Amateur Radio

How-To

How to Install a Crimp On RG-58 PL-259

Tools

For this guide I'm going to re-use a PL-259 Crimp Style connector for RG-58 cable. This connector consists of the connector and a crimp ring. The center conductor of the cable is soldered in place and then the outer shield is crimped in place with a ring. The tools you will need for this are:
  • Crimp Connector
  • RG-58 Coax
  • Soldering Iron
  • Rosin Core Solder
  • Utility Knife
  • Ruler or Tape Measure
  • Third Hand or Small Vice
  • Heat Shrink Tubing
  • Wire Strippers
  • RG-58 Crimpers

First Step

Your first step is to put the Heat Shrink Tubing and Crimp Ring on the cable. You want to do this first as it will be difficult to fit these on after the cable has been stripped.

Strip Coax

For this connector you will need to strip about One and One Quarter Inch of outer jacket off. Use your utility knife and very carefully cut the outer jacket taking care to not damage the conductors of the shield. Remove the wire stripping and discard.

Trim Shield

Using your Wire Strippers or utility knife remove all but 3/8 Inch of shield. The shield that is left intact is what will secure the coax to the connector and make electrical contact with the connector.

Strip Insulator

Next strip off the center conductor's insulation. Use caution to prevent damage to the center conductor. Leave about 1/8 Inch of center insulator past the outer shield.

Insert Coax

Insert your coax into the rear of the connector. The entire center conductor and insulator should fit into the connector leaving just enough shield that it reaches the back of the connector. Your center conductor should stick out of the front of the center pin. If the shield is too long, trim as necessary so it looks like the picture. If the rear of the connector does not go nearly to the outer jacket then remove the coax and strip more of the center insulator off.

Prep for Solder

Unscrew the outer ring of the connector and slide it onto the coax. This will give you a little more room to work when you solder the center pin. Place the center pin into your Third Hand and make sure the connector is level or pointing slightly down. Ensure the coax is properly positioned against the rear of the connector

Solder Center Pin

Using your soldering iron, fill the center pin with solder. You want to close off the connector so no moisture can get in, but you don't want so much solder that it flows inside the connector. You don't have to round the solder, just make sure the connection is good and the tip is closed. Do not use too much heat as it can melt the center insulator of the connector and can make the connector useless.

Trim Center Conductor

Remove the connector from your third hand and use your wire strippers or cutters trim the center conductor flush with the center pin.

Slide Crimp Ring into place

Slide your crimp ring into place against the rear of the connector. There should not be any shield conductors sticking out of the front of the crimp ring and the ring should completely cover all the coax.

Crimp Connector

Using your Crimpers, crimp the outer ring down flush against the connector. Repeat if necessary to ensure entire ring is crimped.

Crimped

Inspect the crimp to make sure it is flush against the back of the connector and fully crimped. Now you may slide the outer ring back over the connector and screw it back into place.

Heat Shrink

Slide your heat shrink tubing up to the rear of the connector and shrink it using the appropriate heat source. This helps give your connector a neater look, strain relief and helps prevent moisture from coming in the back of the connector.

Finished

You have now installed a Crimp Style PL-259 connector.