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RE: [TowerTalk] Re: Cutting braid - Installing PL259

To: "'Tower Talk'" <>
Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Re: Cutting braid - Installing PL259
From: "Keith Dutson" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:21:10 -0600
List-post: <>
Same here Bud.  My guess is most hams have been frustrated by this task.

Here is how I solved the problem once and for all:

1. Obtain a professional temperature controlled soldering iron with moderate
to wide blade tip.  My choice is Weller digital adjustable temp.
2. Strip the cable jacket as usual so that center conductor will reach the
tip of the PL259 and jacket is removed where shield will be soldered.
3. Set iron to 650 degrees.
4. Tin braid where it will be soldered.  Be sure to tin all the way around.
Be careful not to overheat and melt the dielectric.  Apply solder and tip at
the same time in several spots, then flow all together without adding more
solder.  You may need to add more solder if initial application will not
flow all the way around.
5. Using a small tube cutter (1 inch is easiest to use), cut off the braid
and dielectric at the point where the dielectric will butt up to the
connector bottom and allow center to reach tip.  Double check that none of
the braid has bent down and contacted the center.  If the tinning step was
done correctly, this should not be a problem.  Any excess tinned braid can
be bent back up and nipped to prevent contact.
6. Insert cable into PL259.
7. Apply solder and tip to each hole to bond braid.  I like to begin with a
small amount at first, then lift tip and solder.  Then do a second small
amount.  Continue until hole is just filled.  By this time heat should be
sufficient to flow the solder, but not high enough to melt the dielectric.
Proceed slowly but surely to fill all holes in this manner.
8. Solder the tip in a similar manner, applying dabs of solder and heat
until tip is filled and flows, but not hot enough to wick solder up to the
butt end of dielectric.

My solder/rework station consists of three irons: one with medium tip for
most jobs; one with tiny tip for smt and chip applications; one with wide
tip for big surface area jobs.  I always prefer the very thin multicore
solder for most jobs.  Heavier gauge is used when a lot of solder is needed.
For example, I use bigger tip and solder to tin the braid and fill the holes
in the PL259, and medium tip and thin solder to fill the tip.

Hope this helps.

Keith NM5G

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of W2RU - Bud Hippisley
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 10:13 AM
To: 'Tower Talk'
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Cutting braid

What I haven't seen mentioned in this series of postings about properly
installing PL-259 connectors is a recommended wattage for the soldering iron
or gun.  My experience has been that all these techniques being shared by
everyone only work if the iron or gun is hot enough to _quickly_ tin (and,
later, solder to the connector) the coax cable braid and center conductor.
Melted dielectric is the real bugaboo for many of us, not lack of strength
from failure to solder the braid or center conductor to the corresponding
part of the PL-259 metalwork.  In years past, I have made some of the
strongest short-circuits you can imagine....:-)

Bud, W2RU

At 04:40 2005-01-16, Tom Rauch wrote:
>> It's easier if you tin the braid before you cut it (with a
>copper tubing
>> cutter).
>If you fully tin the braid, all you need to do is scribe it with a 
>carpet knife then bend it and it will cleanly crack at the scribe mark.


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See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

TowerTalk mailing list

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