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Author Topic: In the Seattle area and need to help with PL 259 and LMR400!!!  (Read 3565 times)
KF7OCD
Member

Posts: 27




Ignore
« on: June 04, 2011, 04:44:04 PM »

I need help getting my ham radio station up and running! The only thing in my way is getting two PL259 plugs on my LMR 400 cable. Angry

If you have the tools and know how to do this please call me! I live in Kirkland Washington about 6 miles from Seattle.

425-301-1314

You will get rewarded generously for your gas and mileage  Grin

-George
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KA4POL
Member

Posts: 2409




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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 10:04:12 PM »

Unfortunately my visit for help is not possible. However, take a look at this site: http://www.mgs4u.com/Connector-PL-259-guide.htm may be it solves your problems.
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KF7OCD
Member

Posts: 27




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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 11:24:37 PM »

Solved it! Thank you!!!
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KA4POL
Member

Posts: 2409




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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 11:44:22 PM »

Great, enjoy the gas yourself  Grin
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KC8OYE
Member

Posts: 297




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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 07:05:58 PM »

yeah that website rocks... It got me through getting the PL259's onto my 9913 coax Smiley
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N6YFM
Member

Posts: 470




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 03:49:37 PM »

The website is a good basic overview (GUIDE), but be careful;   For example;

A.  The photos shown are for soldering solid PE dielectric like RG-213 or similar.
     The site "claims" LMR 400, but using those steps and that size soldering pencil will destroy the dielectric.
     The soft foam dielectric on LMR-400 loves to melt with direct heat, so most all commercial industry uses
     crimp connectors for LMR-400.   While it *is* possible to solder LMR-400, most people that actually test
     soldered LMR-400 with a hi-Pot insulation tester find that the foam dielectric has been partially destroyed
     by melting, and the cable shorts out at voltages as low as 400 volts instead of several thousand.
     [Translation:  Is your SWR always perfect on every band, and you never exceed 50 or 100 watts? :-) ]

B.  Notice how the website article does NOT show the finished product?  :-)
     That is because the soldering iron in the photos has FAR too large a tip for controlled
     application of heat.   For a clean and professional job, you need a smaller tip on a temperature
     controlled iron.    There are plenty of people who still solder LMR-400, and I have done it also.
     But the resultant partial degradation of the dielectric has always been worrisome (and measurable),
     especially if you are going to run an amplifier, for example.   At 100 watts, likely there would be no
     issue.    Again, I changed to crimp connectors for low-melt foam like LMR-400 after measuring
     problems with the HiPOT Insulation breakdown tester.   But I solder ALL my solid-dielectric cable
     like RG-213 and RG-214.

C.  A fair compromise for LMR-400 is to only solder the center conductor into the PL-259, but to
strip and fold back the braid, and then simply screw the connector over the braid.   Again, this works
fair if you use a smaller controlled soldering iron, NOT the one shown in the website photo. This works OK
for cables you can easily reach every 5 years or so, for maintenance, but I would never do it atop a tower
or some other place hard to get to easily, or near an ocean, for example.
Over time, the black PVC can compress and the braid can tarnish, leading to connection problems.
But it is just fine for jumpers inside the shack, or for roof-top antennas you can get to easily if there is
ever a problem years later.  But why worry?   The crimp connector is what broadcast and cell tower operators
have been using for years now, if using LMR series coax.   And while there are "artists" among us who have
mastered the trick of using a high wattage soldering gun or even a butane torch on a PL-259 and LMR-400,
they are the exception, and not the mass public.  
(No, I can not shoot an apple off your head with a bow and arrow, but some small few could)
Just call up Times Microwave and ask about proper connector assembly for LMR coax cable.  
They would cringe at the stories and folklore on these here forums :-)

The above is only my opinion.   While it may be shared by many in the industry, it can and will start
a holy-flame-war on a ham forum.   So forgive me while I now duck under my table to avoid the other
hams throwing filament transformers at me....   :-)

Cheers,

Neal
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 03:59:45 PM by N6YFM » Logged
K4JJL
Member

Posts: 797




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 09:54:52 AM »

The website is a good basic overview (GUIDE), but be careful;   For example;

A.  The photos shown are for soldering solid PE dielectric like RG-213 or similar.
     The site "claims" LMR 400, but using those steps and that size soldering pencil will destroy the dielectric.
     The soft foam dielectric on LMR-400 loves to melt with direct heat, so most all commercial industry uses
     crimp connectors for LMR-400.   While it *is* possible to solder LMR-400, most people that actually test
     soldered LMR-400 with a hi-Pot insulation tester find that the foam dielectric has been partially destroyed
     by melting, and the cable shorts out at voltages as low as 400 volts instead of several thousand.
     [Translation:  Is your SWR always perfect on every band, and you never exceed 50 or 100 watts? :-) ]

B.  Notice how the website article does NOT show the finished product?  :-)
     That is because the soldering iron in the photos has FAR too large a tip for controlled
     application of heat.   For a clean and professional job, you need a smaller tip on a temperature
     controlled iron.    There are plenty of people who still solder LMR-400, and I have done it also.
     But the resultant partial degradation of the dielectric has always been worrisome (and measurable),
     especially if you are going to run an amplifier, for example.   At 100 watts, likely there would be no
     issue.    Again, I changed to crimp connectors for low-melt foam like LMR-400 after measuring
     problems with the HiPOT Insulation breakdown tester.   But I solder ALL my solid-dielectric cable
     like RG-213 and RG-214.

C.  A fair compromise for LMR-400 is to only solder the center conductor into the PL-259, but to
strip and fold back the braid, and then simply screw the connector over the braid.   Again, this works
fair if you use a smaller controlled soldering iron, NOT the one shown in the website photo. This works OK
for cables you can easily reach every 5 years or so, for maintenance, but I would never do it atop a tower
or some other place hard to get to easily, or near an ocean, for example.
Over time, the black PVC can compress and the braid can tarnish, leading to connection problems.
But it is just fine for jumpers inside the shack, or for roof-top antennas you can get to easily if there is
ever a problem years later.  But why worry?   The crimp connector is what broadcast and cell tower operators
have been using for years now, if using LMR series coax.   And while there are "artists" among us who have
mastered the trick of using a high wattage soldering gun or even a butane torch on a PL-259 and LMR-400,
they are the exception, and not the mass public.  
(No, I can not shoot an apple off your head with a bow and arrow, but some small few could)
Just call up Times Microwave and ask about proper connector assembly for LMR coax cable.  
They would cringe at the stories and folklore on these here forums :-)

The above is only my opinion.   While it may be shared by many in the industry, it can and will start
a holy-flame-war on a ham forum.   So forgive me while I now duck under my table to avoid the other
hams throwing filament transformers at me....   :-)

Cheers,

Neal

Logged
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