Crimp or Solder

From the Quick Silver website:

Which way is better? I’ll never solder another PL-259 again. Here’s why:

Smart Hams know that modern crimp connectors, installed with the proper tool, are superior.

The single most frequent failure point in all types of coaxial RF connectors is the braid (shield) of a PL-259. When you solder the connector on, you typically catch just a few strands of the braid. Some folks like to tin the braid first. Seems like a great idea, until you realize that now that flexible braid is more like a solid wire that will soon fracture from flexing. Add to that the likelihood of overheating and melting the dielectric. That can affect the impedance of the coax and seriously degrade its power handling capability.

Crimping your connectors — and again, I stress the importance of quality connectors and the proper tool — means getting all of the braid, with a good strong electrical and mechanical joint. And of course, no overheating, either.

Professional installers crimp everything. Why? Dependability. That’s the #1 priority in a commercial installation. Not cost, not time, but dependability.

I’d guess that maybe 1% of Hams can really do a good job soldering a PL-259. On their best day, they’re only as good as you’ll be every day using the right equipment.

Now, I understand that some folks still believe that Marconi and Moses said “Thou Shalt Solder Thy Connectors”. Fair enough. Do yourself a big favor and avoid those bargain bin connectors like the plague.Our PL-259s, both crimp-on and solder-on, are silver plated brass with Teflon dielectric, machined to tight tolerances for better performance, dependability and durability.