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[TowerTalk] RE: [CQ-Contest] RE: [YCCC] coax cables summary

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Subject: [TowerTalk] RE: [CQ-Contest] RE: [YCCC] coax cables summary
From: (Lawless, William)
Date: Thu Feb 6 11:23:03 2003

More details on previous info. - -

Strippers -
The strippers I use do not have any identification on them, and I was unable
to find their packaging.  They look very much like the Radio Shack p/n
278-248 coax stripper, with the difference being those I use are on a larger
physical scale in order to accommodate larger dia. coax.  These cutters have
a ring through which you insert your index finger.  There is a spring-loaded
thumb lever to open the jaws and allow insertion of coax.  The same spring
provides pressure for the three cutting blades to do their work.  Each
blade's depth of cut is adjusted by its own set screw; an Allen wrench is
included and stores on the tool. A plastic insert pops into the jaws; it can
be removed, turned, and reinserted to accommodate slight differences in coax
outer diameter.

Soldering Iron/Gun -
Sears, p/n 579.273200 is a dual heat iron, activated by a trigger (looks
like a soldering gun, but the element is an iron).  The iron is 120VAC,
rated at 400W/150W.  This high (450) wattage allows for rapid thermal mass
storage and provides enough LOCALIZED heat to quickly solder one or two
holes without fear of dielectric melt-down. Doing one or two holes at a time
then switching to opposite connect allows sufficient cool down time prior to
returning to complete remaining holes.  The tip on the iron is a 4 sided
pyramid tip, and of adequate size to actually enter the PL-259 hole and
slightly contact the braid while at the same time touching the sidewalls of
the connector hole.  This affords excellent thermal transfer to connector
holes and braid - as you know, solder flows first to the hottest region.
The benefit is a well controlled solder joint with minimal solder flow to
non-desired areas.

Gold Plated / Teflon Dielectric Connectors -
These have the entire connector gold plated, not just the center pin.
Soldering to gold is a joy - no oxidation, and rapid thermal transfer; far
superior to silver plated for soldering / oxidation concerns.  I buy these
in bulk, usually a 100 at a time, and have paid as little as $1.25 each.  A
convenient source of gold plated/Teflon dielectric connectors with decent
pricing is Radio Works -

Regards,  Bill  K1UQ

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck, NO5W []
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 1:52 PM
To: Lawless, William; 'David Robbins K1TTT'; 'YCCC'; 'reflector
cq-contest'; 'reflector -tower';
Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] RE: [YCCC] coax cables summary

Bill --

Could you comment on which stripper you use?


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Lawless, William
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 8:21 AM
To: 'David Robbins K1TTT'; YCCC; reflector cq-contest; reflector -tower;
Subject: [CQ-Contest] RE: [YCCC] coax cables summary

Sorry for late comments.  Consider the following for EASY & RELIABLE PL-259

PL-259 Connector Selection:
If using PL-259s, consider using those with Teflon insulator which are
COMPLETELY (NOT just the pin) gold plated... pin, plug, and shell.  They
will not oxidize like silver will.  They also solder WAY more easily than
silver will.

Get a stripper that removes outer jacket, shield, and dielectric at same
time.  Experimentation with coax to be used will get a repeatable strip
every time.

Attaching connector:
Slide on shell then SCREW the body onto the coax - internal threads should
engage outer jacket.  Using the right stripper correctly sets this

Sears sells a soldering iron/gun - looks like a cross between an iron
mounted in a gun configuration. About $60. Heats quickly and has good
thermal mass, both are critical to prevent melting of dielectric.  Support
coax in a smooth jawed vise (DON'T crush coax!).  Solder two holes first,
doing only 2 adjacent holes at a time.  Then move to other cable end &
repeat, letting first end cool.  Return to first end and do two remaining
holes; repeat for other end.  Return to first end, trim center conductor to
end of pin and solder; repeat other end.

Using a 0.020 inch thick saw blade I have cut apart the shell (lengthwise
from tip towards coax) and inspected soldering of body to braid, and find
the above provides consistent, repeatable, quality connections.  Slicing the
pin lengthwise has shown same results.

The right tools makes the job so much easier, faster, and enjoyable.

Regards,  Bill  K1UQ

ps -

Bury-Flex coax is ALL I use now.  This stuff is the easiest to work with -
i.e. strip and solder.  The dielectric and jacket are WAY easier to work

-----Original Message-----
From: David Robbins K1TTT []
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 5:19 PM
To: YCCC; reflector cq-contest; reflector -tower;
Subject: [YCCC] coax cables summary

Thanks to everyone for their inputs on sources for custom made cables,
I'm sure they will be some help for me.  I also hope that others can
make use of the various suggestions for installing pl-259's and  other
types of connectors.

The sources that I got were(most frequently recommended ones first):

Cable Experts
Davis RF
The RF Connection
Radio Warehouse
The Wireman
Universal Radio
Pasternack Enterprises

I also had two individuals volunteer.

Now I have to figure out all the lengths and decide out who I want to do

David Robbins K1TTT
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://

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