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[TowerTalk] Re: Waterproofing Connections

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Waterproofing Connections
From: (
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 18:37:30 -0400 (EDT)
In a message dated 97-09-15 18:04:52 EDT, you write:

> Some time ago you described on the tower talk reflector how to waterproof
>  antenna connections (coax connectors, antenna terminal connections, etc.).
>  I've tried to find it in the archives, but I can't seem to locate it.
>  you tell me what month it was or can you e-mail me the information?

Hi, John --

     Since this is a general interest question, I'll post it to TowerTalk.

     First of all, throw all your cheap electrical tape away. Well, at least
don't use it for  coax joints. Use only Scotch 33+ or Super 88 (same tape -
88 is thicker).

     Next, finger tight isn't good enough. Use a pair of pliers (or 2 pair
for a barrel connector joint) to get the connection good and tight. 

     At this point, DO NOT APPLY COAX-SEAL to the connector. In fact, don't
apply it to anything. There is a better material that is used by commercial
antenna installers; it's a butyl rubber vapor wrap material. Commercial guys
don't use Coax-Seal and you shouldn't either. The problem is that once you
put that stuff on a connector - you'll never get it off! You have to cut the
connector off and throw it away. TOWER TECH has db products vapor wrap for
three bucks for a 3"x12" piece (enough for 2-4 joints). 

      The vapor wrap can be applied to directly to the connector and removed
easily with a razor knife. Some people (including me) prefer to have a wrap
of tape over the connector before applying the vapor wrap.

     Next you apply 2 layers of tape over the vapor wrap. If the coax is in
any sort of vertical plane, apply the last wrap in an UPWARD direction. That
way, it's like the shingles on your house and the water runs off. Put in on
the other way and the water runs in. 

     When tearing the tape,make a nice clean tear. Cutting it with side
cutters or razor knife is fine but using your fingernails doesn't do too bad
of a job unless you're a fingernail chewer. Now let the end of the tape relax
before sticking it down. Do not apply the end under pressure or it will
"flag" (and we all know what that means).

    The optional final step is to coat the electrical tape with Scotchkote or
clear acrylic spray paint. 

     Now you've got a longterm, bombproof joint. 
>  By the way, I really like your MARC program.  It definitely takes the
>  work out of trying to figure out if your mast is strong enough for your
>  antenna system.
    Thanks for the kind words. For anyone interested, it's a Mast, Antenna
and Rotator Calculator and makes mast and rotator selection pretty easy. It's
$9.95 from TOWER TECH.

73 and GL with your antenna project,  Steve K7LXC

      TOWER TECH -- professional tower supplies for amateurs

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