The "Tee" - Super-Tough Center Connector for Dipole Antenna

       Shown below is just my example of how to build a very durable center connector for an HF dipole antenna.  Though commercially available versions are cheap and easy, why not make one out of your scrap junk and do it differently every time you put up an antenna?

       This one happened to fit my requirements; it was compact, waterproof and could hold the weight of a man or overfed squirrel! (sure, why not)  The construction difficulty is a bit on the advanced side as it requires some metal grinding and cutting but the parts required are just several small 1" sized PVC pipe fitting parts, and no length-pipe was used as the connectors are more rigid and made of a stronger PVC.  This will hold more weight than the connector end of the feed line could hold.  I know, because I've had many of large tree limb bring down a good dipole.  No guarantees though and the builder assumes all responsibility.

PVC Parts to be used

PVC pipe connectors were used. No length-pipe was included. All 1" sized.
(Click to enlarge photos)

Adapter was cut in two

The Reducer adapter was cut in two, about a 1/4" down from the small end.

The problem of fitting the parts together

The Panel Mount SO-239 UHF Connector to be sandwiched between the two halfs.
Problem: Square peg in a round hole... what to do.

File corners off of SO-239

File the corners off of the SO-239 until the base is round at the same diameter as the Reducer.
Putting tape around the theads will prevent ruining the connector.

Should look like this...



Ooops... I tried to attach the SO-239 to Reducer by melting it with a soldering iron.  Man, that looks bad...
I recomend epoxy.

Leads fashioned...

Leads are fashioned out of stranded #10 guage insulated wire.

Solder leads to connector...

Soldered leads to connector. Keep outter lead close to round inslulator lip.

Connector parts glued together

The prepped SO-239 with leads and two parts of Reducter glue (or melted) together.

Leads and connector end threaded in...

Leads and connector ends are threaded in after access holes were drilled into T-piece

Connector glued into body

Connector glued with PVC cement into T-piece. Sealant placed inside lead holes.

Endcap parts layed out...

End Caps drilled through to accept stainless-steel hardware.

Built Ford Tough... (GM actually)

These are tough! Ratcheted together and ready to hold a massive dipole antenna!

Final Construction (So-239 View)

Ends are PVC cemented together while being aligned. Test initially to prevent hardware touching lead connections or binding leads.

Final connector read to go on antenna...

Final assembly, ready to be soldered and attached to dipole wires.
Dipole can be pre-soldered directly to SO-239 for extreme weather-proofing.

Edited: 06/26/20
(c)2020 Copyright - Michael A. Maynard, a.k.a. K4ICY