Call sign: K5jxh
PL-259 connector and COAX issues. UHF rated 300 MHz rated 500 volts peak, beyond this freq.?, use N type connectors, then SMA. (citations here)
Patented, Nov/1943, How to use this soldered or crimped on connector has a 73 year history of examples, even ARRL books cover this connector. (a gazillion hits in Google?)
One might call it a Bruno connector... (the official name is the UHF or (mini UHF connector for RG-8x))
This connector has evolved, vastly, in this long history. (vast choices of plating, insulation and termination methods.)
The top brand now is Amphenol.
RG means : long-obsolete military spec.' for...; RG stands for "Radio Guide"
I made a slide show for installing any connectors to RG-8x , the 2ways, the old 1943 reducer sleeve way and then I show the modern crimp rear/ solder the front tip way.
Base line decisions, on COAX and what connectors work best: (buy brand names only)
I make no claims ever on what is best. (depends on what you are doing , with what, and your skills and tools)
The better connectors have Teflon center (PTFE) and the plating of silver(sn) or gold flash, is good too, but indoors?, any plating works great.
Today 2016 there are many different versions of this connector, about 3 forms. (solder/crimp permutations) not counting bushings. (or cable sizes)
The first fact to know is cable type, selections, is that there are about 60 cable types listed at ARRL. (for most Radio work is 50 ohms (Z) and then power levels.
The newer ARRL "HANDBOOK" 2011 shows. (chapter 22 p48) 60 types. (I buy the book every 10 years)
Not counting aircraft or Mil spec M17 wire and Triax cables. (expensive)
So you need to pick your cables first. (for flex reasons or for long distance say 100ft feed line, LOW LOSS) You will need to match the connector or bushing to your cable you chose.
I use in my feed line LMR-400 low loss cable, at 1 buck a foot, less if you shop about.
This FEED is a very very stiff wire, but NO Losses (compared to imported RG8x ) VF = .85 and 0.67db/100ft loss @30MHz.(way less at 40meters BW)
Some Radio Shacks use, HARD LINE. The best low loss coax (near) is the Andrews AIR HEliax™, but will be 3+ times the cost to gain just 0.23db less loss at 100ft. 30mhz.
To select cable many things must be considered, the band used, 160meter, or 2 meter, or? then if the cable is buried or not (indoors and outdoors) most cables will not like being stepped on and last transmitted power levels.
Not to mention critters. (stepping on it or eating it)
The outdoor connections (PL259) MUST be sealed or the foam insulation inside will act as a sponge, and obvious doom happens . (I use a special self melting tape for that and RTV)
Cables come in flex and non flex, the cables have stranded centers or can have solid core center wire, your parts that you buy must match ALL OF THAT.
Soldering, the lost art:
The Amphenol p/n for this old style connector is 182120. (if your imported connectors don't fit, why not buy real Amphenol connectors.
Many hams agree (but never all) that soldered is best.
The great way to make up a cable for indoors or outdoors (it's intended purpose) "purpose matters big time" ! (Marine, Indoor, or at a 500 ft tower, matters or a short patch cable on your antenna switch?)
Many claim ( (outdoors) is to use 100% soldered connectors. (tip and center section, coax shield pre tinned)
But doing this better way only matters if you can solder.
Doing so is easy on the ground. (but my not work good with you up a 100 foot tower. (do not work up high lacking "FULL PPE" , safety harnesses, etc, nor near power lines)
But that takes great soldering skills. (most folks lack this...) (heat levels, (&mass) , speed of actions, and skills all matter here) and type of solder used (never acid based ever) 64% tin solder, rosin core .
Using a large Iron, and fast actions. (large means 100 to 350watt) best is not to use a GUN. Irons only. The gun in skilled hands can work, if preheated first...
Coax, RG8/u is not RG8x/u  and is also know as Mini-RG8(read the BELDON data sheets for the full spec.'s ,see page 5 here.)
RG-8/u is also called, Beldon 8237 or 9913.
