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Author Topic: Non crimp / Non solder PL259 question  (Read 681 times)
AB5ON
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Posts: 36




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« on: September 05, 2004, 05:43:40 PM »

I have checked some of the past posts on the crimp vs solder debate. So, I hope this does not open that up again.  

Actually I have been experimenting with putting a rubber washer and then a copper washer down inside the PL259 and then using the reducer over the RG-58 to make the shield connection without solder.  I figured that the BNC connectors use a similar set up without a problem.  By putting the washers in the body of the connector the reducer traps the shield between itself and the washers.  By having a rubber washer in there it provides for some "give" so that the braid is not cut in half when tightened down.  So far I have done a couple of them and they seem to be working fine.

Of course then I just solder the center connector at the tip.

By doing this it also makes it easy to remove the coax and reuse the connector.

Any comments or anyone else try this?

Rick
AB5ON
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X-WB1AUW
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Posts: 559




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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2004, 06:30:24 PM »

Whatever floats your boat.

Personally, I solder the PL259s to the coax.
I believe they are more durable that way.
Last thing I want to do is climb my tower because of a PL259 problem; or have to take disconnect all my cable to find a PL259 problem.
And, I only use coax that needs a reducer for a temp installation.
73
Bob
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W3JJH
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Posts: 1421


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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2004, 07:15:51 PM »

The secret to a reliable mechanical connection is in it's being gas tight.  It is unlikely that the reducer will bear on your copper washer in that manner.  The mean time before failure (MTBF) for the kind of joint you describe is probably four or five year in an indoor application and four or five months in an outdoor environment with significant contaminants (salt spray, industrial fumes, etc.).  On the other hand, a proper solder joint can have an MTBF of thirty years.  Your mileage may vary.
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WIRELESS
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2004, 07:52:29 PM »

Mechanical joints and RF current aren't the best friends.  If you hate soldering coax connectors (I do), just buy cable with the connectors soldered on. It adds little to the price and some things are just worth paying for when you hate doing it.   Besides, people that spend all day doing that kind of work do it better than us.

Unsoldered braid tends to oxydize, so soldering is worth it in the long run.
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K0RFD
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Posts: 1368




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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2004, 09:30:33 PM »

Why go to the trouble?

Just learn to do it right one way.  Then do it that way all the time.
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AB5ON
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Posts: 36




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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2004, 11:05:26 PM »

Thanks for the responses.  Lots of good experience out there.

I guess it is part of my nature to try to find quicker, and easier ways to do things.  Try to engineer for simplicity.

I appreciate the comments on gas tight seal and oxidizing braid.  Those are substantial arguments.

Mostly when I use a reducer it is for mobile or in the shack use w RG-58 so I am not too worried about MTBF or climbing the tower.  I agree in those cases and use solder with RG-8 type cable.  In this case I was thinking about putting a connector on when I did not have all my tools.  Like at field day or as a quick repair in an emergency.

Wish I put more connectors on so I could stay proficient at it.  :-)

73
Rick
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9927




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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2004, 11:56:35 PM »

BTW  I found a stash of solder while cleaning the garage the other day, some 60/40 5 core rosin tin lead solder. a whole pound role.  I brought it in and tried solderin a couple of leads up and what a pleasure, this new no  lead crap works but real solder is so much nicer.. open the window , wash hands when done.. I ain't too worried about lead contamanation, but I thought I was loosing my touch.. its the "wonderfull" new type of solder, that stunk.. so maybe that is part of your problem.  Get the right connector and adapter  for your cable, and use at least  a 100 or 140 watt soldering gun.. you need some heat fast, so you don't melt the insulation.. your milage may vary
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2004, 12:35:20 AM »

In an emergency, anything that works can be used.  Just be sure to redo the connection the right way as soon as possible after the fact.

As a matter of fact, I have several "quicky" type connectors of many types in my field kit--just in case they are needed for an 'emergency' repair.

On the other hand, a check of all the equipment you'll be using is in order for any field type operating--before going out into the field.

As it was said, "To each his own!" or "Your mileage may vary."  73!
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2004, 12:36:13 AM »

In an emergency, anything that works can be used.  Just be sure to redo the connection the right way as soon as possible after the fact.

As a matter of fact, I have several "quicky" type connectors of many types in my field kit--just in case they are needed for an 'emergency' repair.

On the other hand, a check of all the equipment you'll be using is in order for any field type operating--before going out into the field.

As it was said, "To each his own!" or "Your mileage may vary."  73!
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AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2004, 10:35:15 AM »

Where are you finding rosin core "no lead" solder?  Suppliers like DigiKey and Mouser still sell the 60/40 solder - even the 5-core stuff. I've seen problems with the so called "no clean" or "water solulable" flux used on some solder and stay away from those.

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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2004, 11:14:11 AM »

I don't know why anyone would want to re-engineer a connector that was designed 60 years ago and is still in very popular use because it's pretty damned perfect!

The reducers cost $.25/each in quantity, for silver-plated brass ones (UG-175), and the connectors are under $2.00 each for American made devices of very high quality.  To make them "reusable" just isn't a requirement; they were never intended to be reusable.

Using the proper tools and process, installing a PL-259+UG175 takes about 30 seconds, start to finish, including soldering the four body holes.  "In a pinch," when you're in the field with no tools at all and need to install a connector for some reason, anything goes; but using washers and gaskets implies some degree of advance planning.

I agree that I've never had any problem getting 60/40 rosin-core "radio solder," up to and including last week.  It's available, everywhere.  The only places I've seen lead-free solder take over the market is in plumbing applications (for soldering copper pipe) and also in some foreign countries, including Japan, where they're on a huge "keep the lead out of everything" kick and should be officially using lead free soldering processes, even in electronic equipment, starting 2005.

WB2WIK/6

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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2004, 07:01:53 PM »

Popular, yes.  Perfect, no.  back when it was first used, it was destined to become the standard, but there are better connectors, not as popular by a long shot, for the higher frequencies.

The PL259 is not perfect--far from it.  73!
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KC2MMI
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Posts: 623




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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2004, 03:15:25 PM »

<The reducers cost $.25/each in quantity, for silver-plated brass ones (UG-175), and the connectors are under $2.00 each for American made devices of very high quality. >

Heck, R&L even sell Amphenol's for RG58 singly at $1.95 each. No need to mix and match parts. (Unabashed plug: Very nice folks at R&L. Very competitive, and they only charge actual shipping costs.)

And even Amphenol says a "UHF conector" as they call it is plenty good enough even for 440.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2004, 04:03:37 PM »

Most amateur HF, VHF, and UHF equipment in the 100W to 1.5KW class use SO-239/PL-259 connectors.
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