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Old 05-17-2017, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default VHF antenna wire

Haven't seen this answered yet so please help if you can, I went under a low bridge and broke the fiberglass 8' antenna on my 2000, 2500 SCR. I have already purchased a replacement 8'Shakespeare antenna that comes with plenty of wire. My question is this, can't I just solder the old wire to the new one so I don't have to mess with fishing it through the side and pulling it to connect to my VHF radio? The old wire is in good shape, so intend to simply cut it off install the new fiberglass antenna and simply solder the remaining piece of old antenna wire to the new one. Any suggestions or reasons why I shouldn't do this? Thank you in advance
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:05 PM   #2
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I wouldn't solder.

Coaxial wires are a funny thing. The noise cancellation depends on them being perfectly round. It would be very challenging to solder both the inner lead and outer jackets and keep them insulated and axially aligned.

You could cut and install a female connector on your existing cable, then terminate your new cable short and connect them. This would likely put your connector out in the weather though.

Best bet, tape your new wire to your old and use the old wire to pull your new one in to place.

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Old 05-17-2017, 08:49 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply Kevlar, but I'm not sure I understand. The new cable has silver wires inside a plastic tube covered by a braided silver wire. It looks just like the old cable wire that I pulled out of the broken fiberglass antenna. The coaxial cables in my house have a solid brass wire that is stiff and insulated. They aren't the same... I wouldn't try to solder a brass firm coaxial wire but this silver wire strand shouldn't make a difference right? Please correct me if I'm wrong- I'm trying to figure out how to upload pictures to make it easier to see what I'm dealing with
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:47 PM   #4
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You house coax has a solid core wire because it's cheaper and is not subject to vibration which will cause fatigue leading to breakage. The standed coax gets soldered to the connector. The center, core is the signal conductor covered by a dilectric then a braided shield and finally a protective jacket.

I would do as Kev suggested and tape the new antennas wire to the old ones broken end and pull it through at the radio end. This was you can connect the new wire into the radio.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:11 PM   #5
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Thank you again, and I appreciate your explanation. I watched a YouTube video about it and as usual you guys are correct. I just didn't want to have to go through the trouble of going from the mount all the way through the frame to the back of the console. I'm going to have to if it is to work correctly. Thanks again guys
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:17 PM   #6
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1+ to all said above!
Do not splice that cable!!!
Your VHF radio will not function well, reception and transmission will degrade to the point that all someone might hear in an emergency is noise!
Not a good situation!
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:34 PM   #7
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I completely agree with everyone above. If you read all of the documentation there should be a caution about NOT cutting the VHF wire. It's a common mistake because there is so much of it. It cannot be spliced or cut. The connectors need to be factory.

As everyone is indicating, the mesh wrap beneath the sheath is the insulator. Think of a VHF cable or a Radar cable like a water pipe. If you cut them, then will 'leak' badly. Wrapping them in tape will not fix the leak. You have no way of spanning the insulation across the slice, even when attempting to install a connector.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrew View Post
I completely agree with everyone above. If you read all of the documentation there should be a caution about NOT cutting the VHF wire. It's a common mistake because there is so much of it. It cannot be spliced or cut. The connectors need to be factory.

As everyone is indicating, the mesh wrap beneath the sheath is the insulator. Think of a VHF cable or a Radar cable like a water pipe. If you cut them, then will 'leak' badly. Wrapping them in tape will not fix the leak. You have no way of spanning the insulation across the slice, even when attempting to install a connector.
A caveat, it should be cut to length once pulled to the vhf. You don't want excess cable coiled up behind the panel. Excess cable can be kinked and then leak, and also more cable means more room to pick up interference.

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