Radials are a lot of work to put in, and the expense of wire is significant.  I 
can't see any justification for not joining them the best way available.  IMHO, 
silver brazing.

I use and recommend Sta-Silv 15 (15% Ag, 80%Cu, 5% P brazing stick) and a 
simple MAPP gas torch.  Propane is not quite hot enough to work well.  Liquidus 
is 1475F.  Flux didn't seem necessary, but you could use white brazing flux.  
Sure, I spent $25 in solder over about 5 verticals, but of what significance is 
that compared to the rest of the effort, to insure a lasting joint?

Sta-Silv 5 is probably fine also, with a 1500F liquidus,  But I prefer the 
characteristics of the 15%.  Very easy to work with.

Drew K3PA



Message: 5
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 08:52:40 -0700
From: "Richard (Rick) Karlquist" <rich...@karlquist.com>
To: "Topband@contesting.com" <Topband@contesting.com>
Subject: Topband: Soldering radials?
Message-ID: <c04783d1-8f96-c17c-5921-fb6648e85...@karlquist.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

I'd like to get the latest thinking from the group
on soldering radials.  What I currently thinking
is as follows:


1.  Tin lead doesn't hold up in the weather.

2.  "Stay Brite" 3% silver solder (97% tin,
no lead) is known to work well, but is expensive,
and has a considerably higher melting point
than 63/37.

3.  Lead free plumber's solder obviously works
in water pipes, but does it hold up outdoors
in the rain?  What is the melting point?


1.  Pure rosin.  Hardest to work with, but minimum
corrosion issues.

2.  Activated rosin.  Easier to work with.  What
corrosion issues are there?

3.  Acid core plumber's flux.  Very easy to work
with, very corrosive.  Does this hold up in the
rain, etc?

(I remember the dire warnings that Heathkit manuals
had about not using acid core solder, but I
guess that doesn't apply to radials.)


Has anyone tried crimping as an alternative to solder?



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