Amphenol has made the 83-1SP with a silver-plated body for more than 40
years and it cost less than one dollar, and is available from their entire
distribution channel, which is massive. In light of that, I cannot imagine
any reason to use #2, #3 or #4.
I think the #4 types you refer to are foreign made.
If you buy 25 connectors at a time from Cable XPerts or The RF Connection
(and probably elsewhere), you can get the silver-plated, Teflon-dielectric
PL-259's (American made and very good) for between $.95 and $1.00 each.
Any time I see anyone using any other type I cringe.
Although, I can use the Amphenol Astro-Plated ones (very shiny nickel) just
fine, as long as I am "home," and use them in my shop. The Astro Plate
finish takes solder very well if it's elevated to about 500 degrees F and
scrubbed (not filed, not sanded -- scrubbing is done with the soldering
instrument, as solder is applied). Takes only a second or two with a 900W
industrial resistance soldering station, which I have. But I can't take
that to the top of a tower.....
"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of
enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 8:54 AM
> To: Steve Katz
> Cc: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Coax cables
> Hi Steve,
> I guess there's four categories of PL259 bodiesI've run into:
> 1) Silver plate (no prep required)
> 2) Plated brass (usually requires no filing/scuffing to achieve a good
> 3) Plated brass (Astro Plate?) that does not seem to ever easily wet well.
> I use small half round needle file to scuff to brass and area (1/32"
> to 1/16" around
> solder hole)
> tin the bare base metal, then solder to braid with Mondo Iron.
> 4) Plated unknown (pot?) metal. Difficult to wet, and base material is
> greyish silver ( not
> Base material not more solderable than plating. Best application for
> these is lining
> For outside applications, I always use silver plate connectors. I have a
> room containing a
> large number of medium power vintage stations (17 or 18?) that are
> in-line/switchable and are
> connected via
> a myriad of patch cables. For these applications I'll use connector types
> 2 or 3
> if they're on hand. If I find a buy on the silver plates at 'fests,
> they're my first choice.
> Even with the huge
> number of interconnects, I rarely encounter problems tracable to the
> connector assembly (but
> I've gotten
> pretty good at assembling them too!)
> I've found both my large irons for $1 each. The 200+ watter at a yard
> sale, and the American
> (about 125 w or so?) at a recent fest. I own a weller gun too, and have
> yet to find an
> that it's good for. For other than Chassis/sheet metal/connector
> soldering, my Metcal with a
> good set of tips can cover anything from point to point tube rig repair,
> to Manhattan
> style QRP ass'y.
> John K5MO
> Steve Katz
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> To:
> "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
> 02/06/2003 10:54 Subject: RE: [TowerTalk]
> Coax cables
> 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
> 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
> 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
> connectors with the very bright, shiny finish. Those weather very well
> are very difficult to solder to using conventional soldering equipment.
> 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: firstname.lastname@example.org [SMTP:email@example.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 6:02 AM
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > 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
> > 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
> > even more, in what will then be a dedicated cable ass'y iron.
> > 73
> > John K5MO
> > _______________________________________________
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