Technical Help > Soldering the Dreaded PL-259
Yeah, it's a nasty job, but some of us have to do it. Here's how to make it easier while making a better joint at the same time. What you will find especially nice is that you can hold your coax while you are soldering it. Thus if you are up on the roof, up on a tower, or just away from your bench, you don't have to look for a way to secure the cable while you're working on it.
Put the PL-259 on the coax in the regular manner being certain that there is lots of copper braid visible through the solder holes.
Shoot some Silver Solder-it into the center conductor hole as shown in photo A above.
Heat the center pin of the PL-259 using your torch, soldering iron or lighter as shown here. Keep the cable at a slight angle so that when the solder paste flows, it will flow into the center conductor... but don't angle it so much that it keeps flowing down into the cable.
Before applying the Solder Paste through the solder holes as in Photo C, preheat the braid for approx 2 seconds through one of the holes using your torch or soldering iron. After preheating, fill one or all holes with Solder-It as pictured here. Use enough paste so that there is a slight mound like a small ice cream cone.
Now just apply direct heat on the solder paste. The Solder-It Paste will form a ball. Keep the tip of the flame right on the solder ball until it wicks into the braid. Notice that the coax is barely warm if at all when you feel it very close to the connector. You now will have a STRONGER and MORE CONDUCTIVE joint than if you used conventional lead/tin solder.
You can do steps C and D one hole at a time or all holes at once but if doing the holes one at a time, you should not preheat after the first time. The braid will already be hot enough to wick the solder paste when applied to the second hole.
To handle the job, you will need the following products:
The Solder-It Kit contains 4 solder pastes as well as the Pro-70 soldering tool.
Learn more »
Top of the Tower Combo
The Top of the Tower Combo includes the Pro120 Kit, a tube of the silver bearing solder paste, and our ScrewGrab product.
Learn more »