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The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?

Rich Pell
4/21/2010 05:00 PM EDT

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bhmcintosh
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
bhmcintosh   1/19/2011 4:41:02 AM
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RCA jacks were the bane of my audio existence. One pair of phono inputs was badly enough oxidized that the mating surfaces wound up acting as diodes, turning the phono section of my FM-only receiver into an impromptu AM tuner. And replacing the little buggers when they wore out almost always involved plenty of drilling, cutting, chiseling off rivet heads, prying and mangling with Vise-grips, etc.

Kinnar
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
Kinnar   8/25/2010 8:53:37 AM
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RCA for Audio Video has become a standard, but it really needs some better connector in place of that as RCA is not suitable for Digital Multi Channel Audio and Component Video or Even SVideo. It is really required to have a universal connector in place where in the signal availability will be detected automatically and the single connector will be used for connecting the two devices with each other, say for example dvd player and a TV set. SCART is not a better option as well, it really requires some nice invention. Entire world will appreciate it.

Duane Benson
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
Duane Benson   7/8/2010 4:11:46 PM
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It's cheap and it's easy and it just works. Like the standard household light bulb base, it would never be designed or approved by a committee today, but "inexpensive" and "easy to use" are perhaps even more important in the consumer world today. Most people that buy products aren't engineers and the typical consumer electronics sales person hasn't been trained enough to navigate the morass of different connection standards we have to deal with today. Yes, we get higher resolution and better quality with all of the newer interconnect types, but us in the design world should take a lesson from the perseverance of something like the RCA connector. Yes, it does have some deficiencies, but it just works. It has elegance in its simplicity. How many of our standards today are good enough to live for 70 and counting years?

wreeve
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
wreeve   4/22/2010 6:02:30 PM
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The application of the RCA phono plug and jack extended up to at least VHF. It regularly was used to connect antennas to VHF navigation/communications (108-135 MHz) equipment in small airplane avionics of the 1950s and 1960s. It was difficult to solder the coax shield to the shell without melting the center conductor insulation. For these applications it was just plain worthless.

grayhair
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
grayhair   4/22/2010 4:29:31 PM
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If you are going to worry about noise pickup in a single-ended interconnection, BNC or F connectors won't help much, and they would exacerbate the problem of many closely spaced connectors for multiple signals.

bcarso
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
bcarso   4/22/2010 4:15:35 PM
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"now" have...

bcarso
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re: The RCA phono plug: An outdated relic?
bcarso   4/22/2010 4:14:54 PM
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The RCA interconnect system (plug and jack) as I understood it was devised originally for internal connections in TV sets. But in any case it has been plagued with the inherently poor design as detailed above, as well as (astonishingly) an absence of specifications on the precise dimensions. So in addition to the stated problems, it is also common to encounter parts that have a snug grip of either the center pin or the shell, but not both (!), entailing intermittency of one connection or the other. But not to sit still in the ceaseless pursuit of mediocrity, we know have an even poorer connector system: the ubiquitous 3.5mm stereo plug and jack: still unbalanced, with contacts even less certain to properly engage, and even more susceptibility to vibration and force on the cable. Having said that about the RCA, it should also be noted that the impedance discontinuity due simply to the plug/jack is a fairly small effect at baseband video frequencies. It's easy to ensure the cable itself is 75 ohms, and that's the still-small but dominant system effect.

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