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Re: [TowerTalk] Sealing Pigtails - Opinions?

To: Towertalk Reflector <>,Ward Silver <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Sealing Pigtails - Opinions?
From: Gene Smar <>
Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2008 10:26:23 -0600 (CST)
List-post: <>

     I use most of method #2 - solder a pigtail to the coax braid.  But I use 
hot melt glue and shrink tubing to seal the end of the coax.  Not my idea - I 
got this method from the ARRL's antenna compendium: .   

73 de
Gene Smar  AD3F

From: Ward Silver <>
Date: 2008/02/06 Wed PM 04:54:05 CST
To: Towertalk Reflector <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Sealing Pigtails - Opinions?

As long as we're discussing sealing, I have a question about sealing coax 
pigtails. Waterproofing the end of a coax pigtail can be difficult because 
of the exposed braid and the stranded center conductor of most coax.  Both 
wick water back into the cable.  I've attempted waterproofing a couple of 
ways - I'm sure the group can suggest some improvements.

Both methods assume that the jacket has been peeled back and that I have a 
flat braid pigtail and some center insulator and exposed center conductor 
forming the other pigtail.  Furthermore, the center insulator is solid and 
the center conductor is stranded.  Ring or spade terminals are the preferred 

Method #1 - Crimp on the terminals and solder, flooding the end of the wire 
and braid with solder, attempting to fill the interstrand volumes.  From the 
braid terminal, flood with solder back at least 1 cm.  From the center 
conductor terminal, flood with solder down into the center conductor.  Paint 
entire cable end liberally, but apolitically, with liquid electrical tape up 
to the terminal.  Work the goo into the strands as much as possible.

Method #2 - Crimp terminal on center conductor and flood with solder as in 
Method #1. Trim braid to about 1 cm long and solder to a solid jumper wire 
with terminal soldered on.  Now paint with the liquid electrical tape as in 
Method #1.

The goal of both methods is to form a relatively solid barrier to water 
being wicked into the cable.  The pigtails formed by either method can be 
wrapped with electrical tape, if desired, but the water barrier should not 
depend on the tape.

73, Ward N0AX 


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