Soldering Radio Antenna Cable Connections. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-15-2011 Thread Starter
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Soldering Radio Antenna Cable Connections.

Wish to replace the antenna cable.
Purchased Anchor Marine Grade RG 8U E24340 cable and gold plated brass
"PL 259-8X-G Connector for RG 8X".
Noway can I get the parts to fit, let alone solder.
Did I get the wrong connectors?

Anyone do full solder work on the lower Eastern Shore of Delmarva?

Thanks in advance.

Dick
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-15-2011
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rg 8u is nominally .405 diameter, while rg 8x is .240 diameter. That is, one is almost 1/2", the other just under 1/4" diameter

wrong connector and depending on the chase or conduit you are pulling the coax in, it may be too large for your application.

the connectors are not the correct type for your cable, nor is gold plated brass a needful thing.

Buy only amphenol silver plate/teflon connectors, nothing else is worth installing, especially in a marine environment.

You will need at least a 100watt soldering iron (not a torch) and appropriate tools to make the connections. Small soldering pencil will NOT apply enough heat fast enough to flow solder without damaging the coax or the internal insulation.
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I think my soldering gun was underpowered and i half way melted the cable's insulation when I put my connectors on but it wasn't shorted so it worked!
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-15-2011 Thread Starter
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kd3pc, Thanks for the 100 watt recommendation. Yes, I did buy the wrong connectors, and have exchanged those for the RG 8U.
What did you mean by "needing proper tools?

As steel mentioned it will be a task to get solder down those small holes properly.

Dick
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-16-2011
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sharp knife, directions and dimensions (if you have not done this before), pliers to hold hot connector, strippers, solder and the like, Be careful to not nick the center conductor as it will cause it to eventually break and cause an open connection.

Remember to put the ring on prior to the connector
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
kd3pc, Thanks for the 100 watt recommendation. Yes, I did buy the wrong connectors, and have exchanged those for the RG 8U.
What did you mean by "needing proper tools?

As steel mentioned it will be a task to get solder down those small holes properly.

Dick
One of the MOST common failures I see on boats is a failed soldered VHF connection. This is a safety issue. More often than not the failure is in soldering the shield or braided part of the coax. Seeing as I often need to replace these 55-65+ feet above the water while swinging back and forth in a bosuns chair in 10+ knots of wind I have settled on crimp and solder connectors.

Times, Amphenol, Pan-Pacific and others make them. You crimp the braid and solder the pin. Soldering the pin is quick and easy with a mini butane torch.. I have yet to have one fail..

Making Easy VHF Connections

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-Maine Sail / CS-36T


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post #7 of 17 Old 08-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks Main Sail.
I'm going the crimp route.

Dick aka tartansailor
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-16-2011
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There's nothing to soldering, once you take the mystique out. Practice with the soldering iron before going to the application that you need it for. Withing 1/2 hour you'll be getting the hang of it. And remember the solder material makes a difference so do a little due diligence and you'll come out fine.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-16-2011
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How far south on the eastern shore are you? I am an electronic/comm tech and build RF cables daily. I have all the tools and crimpers needed to assist you. I am in Norfolk if you need a hand and you are not that far. We can also properly weather proof your connectors so corrosion will never be an issue.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
quick and easy with a mini butane torch.
+1 on the butane torch. The key is to get a lot of heat into the metal quickly, get the solder to flow, and get the heat off before the insulation melts.

sail fast and eat well, dave
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