The latter cable is a lot smaller and is cheap lossy coax, for very short runs, (patch cables etc.) (some are 90% shielded or less)
Do not run 8x cables far. (the imported 8x cables will be worse and may not fit your reducers (counterfeit or knocks offs can be junk or very problematic)
The knockoff or cloned connectors, some have wrong sized, crimp pin I.D, (inside diameter) not spec. 0.063" (oops, cheap connectors can be wrong, not matching spec 16awg center wire size )
To see the loss and calculate that, see this page.
If you buy coax off fleabay, with no brand names, what you got is unknown? (I've seen imported RG8x, that had only half a braid on it or just just a hap hazard twist, no braid at all... ( while splicing it, I see it and trash it)
Heating the cable for an hour, with a 30 watt pencil iron will turn that nice center insulation into a pool of melted mess. Use 100watt iron minimum and solder it fast.
To crimp you need a tool like this.
There is no lack of examples on great ham sites showing how to do this step by step. (seen here by K3DAVE , thanks DAVE !!! )
First off there are 5 SYSTEMS used;
This connector is Amphenol RG-8x #182115-10 ( the -10 means silver), 182100 = RG-58, LMR-200 , 182130 = LMR400 cable and more there are many connectors type made. (study them at Amphenol)
The below connector is the 182102. (there is nothing at all wrong with this technology or method even out doors,and for sure if you seal it all up after, using the correct tape and RTV)
Photo 1. crimp rear, and solder or crimp front. RG8x, fits .058" in diameter w/(19/29) 19 strands of gauge twisted to 16 gage. That hole in the tip IS 0.063" I.D (inside diameter)
RG-8x is mini-UHF, RG8 is full size UHF cables and connectors.
Photo 2. RG58/59 this is 182107 and 108, it will crush the shield inside, and terminate it with no soldering here. The 59 reducer fits RG8x . See my slide show above for how I used this method.
I make my own cables, if I am wiring up any transmitter feed, if not , I use RG8x/u for my receivers , patch cables only. Never long runs.
My transmitter is 1200watts peak so , I use the better methods here. (corrosion and high SWR at this power levels, is not going to be a good day with screw-on, or those common cold solder joint, seen in the center )
Better to me means, fully crimped, or fully soldered or both and in all cases out doors, fully sealed with this tape. (wiki has a page on it)
I use RG-213/u for some my TX patch cables. (the flex version.) (home made) or use RG-8x on a receiver, no TX.
Out doors ,many folks use solder only, full RTV+ heat shrink tubing sealed. (I did this on Military ships so, know what works and not) Read web pages on MARINE methods, (salt water is worse case)
Outdoors is a whole new world, indoors we don't have blizzards, winds, so we can cut some corners.. (no sealants)
The coax will suck up water in the foam center, if you fail to seal up connections properly.
The crimp way is easy , see my slide show. The solder center method or sleeve reducer method is not easy , takes me 10x longer to do it the full solder way.
Many don't like crimped connectors#slide1 due to using a cheap imported $10 crimping tool. that just does bad job. (too much pressure and too little, both fail) The hex finish shape, must not look over or under crimped.
For example the RG8/u crimp is .
HOW TO DO IT. With only a rear 259 crimp:
Slide the shield Ferrel (small thin pipe deal) on first. See video, (no lack of videos ,,,,)
Just strip it back so the shield is exposed and center wire is longer than the whole connector + say 1/4" (5mm) (out the end tip ) See the Data sheets below, it has a strip guide.
Then strip that back (cut off) the shield like this.
Do not under cut or remove the foamed white insulation, to the rear, the foam needs to touch the front end (inside plastic wall of the 259) this is to keep the impedance correct, for reduced reflections.
The shield is then rolled back and then fit the connector on, letting the foam white insulation bump into the inner pin wall. (yes, trial and error or measure it, and cut or read the data sheet, see at end of this page.)
With the 259 conn. fitted, onto the end now, we then roll the shield back over the crosshatched rear end of the 259 tail.
