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Re: [TowerTalk] Outdoor connector protection

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Outdoor connector protection
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 05:57:44 -0800
List-post: <>
At 04:55 AM 3/21/2006, wrote:
>In a message dated 3/20/2006 2:05:42 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, 
> writes:
>At 01:43 PM 3/20/2006, Steve K4FJ wrote:
> >>I am constantly looking for a quick way to protect outdoor SO-239 and
> >>PL-259 connectors, individually. I am not asking how to seal a complete
> >>connection, but but only a bare SO-239 and a bare PL259 without simply
> >>wrapping either with tape, etc. Something that slides over either and
> >>stays in place would be great.
> >  For how long? and does it have to be really UV resistant?
>     This is the $64 question. What are you really trying to do?
> >  Plastic bag, secured with  a nylon zip tie or wrap of tape?
> >  Piece of rubber hose?
> >  Balloon or condom?
>         What's wrong with tape?!?

The original poster was looking for non-tape alternatives.  Never hurts to 
review the way things are done.  Technology advances, etc.  Don't see much 
cloth friction tape these days, for instance.

>It's the way millions of connectors are weatherproofed by professionals 
>and amateurs. You need something that doesn't merely slide on - that's 
>wide open for water incursion.

I think that the intent of the question was to find things that actually 
work.  If all you're looking for is mechanical protection for a relatively 
short time, then those stretchy caps that come on premade coax cables would 
probably work.  They keep the grit out when dragging the cables around at 
field day, for instance.  Not water proof (although they're probably rain 

>         As far as the above scenarios, they won't work because water 
> vapor will get trapped in the sealed bag, etc. and you've just shot 
> yourself in the foot.

No different than trapping the watervapor in the tape.  Just the volume of 
air is different.

>         Use the danged tape. Scotch 33 or 88 is the industry standard. 
> Use a box-knife to slice it open if easy access is your goal. Just about 
> anything else is asking for trouble.

I can see why someone might not want to do this, and might be looking for a 
viable alternative:
a) the sticky adhesive residue (yes, you can wrap the first layer of tape 
backwards to solve this problem) When wrapping a single connector (the 
original poster was asking for this, not for wrapping a mated pair), you've 
got that center pin to worry about.  It's a lot harder to wrap tape to make 
a watertight seal over the end of a connector than on a barrel splice.

b) Cutting it open with a box cutter might slit the coax outer jacket.

So, you have a tradeoff between the "tried and true tape" which requires a 
skilled operator and some potentially newer scheme which works as well (or 
better), but potentially doesn't require the same fine motor skills nor 
leave goop behind.

Worth casting about for ideas.  I like the "fingers of the glove" 
one.  Latex falls apart pretty quick in the sun, but I wonder about those 
purple nitrile gloves?  They're cheap, stretchy, and waterproof.


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