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Old 14-09-2013, 00:40   #31
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

you don't fold anything back.

cut the shealth back about 1.5" or so. then 1/2' up cut the braid and inner isolation.

so you end up with full cable, with 1/2' of braid then 1" of inner wire. (which can get cut off at the end)

the numbers might be off a bit as it's been awhile. adjust the 1/2" number so the braid gets into the holes.

they are a pain in the ass. I've probably done 100 and they suck. I used a 300w or so iron. the center is easy, the grounds are a pain
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Old 14-09-2013, 01:56   #32
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Vino, are you sure you have the right size PL259? They come in different sizes for different cables, and you want the one for RG8 cable. If it is the correct PL259 and you have standard cable, it should slide in easily, with the braid around the inner insualtion (but not the outer).

I agree that it should not be folded back.

If I had some at home I would get the vernier and measure for you, so you could confirm if it's standard. Perhaps someone else could assist him.

Albro359 ... a great writeup on the procedure. One thing that surprised me was the amount of solder filling the holes for the braid "a slight dimple showing the hole outline".
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:19   #33
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Wanderlust, absolutely certain I have the correct size. Also figured out you don't fold anything back on the first try. Got the fittings from a local marine electronics store after returning the wrong ones to Worst Marine. The "instructions" I had (other than internet research) came from the electronics shop guy who also let me know that he would be happy to do them for me at outrageous prices. I will refrain from an accusation of intended failure, but the idea did cross my mind.

After consulting my 6-pack last night and giving the dog his steak, the thought came to me that my problem could have been allowing the braid to loosen up ever so slightly around the inner insulation 1.) before tinning, so it expanded too much, and; 2.) so it allowed the braid to creep back when I tried it without tinning.

Albro359's post is very good with details. While I understand the general method and soldering technique, it is the tiny little tips that are most helpful. One I will try next is cutting the center core BEFORE cutting the insulation from the braid so the outer insulation holds the braid tight right up to tinning time.

What is your opinion about using solid core solder and liquid flux for tinning the braid?

I have always found that far easier to get a nice flow over a larger area then using a rosin core solder and pretty much the only way to sweat copper tubing. Don't know if the liquid flux causes problems with electrical though.

This is turning into a very good thread that will help lots of us. Thanks to all who contribute.
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:35   #34
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Hi Curtis,

it will not help you much (because you already have your "solder connectors") but I am only using 'clamp connectors' like these here: PL Spezial Stecker fr 10-11mm Kabel (inkl. RG-213) - appello GmbH (should be available in the US also I guess - I am from Germany), will install on RG213 and the like without pain in minutes.

Regards,

Carsten
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:35   #35
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

You have to use rosin flux when soldering wires. Liquid (acid) flux will eat away the relatively thin copper wires. I've always used rosin-core solder when soldering connectors. Your coax cable should be bright and shiny, and take solder well. If it is dull and corroded you have bad cable and it won't solder. Sometimes a bit of sandpaper will help, but once braid gets corroded it's essentially shot.
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Old 14-09-2013, 12:09   #36
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Vino, try "Youtube soldering pl-259" there's plenty of illustrated instruction there. I'm guessing you have something very simple very wrong, perhaps the materials perhaps the lengths you are cutting or trimming to.

Using a cutting.trimming tool which ensures the layers are all cut back to the right dimensions is worth the ten bucks or whatever it will cost you.

Also buy a tube of "SolderIt" solder paste (sold at Lowes or Radio Shack, not at Home Depot) andapply some of that to the braid before shoving it into the PL-259. You will find this wets the braid out very nicely and when you apply the heat you'll see water-white resin quickly form and run out, confirming you've got solder flowing inside there you can't see it. MUCH simpler than trying to stuff solder in through the holes and guessing whether it is flowing.

Plenty of movies online, watch a few, follow what makes sense to you.
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Old 14-09-2013, 13:30   #37
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Only used silver plated connectors. Tin the braid. File high spots down if necessary to fit into plug. NEVER use a gun unless you use my second method. You need an iron with MASS. Done hundreds of them. Rarely find one done correctly by DIY'ers. Single most found problem by far with VHF, HF, and AIS installations are faulty coax connections. 37 years experience as marine electronics/electrical service technician.

http://home.comcast.net/~fairbank56/solderpl.html

Eric
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Old 14-09-2013, 14:06   #38
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Got one working!

