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Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259's can be installed correctly in 5 minutes

To: 'Scott Robbins' <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] PL-259's can be installed correctly in 5 minutes
From: Steve Katz <>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 08:46:16 -0700
List-post: <>
There's a problem with the fourth step below: You don't need Teflon grease
because you shouldn't be wiggling the coax into the connector.  PL-259s are
designed to be screwed on to the cable jacket, that's why they have internal
threads in the rear of the plug body.  If properly threaded onto the cable,
you don't need grease, and you create a 4-turn watertight seal at this
juncture.  I think step six below isn't very wise, either: 20 seconds is a
really long time unless you have a very underpowered iron.  Using a Weller
SP-120, I get a PL-259 body hot enough to reflow solder on the connector
body (without the solder touching the iron itself) in five seconds, maybe
less if I "scrub" the iron tip on the connector body (which is a very
recommended approach, as scrubbing makes a eutectic bond between solder and
connector plating).  I wouldn't put the cable in a vise, as if it's too
loose, you can push the cable out of the vise and if it's tight enough for
that not to happen, it's tight enough to compress the dielectric material
when it is heated by the soldering operation. -WB2WIK/6

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Robbins []
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:53 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] PL-259's can be installed correctly in 5 minutes

K1KY method adapted from (I think) W0UN as taught to me ca. 1995:

* Unscrew shell of AMPHENOL PL-259, place on coax.  Not hamfest brand

* Hold body of PL-259 next to coax with the top of the connector even with
end of the raw cable.  With an Exacto or razor blade cutter, gently trim
covering, braid, dielectric from top of connector to just below 1st 'ridge'
PL-259, leaving only center wire.

* Hold body of PL-259 next to coax same way.  At a point approx 1/4" above
bottom of the connector, trim black covering, leaving braid intact.

* Place a very tiny dab of teflon grease at the top of where the black
is still intact.  Install connector.  The teflon grease makes wiggling the
connector onto large coax easier.  

* Place coax and PL-259 in a vise, tipped very slightly downward, solder

* Tip connector in vise so it's parallel to the ground.  Put soldering iron
across PL-259 hole.  Count to 20, flow solder into hole.  Working quickly to
keep shell hot, rotate connector in vise, solder other holes.  Leave in vise
heat sink for cooling. 

5 minutes.  I was the designated connector installer at K4JNY.  One
weekend in the <<<we are completely insane>>> building phase in 2003, I
installed them for 8 consecutive hours on every kind of cable imaginable. 

Scott W4PA

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