I first solder the tip. and crimp last. , and then crimp the Ferrel sleeve to the rear of the connector, (that means , the rear plastic shell casing is NOT , touching the space (inside Ferrel to shield) it's a metal to metal crimp action.
The crimp forms a hex shape, (one guy said a stop sign) hex means 6 sides. Like a hex bolt has.
The parts you use, must match the cable you have, of the 60 types. (sorry , there is not just 1 cable type sold) RG8x is stripped like this.
If not sure what lengths to strip to, read the data sheet on your Amphenol connector. Here is the RG8/u spec. the 102.
See part numbers and specs.
Short and sweet a video.
Rumors, that only soldered cables work outdoors.? (it can be true for some)
Well that tells me you never served in the NAVY (Marine tech?) (as an USN -ET echo tango) nor as cell phone tower guy?
If you learn the art of sealing cable connections correctly, then you would not have to make this statement. (my connections never failed ever at sea, in salt spray and 30 foot seas, not one.)
But we took the class on how to do that, correctly and using the right materials and methods, We used that magic, melting, un-cured rubber tape over RTV. (wiki has a page on it)
Today we also have RTV HEAT SHRINK TUBING methods. (2 professional ways exist, now)
If you just warp it with imported , black electricians tape, is has no future, period. Doomed.
The sealing must be water poof, in a gale, if not, it's only resistant, (and will fail)
Your call , your skills, and even luck. (pin holes in cables casing can happen..... bouncing against a tower, in a full blow, (gale) tie them down?
Parting shoot, it is your call. (Applications vary)
RX only running ,only a receiver?, what's to lose? if it fails DO OVER. (CB radio same)
Transmitting QRP, see above. (but low loss cable is Slam dunk)
Running a full gallon of TX base station, (or 1500 watt pep) solder it all, maybe best. ?
On top a 100 to 500 foot tower,? ( see if soldering at 100foot up that stick (tower) is fun. (unless taking and unclamping 100feet of cable and taking it to the ground is easy?)
In all cases outdoors, PRO grade seal up, at the junctures. Pro grade crimp tools work here.
Warning, say away from all power lines.
What you are doing I don't know, nor can guess.
The only down side to solder connectors100% are:
Takes longer, (but the pay back later? for not failing at a crimp.?)
The risk of melting the internal foam insulation is real, so pre tin the shield. (use a big IRON and work fast) Long durations here, fail when soldering.
The down side of the crimp is , over crimped, or under, (good tools avoid this) (assumes water did not get here, nor corrosion) (and good tools have adjustable crimp pressure !)
There is nothing wrong with crimping, if there was, the world would end tomorrow, the world of communication's.
If running 1500watts, ask your self, when the wind blows, do you what 50ohms seen by the transmitter or infinity, while keyed up. ?
If water did reach a termination, what would fail first that silly twist-on, or a crimp? Sorry, I just don't trust the TWIST ON's. one bit. Nor bare copper outdoors, only tinned, shields.
Some put grease on the shield and then twist on the PL259, how is grease good here? (to each his own...YMMV et cetera)
I see many cry about a $30 crimp tools, but spend $1000 on some all band vertical antenna, then pay $500 to have others put it up. Oh well !
Amphenol numbers, (the best) the dash 10 is silver plated, if no dash 10, then its Nickel plated. (also offered in Gold plate.)
These are real connectors, not clones, knockoffs or counterfeits. The real deal.
UHF Straight Crimp Plug for RG-8, RG-213, RG-393, 50 Ohms #182102 (not RG-8X, LMR-240) This the common size. Full size cable. Rated to 2.5G Hz, (connector only, with spec. cable term., not 100ft runs of cable)
The same as above but solder, is 182106 (solder only, this is like 1943 style "still used and loved by many a HAM" or 182116 has less silver.
