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Old 08-12-2009, 17:20   #1
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Searching for Coax Solutions

Coax Cable (was VHF anomaly) - almost finished...

This was a thread which never made it here due to the hack tying it down. This is the end of it, or thereabouts:


Hi, All,

Getting close to ordering, I thought this exchange on SSCA's forum might
shed some light as to the direction I'm leaning - - sorry that the
"quote/quote" stuff doesn't show up like in the forums, here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Gundlach
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors
RG-214. MilSpec. Double braid
(reduces RFI). Same diameter as RG-8, RG-213, etc. Perfect match for PL-259
UHF connectors. Not expensive. I'd use nothing else with runs under 100'.
Great for HF also due to physical and RFI suppresion properties. See
RF Connection Coaxial Cable

Thanks for the link. I'm curious as to why the 214 is 2.3, the 213 1.9, 400
has (since not delineated, I presume all of the types) 1.2 attenuation over
100'. Seems to me a silver center on the 214MIL would give better throughput
(?). The 400 stranded center gives a 1" radius, the UF version has tinned
copper braid (but the foam dielectric, not so great) - I presume the 214
would be similar?

Given that 3db is 50%, I'm wondering if 1.2 vs 2.3 is an issue; presumably
the foam core would be more of an issue, long term?

I apologize for my slow learning curve. It's "make the center
waterproof/non-absorbent" or "throughput is critical" arguments which have
me dithering. Certainly, all seem to have adequate shielding, what with
either tinned or silver-copper braid. Finally, as to this particular vendor,
do they make up cables, or is it strictly raw stuff? I'm wanting a factory
end on the mast, but due to size considerations, would make up my inside
connection after feeding it. Thanks. L8R Skip and crew, currently in
Abacos
Followed by

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors
Don't sweat the db difference. Neither you nor anyone
else will ever notice it!

Yes, The RF Connection can put ends on coax. When you get to putting on your
end, here's how I do it:

1. cut the outer insulation (not the braid) back 1.5" from the end, and
remove it; you now have bare braid 1.5" long.

2. tin the braid all around in the area 1" to 1.25" from the end; keep the
tinning as smooth and thin as possible.

3. using a tube cutter carefully, cut just through both layers of the
now-tinned braid 1" from the end; then remove the 1" of the tinned braid,
leaving the center conductor and it's insulation intact.

4. strip the center conductor beginning about 1/8" from the braid; you how
have a bare center conductor, about 1/8" of insulation showing, and the
tinned braid.

5. put 1/2" ID x 1" adhesive heat shrink tubing over the coax and slide it
out of the way.

6. put the screw on shell of the PL-259 connector over the coax and slide it
out of the way.

7. carefully insert the coax into the PL-259 body, making sure the center
conductor completely enters the pin, without any wild strands.

8. using considerable strength, screw the PL-259 body onto the outer
(rubber) layer of coax; you should be able to get a few whole turns; this
makes for a very tight connection. The center conductor should be extending
out the end of the pin, and you should be seeing the tinned braid in each of
the four holes, ready for soldering.

9. solder the center pin, and each of the four holes in turn; clean up any
excess.

10. screw the outer body onto the PL-259 all the way.

11. slide the heat shrink tubing up over the barrel of the PL-259, leaving
about 1/8"-3/16" of the body clear; use a heat gun to shrink the tubing over
the PL-259 barrel and the RG-214 coax. You should have a first-class
connection.

Yes, it takes time. No good shortcuts. Do it right; it will last many years.

