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Old 12-02-2014, 13:59   #16
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
Get a good quality soldered PL259, and use this approach to wether proof it: My Famous Three-Step Water Proofing Process
I had to look up the tape mentioned.

Essentially, start with electrical tape and then enclose with self-amalgamating tape, etc.

No heat shrink tubing?
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Old 12-02-2014, 14:08   #17
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

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So if I select a 50 ohm Type N male plug, it will fit the antenna's SO239 socket? Do I have to worry about frequency range or reversed polarity, etc.

Am I over-thinking this ( an ironic question due to the preponderance of the OCD types that inhabit this site)? I also realize that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Part of my problem is that I am pretty far from a large town - no electronics stores around- so I am stuck shopping on the web. I find it useful to see things in person and then I can usually muddle through on my own.
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Old 12-02-2014, 14:55   #18
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

Use Amphenol PL-259 connectors at each end of the coax. Avoid those Shakespeare gold PL-259's like the plague; they're junk.

LMR-400 is good, but it is difficult to terminate sometimes. I prefer RG-214 for such runs. It is double-shielded. When affixing the PL-259, you can just cut back one of the two layers so it is a bit easier to fit into the connector and solder.

Tape the connections tightly for waterproofing.

If you do this correctly, the connections will last a couple of decades.

Bill
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Old 12-02-2014, 15:14   #19
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

While that limited-availability connector looks good (thanks for the pics and explanation!), I would also opt for the crimp N-type connectors for the LMR400 cable. You can find antennas with N-type connectors for direct fit, or use a N-type to PL259 adapter.

There is only one way to seal this all but there's an old and new version of it. The new version is much cleaner so here it is:

First, wrap it with Rescue-tape, from bottom to top, overlapping halfway. Rescue-tape is a modern self-amalgamating silicone tape that does not leave a messy gooey substance when you remove it. You need to stretch it to double it's length while wrapping. Once it touches the previous wrap it's fixed forever so be careful.
This tape is not UV resistant however, so wrap the whole thing again with 3M Super 33+ electrical tape. After some time that can start unwrapping, so I lock it's end in place with a small black plastic tie-wrap.

The old way used 3M 130C tape, plus a first layer of 33+ tape (sticky side out except for first and last wraps). That first layer is to keep the 130C off the cable as it's so messy.
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:22   #20
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

Get a crimp on connector. They are used professionally with better than solder results. You can get a basic ( cheap) crimper for $30 that will do a fine job. N type connectors are typically better made and more durable than pl259's. None are really weatherproof and should be sealed like Jedi describes. The advice to stay away from those compression shakespeare connectors is very good advice.
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Old 12-02-2014, 20:15   #21
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

I think that I have this figured out. Thanks everyone.

Now to find an affordable crimper
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Old 14-02-2014, 00:33   #22
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

There are PL259 connectors with a internal protection against water.
UHF-Spez-6
Wilhelm
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Old 14-02-2014, 01:10   #23
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

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There are PL259 connectors with a internal protection against water.
UHF-Spez-6
Wilhelm
They look very similar to the ones I use. I couldn't see the center pin though. Mine have a solid domed top so you push the center wire up the hole in the middle but solder from through a hole in the side (hope that makes sense) rather than at the end. It seems to me to make a much stronger solder joint that way.
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Old 14-02-2014, 02:09   #24
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

When using cable with low power loss, then you have the insulation produced with foam and air inside.
Water will pass easier then into the cable AS INSIDE A RG58 and will increase power loss dramaticly.
The key point is to protect the water to enter into the cable with such a rubber made part wich will seal as a "0" ring.
Wilhelm
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Old 14-02-2014, 06:00   #25
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

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There are PL259 connectors with a internal protection against water.
UHF-Spez-6
Wilhelm
Danke.
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Old 14-02-2014, 06:08   #26
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

I have also discovered that LMR-400 cable comes in a "watertight" version. From the Times Microwave website:

"LMR- DB is identical to standard LMR plus has the advantage of being watertight. The addition of waterproofing compound in and around the
foil/braid insures continuous reliable service should the jacket be
inadvertently damaged during installation or in the future."
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Old 14-02-2014, 09:43   #27
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Re: Best VHF cable connector???

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Originally Posted by Captain Ludd View Post
They look very similar to the ones I use. I couldn't see the center pin though. Mine have a solid domed top so you push the center wire up the hole in the middle but solder from through a hole in the side (hope that makes sense) rather than at the end. It seems to me to make a much stronger solder joint that way.
I've seen those and I've used them on my old boat where I go from a PL-259 to a T-connector for the forbidden "use the VHF as an FM antenna" move (I am rigourous about switching off the radio before I use the VHF).

Like this:

While I use sealing or "adhesive" heat shrink for electrical connections, I use 3M heat shrink for this job as it's secured out of the bilges. I basically use this method as pictured here:

Soldering PL-259 Coax Connecters

I used to just score and fold back the braid, which suffices for fresh water, but I now take the extra time to "do 'er right" by tinning the braid.

Hope this helps.
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