[TowerTalk] Soldering RG213 to PL259

Steve Katz stevek at jmr.com
Mon Feb 5 12:28:51 EST 2007

Amphenol lists the dielectric as "mica-filled phenolic" good for -55C to

In 41+ years of using these on thousands of antenna installations, I've
never actually had one fail.

I've used PTFE dielectric PL-259s also, but they were non-Amphenol brand and
I've had several fail.  Not necessarily due to the Teflon, but just overall
quality and workmanship.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Lux [mailto:jimlux at earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 9:25 AM
To: towerTALK at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Soldering RG213 to PL259

At 08:15 AM 2/5/2007, you wrote:
>On Mon, 5 Feb 2007 05:33:51 -0500, "K8RI on TowerTalk"
>  <K8RI-on-TowerTalk at tm.net> wrote:
> >Teflon dielectric is good.
>------------ REPLY FOLLOWS ------------
>In the aerospace industry our policy was to not use Teflon insulation
>unless we needed its specific properties.

I think the operative word phrase here is "policy WAS to not use Teflon"..

In my part of the aerospace industry (which is deep space oriented), 
the only reference to the use of phenolic that I can find is for 
ablative heat shields and rocket motor nozzles.  Since no PL-259 
connectors are used in spaceflight equipment, and as far as I know, 
no other currently manufactured space qualified RF connector uses 
phenolic for insulation, it's sort of a moot point.

I can see, though, that in a cost sensitive environment, particularly 
a few (or more) years ago, the cost differential between phenolic and 
teflon would be important.  Phenolic/fabric composites (which is 
really what we're talking about here) are also used where you need 
good mechanical properties, at low cost, with some thermal 
insuation.  Spacers between manifolds and carburetors, for instance.

And, as far as the venerable PL-259/UHF connector goes.. it 
originally used phenolic because it was made by Amphenol (American 
Phenolic Company).

>In a PL-259 Teflon is

Probably, but, it's not a big deal either way.

>As I said, use it if you like and it will probably work ok, just try
>to not be seduced by the "gee whiz" factor. Phenolic works fine and
>does not cold flow.

As far as cold flow goes.. The "teflon" in a connector might not be 
pure PTFE.. it might have any of a number of fillers (and, besides, 
there's different grades of PTFE) that change the mechanical 
properties.  We use a lot of PTFE based materials for circuit boards 
(e.g. Rogers Duroid) and there's a huge variation in mechanical 
properties among materials, even while keeping the electrical 
properties the same. (You can also get a huge variation in electrical 
properties, particularly epsilon, but that's another story)

Jim, W6RMK 


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