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  #11  
Old 04-26-2008, 09:49 AM
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Is this for CB or a ham? ***I know nothing about hams***.

If it's for a CB, why not just cut it off? The whole "gotta be 18'" thing doesn't seem to hold water, and I know it never made any discernable difference in my own installations. Post your question over on cbradioforum.com and see what those guys say.

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  #12  
Old 04-26-2008, 12:14 PM
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As long as you don't change the impediance and as a result the SWR you can cut the cable. I think the bigger issue is that most folks have a difficult time terminating coax properly.
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2008, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
Is this for CB or a ham? ***I know nothing about hams***.

If it's for a CB, why not just cut it off? The whole "gotta be 18'" thing doesn't seem to hold water, and I know it never made any discernable difference in my own installations. Post your question over on cbradioforum.com and see what those guys say.

Mark
An antenna is an antenna is an antenna. The laws of physics do not change regardless if you are a beer stained a-shirt wearing trucker using a CB or if you are a HAM geek in your basement wearing the tighty-whities.

If you buy a commercial antenna, follow the mfg instructions on the package. If you made your own, just follow the simple ideas stated above. Coil it into a figure 8 or route it outta the way. Just don't over-think it. Then have a and get your Moab fix.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho
... I would recommend that you cut it to length and teach yourself (I would help and I'm sure Dave would too) how to solder a new Amphenol PL-259 on to the end. Don't worry about the coax you cut. If you figure out that putting a new connector is not that hard, you can use it other places. Even so, coax from Radio Shack is not that expensive. If you do this your signal will almost certainly improve.
What tools are needed to do this? Where do you acquire them? The OCD in me want to clean up the extra cable on both my 2m and CB.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2008, 07:31 PM
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There are only simple tools. A soldering iron. A razor blade. Solder. Thats it.

If you are using RG-58 you will need to use the adapter. It is an adapter that allows a smaller diameter coax fit into the PL-259 end. When you get it you will see why it is necessary. RG-8 does not require it because it is so much bigger. The adapter goes on the coax before the PL-259.

Make sure you do not solder the braid so much that you melt the dielectric in the connector. The center wire gets soldered to the niplle on the end. Check for continuity. If you have none, you're good.

Now follow the directions. These aren't the best directions, but...

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  #16  
Old 04-27-2008, 10:27 PM
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Nathaniel, any idea why I have a little wire coming off my antenna, what does that need to be grounded to? the body? thanks!

Drew
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2008, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Questions? Ask.
OK, where do you source those connectors? And, I thought you needed to crimp the cable side of the connector. This sure looks a lot easier. And, how do you know what cable you have if it's not labeled?
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  #18  
Old 04-29-2008, 08:26 AM
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Smile Here you go, Pappy...

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Originally Posted by Pappy View Post
OK, where do you source those connectors? And, I thought you needed to crimp the cable side of the connector. This sure looks a lot easier. And, how do you know what cable you have if it's not labeled?
Ham city $1.95 each

Texas towers--look for PL-259 about 2/3 down the page $2.49 each

Ham Radio Outlet--search for PL-259 $2.49 each

Radio Shack $5.69 each

Radio Shack ADAPTER for RG-58 $2.69 packet of 2

The cable will either be about 1/4" in diameter or approximately 1/2" in diameter. The smaller is RG-58/59. The larger is RG-8.

First, with a clean cut end of your coax, place the adapter with the fat end toward the inside of the coax (side opposite the end-the coax end side should be closest to the threads of the adapter). Then place the coupling ring on the coax like the picture. If you do it right, the coupling ring will thread onto the body of the PL-259 and then spin freely to be connected to your antenna or radio.

When you strip the outer insulation off (black plastic stuff) off of the braid, and cut the inner dialectric (white stuff surrounding the center conductor wire) to reveal 13MM of braid, 1.6MM of dialectric and 19MM of inner conductor, fold the exposed braid back over the outter insulation.

Then place the PL-259 over the coax. The braid should just show up in the access holes, and the inner conductor should be visible in the straw-like end of the connector (end closest to the end of coax). Bring the adapter up and screw it into the rear of the PL-259. This should hold everything in place for the time being.

My first thing I do is to put some solder in that straw-like end to get the center conductor soldered in well. Just make sure to apply only enough heat to let the solder flow into the straw and cover the center conductor. Let it cool. Too much heat will melt the teflon insulator inside the connector.

Then I apply heat around the area where the access holes are so as to flow some solder between the adapter and the PL-259 to solder the braid. This will take patience and time, because it will require a steady hand, more heat and quick reflexes. Just get enough solder inside one or two access holes to make sure it is sticking. Again, too much heat and you will destroy the inner dielectric of the coax and the teflon insulator if the connector. This will result in a shorted connector, then you have to scrap that end of coax and start all over with new parts.

Bring the coupling ring up and thread it over the body of the PL-259 until it spins freely and won't fall back over the coax.

That should do it.

I will try to post pictures later of me actually doing this.

The pictures I did use are from www.K0BG.com. They show a cutter that is available, but not necessary. The cable he uses is the RG-8. The first picture shows the idea of removing the sheathing to expose the braid and center conductor, as well as the coupling ring. The second picture shows the center conductor poking its head through the straw-like end of the connector.
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2008, 08:29 PM
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Excellent. Thanks.
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  #20  
Old 05-07-2008, 06:18 AM
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Exclamation Can I beleive my eyes?

In Moab, I noticed a green LX450 driving around with a mag mount CB antenna right in the middle of the roof. The I can't believe it part was when I noticed that there was a significant amount of coax wrapped around the base of the antenna.

I just wanted to clarify something really quick. Will your CB work on the trail with a big loop of coax around the base like this? Yes, it will. Will your HAM radio work with a big circular loop of coax on the floor? Yes, it will. Will either of these two configurations be efficient or effective in short distance communications? Probably, sure. Will you be able to reach the head end of a group a few miles down the trail to let them know you are late, or call for help in an emergency? That is where the uncertainty lies. That is why we try to maximize the efficiency of our antenna setup. Don't any of you be that guy.

Remember, a radio is only as good as its antenna.

I guess you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.
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