• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

RG8X/LMR240 VHF Radio Connector assembly

Feb 17, 2006
5,085
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
I would like to discuss how I put UHF (PL259) connector on my cables.

Once upon a time I would add the cable reducer (needed for these two cable in the subject line) then fold back the braid to eventually solder them to the reducer. For many years of making cables, that has been the single most failure I have had. Either the material was not good to solder on, or the braid would not lineup with the hole, or I couldn't get the soldering iron hot enough... you know the drill.

So now I have revamped the way I do this. Here is an outline of the process. (I made a couple of cables with this method and I have not had any issues yet)

1. First I measure back 1" from the free end of the cable.
2. Score the outer insulation without nicking the braid.
3. Rock the score until there is a separation of the outer insulation.
4. Either slide the insulation off or score and peel the insulation off.
5. With a pointed object, fan the braid out so it can be folded back over the cable.
6. Sometime the braid will bunch up at the top. This 1/4" or so can be cut off.
7. Once the braid is folded back over the insulation, smooth it out flat. Don't let it bunch up.

Now, here is where I depart from the norm.
8. Take the reducer and start sliding it over the braid and insulation. Note that the braid is residing between the reducer and the insulation. This is going to be a very tight fit so you have to be patient. Also. It is going to dig into your pushing hand so wear gloves.
9. Slide the reducer until the braid reaches the top of the reducer.
10. Trim any remaining braid that is projection from the bottom of the reducer.
11. Carefully cut the center insulation 1/4" about the reducer and remove.
12. Screw on the main connector, solder the center pin and your are done.

Note: when screwing on the main body mindful that if the center pin insulation is too long it could push out the center pin. (I did that once and was shocked LOL)

After you are done, put some heat shrink over the back of the connector to keep moisture out of the connector.

That's how I do it. Give it a try one day and you will be surprised how easy it is.
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,268
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Interesting method Brian. Curious what the failures were you referenced in using the traditional method.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,085
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Solder wouldn't stick. Or if it did stick it was a massive glob, and I do solder pretty good. Not getting all the braid soldered to the reducer. The list goes on. This method I described ensure the entire braid is in contact with the reducer. And it is a VERY TIGHT fit.
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,268
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
It’s always a balance between getting the barrel hot enough to ‘take’ the solder while not melting the dielectric. I have an old 100 watt Weller specifically for this purpose on which I blame all the poor solder joints by the operator (me). I’ve given it a name which I can’t repeat here.
 
  • Like
Likes: Brian D