PL-259 Soldering

Do you solder the coaxial shield to the connector body when installing a PL-259 plug? What are those holes really for? I’ve been installing PL-259 plugs onto coaxial cable since I was about 16, and I’ve never soldered the body of the connector to the braid.

I’ve not had any problems from not soldering the braid either.

Having said all of this, I’ve not tested a non-soldered PL-259 on a VNA to see how the connection is affected by movement.

If you are going to solder the connectors in this manner, I would imagine you’d need a huge soldering iron, or at least one with a nice big tip, and lots of heat capacity.

Anyway, we should be using N-type connectors. I think that calling PL-259 connectors “UHF” is a bit of a misnomer.

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AD5GG works in the real world as an RF design engineer. Occasionally, he posts articles on this very site. Sometimes they're even worth reading. Please feel free to comment on posts using the comment system at the end of each post, and use the discussion forum.

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5 months ago

Soldering the shield to the PL-259 is arguably “best practice”, but getting a good connection with conventional coax is pretty hard. The PL-259 is the only common RF connector that allows you to solder the shield. All others (BNC, TNC, Type N) use the compression clamp connection method.

For PL-259’s I’ve migrated to the use of RG-400. It has two layers of silver plated shielding, a silver plated center conductor, PTFE dielectric and is the same size as RG-58. The Teflon dielectric means you can solder with a heat gun if you like – no worries about a melt down.

Questions and Comments are welcome!x