How to substitute a U229 connector?

The rig I'm possessed of is a homebrew from a fellow ham in a manpack case (GE524).

The audio connector is a 5-pin 3-point all-weather bayonet mount from the heritage of the manpack.

The trouble is ... the connector provided with the rig has gone walkabout; my elmer is unavailable and the prices posted against this connector online are outrightly beyond my budget.

Would there be any suggestions on a substitute for the U229 connector?

p.s. More detail about the U229

• Used ones seem affordable enough on eBay. Sep 25 '16 at 17:24
• @rclocher3: Multiply that figure on eBay by 66 :) Sep 26 '16 at 5:03
• I saw one for US$6.95. Sep 26 '16 at 19:25 • Could you define your budget?$25 or so: newark.com/cooper-interconnect/u-229-ug1/… Oct 6 '16 at 22:20
• @rclocher3 Shipping to VU is more expensive than the part itself, even without added duty Oct 15 '16 at 14:20

2 Answers

Here are two generic (not specific to that connector type) and ugly alternatives:

• Measure the critical dimensions of the plug and 3D print a replacement.

This might not work at all (not enough strength, fine detail, or wear resistance from the print) and is unlikely to be weatherproof. You'll also need to find suitable contacts and a way to mount them in the new plug.

• Remove the connector on the radio and mount a modern replacement (or a similar-vintage one that is more readily available) which can be fit in the existing hole.

• I think the second isn't that ugly – especially considering the homebrew quality of the original device, this would personalize the device a bit :) Oct 6 '16 at 22:23

I would use classic microphone connectors used for ham radio righs like these

It should not be problem ti make metal or plastic rings as adapters to fit the hole.