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[TowerTalk] Bill Orr on PL-259's

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Bill Orr on PL-259's
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 20:56:26, -0500
I?ve had so many requests for this information that I will post it to 
"all" rather than respond individually.

The key to any job is having the right tools. I use good PL-259?s, 
good quality cable, thin 60-40 solder and a large 100 watt soldering 
IRON. A 75 - 100 watt soldering IRON has enough mass so when applied 
to a connector the tip temperature will drop only slightly.
A soldering gun has a relatively small mass. When the soldering gun 
tip is applied to a PL-259, the temperature drops and  the gun must 
heat up again. This is what causes the coax to overheat.

>From Bill Orr?s "Wire Antennas for Radio Amateurs" 1972   for RG/8 
type cable

· Practice on a scrap piece of cable.
· Slide the coupling on with the ring threads towards the open end of 
the cable. (Don't laugh, I?ve done it backwards)
· With a sharp utility knife circumscribe a cut, at right angles to 
the cable, and remove 1 1/2 inches of the outside jacket 
· Use a vice to hold the cable.
· Without disturbing the braid, quickly and smoothly tin the exposed 
shield braid making it a solid entity. Don?t overheat the braid or   
the insulation will squirt out.
· Let the tinned shield braid cool completely.
· The next step is to trim the soldered braid to the correct length. 
Use a miniature tubing cutter to cut the tined braid so that 7/16 
inch   is left on the cable end. Tighten the tubing cutter slightly 
and rotate it around the cable. After one turn, tighten the wheel 
again.   After 5 or 6 turns the cutter will neatly slice through the 
tinned braid.
· Remove the unwanted braid with diagonal cutters.
· With a sharp utility knife cut away the inner insulation so that 
1/16 inch of insulation extends beyond the soldered braid.
· Tin the exposed center conductor.
· Let the center conductor cool completely.
· Put a little silicon grease on the outer insulation and screw on 
the PL-259 until it seats and the shield is visible through all holes.

· Place the soldering iron on the connector by the solder holes and 
heat until the solder begins to flow. Flow solder into the holes as   
quickly as possible. Turn the cable as necessary.
· Let the connector cool completely.
· Solder the center conductor.
· Let the connector cool completely.
· File the tip of the center conductor pin smooth.
· Check your work.

This was harder to describe than it is to actually do.
I?ve done hundreds of connectors this way and after a little practice 
it never fails. Tinning the shield braid and using a heavy soldering 
iron is the key to the process.

A tip for BNC and N connectors. Use curved toe nail scissors to trim 
the braid.

Good Luck

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