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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« on: April 18, 2008, 11:44:19 PM »

I need a bit of help from the radio buffs.  Just this night I finished soldering together my copper J-Pole antenna for ham use.  All thats left is connecting the coax and TNC connectors (which I have yet to buy) to the antenna.  I have a few questions that need answering though before I can proceed.

How do I go about putting the connectors on the coax?
Will the local amateur radio shop do this for me?
Whats the best way of connecting the feeds to the antenna?  I've heard hose clamps and solder.
How do I tune a j-pole, considering everything is soldered together?
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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mikeylikey
Banned

Posts: 3,756

« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 11:52:06 PM »

How do I go about putting the connectors on the coax?

Do they still sell those crimp type connectors?  Thats what I remember years ago. 

Sorry man, I will forward your questions to a buddy of mine, and I will see if he gets back tomorrow morning. 
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What's up monkeys?
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2008, 12:11:38 AM »

Further research and a couple youtube how-to's later show that yes mikey, they do sell the crimps.  Which now leaves questions 3, 4, and 5.  (3 is still on because I don't have the wire strippers or crimpers and I'm cheap).
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,402
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2008, 01:23:59 AM »

Further research and a couple youtube how-to's later show that yes mikey, they do sell the crimps.  Which now leaves questions 3, 4, and 5.  (3 is still on because I don't have the wire strippers or crimpers and I'm cheap).

Find a friendly local ham. Connectors are too critical and too easy to screw up to leave to half-fast assembly.

What kind of a radio do you have that uses TNC connectors?
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2008, 01:25:47 AM »

Further research and a couple youtube how-to's later show that yes mikey, they do sell the crimps.  Which now leaves questions 3, 4, and 5.  (3 is still on because I don't have the wire strippers or crimpers and I'm cheap).

Find a friendly local ham. Connectors are too critical and too easy to screw up to leave to half-fast assembly.

What kind of a radio do you have that uses TNC connectors?

I think it actually may be a standard UHF connection.  I'm using a Kenwood TK-730G
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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SarDragon
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Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2008, 01:36:42 AM »

Further research and a couple youtube how-to's later show that yes mikey, they do sell the crimps.  Which now leaves questions 3, 4, and 5.  (3 is still on because I don't have the wire strippers or crimpers and I'm cheap).

Find a friendly local ham. Connectors are too critical and too easy to screw up to leave to half-fast assembly.

What kind of a radio do you have that uses TNC connectors?

I think it actually may be a standard UHF connection.  I'm using a Kenwood TK-730G

If it looks like this ( http://i1.ebayimg.com/05/i/000/e9/32/1b01_1.JPG ) on the back, it uses a PL-239 male. That may be called a "standard UHF" connector in your world, but in mine (USN), the most common, and therefore standard, UHF connector was the Type N connector. That why I'm careful to specify by part number.

Actually, that's probably the easiest connector to install, but requires a soldering iron.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
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Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2008, 02:04:07 AM »

Yes, thats the one.  Thanks for clearing that up.  I'm more theory/science minded, not mechanical/parts so all the connector names and whatnot whizz right over my head.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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lordmonar
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2008, 02:10:02 AM »

Dave....actually the PL-239 is called a "standard UHF" in the silly-villain world.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
SarDragon
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2008, 02:17:51 AM »

Dave....actually the PL-239 is called a "standard UHF" in the silly-villain world.

'S okay, I'll stick with numbers. Hard to screw up, then.
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Dave Bowles
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2008, 04:27:21 AM »

Oh, another question to add to the list.  What kind of coax should I buy?
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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Slim
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Posts: 568

« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2008, 04:32:29 AM »

If it's a standard PL-259, Rat Shack used to sell solderless connectors.  I remember two variants.

The first looked just like a soldered connector, but the coax was stripped back.  The center conductor went through the center pin on the connector, while the shielding was folded around it.  the other half of the connector was slid down on the first half, with the shielding folded along the insert.  The center conductor on the coax was then crimped to the pin, and the excess trimmed off.

The second was a single piece with a set screw on the side of the connector.  Just slide the coax into the connector until it stopped, a small pin inside made connection with the center conductor, and the set screw was tightened into the shielding.

I've used both with great success, and it's a lot cleaner than trying to solder (which I could never seem to master).  Check local Rat Shacks, if you can find one where a clerk speaks something other than XM radio or cellphone, you just might find what you're looking for.

For home use, RG-8 will be best, but RG-58 works just as well.  For mobile use, definitely RG-58
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Slim
♠SARKID♠
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Posts: 1,836
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Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2008, 04:45:23 AM »

If it's a standard PL-259, Rat Shack used to sell solderless connectors.  I remember two variants.

The first looked just like a soldered connector, but the coax was stripped back.  The center conductor went through the center pin on the connector, while the shielding was folded around it.  the other half of the connector was slid down on the first half, with the shielding folded along the insert.  The center conductor on the coax was then crimped to the pin, and the excess trimmed off.

The second was a single piece with a set screw on the side of the connector.  Just slide the coax into the connector until it stopped, a small pin inside made connection with the center conductor, and the set screw was tightened into the shielding.

I've used both with great success, and it's a lot cleaner than trying to solder (which I could never seem to master).  Check local Rat Shacks, if you can find one where a clerk speaks something other than XM radio or cellphone, you just might find what you're looking for.

