soldering PL-259 to coax

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by John Ung » Thu, 10 Feb 1994 02:36:52

Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
(>100W) soldering iron?

Thanks - John, W3GOI

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Doug Brau » Thu, 10 Feb 1994 04:08:44


|> Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
|> the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
|> to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
|> (>100W) soldering iron?

I tried one, and it tended to melt down everything.  You need more
concentrated heat.

By the way, be careful when comparing soldering irons and soldering guns.
A 100 watt soldering iron is turning all 100 watts into useful heat.
But a 100 watt soldering gun is losing maybe 20-30% of that power
in its transformer.  Also, if you have even slightly imperfect
connections from the element to the gun, you lose even more power.

I ended up my gun and a 40-watt iron at the same time.  Also remember
that the cheap nickel-plated connectors are harder to solder than
the silver-plated ones.

 Doug Braun                         Intel Design Technology
 N1OWU                              408 765-4279


                 / decwrl \
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 or maybe:      -| oliveb |- !intelca!mipos3!cadev6!dbraun
                 | amd    |
                 \ qantel /

"There is no human problem which could not be solved if
 people would simply do as I advise." --***Vidal

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Cecil Moo » Thu, 10 Feb 1994 06:33:41

: Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
: the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
: to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
: (>100W) soldering iron? Thanks - John, W3GOI

I found the butane torch to be overkill... exploding the solder into
a vapor. What I favor is the use of copper tape... fan back the braid,
wrap copper tape between the inner insulator and the braid and then
solder the braid to the copper tape. Then solder the copper tape to
the coax connector. This may change the impedence slightly (could be
for the better :-)) but the soldering is extremely easy as the copper
tape can be used for a snug fit inside the coax connector, and the coax
connector can also be soldered to the copper tape at the base of the
connector. This works well on 9913 and pl259s.


 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Gary Coffm » Thu, 10 Feb 1994 07:07:20


>Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
>the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
>to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
>(>100W) soldering iron?

The small ones, like the Pyropen Jr. and the Portasol don't work
as well as a large iron. The Pyropen Sr. works fine, even in the
wind. When AC is available, however, I use a 300 watt American
Beauty.

Gary

--
Gary Coffman KE4ZV          |    You make it,     | gatech!wa4mei!ke4zv!gary
Destructive Testing Systems |    we break it.     | uunet!rsiatl!ke4zv!gary
534 Shannon Way             |    Guaranteed!      | emory!kd4nc!ke4zv!gary
Lawrenceville, GA 30244     |                     |

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Frank Re » Thu, 10 Feb 1994 07:28:17



>|> Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
>|> the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
>|> to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
>|> (>100W) soldering iron?

>I tried one, and it tended to melt down everything.  You need more
>concentrated heat.

>By the way, be careful when comparing soldering irons and soldering guns.
>A 100 watt soldering iron is turning all 100 watts into useful heat.
>But a 100 watt soldering gun is losing maybe 20-30% of that power
>in its transformer.  Also, if you have even slightly imperfect
>connections from the element to the gun, you lose even more power.
>...

Butane irons are not big enough for soldering PL-259, even with the largest
available tip.  Soldering guns are utterly worthless!  I use a 200-watt
iron (WW-II surplus) that has a massive copper tip.  The THERMAL MASS of the
tip is more important than the wattage:  With a soldering gun, for example,
the tip is so small that even though it's high-powered, the PL-259 body
soaks up the heat faster than it can be produced.  A large mass of copper
stays hot long enough to bring the PL-259 to solder-melting temperature, and
does it quickly enough that the plastic insulation of the coax doesn't melt.

I haven't tried soldering PL-259s with a propane torch (Bernz-O-Matic, et
al.) with copper-tipped soldering attachment, but that should work well.  
Old-fashioned "soldering coppers" (big bar of copper on steel/wood handle,
to be heated over gas or gasoline stove) should also work well.  You can buy
them at flea markets.

--


 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Robert Cas » Thu, 10 Feb 1994 13:28:31


>I ended up my gun and a 40-watt iron at the same time.  Also remember
>that the cheap nickel-plated connectors are harder to solder than
>the silver-plated ones.

