[time-nuts] Symmetricom 58532A GPS Antenna : Launch3 Surplus

George Atkinson robertg8rpi at virginmedia.com
Sun Feb 18 16:57:53 EST 2018

There is one highly effective, if somewhat messy, solution to sealing connectors. It's a "tape" made of open weave fabric impregnated with petrolium compounds. It'd main use is protecting pipework etc. In the UK it's often called Denso tape.
In the USA one brand is Petro-Tape 
In Canada PetroWrap
I'ts almost like a mastic and forms a skin after a while. Not something you would use were you would bump into it, but I've taked down antennas that were decades old and the connectors looked like new once the tape was removed.

Robert G8RPI.
> On 18 February 2018 at 17:44 Bob kb8tq <kb8tq at n1k.org> wrote:
> Hi
> One of the other variables in all this is the type of coax you use. The “best 
> stuff” is flooded with silicon goop that is an absolute mess to deal with. 
> It also will have a jacket on it that withstands UV better than the typical 
> stuff. You may or may not need the UV protection, but you get it anyway. 
> No, this will not help the innards of the antenna. Water (and salt and whatever ..)
> moves both ways from the connector. 
> Bob
> > On Feb 18, 2018, at 12:19 PM, Angus via time-nuts <time-nuts at febo.com> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > The problem is that because of the type and position of the connectors
> > on so many of the Trimble, Novatel, etc., antennas, it's practically
> > impossible to seal them with something easily removed like self
> > amalgamating tape. Antennas like the 58532A make life a lot simpler by
> > hiding the connector up a tube.
> > 
> > The idea seems to be that nickel plated brass TNC connectors are all
> > that's needed, but it's not that simple - particularly for coastal or
> > marine use. 
> > In fairness, even a lot of manufacturers of dedicated marine gear
> > vastly underestimate where water can get to and what damage it will do
> > - at least they did back in the 1990's when I was working with that
> > stuff. It could take a very long time (if ever) for them to be
> > convinced that what works in their nice little environmental test
> > chamber could possibly fail out in the big bad world!
> > 
> >> However, for the past 10 years or so I have been using double wall 
> >> adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. My local electronics and electrical 
> >> supplies carry this product and it is not that expensive. This I find 
> >> both quicker to install, neater, more reliable, and much easier to 
> >> remove than the rubber tape followed by vinyl tape method.
> > 
> > I was not convinced about adhesive lined heat shrink when I tried it
> > since it usually didn't seem to bond well enough to withstand bending,
> > although I've not tried the newer types. It probably wasn't the
> > premium quality tubing Adrian mentioned either.
> > The PIB based self amalgamating tapes had to be well taped up and did
> > not like oil, but the EPDM and PE ones we used were less sensitive
> > although they still needed to be taped up.
> > 
> > Since I wanted to be able to swap them easily, I eventually got some
> > Amphenol ARC TNC connectors for the GPS antennas, but still chickened
> > out of using the heat shrink supplied and went for self amalgamating
> > tape instead for sealing the crimp. I really should try the unused
> > heat shrink on something to see how it does.
> > 
> > Angus.
> > 
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