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Old 15-05-2010, 20:59   #1
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Coax Connection to Backstay

Okay, a real basic question. I bought a boat with a SSB and antenna tuner already installed. I guess this setup used to work, but I need to connect the antenna so I can start testing it.

There is a coil of coax coiled up near the stern where it leaves the lazarette through a weather tight fitting. I need to connect this coax to the backstay above the insulator.

Do I just strip back the coax and clamp the center conductor to the backstay? If so, how is the best way to seal this up so I don't get water wicking back into the coax?
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Old 15-05-2010, 21:19   #2
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Steve, hopefully it is not coax, it should be GTO cable. You need to strip the center core back about two inches, coat it well with solder, then loop it up and then back down so the cable makes a half loop. This keeps water out. You can seal the end of the cable with heat shrink tubing. We use a brass cable clamp found at most hardware stores , like these http://tinyurl.com/2f2ln5c to attach it to the stay.
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Old 15-05-2010, 21:32   #3
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Your antenna should have a connector on it, same with the auto tuner. These are typically standard connectors either P239 or P259 (so long ago now I can't remember which). These connectors are readily available at places like Radio Shack (which started incidentally in Fort Worth ...in fact I think the first store opened as Tandy Leather on Camp Bowie Blvd)...anyway I digress... Without proper connectors you chance defeating the purpose of the coax which is to insulate against RF and other type of enegry and thus interference. You also can get a substantial power loss or worse, expose someone else to an electrical hazzard involving RF energy if you power up by keying the mike and they happen to be touching the wrong thing at the wrong time...including yourself. The connectors are easy to put on the coax and all antenna connections...my thought...go with connectors.
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Old 15-05-2010, 21:36   #4
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ixtlan22, An SSB is not connected to the backstay by coax and does not use PL259 connectors for this.
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Old 15-05-2010, 22:01   #5
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Okay, if that's all it takes, I can get a clamp connector to use. I never have looked closely at the cable, I just assumed it was coax. Like you said, hopefully it is GTO.

Thanks!

PS - I know where that Tandy leather store on Camp Bowie is. I think it closed recently. Had no idea that was the original Radio Shack store.
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Old 16-05-2010, 04:49   #6
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Just use a stainless steel hose clamp. Don't apply solder to the wire. Looping it up and back down again is more likely to introduce water intrusion than prevent it. Get some scotch 2242 rubber tape and super 33+ vinyl tape from Home Depot. Put a couple layers of the rubber tape on sticky side out. Stretch the tape very tightly (stretch it to near it's breaking point) around the connection and then apply a couple layers of the vinyl tape. It will last for years. Here's a pic of one I did that was in service for years. Still looks brand new when opened up.

Eric

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