Amen on the Amphenols. For what it's worth, my "helper" is a standard
Panavise. If you don't have one on your bench, you need one. My
indispensable 30-year old Sears & Roebuck 140/200 watt gun heats them so
quickly the soldering takes only seconds, so I don't have a problem with
fried coax guts. I hope the gun never quits, I've never seen another one
with the horsepower it has. The new Wellers and such just don't seem to have
the moxie for fast soldering of heavy parts.
----- Original Message -----
From: "David O Hachadorian" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 5:38 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Crappy PL259's
> My observations on soldering PL-259's:
> 1. Use Amphenols. I have seen too many goofy mechanical
> discrepancies on the off brands (thin/fat/long center pins,
> teflon insulators that pull out, insulators that melt,
> short thread engagement on the shells, unexpected corrosion
> on "gold" center pins). I like the cheap Amphenols that
> you can get for a buck, individually wrapped in plastic
> packaging. The packaging keeps then nice and shiny. Maybe
> some of the off brands are ok, but I think
> they vary from batch to batch. If you can get shiny Amphenols
> for a buck, why screw around with the others?
> 2. Use a helper when soldering. Have her hold the coax and
> rotate it around to the four holes while you are soldering.
> Using a helper allows you to keep the iron in continuous
> contact with the connector, keeping the heat up.
> 3. Don't try to get hole number 1 soldered perfectly
> right away. Just drop some solder on there and hold the iron
> on it for a while to improve heat transfer. Go on to the
> other three holes, and solder them perfectly (by now, the connector
> will be hot enough to do a good job). Then, go back
> and finish soldering hole number 1. By this time, the entire
> connector is very hot, and you can go around 360 degrees and
> give it a smooth professional-looking finish.
> The cardinal rule is: Never remove the iron from the connector
> until the entire job is done.
> A 150 watt gun is plenty, if you have a helper.
> Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
> Yuma, AZ
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