How to Install CB Antenna Connector

Written by richard asmus
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How to Install CB Antenna Connector
CB radios use a PL259 connector for the antenna cable. (cable connector image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)

The output of most CB radio mobile or base stations requires a PL259 connector installed on the end of a coaxial cable to connect to the antenna. The coaxial cable has a centre conductor made of a single wire. A shield around the centre conductor reduces noise and interference. PL259 connectors come in either crimp or solder types. For the crimp type, you need a crimping tool and dies appropriate for your cable size and particular connector. For the solder type, you must know how to solder.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • PL259 connector
  • Data sheet for the PL259 connector
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Crimping tool
  • Soldering equipment (optional)
  • Wire cutters

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Unscrew the outer collar of the PL259 connector and slide it over the cable on which you will install the connector. Be sure to put it in the right direction so that it can screw back onto the connector body. If using a crimp connector, slide the outer crimping ferrule over the cable too.

  2. 2

    Trim the outer jacket off the cable about two inches, or to the dimension noted on your connector data sheet.

  3. 3

    Trim the braided shield and the insulation with the scissors and knife to the dimensions on the connector data sheet. If you don't have a data sheet, use the connector itself for a measure.The centre conductor must be long enough to reach entirely through the hollow centre pin, and the shield must be the same length as the outer ferrule for a crimp connector, or long enough to solder to the connector body for a solder type. Tin the centre conductor for the solder type, but not for the crimp type.

  4. 4

    Insert the cable into the PL259 connector until the insulation stops against the connector body. Be sure the centre conductor goes all the way through the centre pin and the shield goes over the metal parts of the connector body. Snip the end of the centre conductor flush with the end of the centre pin.

  5. 5

    Crimp the centre pin by placing it into the die in the crimping tool and squeezing the handles until they stop. For a solder type, heat the centre conductor with the soldering iron and "sweat" solder into the ned of it.

  6. 6

    Slide the crimping ferrule over the copper shield of the PL259 connector body. Place the ferrule into the crimping tool die appropriate for your cable size and squeeze the handles. For a solder connector, heat the connector body with the soldering iron and "sweat" solder onto the shield at each of the holes provided. Wait for the connector to cool.

  7. 7

    Slide the outer collar onto the connector to the body and screw it onto the threads, then past them until the collar turns free between the threads and the end of the connector.

Tips and warnings

  • The threads on the body of the PL259 connector only keep the collar from sliding up the cable. They do not hold the connector in place.
  • To attach a PL259 connector to a terminal, push the centre pin into the hole and then screw the outer collar onto the outer threads of the terminal. When disconnecting, only unscrew the collar from the terminal and not the connector body.
  • If you are not experienced at soldering, you could damage your cable when trying to solder the shield to the connector body. Use a crimp connector if you don't know how to solder.
  • Coaxial cable for CB antennas come in various sizes for various distances and environments. To make a proper connection, select your cable first, then select a PL259 connector designated for that cable.

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