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[TowerTalk] Coax cables

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Coax cables
From: (Steve Katz)
Date: Thu Feb 6 11:06:44 2003
Hey John (K5MO),

I sure don't recommend filing PL-259 bodies to expose base metal brass.
This should never, ever be necessary if you use good quality PL-259's such
as Amphenol 83-1SP (silver-plated connector body, silver takes solder faster
and more efficiently than brass ever could) or the "silver plated Teflon"
connectors made by J&I (usually just stamped "Made in U.S.A." with no other
identification) and sold by H.R.O., Cable XPerts and many other outlets.
Silver is the most conductive metal on the planet (both electrically and
thermally) and the plating allows solder to flow very quickly without

It sounds to me like you're using the Amphenol "Astro Plate" (or equivalent)
connectors with the very bright, shiny finish.  Those weather very well but
are very difficult to solder to using conventional soldering equipment.  I'd
toss those and get silver-plated connectors, which solder very quickly and
easily without any rework.


"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of
enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 6:02 AM
> To:
> Subject:      [TowerTalk] Coax cables
> Heat is the key. I bought a mondo iron (the tip is about as big around
> as a little finger) for $1 at a garage sale. It works perfectly and takes
> forever
> to warm up. It also takes forever to cool down, which is what your're
> looking for!
> Some other tips:
> 1) lightly tin the braid.
> 2) File with a halfround file, the area around
>       the opening for the solder, to expose
>       the base metal (hopefully, brass!)
> 3) Pre tin this area as well.
> If I can find one more cheapie iron, I'm going to file the tip into a
> concave form
> to match the contour of the PL259 shell. Heat transfer should be enhanced
> even more, in what will then be a dedicated cable ass'y iron.
> 73
> John K5MO
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