I found that I had to file off the nickel plating around the solder
holes down to the brass, so I could get the solder to "wet" the metal.
Once I learned that trick, I could solder the connector much quicker
and avoid ruining the dielectric of the coax.
 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Jeffrey D. Ang » Fri, 11 Feb 1994 00:36:37

  > Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
  > the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
  > to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
  > (>100W) soldering iron?

  Best luck has been had with a Weller 140 Watt soldering gun with the tips
  removed. Grease the braid with rosin flux, pre-tin lightly and re-flux
  Install into connector, and straddle the hole in the side with the weller
  tips. (This is resistance soldering technique) Feed solder into the hole.
  Rotate connector and do the other 3 holes.

  I usually solder the center conductor first to hold things stable.  Take it
  easy with pretinning the braid, if you make it too thick, it will not fit in
  the connector shell. Also, for the connector to be "properly assembled" the
  cable jacket is supposed to "screw" into the shell body.

  Wonder of wonders, when the braid is properly soldered to the connector, and
  the jacket is threaded into the shell, the connector is weather proof. Or
  at least it is if you use Amphenol connectors instead of whatever cheap
  piece of ***you can buy for 25 cents at the swapmeet.

  73 es GM from Jeff



 US Mail: PO Box 4425 Carson, CA 90749   |  potent god. I see it more as a
   Phone: 1 (310) 324-6080               |  badly run corporation."

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Ed Hare (KA1 » Fri, 11 Feb 1994 22:59:21

: Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
: the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
: to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
: (>100W) soldering iron?

I got a chance to try one here in the ARRL Lab (a torch type, not one
that heats a soldering-iron tip). It worked okay, but I still think I
prefer the big soldering iron. Of course, I must point
out that I have had ump*** years experience with the big iron and
only about 10 minutes experience with the torch. :-)

The fact that I was able to use it after only a few minutes practice
does suggest that they work. I would much prefer to carry
one of them off on a Field Day wilderness expidition, or up a tower,
that an electric one. :-)

73 from ARRL HQ, Ed
--

-----

American Radio Relay League

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Mark Phillips x75493 - E » Sun, 13 Feb 1994 00:06:15

I saw a trick on this news group not long ago that seems to work well
for soldering PL-259's.   Remove the two bolts and tip from a transformer-
type soldering gun and press the two tips -hard- against the PL-259.  
Instead of the soldering tip carrying the current, the Pl-259 itself carries the
current and gets hot.  The voltage is very low and you won't get shocked.

It heats very quickly when you hold a tight connection, and you're done before
the insulator has time to melt.

=Mark=

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Aaron Smi » Mon, 14 Feb 1994 04:31:05


> Has anyone had any experience (either good or bad) using one of
> the small butane torch/soldering irons to solder PL-259 connectors
> to RG-8U coax.  Do they work as well as or better than a big
> (>100W) soldering iron?

 I have had real good luck with a little 5 watt iron. All I do is let it
heat up for a while, then hold it on the pl-259 and the coax shielding on
the inside. If I wait like that for about a minute, and then melt the solder
on the tip and let it run into the hold and wait another min, I get a
real good connection.

See ya.

73 de Aaron
KB8PFZ

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                        Amateur radio station KB8PFZ

 
 
 

soldering PL-259 to coax

Post by Gary McDuffie » Wed, 16 Feb 1994 03:29:55


> I have had real good luck with a little 5 watt iron. All I do is let it
>heat up for a while, then hold it on the pl-259 and the coax shielding on
>the inside. If I wait like that for about a minute, and then melt the solder
>on the tip and let it run into the hold and wait another min, I get a
>real good connection.

Wow, Aaron! You must grow some big watts in your neck of the woods.

Seriously, you are better off using a large capacity heat source, such
as the 250+ watt gun, because the longer you keep that heat on the
connector, the more likely it is that the center conductor will
migrate. My technique is to get it hot, melt the solder, and get it
cooled down, as quickly as practical. By the way, if you use cheap
connectors, you will also notice that the insulator that holds the
center pin will melt and the pin will sag. Use Amphenol. Hold the
cable and connector still until the end of the cable is cooled so the
center won't migrate. Scotchkote, tape, and more Scotchkote to seal
for outside connections.

GL and 73,
Gary (other one again!)