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Old 16-09-2013, 08:26   #46
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

OH? The way you have to screw on the sleeve of the PL-259 body on to the exposed braid, I think you DO have a good electrical connection! Providing it cannot get oxidised of course, which I avoid with the self amalgamating tape.
I usually lightly tin the exposed braid beforehand but this sometimes gives problems needing to file it back a bit.


What is the difference in a crimp connector? It is not soldered either?

Jan
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Old 16-09-2013, 08:55   #47
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

In a crimped connection, the braid is solidly crimped to the body of the plug making a good reliable electrical connection. Simply threading a solder type connector onto the cable jacket leaves the braid sitting between the connector body and dielectric with only a "loose" electrical contact with the connector body. It's like installing a wire terminal onto stranded wire and not crimping it. Unacceptable.

Eric
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Old 16-09-2013, 09:07   #48
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

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Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
In a crimped connection, the braid is solidly crimped to the body of the plug making a good reliable electrical connection. Simply threading a solder type connector onto the cable jacket leaves the braid sitting between the connector body and dielectric with only a "loose" electrical contact with the connector body. It's like installing a wire terminal onto stranded wire and not crimping it. Unacceptable.

Eric
Exactly.. Over time the soft material gives and deforms around the threads and you get even lesser connection than you originally started with. Having taken apart many failed threaded 259's you can physically see the deformations in the soft material... A crimp is metal/metal/metal and a threaded 259 is metal/metal/soft deformable material...
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Old 16-09-2013, 11:32   #49
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

"What is the difference in a crimp connector? "
As Eric says, the crimp is designed to place a very firm mechanical grip on the cable. In contrast when you are just threading the cable into the fitting you have a loosed connection and as the metals oxidize that connection acts more like a capacitor which will degrade the signal passing through.

I know that pros look down on SolderIt as a kludge but for the non-professionals and the folks who may be aloft in cold weather, spreading SolderIt or another paste on the braid before inserting it into the PL259 makes the soldering really really easy, no matter what device you are using (gun, iron, torch) for the heat.
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Old 16-09-2013, 23:34   #50
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Soldering a quality silver-plated connector to quality coax is a simple job. There should be no mystique, yet these threads persist in perpetuity.

Doing the same at the masthead is more difficult. That is why I always solder the antenna end of the coax on land, and then fish the unterminated end of new coax from the masthead down to the mast step. Once it's routed to the radio, I solder the connector to that end.

Absent a failure at sea, why would anyone be soldering 60 feet off the deck? And if that's the case, it's a perfect situation for a crimp-on.
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Old 17-09-2013, 01:28   #51
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

Well folks thank you for your firm comments.
I was really thinking that by threading the body on the braid - which really requires some force in the end - that I had a solid metallic connection.
I have never experienced any problems until now, and indeed I was forced to cut an old plug in the mast and the good quality new coax was already in place so soldering up the mast was the only solution.

I'll guess redoing it with a crimping plug will be the way to go, have to look into it, I have never used them and don't know which equipment one needs.
Whatever, I have no problem to go and do "strange" things in the mast top even soldering but heating up the body of a PL259 with a 100+Wat iron and in a stable way is a bit challenging .

Yo convinced me to review my latest method (I did solder the braid to body in the past but often with trouble) and will redo all my "down to earth" plugs to practice.

The method with the 100Watt iron with filed tip and a vise seems the way to go.

Jan
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Old 17-09-2013, 10:06   #52
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

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Soldering a quality silver-plated connector to quality coax is a simple job.
Please tell that to all the PL-259's I've replaced due to poor soldering technique... The reason these threads persist is because there is LOTS of bad soldering that happens out there in boat land...

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Absent a failure at sea, why would anyone be soldering 60 feet off the deck? And if that's the case, it's a perfect situation for a crimp-on.
Because many people who think they can solder, can't....... Trust me I don't like going up spars to do this but in nearly every situation, except for those crappy Shakespere PL-259 that pierce the wire jacket, is a bad solder issue...
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Old 19-09-2013, 12:02   #53
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I believe you Maine Sail. I just have trouble understanding why people experience so much difficulty. Maybe it's because I started soldering stuff in junior high, and I've forgotten there was a hint of a learning curve.
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Old 19-09-2013, 13:34   #54
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Re: RG-213 COAX and PL259 Connector

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I believe you Maine Sail. I just have trouble understanding why people experience so much difficulty. Maybe it's because I started soldering stuff in junior high, and I've forgotten there was a hint of a learning curve.
I started soldering in elementary school (modifying war-surplus radios), and even now I sometimes screw up the big connectors. I do need a bigger iron.

Has anyone had success using a propane torch (as used for soldering copper pipe)? It seems to me that the open flame / gasses corrode the surfaces faster than the relatively weak rosin flux can deal with.
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