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[TowerTalk] Pictures of Soldering a PL-259 (UHF Male) at K3LR

To: Ian White GM3SEK <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Pictures of Soldering a PL-259 (UHF Male) at K3LR
From: Tim Duffy K3LR <>
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 20:41:35 -0600
List-post: <>
Pictures of this method are now posted at:

73 and Merry Christmas!
Tim K3LR

I have hundreds of silver plated PL-259s in service at my station. They are all
soldered the same way. It is different from what almost everyone else does.
Good soldered shields are very important to me.

I was never sure my shields were well soldered or had melted the dielectric
before using this method (before 1982).

Bill, N4AR taught me how to do this and I have been doing this "unconventional
method" ever since.

Using silver plated PL259s makes this system a breeze. I use the ones that say
"Made in USA" on the shell.
I will try to describe the method. I need to post some pictures on my web site.

Take a fully assembled (shell + body) connector.
Measure the connector against the RG8 (or similar) coax.
Take the outer covering of the coax off with a sharp knife.
Pull the braid back all the way by fanning it out.
Wrap 3 to 4 turns of Scotch 88 black tape around the center conductor dielectric
up against the fanned out braid.
Use wire strippers and remove the remaining dielectric from the center
Install the fully assembled PL259 onto the center conductor and over the 88
The back of the PL259 body should rest on the fanned out shield.
Solder the center conductor.
Fan out the shield and cut it to 1/4" long and fold over the back of the PL259.
Solder the shield all the way around to the back of the PL259 body.
While the back is still hot wrap 2 turns of 88 tape around the soldered shield
to seal it good.

I use a Weller D550 soldering gun for this process

Now you can enjoy a well soldered shielded PL259! I have NEVER had one fail!

There may be a small impedance bump that you might be able to see at VHF caused
by this method vs. soldering through the holes, but the N4AR method guarantees a
well soldered shield which is much more important to me.

Tim K3LR

Ian White GM3SEK wrote:

> Rob Atkinson, K5UJ wrote:
> >You'll probably get 50 responses as everyone has their own way of doing
> >this.
> You're so right  :-)
> 1. Someone wrote me with a clever and simple idea: file across the holes
> using a 1/4-in round file, until the metal has been reduced to a thin
> edge. This will  be much easier to solder, and will also remove any
> hard-to-solder plating.
> 2. An electric hot air gun (paint stripper) is probably cheaper than a
> gas torch, and almost certainly cheaper than a monster iron.
> 3. Don't try to solder with the torch or hot-air gun. Use it only to
> boost the temperature of the plug body, until your small iron can melt
> the solder easily.
> --
> 73 from Ian GM3SEK         'In Practice' columnist for RadCom (RSGB)
> _______________________________________________
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