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Old 03-05-2006, 15:07   #16
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Stainless exhaust

My budget priced Saturn ( read the cheapest model they produce ) has a stainless steel exhaust.

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Old 03-05-2006, 16:10   #17

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Your Saturn just proves the point. GM has said repeatedly that Saturn was an experiment in a different way of making and selling cars. That stainless exhaust, and the dent-resistant plastic body panels, and pretty much everything else that made Saturn special? Also gave Saturn a 17-year history of losing money every year. The division was never a financial success and by the end of this year, only one production line (1 of 2) at only 1 "Saturn only" plant will still be running. GM has declared Saturn to be a failure and the only question they have left, is whether to shut it down, or change it back into a regular car company. Most of the new models are re-badged from other car makers now, the experiment has been declared over.
Same thing could be said for both Saab and Volvo, those two are now owned by GM & Ford and while they may not be typical products "We are the Borg. Surrender. Resistance is futile."
There are companies that practice "gold" standards, but every one of them will admit they'll never own the mass market that way. Niches, yes. But the average Joe won't pay for what quality costs. You got lucky--you were able to buy a "mass market" car below what it cost to make! A good trick if you can keep doing it.<G>

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Old 29-06-2007, 07:50   #18
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Connection RG213 to PL259

The answer to the query "How best to connect RG213 coaxial cable to a PL259 connector is given at the folowing web site: I have the same problem and found the advice useful Regards DAISYBLUE
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Old 13-11-2007, 09:30   #19
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Coax choices

I wish to replace the old coax in my mast this year and would like opinions on the rg58u currently being used for the vhf,l believe this was used instead of the larger diameter 213 because the conduit that it run up in is not that big and also carries other mast head wiring.
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Old 13-11-2007, 10:36   #20
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It has been a while, but I believe that rg58u is not recommended for runs of longer than 30ft. I replaced with 213 and suspect that my transmission power improved dramatically. In non-scientific tests, I can easily and clearly reach stations on low power that used to require high power.

“…whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off them, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” - Melville
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Old 13-11-2007, 10:53   #21

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"Same number" cables from different makes often have different specs. I suspect you could find "RG58/U" from six or eight different sources, and the quality of the stuff varies widely. Among other things, the coaxial shield braid can be a 100% braid (good noise shielding) down to a ratty 40% braid on the nameless brands. Which saves a lot of expensive copper and might work well enough on a boat, a low-noise environment. Or not.

Any *reputable* vendor will have the actual cable spec/number printed on the cable itself, and if you check their web site you should be able to compare "loss per hundred feet, in decibels" among other numbers. If the cable has a high loss, you will have less output and weaker reception than another cable with a low loss. The loss/foot varies with the frequency you are using (i.e. 160MHz for a marine VHF) and the differences in cable types are astounding by the time you hit 400MHz and up.

That's just where the differences in quality start--because you can have very low-loss cable, which physically is unsuitable for a boat because the insulator abosrobs moisture (seal those ends! [g]) or the cable is too stretchy, and the center conductor pulls apart, or the insulator collapses a bit as the cable stretches.

Like most other simple things--it only looks simple.[g]
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Old 13-11-2007, 11:02   #22

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The 213 is only around a 1/8 of an inch larger in diameter than RG58/U. You should be able to squeeze through wherever you had the 58/u running. According the the specs, you'll get about double the power to the antenna using the RG213 in a 100ft run.

RG-213 at 200 MHZ 2.7 db attenuation
RG-58 at 200 MHZ 4.9db to 5.6 db attenuation (many different flavors sold)
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Old 13-11-2007, 11:18   #23
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If the conduit is really too small to take RG-213, suggest you use RG-8X. It's about the same diameter as RG-58 (actually only a tiny bit larger), but has much lower loss at VHF frequencies. And, it can be found everywhere.

On a Bayfield 36 mast there's not likely to be all that much loss.

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Old 13-09-2013, 18:36   #24
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Well, folks, this advice is possibly what I need to either figure out how to get my AIS connected to VHS with PL259 connectors on rg213 or abandon use of all electronics totally and head to sea with nothing but a leadline, sextant, and a megaphone!

Just spent about 2 hours and several feet of rg213 doing practice connections before ruining the coax coming down the mast with what appears to be an impossible task. Worst Marine only had solder connectors for rg213 as did every other marine electronics supply and chandler in Portland, Oregon, so I went with the solder type PL259. Two hours practice resulted in not one even close to success.

The problem was not soldering, but getting the coax to fit in the connector so the shield was exposed through the soldering holes in the first place! Is there a trick to this, or am I just having a bad day?

To avoid a long series of posts explaining stuff that one who has never done anything electrical would not know, a short background: I was a US Navy ET during Vietnam (yes, things have changed a lot and I have not kept up), ran a solar electric and electric vehicle prototype business for 12 years, during which time I built dozens of electric cars and motorcycles up to 120 VDC with 400 amp controllers, and have done stained glass since 1973, which is all soldered... so I DO know at least the basics of electrical connections and how to solder.

