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[TowerTalk] Installing Coax Connectors

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Installing Coax Connectors
From: (
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 08:53:38 -0800
Hah - thought I could resist making any comments about all the connector 
threads, but, alas...........when JC mentioned his "ancient Weller"......

My all time favorite was an old (ancient) dual heat Weller gun that had a 
high rating of maybe 260 watts. This poor gun had been dropped twice from 
about 40' (not by me!), fortunately onto soft ground, but breaking the case, 
nevertheless. It worked for many years until it was dropped again and the 
tape just couldn't fix it any more. The dual lights only worked for a 
couple of minutes when it was new, anyway, but finally the last drop did 
in the internal to the local hardware store.

The new dual heat model has the same model number, but not as high a rating. 
Bought one. What a disappointment. This thing could hardly heat two rotator 
cable wires enough to solder them. I got so frustrated with it on a tower 
trying to make a PL-259 (!!) repair, that I tossed it - it didn't survive. 
Off to the store, figuring this was a fluke. Afterall, the original one was 
great. New dual heat gun. Next tower job, making similar PL-259 repair, but 
on the ground this time. Really difficult to get enough heat to make the 
connections - not like the old one. Tightened up the element. No change. 
Went to the store - new element - tightened it up - no change. Gave it to 
the fellow who owned the tower. Off to the store. New dual heat gun. On a 
tower would think I would have learned, but the old one worked 
sooooo well. The third one is just like the other two.

Maybe OSHA clamped down on them for making something that actually put out 
enough heat to be useful outdoors?!! The butane ones are fine, just need to 
be careful on the tower! The wind is also sometimes a problem. When I lived 
in Minnesota, I used a propane torch with soldering tip in the wintertime. 
Of course, the tank would get cold and the propane wouldn't ignite, so I 
carried a spare tank inside the snow suit. The rough part was when I was on 
the tower - putting the cold one back inside the suit.

I have kept this third "new" dual heat gun, just as a reminder to keep 
looking at flea markets for a REAL Weller Dual Heat Gun. I occasionally use 
it indoors to solder small wires together, or look at it and remember the 
good old days.

The soldering station that does work great is the one here at the office. It 
is a Weller (they do make something good) EC-2001 ESD, temperature 
controlled, chisel tip. This small iron pours out the heat quickly and does 
a very fine job. Now, if there were one I could carry up the tower.....

Oh, yes - my technique for attaching PL-259's is very quick and have never 
had a problem with a single connector. My record time for putting 10 
PL-259's onto RG-8 is 20 minutes (total, 2 minutes average each). I did use 
a glove on my right hand to handle the toasty parts. I also had on my tower 
climbing jeans and boots to be sure I didn't get tatooed by a hot PL-259.

Have a great day.........CU in the pile-ups.

                73, Tom, N6BT
                Force 12 Antennas and Systems

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