The same deal above but has optional screw on to shield (abomination IMO) is or 182120 for RG-213, RG-214, RG-225, RG-302, RG-393, RG-8, RG-87, RG-8A, RG-9, RG-9A, RG-9B
The 182335 is solder tip but crimp rear;.RG-8/U (my favorite)
Go to AMPhenol and see all those choices for connector cable types, and finish plating. (or the many internal insulators, even Teflon) I like the amp 102 (full crimp).
Here is the AMP. -102 strip guide just and example the RED dashes are for USA, Gringo, Imperial inches. ( 18/32" x 11/32" x 10/32") just cut the front longer, and snip last that end off. ( Fractions belong in the kitchen, if at all.)
metric sizes is not in braces, which are inches.
My antenna feed uses this Shireen cable.
Cables, come in many types, I will not attempt to cover them all, but Impedance , FLEX, underground, UV protection, and power limits, are your choices. (there are MIL grade cables too, some are mostly Teflon)
Dies: I only use 2 sizes and never crimp tips. 8x on the left and the RG8/u full size connectors, on the right.
Avoid China dies,buy the Taiwan, made tools. They are 10x better fit, and quality. Not only that, but they are Nationalists. (non communist) (I even been there 2 times, ....Taiwan)
Crimp math. RG-8/u example and deviances found (clones,etc)
Real #182102 (sold at Mouser.com for $3 each in lots of 25.) and tad more 1 by 1,,,, no need at all to buy china clones. at all. (I did once and was sorry)
Sizes: OD = outside diameter and ID means, inside ...
All facts below were confirmed using my accurate calipers. (The sleeve thickness must be times 2,
Connector rear .366" All 5 Amphenol connectors (real; are spec. at this number)
Sleeve sizes , OD .488(ID =.429) .059" thick wall (but crimped ID is,DIE .429"- 0.059" or .370" fully crushed ID of shell) (.025x2 sleeve )
Die size, .429 (both spec'd and my measurements)
RG213 Wire braid OD ( measures .007" per strand with no overlap , worst case! at assembly. (this I got off of my actual, RG-213 shields, measured)
The math works like this,
The sleeve ID is now .370"crushed, the connector rear is .366 (again , amphenol spec) so there is and obvious .004" gap there. (math)
For double shielded wire, or the tin/silver plated shielded wires (nicer) all add up like seen on RG-214 or 393. The braid strands are tad thicker but not a problem.
The rear of my real Amphenol is .366" and .007" shield not crossed wires , adds up to 0.373" and .003" larger than my above sleeve crush, causing a 3 thou crush factor here.
The connectors are sold based on different shield sizes (thickness wire gauges)
By W5swl ham on amazon and fleabay, is listed as 9913 spec p/n 721405422265(bar code) It runs same sizes as RFC.
The connector rear is bigger, its ..374" exactly (at the knurling) a its .008" larger, ok, so lets repeat the math, also the sleeve is about 1/2 thinner too, so seems match at first blush.
.374 +.007" = conn, OD = braid adds up for 0.381" next up the sleeve and die factors.
.429 -.026" x2 = shell , die = the sleeve shrinks by die minus sleeve thickness, and lands on .026x2 is .052" minus .429 or 0.377 inches. so the interference is .005" with RG213 braid, .007 thick crush is GOOD.
I'm now evaluating this connector: The RFC brand.
TheRFC.com site sells good connectors, too. (I like his fact pages, his products, shipped with real data sheets, and crimp size data to match each connector) like the PL-259/TSS .
The end is ,.374" is same, the sleeve measures. 0.026" x2 or .052 total same as Daves.
RFC tells you to use the cramp and not burn up or melt the center sections, as most folk would do.... (it's not your fault ! the foam high VF spec, insulation melts easy.)
The 10 each RFC on Ebay was $23 free ship. There is no better deal than that. IMO.
The best deals for 1 or 7 parts is Mouser.com with $4.99 ship (RFC is 2 times that for ship/handle)
I buy mouser, if small quantaties.
Just got a batch of TheRFC.com and love them in all silver.
The best is below, IMO. click image to zoom it. or here for pdf
version 1. 11-18-2016