I did not realize there is a flange inside the connector that narrows down the tube right at the place where the outer threads are, just before the holes. I had mistakenly assumed that the inner threaded portion of the connector was part of the contact with the braid, so when I thought the braid was properly inserted in the tube, in fact it was too fat to pass through that inner flange. When tinned, the braid was too wide; solution = file it down as several of you said. When not tinned, the braid bunched up at this same point; solution = tin it and if it is too fat, file it down. Braid HAS TO BE TINNED or can not get a good solder connection.

Did not yet go get rosin flux, relying on the flux core of the solder, which is inadequate to get good flow around the braid without pawing the solder, which, of course leaves bumps (knew that, but didn't want to leave the island this morning to get the right stuff). Now that I understand what the right stuff is, will go get it.

The real solutions was giving the dog a steak last night. Nothing clears your mind better than a real happy dog!

Thank you all.
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Old 15-09-2013, 09:57   #39
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

A ratcheting hex crimping tool designed for the cable & connectors you commonly use can be found for around $25-30. If you're making a trip up the mast, a crimp on connector sure makes it easier. A soldered connector is not superior performing either.
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Old 15-09-2013, 10:54   #40
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

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Old 15-09-2013, 14:57   #41
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Lamo video. Not a good way to do it. The connector doesn't get screwed onto the cable jacket "a little bit", it should be screwed on way more than that. His iron is way too small and requires holding the iron onto the connector way too long. I shake my head

Eric
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Old 15-09-2013, 19:57   #42
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This will probably get the pitchforks out, but have you considered a propane torch? Tin the braid with an iron then use a torch for the connector...

This is how I just did mine when the mast was down, and it toned out perfectly with the antenna analyzer. It takes a bit if practice not to melt the dialectric, but if you're having iron issues it might be time to upgrade the heat source.

When forced to solder up a tower a small butane torch was the go to method.

JRM
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Old 16-09-2013, 05:40   #43
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

On RG-213 and Ecoflex coax cable, and with good quality PL259 plugs (but no crimp on) I use a mixed method:

- off course I cut correctly inner lead and outer braid
- I only solder the inner lead to the PL259 tip
- I assume I have a good electrical connection just screwing the PL-259 onto the exposed outer braid if I know there will be no mechanical strain/twisting on the coax end and the plug
- I seal the whole lot with plenty 3M self-amalgamating tape with will also secure the coax-plug from twisting
- the whole lot again externally protected by some electrical tape to protect the 3M SA-tape from UV and weather

I do this because I've had issues with melting of core isolation heating up plug bodiesso I gave up soldering the braid to the plug via the wholes.

Also soldering the braid/body up there in the mast is not that funny....

Even the masttop PL-259's done in this way, and checked every 2 years cutting off the self-amalgamating tape have always revealed an shiny "as new" PL259 and no moisture issues at all.

Is this the best procedure? I guess not.
For me it's the right compromise.

Jan
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Old 16-09-2013, 08:11   #44
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Absolutely not. You do not have a good reliable electrical connection to the braid if you don't solder it.

Eric
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Old 16-09-2013, 08:25   #45
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
Only used silver plated connectors. Tin the braid. File high spots down if necessary to fit into plug. NEVER use a gun unless you use my second method. You need an iron with MASS. Done hundreds of them. Rarely find one done correctly by DIY'ers. Single most found problem by far with VHF, HF, and AIS installations are faulty coax connections. 37 years experience as marine electronics/electrical service technician.

http://home.comcast.net/~fairbank56/solderpl.html

Eric
Bingo!! That is how to properly solder on a PL-259!!

Sadly, I've yet to see a single properly done, field installed, solder-on, done at the top of a spar, while swinging in a chair, even when done by a pro. It seems that about half the failure of PL-259's are solder related and almost always, thanks to that guy Murphy, at the top of the spar.....

This is why I have mostly switched to solder/crimp terminals which can be done very well & easily even when swinging from a bosuns chair....

If I am in a yard with the spar down and no wind then I will do solder/solder, but as of yet I have not had a single failure of the solder/crimp style and done hundreds of them and every install is SWR tested....

Sadly, for the marine electrician, we don't always get to work in a perfect environment for making solder/solder terminations.....

Easy VHF Connections
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