After you've made the coax connection with the PL-259, it's a good idea to
tape over it in order to further protect it against the marine
environment.
And

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
I would add to Bill's excellent instructions, use
"Solder-It" paste instead of regular rosin-cored solder. The paste makes it
very easy to spread and wet out a braid and seems to melt at lower
temperatures, so that you've got a better chance of making a 100% connection
without melting any of the insulating layer. Probably $5-6 for a tube, which
makes it more expensive than solder (and it goes bad, hardens up in about 18
months on the shelf) but a much more reliable (=cheaper) way to do
occassional antenna fittings and the like. Solder-It: Butane-powered tools and specialty soldering pastes
sometimes available at Radio Shack (check the date) and Lowes but not Home
Depot.
Various venues where this discussion has been taking place have been pretty
strong 214MilSpec recommenders, but the vendor, with whom I've been in
contact sez this about the LMR400DB (me ">", his below inline):

> Given the application, I'd think the stranded best, as it tolerates tight
> bends better, no? However, flooded apparently answers the water issue.
> What's the turn radius on the 400DB?

****installed 1 inch...repeated 4 inch

>
> I certainly like the propagation in the 400 better, but there's a great
> deal of sentiment among those I've been polling to get this far that
> milspec is the way to go. Aside from the propagation, what would be the
> arguments against vs the flooded 400?

****it is weather tight...RG-213/214 is not!!!!*****

So, given all that, I'm inclined at this point to go his way. 1" turn
radius certainly is manageable, and I'm not likely to have coils (the 4"
reference).

This is also pretty affordable - the installed factory end and 80', plus
another silver body 259 (shell and pin teflon), is all of 82.55 shipped.

I'm also quite happy to take the time to do the indoor termination right.

Do I hear informed arguments against this solution?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip


Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to
make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
(and)
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hand
(Richard Bach)
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at Web-Folio -- Your Portfolio on the Web !
Follow us at TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig
and/or Flying Pig Log | Google Groups

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to
make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
(and)
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hand
(Richard Bach)
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Old 15-12-2009, 16:01   #2
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Well, it's over - I've ordered the LMR-400-DB. The smoking gun was in not only some conversations in various places, but the specifics of what makes this one waterproof found in http://www.timesmicrowave.com/content/pdf/lmr/22-25.pdf

FWIW, I dealt with Joel Knoblock at therfc.com, a very helpful Ham (the site concentrates on Hams, but does a lot of marine business as well). Ordering was via an RFQ, insert the quote number in the box, and off we went.

So, thanks to all for the various inputs. I'm ashore (well, technically, I'm under way to where we'll be docked when we're ashore) until mid-January, but will be back at it when we return, installing new chartplotter (old one's getting too small for our aging eyes), GPS (old one's sometimes flaky), maybe AIS, high output alternator in Delco 10-DN format, new gelcel spotlight batteries, new helm VHF (undecided as yet what that will be), winch parts, rubber feet for the Honda eu2000i, rebuilt injectors for Perky (never been done that showed in the records with the boat and certainly not by us, yet), rewind spring for the revived Johnson 15, shaft kit for one of the Jabsco water pump">raw water pump spares I have, and perhaps some other stuff we'll trip over in our meanderings.

Catch y'all later...

L8R

Skip and crew

--
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at Web-Folio -- Your Portfolio on the Web !
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and/or Flying Pig Log | Google Groups

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to
make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
(and)
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hand
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Old 15-12-2009, 17:51   #3
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What plotter are you going to buy?
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Old 15-12-2009, 17:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtRdEarl View Post
What plotter are you going to buy?
We're going with a Raymarine C120 Classic. The new "wides" need digital radar; we had to upgrade our radar when we acquired our RL70CRC. You might recall a posting I did offering our old setup to the list, with a dozen charts, the plotter, and the navpod.

The 12" is very large and has more capabilities than our old one, and is plug-and-play with all our gear. We'll also be going with a 125 GPS and 250 AIS if the couple of eBay vendors we've been talking to can scare up the package (both have 9Wides, but think they have 120Classics; both MAY have a pod we can get at the same time).

E would also work, but it's main feature is the ability to have repeaters, something we'll not do...

L8R

Skip, on a great broadband free connection in the Sea of Abaco, over my Islandtimepc.com setup. See my gallery link in the original, go to 2009 refit/upgrades/electronics for how that looks...
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