George, #236, Ca Ira
With all this talk of PL-259's and coax I thought that the greatest thing since floating handheld GPS's should be mentioned. Coax Seal! Coax Seal is a material that looks like a long thin black fruit roll up. All you do is wrap a layer of it over whatever you want to seal, press it around the joint and the joint is now completely waterproof. The joint can then be wrapped in electrical tape to hold the coax seal in place or wrapped in solid plastic tape and then electrical tape to really protect the joint. The connection can even be taken apart later on and re-sealed using the same Coax Seal. Even better, it doesn't deteriorate in the sun. ( although I usually put a piece of tape over it ) Normally, it is used to seal the junction between a PL-259 and a PL-258 in an outdoor application. However it's uses on a boat are many. On "Ca Ira" :
1. It is used to seal the joint between the VHF cable and the through deck
fitting ( the standard PL-259 to PL-258 application I mentioned above ).
2. To seal all the exterior PL-259 to PL-258 fittings for the Ham radio on
the boat. ( standard usage again )
3. To seal the electrical openings in the pulpits that feed the running
4. To waterproof the cable flange for the boats primary ground cable.
5. To seal a small opening behind one of my running lights.
6. To completely seal the common ground connections for the mast lights
where they come together at the base of the mast.
7. To seal wire openings at the masthead.
Here's a link to an ad for Coax Seal: http://www.wavehunter.com/coaxseal.htm
I love this stuff,
Larry, Coos Bay, OR
This is for a connection that may need extra protection. I always solder and before making the final union slip on the appropriate diameter and length of heat shrink tubing. The length is probably 3 times the length of the union. Make the union then slide the heat shrink tubing over the union. Fill the shrink tubing with GE type silicone from both ends and apply heat. I prefer the heat shrink that has the glue inside that melts when heat is applied. It seems to be heavier walled. Now the union is for the most part water proof. use the Heat Shrink Tubing and silicon on a crimp and solder or on VHF cable extenstions of two PL259 into a PL-258 Barrel Connector. Could be used in the mast base etc. It can later be removed by slitting it length wise and pealing off. I have used this on commercial fishing boats and it is the only connection I have tried that stays protected for years.