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Installing a PL-259 Connector onto RG-8X Coaxial Cable

With a PL-259 connector, you may easily attach an RG-8X coaxial cable to your radio. You'll need a soldering iron, sharp diagonal pliers, a knife and a UG-176 reducer to install this kind of connector. A multimeter is also helpful; you can use it to make sure the shield or center pin isnít open (no-connectivity) or shorted (shield/braid making contact with center conductor).  

Instructions

1. Slip the PL-259's outer shell and the UG-176 reducer on the RG-8X cable.

2. Strip about one inch of the RG-8X's outer coating off, exposing the cable's braiding. Use care to avoid cutting it. Slide the reducer to the end of the coating that is left in place.

3. Stretch out and straighten the braiding; you may do this with a nail. It ought to be very loose when you are finished.

4. Expose the metal conductor's dielectric insulation by folding back the braiding over the UG-176 reducer.

5. Remove all but 1/16th inch of the visible insulation. You will be able to see the cable's conductor; be careful not to cut it.

6. Push the reducer inside the PL-259 connector's body. Screw it on firmly with pliers, ensuring that the braiding remains in place.

7. Warm up your soldering iron.  Most soldering irons that donít get above 700 or 800 hundred degrees Fahrenheit will struggle to make this connection (step 9).  

8. Confirm that no braiding strands are touching the conductor. Likewise, no conductor strands should be bent against the braiding or body.

9. Solder the connector body to the braiding, using each of the connector body's holes. Don't let the soldering iron become excessively hot.  The braid will be visible through each of the holes Ė beneath the braid will be the reducer.  Basically, after heating the holes -  a good 60/40 Rosin Core solder should flow into the holes and make a shiny, concave finished hole filled with solder that has flowed into the holes.  You need the quick application of extreme heat to accomplish this without shorting the connection or damaging the connector.

10. Attach the conductor to the PL-259's center pin with solder. It isn't necessary to fill the entire pin.

11. Remove excess conductor wire and carefully remove off any solder on the center pin's exterior with a sharp knife.

Your cable and connector should be ready to use after the solder has cooled. Before connecting them to your equipment, make sure that there is continuity between the cable's ends, but not from the connector body to the pin. If they do not pass continuity tests, it's best to remove the PL-259 connector and try again.

Precautions

You can avoid pin misalignment problems by attaching the PL-259 to a female jack during the soldering process. Be sure to install the plug on a non-flammable surface. Using a multimeter can prevent damage to your radio. However, continuity tests may only work if your antenna is disconnected from the other end of the RG-8X cable.