However, what appeared to be a very simple task has left me wanting to break something with an axe! Every well equipped boat HAS TO have an axe!

The instructions provided by the electronics shop I bought the connectors from, if followed word for word, led to repetitive failure. Two days internet research provided essentially the same instructions over and again. The Worst Marine sales people eventually admitted they had never installed the connectors they sell, and the marine electronics guy offered the solution of letting him do it at $100 per hour.

What am I missing? Is there a trick to this somebody knows and will share? Do I need a case of good beer? (I do share my beer!)

While I recognize, and now agree totally with much of this thread, to avoid soldered connections in place of crimp, my anal-retentive, damn the torpedoes attitude wants me to succeed with a soldered connection. Once I have achieved that, will gather up a pile of crimp connectors for my electrical kit.

Interesting side note on crimp vs solder - When I was doing electric cars, some friends had a debate about crimp vs solder, so we decided to do an experiment. We took 2-0 battery cable and did one soldered connection and one crimped (whap the sucker with big hammer in that little crimp tool), then cut both connectors in half with a band saw. The soldered connector showed a nicely soldered rim around the cut cable with the center strands of the cable clearly distinct with air pockets around them. The hammer-crimped terminal looked like a solid piece of copper.
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Old 13-09-2013, 19:10   #25
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Soldering a PL259 onto RG213 or RG8 is a pain. I've been doing it for 20 years & I still hate it. To make it easier, make sure you've got good quality coax with LOTS of tinned braid, good quality 60/40 resin-core solder, & a HOT iron. I use a 230W gun & that's marginal. You have to get the case hot enough to melt the solder & you have to do it fast enough that you don't melt the plastic. Make sure you can see lots of braid through the hole, put the tip next to the hole, when it's hot enough melt some solder into the hole & wait to make sure it flows onto the braid. Let it cool & move on to the next hole. And good luck!
-- Jon Hacking s/v Ocelot
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Old 13-09-2013, 19:17   #26
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

It's been a while since I've soldered PL-259s onto RG8, but I used to lightly tin the braid before putting the cable into the connector. That kept the braid from bunching up, and made it easier to solder once the connector was on.
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Old 13-09-2013, 19:42   #27
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

I haven't tried tinning the braid as suggested by Paul, but might try it next time. I just ensure it is clean, and avoid touching it much with fingers.

Try tinning the connector at the holes where you will be soldering the braid. Then cut the braid so it's just long enough, but can't touch the centre connector. I have the centre connector a bit longer than needed and snip off the excess when completed.

Insert the cable into the connector and make sure plenty of braid is visible under the holes. Put the iron on the tinned connector and when you see the solder melt, flow some fresh solder onto the braid. Withdraw the iron as soon as you can. You need a fairly powerful iron to heat the connector quickly, but not cook the plastic.

Give it a bit of a flex, inspect and check with a meter .... it's better it fails on the bench than up the mast.
Currently cruising Queensland coast
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Old 13-09-2013, 21:54   #28
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Thanks guys,

I decide at this hour, it was best to start with a 6 pack of good beer, a steak, and another steak for my dog. Nothing like a happy dog to get your mood back to positive.

I am using a Hexacon 175 watt iron with a 3/8" chisel tip, which should be hot enough and holds heat very well. It has a large iron sleeve that holds heat FAR better than any gun ever will and I know how to use it. Don't expect problems on that end.

Problem has been getting the braid into the connector enough to even see it through the hole. It seems to bottom out before the braid reaches the holes. Tried tinning the braid, but it bound. Without tinning, it bunches and the inner insulation creeps out of the braid while trying to get the connector screwed on and ends up too long to allow the braid to screw on enough to show through the holes.

The "instructions" say to fold the braid over the outer insulation. I found that makes it too thick to screw the connector on to. Screwing the connector on to braid that is not folded back is too loose to give a tight connection or bunches up and stalls out without tinning it.

I have piles of solder, but not sure if it is correct. 60/40 is what I use in stained glass copper foil technique as it flows well, but what I have in that is 1/8" diameter solid which needs a liquid flux. Also have 1/8" solid silver solder, but requires liquid flux, and .02 diameter electrical rosin core, but it seems so puny that it is very difficult to tin the braid.

Please correct me if I a wrong, but (after the first beer), seems like the problem is that I HAVE TO tin the braid to keep from bunching as well as add a very slight width to make the un-folded braid fit tight enough for the connector to screw on solid. Still not talking about the soldering through the holes part, but just getting the core/braid inserted enough TO solder.

Do I need a larger diameter rosin core solder to tin the braid than the .02 dia that I have?

Can I use the 1/8" solid core with liquid flux?

Am I missing something?

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Old 13-09-2013, 23:31   #29
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

I'm just about to do this to...I was going to do it on the boat, but after reading this thread I'm going to do it at home where I do have a hot iron...

