I hated to install PL-259s and tried virtually all of the techniques that
have been talked about here over the last few days. Drilled out the
holes, tinned the braid, made ears, etc, etc, etc.
Then one day many years ago I did it by the book WITH THE RIGHT
SOLDERING IRON and it was by far the easiest, quickest, best, and
prettiest way to do it.
The secret is in having the proper soldering iron!
You need a high temp iron with a lot of reserve heat capacity AND a small tip
that can get in the holes and directly heat the braid.
The minimum iron to use is a Weller with a PTC8 (800 deg) tip. A bigger
iron makes it easier--as long as the tip comes down to a 1/8 inch chisel
where you can at least get the corner into the hole and into direct contact
with the braid.
Once you find the right iron then you need to know how to cut the coax.
Using a SHARP utility knife cut through the jacket and shield without
cutting into the dielectric. It is easy, but it is a matter of feel. You
feel the braid cutting but not go into the polyethelene. Then move back
the appropriate distance and cut the jacket while just barely touching the
braid. The jacket slips off leaving an intact and properly braided braid
which screws into the connector without "bunching" and produces
a full braid at each hole. Soldering is then easy when done as described
I was the designated PL-259 connector installer on the XR0Y expedition
and had lines of people wanting to watch and learn how to do it properly.
There is no need to resort to gimmicks. With the right tools the little
beasts go on easily and look professional. Just take the time to
learn how to do it right!
73 John W0UN
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