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[TowerTalk] addendum: Details On Installing PL-259s

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Subject: [TowerTalk] addendum: Details On Installing PL-259s
From: (John Brosnahan)
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 07:04:45 -0700 (MST)
After posting my technique on installing PL-259s I received a number of
off-line replies about making sure to tell everyone to tin the braid first.

That is precisely what I DO NOT DO and for good reasons.  The W6SAI,
Bill Orr, technique is one I used for a period of time and it wants the braid
to be tinned first as well.  And it also cuts the braid with a tubing cutter
as I also did for a period of time.

Here is a brief set of comments about why I recommend NOT to tin the 
braid first.

73  John  W0UN


Addendum to the Post -- Details On Installing PL-259s

One reason PL-259s are not well liked is that many of the proceedures
to install them take so much time.  If the proper procedure is used the
installation can be done very quickly.  This is not a big issue if you are
putting on a single connector--but if you are putting on many connectors
the wasted time on tinning and trimming with a tubing cutter can really 
add up.  I actually ENJOY installing PL-259s now that I can do it very
quickly and now that the results are so good!  Plus I enjoy the ego
trip of being the only one on my block who can put on a PL-259 and have
it look like it was done professionally.  Of course with 160 acres I AM

Here are a list of reasons why not to tin the braid--but if you insist on 
trimming the braid then follow my procedure on cutting the jacket and
braid before tinning the braid--this way there will be no need for the tubing
cutter part  (which I don't like because it tends to smash the braid down
into the dielectric).

Why I don't tin the braid on RG-11 and RG-213 before installing PL-259s.

1)  It takes time and that is why PL-259s are hated!
2)  It subjects the dielectric to unnecessary heat.
3)  It leaves a residue of flux (which can be cleaned--but takes even more
        and the flux may be hygroscopic.
4)  Solder can wick under the jacket causing it to bulge and making it more
        difficult to insert into the connector

Why I no longer drill out the holes.

Drilling out the holes to a larger size has also been suggested and it was
something I used to do on a regular basis.  I'd buy 20 PL-259s and drill
them all out and then throw them into the storage bin for later use--at least
this way the drilling was done in mass production style.

There is nothing wrong with drilling out the holes a bit, except that it
takes time.
It does make it easier to solder to the (UNTINNED) braid.  Again the secret
is to have a small enough tip so that the tip can touch the braid without
heating the body of the connector until after some solder has been wicked
into the braid--then just continue the heating of the body and flow the solder
into the hole until the hole is nicely filled.  You just have to find a
iron with a small enough tip while having enough heat capacity and a high
enough temperature so that the body can be heated up very quickly.

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