Sunday, February 5, 2012

Almost got some radio time in today.......

Center conductor to braid reading
In my last post I commented on not finding the time to get on the radio, so Saturday night I penciled in some radio time for Sunday. All was going well and I was able get the chores done I had planned to and now it was radio time. I sat down at the K3 on went the computer and then the K3 and my CQ began.....then Murphy paid me a visit. I noticed my SWR was bouncing all over the place from 1.2 up to 4.1 and so on!!!! I switched over to

Removing old coax from PL 259

Connector all cleaned up
the dummy load and all was well with the SWR which slowed my heart down from the steady pounding thinking it was  my rig that was acting up. Now it was time to narrow things down on the other side of the rig. I directly hooked my Alpha Delta DX-EE antenna to the K3 and the SWR was good. That meant I was not going to have to travel into the attic anytime soon. It had to do with the interconnections here in the shack. I did narrow it down to a coax patch cord that had a high resistance from braid to center conductor. It was a simple matter of removing the PL 259 and reinstalling it a little further down the coax. The method I use when removing  the coax allows me to heat up the center conductor and pull it out. I then pock the round Weller soldering tip through each hole where the braid is and at the same time pull the braid. I find this removes the old coax fast and clean.

The PL 259 ready to go


  1. Hi Mike:
    And just as you were poised for action !
    always happens ... PL259's - I have had a spate of them playing up, usually when I'm installing them - when applying the heat the centre pin comes loose, and in some cases it pops right out - I notified my local emporium, but they're not really interested so I get them elswhere - beware "Cheapo's" though.

    Rgds Peter

  2. Hello Mike, I actually never solder the braid. I fold it back over the cable and then turn it in the connector. Never had any issues with bad connection that way, or with a damaged insulation between center and braid due to excessive heat. And the connectors can be unsoldered much more easy. 73, Bas

  3. Good morning Peter, I too agree not to cheap out on the PL 259's as when they do go and cheap one do more often it can bring radio time to a fast end

  4. Top of the morning to you Bas, I have never just cranked the center insert and left it at that...I have heard that works but I am a creature of habit I guess and solder them.