I just caught up with the discussion on fixing snapped antenna wires and/or
adding length to dipoles. Some time ago I bought a big box of
'self-soldering sleeves' at a Junk Sale. These are probably 20 years old,
and I am curious to know if anyone else has come across them, and whether
or not they are still being made.
Each is a thin copper tube about 2in long. On the outside of the tube is a
sulphur patch (like on a safety match) and a hard black compound which gets
very hot. Inside the tube is some solder.
What you do is:
1. Scrape/clean 1.5in of each broken wire.
2. Push the wires into the tube.
3. Hold the tube with a small pair of grips.
4. Draw the patch across the striker on the box
(i.e. light the 'match')
5. Wait a few seconds, then press the wires into the softening solder.
6. Hold tight for about a minute, until it cools.
7. Scrape off the burnt residue from the outside of the tube, and insulate
I've used these several times in the field and they work very well. I
usually 'crimp' the ends of the tube slightly when the solder's still
tacky. I haven't had one fail yet.
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