Crimping versus Soldering - Page 25 - SailNet Community
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post #241 of 286 Old 08-27-2010
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In this day and age you can order from anywhere promptly. I ordered a part from the UK and received it in 5 days - including a weekend. GenuineDealz is prompt as well and when I purchased my battery cable crimpers from them they arrived in a few days. Both of the above had to cross borders so I look at time frame as a bit of an excuse.
I would think if you just crimped properly and used adhesive heat shrink that the moisture would be kept out indefinitely. It works several hundred feet down a well so should also keep moisture out in a Catalina 22. Tinned is better but most 30 year old boats do not have tinned wire and are still functioning.

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post #242 of 286 Old 12-07-2010
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A friend asked me about crimping vs soldering his coax connections via email. I wanted to point him to SailNet in support of crimping.

Instead, I found this;
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Originally Posted by DonCasey
Soldered terminals On final weak link is the end connectors. The connectors at both ends of the cable should be soldered to the cable. Solder connectors are not difficult to do, but if you donít feel competent to attempt this, do not fall back on crimp connectors as your alternative. Find a hobbyist friend or pay a technician to attach proper solder terminals.

I like to order cable with at least one terminal already soldered on by the supplier. This is the terminal I put at the masthead, appropriately waterproofed with adhesive-lined heat shrink (my preference), amalgamating tape, or silicone sealant. I feed the bare end through the mast and the boat, soldering on the connector at the radio end. In this way, I have a high level of confidence in the masthead terminal, and one I attach is easily accessible in case I botch the job.

Over and over we meet fellow cruisers lamenting poor performance of their VHF radios. All it usually takes to avoid this fate are fat wires, fat coax, and soldered terminals.
There Is Nothing Wrong with Your Radio


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post #243 of 286 Old 12-07-2010
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Solder is for dinosaurs.


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post #244 of 286 Old 12-07-2010
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post #245 of 286 Old 12-08-2010
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I use the type where you solder the tip only. These were recommended to me by some of my ham friends. I have seen more bad solder connections of the braid on the coax causing issues, done by both pros and DIY's, that the crimp/solder PL-259's just make more sense.

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post #246 of 286 Old 12-08-2010
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eh-
When you are talking about soldering on a VHF antenna connection, that's electronic signal cables.

Different from electrical cables which carry only power, not signals.

In signal cables, especially larger size crimped fittings that are exposed to weather, the signal is easily distorted, corrupted, interrupted by any break in the electrical characteristic of the cable. Soldering is the way to go--if you can make a clean solder joint. When you've got an RF signal in an antenna cable, everything, including the number of connectors and their physical size (mainly diameter) in relation to the cable they are in, changes signal quality.

The problem with soldering VHF coax connectors (PL-259, SO-239, whatever you want to refer to them by) is that unless you are spot on with the soldering, you melt the inner insulator and short out the cable. Or, you don't heat the outer connector and don't bond to the shield. There are very few people who have soldered these cables without screwing up the first couple of attempts, unless they've done soldering before. (And even then, there are "better" are worse ways to get the job done.)

I will use crimp-on coax connectors, and have seen a number of clever patented variations (like a gold "claw" design, I think from Shakespeare), when I have to. That means at a masthead, or as a spare while in motion and bouncing around without a good means of soldering. But a properly made solder connection on a coax fitting is not subject to any physical stress, the coax fitting itself strain-relieves the cable.

I'd say the crimp-on ones are more likely to be done workably up front, less likely to be perfect and stay that way for the long run.

Very different from crimping on battery cables or power leads.

You haven't hit any contradiction about when to solder and when to crimp, you've just hit a boundary between "electrical power" and "electronics signal".
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post #247 of 286 Old 12-08-2010
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There is so much BS about this subject, it is sickening. I'm a marine electronics service technician and have been doing this for 35 years. I have installed hundreds of both crimp type and solder type or combination thereof, of coax connectors. Neither is "better", IF using quality connectors, the proper method of installation, the proper tools and proper weatherproofing technique. It is rare for me to find one installed properly by the do-it-yourselfer or inexperienced/improperly taught pro. It is amazing to me how many improperly installed coax connectors there are in the marine world. It's a common problem that will never go away.

I recommend that you do not use the Shakespeare gold center-pin coax connectors. I have replaced a ridiculous number of these due to failure of the shield connection. There's a whole pile of used ones sitting in my shop. I have more info on this problem with pictures if anyone is interested.

Eric
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post #248 of 286 Old 12-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
There is so much BS about this subject, it is sickening. I'm a marine electronics service technician and have been doing this for 35 years. I have installed hundreds of both crimp type and solder type or combination thereof, of coax connectors. Neither is "better", IF using quality connectors, the proper method of installation, the proper tools and proper weatherproofing technique. It is rare for me to find one installed properly by the do-it-yourselfer or inexperienced/improperly taught pro. It is amazing to me how many improperly installed coax connectors there are in the marine world. It's a common problem that will never go away.

I recommend that you do not use the Shakespeare gold center-pin coax connectors. I have replaced a ridiculous number of these due to failure of the shield connection. There's a whole pile of used ones sitting in my shop. I have more info on this problem with pictures if anyone is interested.

Eric
My question is what situation calls for use of either or?

I have seen numerous posts on the correct procedure for both types of fittings, but never a clear and present explanation of when to either one.

Don't be so harsh on the DIYers, sometimes the motivation is just to have a better understanding of whats behind the panels rather than cost effectiveness. I think when I am at that part of prepping I will use the consultation of someone in your profession mixed with a healthy serving of DIY as well. You get the best of both worlds that way.

Lastly, thanks to everyone for their musing on the subject, the thread has given purpose to a glass of Brandy.
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post #249 of 286 Old 12-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patient View Post
My question is what situation calls for use of either or?
It's mostly just personal preference but there may be instances where you'd use one over the other such as where your in a tight space and can't really move the connector/cable around enough to solder properly but you can get your crimp tools in there. It can be difficult to solder at the top of a sailboat mast. Crimp tools can be very expensive although for those interested, Mouser sells a decent crimp tool kit for $79. That's a great deal considering the 5 dies you get with it.

Eric
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post #250 of 286 Old 12-26-2010
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We build nightclubs.
Our sound engineer solders every connection that carries audio signal, these connections spend their lives in an air conditioned Amp room, no physical abuse, no load, we just want the cleanest path with the least resistance.

Our sound engineer also sails, we use ancor crimp connectors, with a ratcheting crimp tool and gelled heatshrink on every connection that carries power.

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