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[TowerTalk] PL-259 et al connectors

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Subject: [TowerTalk] PL-259 et al connectors
From: (Frank Norton KB8XU)
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 13:05:16 -0400
Howdy folks,

I've been reading this thread about "which connector is best?" with some 
degree of interest.  I must agree with Tom, W8JI.  It isn't so much whose 
name is on the bag the connector comes in---it's how you do the prep and 

Recipe for a solid connection to your PL-259 or SO-239 etc.---

1.  If u can buy the silver plated/teflon PL-259's, or silver with gold 
pins for a decent price (like from The Wireman, or Cable X-Perts etc.), 
you're off to a great start.

2.  Whatever connector you're soldering---clean off the oil slick they are 
all coated in.  I use simple DAWN dish soap and water, then dry.

3.  Abraid the surface lightly surrounding each hole and run a narrow strip 
of black (water proof type) sandpaper thru the pin.  (I actually have a 
very nice precision rat tail file for this.)  You can abrade the holes with 
black sandpaper, or a few light swipes with a file.  It's amazing how much 
this helps the connector take solder.

4.  Finally: use heat!  Fast heat! on 60/40 Rosin Core solder.  The "Solder 
Torch" works great/fantastic for this--but any 175 watt-250 watt gun or 
iron works fine (just keep the tip cleaned and tinned with that potted 
material, radio shack sells it in tiny cans/part #64-020/much cheaper at 
wholesale electric houses-various names).  If you use slower--lower powered 
guns---you'll melt ur coax jacket, and possibly your dielectric as well, 
besides getting ugly/poor solder connections.

So good luck with your connector soldering.  Connectors are one of the most 
significant sources of loss and other problems (RFI, TVI, spurious signal 
radiation) in any antenna system.  Proper connector preparation and 
attachment is well worth the extra investment in time and money to make 
sure we get it right!

73 es hope to hear u all this weekend!

Frank KB8XU

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