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Sealing Coax Cable Connectors

A few observations from Hot, Humid Central Florida.

All Cables must be properly installed and WATERPROOFED. I have even used 9913 here for a few runs here in the humidity of central Florida for over 15 years with no water intrusion.

The outside connection must be sealed with a good grade of Coax seal or Butyl Rubber tape and I use at least 2 layers of 2“ plastic tape followed by 3 layers of 3/4” of good electrical tape (like Scotch 33, 88 or 700). I apply the coax seal directly to the connector and the coax then three layers of tape extending at least 1“ past the Coax seal. I leave the inside end unsealed in Air conditioned space so any air entering the cable (and it will due to expansion during the heat of the day and contraction during the cooler night) will be dry air. If both ends are exposed to the weather it will draw in humidity at night or during rainstorms.

Again on waterproofing, even Andrews and other Type “N” connectors will draw water into the connector over time when not sealed with coax seal - the center chamber in the connector has some air space that expands and contracts with temperature changes. I follow the Andrews guidelines packed with their waterproofing kits:

Installers should become thoroughly familiar with and use the installation tips given here.

Installation Tips:

  • When applied, the tape must be above 32°F (0°C) to ensure adhesion. Keep tape warm by carrying in coat pockets.
  • Do not stretch the tape. Apply only enough tension to provide a smooth wrap.
  • Smooth each wrapped layer with your hands to ensure full adhesion.
  • Do not pull the tape to tear tape ­ always cut it. (Pulled tape eventually unravels, decreasing protection.) • Add extra final layers of tape in warmer climates where there will be long exposure to damaging ultra violet (UV) rays. Two or three extra layers of tape will provide additional UV protection.
  • When wrapping tape, overlap the tape to half-width.
  • Ensure vent or drain holes at the bottom of the antenna or device are not covered with weatherproofing tape.

If you can find them at a hamfest the Andrews water proofing kits are a great value -

Andrew 221213 Weatherproofing Kit contains:

  • 2 rolls of 3/4” x 66' black plastic tape
  • 1 roll of 2“ x 20' black plastic tape
  • 6 rolls of 2-1/2” x 24“ butyl rubber tape (coax seal)

Vry 73
Bob Cumming
QRV 160M-9 CM +3CM
from EL98hr

ham_radio/sealing_coax_cables.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/08 19:00 (external edit)
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