I found this on the web :

Soldering PL-259 Connectors to RG-8/U and RG-213
1. If your soldering skills are not the best you should practice before starting. Adequate tools and soldering supplies are essential to good soldering. Take your time and enjoy the process and produce a quality product that will give you years of good service.
2. Maximum transfer of heat in the shortest period of time is critical to properly solder a PL-259. Larger wattage irons (100-200 watts) helps assure a rapid transfer of heat. Do not use soldering guns as they do not have enough tip mass to store sufficient heat. Assure your soldering iron tip is well cleaned and tinned at all times.
3. Unscrew the outer shell of the connector. Using a piece of sandpaper about ¼” x 2-3 inches long, roughen the surface of the inner connector part between the threads and the knurled area in the recess where the four small holes are located. This will remove some of the surface finish and allows the solder to better flow
4. Using a drill bit, small bladed screwdriver or small round file, remove the plating material inside and
immediately around each of the four holes.
5. Using a small amount of diluted liquid detergent wash both parts of the PL-259. Rinse thoroughly and dry. This process removes oils and other foreign material.
6. Slide the outer shell of the PL-259 connector over the coax end and several inches up the coax. The knurled end must be toward the end of the coax.
7. Measure ¾ inches from the end of the coax. With a sharp knife cut through the outer jacket of the coax, the inner shield and through the inner insulation to the inner conductor. The cut is best made using several concentric circles around the coax with the knife. Use extreme caution not to cut or nick the inner conductor.
8. Remove the outer jacket, braid and inner insulation….it may be necessary to cut each length ways of the coax to facilitate removal. Inspect the inner conductor for cuts or nicks.
9. Measure 5/8 inch back from the coax end. Carefully cut the outer jacket using concentric circles. Do not nick or score the braid.
10. Sparingly tin the exposed inner conductor. Do not allow solder to build up or lump on the conductor.
11. Again, sparingly tin the braid. Do not allow solder to build up or lump on the braid.
12. If there is ANY build up of solder use a small file and carefully remove all excess solder. Do not file hot solder. It will fill in the groves in the file and decrease it’s usefulness.
13. In order to fit inside the inner connector part the braid must be tight against the inner insulation and have not rough edges, lumps or protrusions.
14. Carefully slide the inner part of the PL-259 over the coax end. Assure the inner conductor slides into the inner tip.
15. Carefully screw the inner part of the PL-259 onto the coax cable. You will need to hold the coax very tight and may need to use a quality pair of pliers to screw the inner part onto the coax. Use a soft cloth in your hand to grip the coax. Do not use a vise to hold the cable. It most likely will be crushed.
16. If the inner part binds the braid is catching inside the PL-259. This is caused by the braid not being tight on the inner insulation, lumps of solder on the braid or the braid being out of round. Unscrew the inner part from the coax and check for and correct these conditions.
17. After successfully screwing the inner part of the PL-259 onto the coax mount it in a vise with the cut out end of the tip facing toward you and up about 45 degrees. Do not over tighten the vise.
18. With the soldering iron tip make solid contact with the sides of one hole in the inner part. Flow solder into the inner part of the hole by touching the solder to the soldering iron tip after about 10-15 seconds depending on the temperature and mass of your soldering iron. After 15-20 seconds you should be able to flow solder into the hole by touching the solder to the surface immediately adjacent to the soldering iron tip.
19. Repeat steps 17 and 18 for the remaining three holes in the inner part of the PL-259. Use extreme caution and especially with the remaining holes that the PL-259 is not over heated. Allow at least 45-60 seconds for cooling between soldering each hole. Excessive heating will cause solder bridges and /or melting of the inner or outer insulation causing electrical shorts.
20. When finished applying solder visually inspect your work without touching the connector (it’s hot). Large solder lumps and solder on the screw threads are not acceptable. There should be even flow around and in each hole with a slight dimple showing the hole outline.
21. Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the junction of the pin and inner conductor at the end of the Pl-259. After a few seconds touch solder to the junction. Flowing excess solder into the junction will cause a solder bridge between the inner conductor and braid. Do not allow solder to lump or build up on the outside of the pin. If it does allow it to cool and use a small file to remove the excess. With wire cutters remove any of the coax center conductor protruding beyond the end of the center pin of the PL-259.
22. If you feel you need to remove solder flux use alcohol (preferable denatured) sparingly with a cotton swab.
23. With an ohmmeter check for no continuity between the center pin and outer shell. Screw the outer shell onto the connector. If it doesn’t screw on easily there is probably solder in the threads.
Copyright: Harris Management, LLC - 2003
See you out there ....... Alan S.V. Elyse
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Old 13-09-2013, 23:33   #30
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

I need a little 1' jumper cable to go from my AIS transponder to my splitter. Local radio shop in La Paz made it for me in ten minutes for ninety pesos.

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