Salvaging Pure Silver BNC Connectors




About: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started writing poetry in high school over thirty years ago where I ...

I salvage good components and precious metals from old electronics, one of the reasons I do this is cost and the other is availability. The closest electronics store to me is a day trip just to find out if they carry what I want, and just because you can view it on line doesn’t mean they ship to where you live.

A large amount of old high tech electronics like this radar unit is made with solid high grade silver and gold components and wires. The problem with a lot of these high grade silver components is they oxidize like these BNC connectors, and you can’t just polish them like silverware. But they can be restored to like new condition.

In this Instructable I am going to show you how to restore these components with the least invasive or corrosive method available.

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Step 1: Tools & Materials

1 Liter or 1 quart Water

1 Tablespoon Baking Soda

A Piece of Aluminum Foil

1 Pot

1 Soldering Iron to remove the core conductor from the core pins.

1 Screwdriver if needed to remove screws.

1 Tablespoon, When measuring your ingredients you do not have to be precise so an ordinary tablespoon will do.

Thin wrenches or needle nose pliers and ordinary pliers, the slots on these BNC and coaxial cable connectors is very narrow and broad pliers and wrenches will not fit into the slots.

Fine Screened Sieve, you want a sieve with small enough holes in it to capture the BNC core pins.

Soft Dry Rags

Soft Dry Brush

Step 2: Disassemble the BNC Connectors

When you dissemble the connectors this is a good time to make a schematic or diagram of the connectors. Schematics and assembly diagrams are hard to get for older components so make your own. The schematics and diagrams are also helpful when you go to assemble the parts if you want to reuse them. You can label the parts or just make an assembly diagram.

Clamp nut


Pressure ring

Compression ring

Body clamp

Lock Washer


Male core pin

Female core pin

Male BNC body

Female BNC body

Most of the parts just unscrew with thin wrenches or pliers and pull apart, however on these BNC connectors the male core pin and the female core pin is soldered to the core conductor of the coaxial cable. The core pins will need to be de-soldered.

Separate the non-silver parts from the silver parts; you do not need to remove the body insulators from the BNC bodies.

Step 3: Cleaning the Silver

This is the most non invasive methods of cleaning silver I know and it works on everything from silverware to jewelry.

Start by putting a pot with 1 liter or 1 quart of water on the stove to boil.

Form the piece of aluminum foil into a bowl and submerge it in the water.

When the water comes to a full boil add the one tablespoon of baking soda and the silver BNC parts in the center of the aluminum foil. The water should foam up a bit when you add the baking soda.

Let the parts simmer for a minute, for really dirty parts let simmer for five minutes.

Dump the contents of the pot into a fine screen sieve and rinse with cold water so you can handle the parts.

The BNC parts will be coated with a white powder and flakes of silver oxide.

Using a clean dry cloth and a soft dry brush wipe off the water, white powder, and silver oxide.

Step 4: Like New BNC Connecters

I partially assembled the BNCs to keep track of the parts, now you have BNC connectors that look and work like new. With a step by step assembly diagram, all I need now is a project to make use of the parts.

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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Is the black a corrsion product of the silver?

    How do you convert that back to silver?

    Other wise the silver gets thinner, until there is no silver left !

    1 reply
    Josehf Murchisonandrewty

    Reply 3 years ago

    The black is called silver oxide, basically the same thing as rust if it was steel.

    There are a number of ways you can reclaim silver from silver oxide.

    One way is to dissolving the oxide in nitric acid.

    This gives you a solution of silver nitrate.

    Then there is a number of ways to convert it back to solid silver or re-plating.

    Just google "converting silver oxide to silver"


    3 years ago

    Okay, like the other chap said, just silver plate. However, your method is good for removing the black oxidation. A little misinformed but a good project just the same. Well done.


    3 years ago

    Save yourself some money - file into one and see for yourself. Brass, plated with silver........


    3 years ago

    Silver is too soft to use for connectors in pure form. Sorry, but what you have is still plated brass - not solid silver, nor pure by any stretch. 33 years in military avionics, and dealt with AMP, Amphenol, Kings, and many other suppliers, but no solid silver connector - ever! Too soft....and the plating is 30 microinches or less in thickness. For a wakeup, try the Gold refining forum - other experts will open your eyes to the plating, value and safe recovery methods.


    3 years ago

    solid high grade silver......not. Just Silver plated brass.

    John Gray 1

    3 years ago

    Wow the really look like crap in the before.