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Soldering up PL-239's to Coax: The Best Way?

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:33 AM
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Lightbulb Soldering up PL-239's to Coax: The Best Way?


What is the B E S T method to solder/connect fresh PL-239's to brand-new coax? Surely, there must be a definitive method. Any good links or pages to be put here or posted would surely boost the content of this site.

You'vr got PL-239's with silver plating, stainless steel, ferrules to accomidate the different diameters 'od' coax, you've got crappy crimp-type connctors.

I haven't seen ANY site that shows the CORRECT way to do it right.
Let's see what the members of this forum can come up with.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:39 PM
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I've been known to use all kinds of connectors. My favorite were those with the harder insulators that you don't really seem much of anymore. I don't like the teflon much, and mickel plating is ok...

I've been know to use a smoke wrench to put them on too, hence the dislike of teflon!

All you need is a good razor and an American Beauty soldering iron, some common sense helps a little too...


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Old 04-08-2009, 12:59 PM
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100 watt+ iron and amphenol pl-259's .

http://www.sparkyscbshack.com/board/...213/345081.htm

Amphenol PL-259 Coax Connector

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Old 04-08-2009, 05:06 PM
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At least a 100 watt IRON (not a gun, no matter how many watts) with a heavy, i.e. massive, tip.

Connectors. Use ONLY Amphenol 83-1SP connectors, which are SILVER plated. Stay far away from anybody who offers the "83-1SP 1050" version. That "1050" indicates the connector is nickel plated and will not take solder worth beans. If you use adapters for RG58 or RG8X, be sure they are silver plated as well. Hint: if the connector surface is shiny and bright, it's nickel. You want a dull finish.

Solder. 60/40 tin/lead alloy. 63/37 is marginally better, and any alloy containing 3-5% silver is even better. Forget "RoHS" lead-free stuff if you want your connections to last.

I use an AIM coax stripping tool for production work, but I've used razor blades and box knives as well. Trick is, especially at my age, to assemble a jumper or two from time to time, just to keep the synapses intact. I still have jumpers I made 40-50 years ago, and they still work just fine.

If you're looking online for videos of PL-259 assembly, don't put too much stock in those made by Ten-Tec. For a company that makes such good equipment, their connector assembly really makes me wonder. The videos I've seen tell you to take your soldering iron and put it on the connector "for about 20 seconds" ... ! There's a recipe for failure due to overheating the coax. The "tech" seems to be using maybe a 25-40 watt iron with a very small tip. FAIL!
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:21 PM
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A Better Way To Install PL-259 Connectors On RG-8X/RG-59/LMR240 Coaxial Cable

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:45 PM
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Freecell's link is -one- of the better ways to attach PL-259s, it certainly isn't the only one though. Until you find a better way for YOU to do it, it should certainly work.
- 'Doc

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:01 PM
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And Freecell's link only shows the smaller coax sizes. For the typical 0.405" stuff, there are many methods, but it all comes down to the wattage of the iron and the thermal mass of its tip.

And practice.

I've never had any particular problems installing connectors on RG58 with the adapters. I have noticed in the past half century that the amount, density and quality of the shield has really gone downhill, though.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:10 PM
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the procedure is tailored to provide the highest level of mechanical and electrical integrity for the connection required and not for what YOU can or cannot do due to the absence of the proper tools or lack of some specific skillset like proper soldering techniques. it's up to the individual to adapt to and learn the procedure, not visa versa. following the instructions to the letter and practice makes perfect.

the original poster didn't specify any particular Radio Guide Type. i figure he has a puter and a keyboard there and can clear that up at any time. when working with larger cable the procedure is the same with the exception of the reducer.

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