of better impedance matching as the RF makes its way through the connector, and can handle fairly high power levels.


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  2. Nice Work! Thanks for sharing the details! I will perhaps be taking this approach as I get around to finishing the walls in my shack.

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