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

Paul Christensen w9ac at arrl.net
Thu Oct 11 11:19:39 EDT 2007

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

Good suggestion.  I use a can of silicone spray lubricant and apply it to 
the jacket.  Electrical properties are good and this keeps the jacket from 
twisting and deforming while screwing the connector body onto the coax.  I 
also utilize all four holes in an attempt to do my part in mitigating 
moisture.  When luggage space is at a premium for DX-peditions, the Teflon 
grease is probably the better way to go.

One of the most beneficial things one can do when using PL-259 connectors 
outdoors is to shield them from the elements by shrouding an open, opaque 
enclosure over them.  In my experience, complex methods of Coax Seal use, 
application of electrical tape with 3M Scotchcoat, etc, do not perform as 
well as simply pushing a connector up into an open plastic box (open end to 
the ground) and letting the connector breath.  If the application of the 
former materials is not done with precision, over time, you may be in a 
worse position than letting the connector stand on its own in the elements. 
I suppose if I were to build a super-station in the future, I would try to 
avoid PL-259 connectors at every opportunity when used outdoors and use a 
combination of 7/16 DIN and "N" connectors, depending on the application.

At the SEDCO conference a few weeks ago, one of the presenters discussed the 
chaotic methods used to resurrect a contest station in Central America.  In 
testing cables for continuity, all building pass-through cables failed.  The 
reason?  The shields of the PL-259 connectors were unsoldered.  The braid 
was folded back over the jacket, leaving only the friction contact between 
the braid and the connector body as the only means of conduction.   That's 
an old trick best left for the CB community.  The moral of the story was 
that facility due-diligence should be conducted well in advance of the 
weekend you need it all to work 100%, even if a separate visit is needed to 
gather the necessary tools and supplies.

Paul, W9AC 

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