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Author Topic: PL259 Help!  (Read 4586 times)
KF7POH
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Posts: 0




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« on: February 19, 2012, 09:34:26 PM »

Ok I have watched other hams a million times attache a PL259 Connector to RG58 coax, but the one time I try it I am getting poor signal reports on my mobile radio. Any ideas and info would be a great help as I am lost and have an upcoming event that would require my mobile rig. Thanks

James, KF7POH
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LA9XNA
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 09:55:34 PM »

Use crimps instead of solder.
It is sligtly more expensive but you will make a good connector every time you make one.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13488




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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 06:10:36 AM »

Most common problems:

1) poor connection to the shield
2) insulation melted due to too much heat, resulting in short circuit
3) center pin not soldered correctly

You can check these with an ohmmeter.
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4818




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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 06:56:16 AM »

You need the proper tools:

Coax cutter, coax stripper, crimper.

If you go the cheapie route, you will have crap connections.
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N0NZG
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Posts: 127




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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 07:32:21 PM »

I solder the center pin and connect the shield to the outside of the connector. Trying to solder the shield to those 4 little holes inside the connector is asking for trouble.

As far as prep tools go : side cutters and a single edge razor blade
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 11:29:39 PM »

The shield goes inside the PL259.

I generally have to use two pliers to twist the PL259 on to the stripped coax.

If you are using a multi strand center conductor coax, make sure that one of the small strands didn't get bent onto the shield.

73
Bob
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 11:55:53 PM »

Buy the cable with the connectors already installed next time!  Shocked
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K3GM
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Posts: 1824




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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 07:32:48 AM »

Assuming that you have prepared the coax properly, you need to do the following:

1) first and foremost, you need a HOT iron.  One that will not loose it's heat to the connector.
2) you need to tin the body around the holes and tin the braid on the coax.
3) "screw" the connector onto the jacket.
4) heat the area around the each hole in the connector, and apply solder, makingn sure that it flows properly.

As others have suggested, you can purchase crimp-on connectors as well, but it requires the proper tool to do so.
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 07:58:33 AM »

Since it is RG-58 are you using the correct adapter for RG-58? 
You need a big iron so that you make the solder connection quickly.  It might help if you
use a wet rag to cool the connector after making the solder connection.  Too much heat
and the coax insulation will melt and probably the thing will short.
You might have better luck if you only solder the center conductor and forget trying to
solder to the shield.  This is not recomended for long life of the connection.
Allen
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K4RVN
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Posts: 794




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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 08:03:16 AM »

James,
take a look at this you tube. I soldered about a dozen for my 5 band quad using this method. All were good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzXXjzmA-IE

Frank
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K2FOX
Member

Posts: 110




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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 05:47:57 PM »

You need the proper tools:

Coax cutter, coax stripper, crimper.

If you go the cheapie route, you will have crap connections.

I tried the crimp on type and they were good, but still prefer to solder them on. A utility knife, Weller 100w gun, and a roll of solder. I've done so many over the years that it seems natural to me.

But you can't go wrong with the above advise. The crimper will do the job.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 06:23:31 PM by K2FOX » Logged
K7KBN
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Posts: 2825




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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 06:11:05 PM »

Assuming that you have prepared the coax properly, you need to do the following:

1) first and foremost, you need a HOT iron.  One that will not loose it's heat to the connector.
2) you need to tin the body around the holes and tin the braid on the coax.
3) "screw" the connector onto the jacket.
4) heat the area around the each hole in the connector, and apply solder, makingn sure that it flows properly.

As others have suggested, you can purchase crimp-on connectors as well, but it requires the proper tool to do so.

Even more important than the "HOT" iron would be a HEAVY iron.  You can buy 25 watt irons that will get up to 900 degrees F, but they won't work well for connectors because their tips are very small. 

The HOT part has to be massive; it's what stores up the heat so it remains well above the solder's melting point while the tip is in contact with the cold connector.  Weller makes an 80-watt iron that's mainly used by stained-glass artists - and it's an excellent iron for PL-259s.  Lowes and Home Depot both carry them.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K3WEC
Member

Posts: 260




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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 04:37:35 PM »

You might have better luck if you only solder the center conductor and forget trying to
solder to the shield.  This is not recomended for long life of the connection.
Allen

I agree with this as an option.   I've simply folded the braid back onto the RG58 adapter and screwed it down tight before.   Perhaps not optimal for the long term, but works fine in my experience.
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K4RVN
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Posts: 794




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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 07:57:50 PM »

I have also done this on RG8x inside the shack no problems with folding the braid back and screwing the adapter on it tight. Solder the inner conductor only. Always use an OHM meter to make sure of no shorts to inner conductor.

Frank
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KG0DB
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2012, 05:29:06 AM »

Can anyone recommend a quality cutter and crimper?  Most of my connections will have to be made outside, on a hill, quite some distance from AC unless I drag a generator and in typically windy conditions.
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