For home use, RG-8 will be best, but RG-58 works just as well.  For mobile use, definitely RG-58

Thanks much, I'll look into that!  As much as I despise Radio Shack (I wash my mouth out with soap whenever I let slip that curse) I may just go there.  I'm still too annoyed with our local HAM shop to go back quite yet.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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Conical
Recruit

Posts: 24

« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2008, 09:32:23 AM »

Since you're in the Milwaukee area why not take a stroll to the AES store there on Good Hope Road.  They have tons of coax (RG8, 58 and even twin lead) and are pretty good at helping folks out.  They can outfit you with the proper connector(s) and coax in a jiffy.
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♠SARKID♠
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Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2008, 02:01:34 PM »

That's the local ham shop I'm still to annoyed with to back to quite yet  :P

I got some bad service there a week or two ago.  Nothing serious, but enough to put a temporary boycott on their store.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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drcomm
Forum Regular

Posts: 107

« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2008, 07:00:10 PM »

My experience has been that solder on connectors are a better bet than the crimp on type.  I am sure that there are hams in your area, maybe even in your local CAP group that would be glad to help you install those connectors.  The PL-259 by it's self will work great on RG-8 sized coax but if you use the PL-259 with RG58 sized coax you will also need a UG-175 insert to compensate for the smaller coax size.  Take a look at the following site for photos of these connectors.

http://www.mtechnologies.com/ohr/parts.htm

I don't know anything about this company, they just had a good photo of the connectors.
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David Romere, Maj, CAP
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SarDragon
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Posts: 10,402
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2008, 02:23:24 AM »

Soldered connections are the best thing for a mobile installation. Vibration will tend to  loosen crimped and set screw connections.
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Dave Bowles
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2008, 02:56:58 AM »

Its for my base station.  I think some good shrink tubing and a smidgen of rubber cement will do for holding a crimp in place.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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Frenchie
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Posts: 183

« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2008, 01:16:51 PM »

Soldered connections are the best thing for a mobile installation. Vibration will tend to  loosen crimped and set screw connections.

I tend to disagree here.  I have over 20 years experience using connectors of all types and a good crimp connection will outperform a soldered one hands down.

The problem is all crimp connectors aren't created equally.  Some work much better than others and the best ones require expensive crimp tools most people don't have.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2008, 02:37:52 PM »

Soldered connections are the best thing for a mobile installation. Vibration will tend to  loosen crimped and set screw connections.

I tend to disagree here.  I have over 20 years experience using connectors of all types and a good crimp connection will outperform a soldered one hands down.

The problem is all crimp connectors aren't created equally.  Some work much better than others and the best ones require expensive crimp tools most people don't have.

I too have over 20 year doing comm for a living...and I say 100% the opposite.

A solder connection is much superior in the long run.

Having said that....there is nothing wrong with crimp on and the are much quicker to complete.

I comes down to a six of one/half dozen of the other trade off.

I prefer crimp ons as they save time and are easier to do....but they require extra tools and are more prone to fail over time.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
mikeylikey
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2008, 02:48:49 PM »

but they require extra tools and are more prone to fail over time.

As apposed to solder ones, that require a solder gun and solder? 

The crimp tool at Radio Shack is 3.50.  The line splicer (splitter, whatever it is called) is cheap as well.  You can also get away with a sharp knife.....right??
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What's up monkeys?
SarDragon
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2008, 08:51:17 PM »

Soldered connections are the best thing for a mobile installation. Vibration will tend to  loosen crimped and set screw connections.

I tend to disagree here.  I have over 20 years experience using connectors of all types and a good crimp connection will outperform a soldered one hands down.

The problem is all crimp connectors aren't created equally.  Some work much better than others and the best ones require expensive crimp tools most people don't have.

My emphasis, and the reason I made my statement. I have similar career experience as a Navy avionics tech, and have found that untrained people using consumer level equipment and parts do not end up with high quality crimped connections.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
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Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
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SarDragon
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2008, 08:55:17 PM »

but they require extra tools and are more prone to fail over time.

As apposed to solder ones, that require a solder gun and solder? 

The crimp tool at Radio Shack is 3.50.  The line splicer (splitter, whatever it is called) is cheap as well.  You can also get away with a sharp knife.....right??

Wrong. Improperly stripped wires are a leading cause of connection failure. Nicked wires break quickly, and cause other problems that lead to wire and connection failure.

A soldering iron and a roll of solder cost quite a bit less than the tools needed to make quality crimped connections. They are, with a little bit of education, also easier to use to make a quality connection.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2008, 11:20:48 PM »

Okay, reclaiming thread.

I just moments ago finished the antenna.  I ended up using a 50ft pre-ended coax from radio shack, but, I needed a bridge for the antenna.  So I stripped off a chunk, and re-ended the coax with a screw in connector.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-204/CC
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Frenchie
Forum Regular

Posts: 183

« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2008, 11:53:24 PM »

Soldered connections are the best thing for a mobile installation. Vibration will tend to  loosen crimped and set screw connections.

I tend to disagree here.  I have over 20 years experience using connectors of all types and a good crimp connection will outperform a soldered one hands down.

The problem is all crimp connectors aren't created equally.  Some work much better than others and the best ones require expensive crimp tools most people don't have.

I too have over 20 year doing comm for a living...and I say 100% the opposite.

A solder connection is much superior in the long run.

Having said that....there is nothing wrong with crimp on and the are much quicker to complete.

I comes down to a six of one/half dozen of the other trade off.

I prefer crimp ons as they save time and are easier to do....but they require extra tools and are more prone to fail over time.

Virtually every industry that requires high quality connections that aren't prone to fail over time has gone to crimp on connections exclusively.  This includes aerospace, automotive, and medical industries.  A properly made crimped connection will form a cold weld and will outlast the cable on which it's attached.  I've made crimp connections on everything from the smallest communication cables to 500 amp power cables.  When properly made they don't fail, ever.  About the only thing we use hot welded connections for anymore are large underground power or ground cables and in that instance we Cadweld them.

There are lots of pitfalls to crimped connections and most of them involve substandard tools and connectors, but there's also a lot of pitfalls with soldered connectors.
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