Back in my high power days I used RG-8 coax exclusively. When I abandoned high power in favor of QRP I started using RG-58. I use left over PL-259s for RG-58 with the screw-in adapter sold for that purpose. All of my QRP radios use BNC connectors, while most of the older auxiliary equipment (and even some of the newest) uses PL-259 plugs and SO-239 sockets. Installing a PL-259 plug on RG-8 was always a pain in days gone by just as installing a BNC plug onto RG-58 is today. Someone posted a piece about crimped connectors a while back - crimping coax connectors was news to me - and I thought crimping, if reliable, might be a better way. So I began a search on the Internet to find inexpensive crimp connectors and an inexpensive crimping tool. Prices for both vary wildly - if not absolutely insanely - from source to source, with many crimping tools way out of reason in the $50 - $60 range. To make a long story short, I finally found a crimping tool intended for RG-59 and RG-6, that can be purchased for less than $10 including shipping! And I found crimp style BNC and PL-259 plugs of apparent high quality for $1.50 and $3.00 each, respectively. I ordered the tool and small quantities of each type of connector for testing. Following is a series of photos that show the steps in attaching RG-58 to both sizes of crimp connectors. I believe crimping is as good as soldering and it is a darn sight easier and quicker. I might be wrong...

Here I have used a piece of 5/32” brass tubing, available at many model airplane hobby shops, to slide over the inner conductor of the coax and under the shield so as to provide a solid surface against which to cut the shield with a hobby knife.

The crimping sleeve and shrink tubing are shown on the cable. It is much easier to slide them on before the shield is cut.

The center conductor is soldered to the center pin on the PL-259 after the shield is in position fully engaging the ferrule on the connector.

Simply slide the crimping sleeve over the shield...

...and crimp in two or three places to secure the sleeve - and thus the shield - to the connector.

Heat the shrink tubing and you’re done.

These next three pictures show installation on a BNC connector.

The finished cable, BNC on one end, PL-259 on the other.

This RCA Coaxial Cable Crimping Tool is available at various places and prices on the Internet. I bought mine from PROVANTAGE for $4.10:

The crimp-style PL-259 connector cost $2.99 at L-COM:

The crimp-style BNC connector cost $1.50 at New Ham Store:


I present this information merely for what it may be worth. I have NO financial connection with or interest in any of the three suppliers cited.

The crimper has a sort of compound movement... it easily crimps all six sides at the same time. I think it is quite thorough. I am unable to pull the RG-58 shield out of the crimp. Time will tell...