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Old 23-07-2015, 18:01   #1
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Coax: solid, untinned center conductor?

I want to upgrade my old, decrepit RG58, but as soon as I go beyond RG8X it seems even the big names like Times Microwave use untinned wire for the center conductor. Is this not a problem as long as I use good installation practices?
Also, Joel at the RFC Connection is recommending solid center wire, claiming it has 15% better attenuation than stranded.
So, I am looking at LMR240 or LMR400, both with untinned, solid center conductor.
What say you, O wise ones?


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Old 25-07-2015, 21:09   #2
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Re: Coax: solid, untinned center conductor?

How long of a cable run are you planning to do?

In general, for marine VHF communications signal loss is not that much of an issue for the distances involved. My concern is usually more in regards to longevity, and a tinned stranded center conductor is pretty much the most reliable option out there at the moment.

I'm sure that statement is going to open a big can of worms here, but I'd say that if you were happy with your old feedline performance replacing it with a quality RG8X will give you at least identical performance to what you have now and probably better and a long lifetime to boot.

Proper installation of the line, connectors, and inspection/tuning of your antenna are the subject of another thread since that is not what you are asking right now.
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Old 26-07-2015, 05:41   #3
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Re: Coax: solid, untinned center conductor?

Untinned center conductor is no problem. You will be "tinning" the exposed part when the solder wicks into the connector and it will be air-tight when you wrap it with coax shield or amalgamating tape.

Even if the above good installation is not done and air moisture finds its way to it, the center conductors are thick gauge wire potted in the dielectric and not easily attacked or effected by moisture. The thin shield wire is a different story, but that is always tinned.

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