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Currently, I am running a semi-portable setup at home. I have a spool of 100ft of lmr400 coax outside in the porch where it free from most weather and rain. I only drag it out to the yard when I am setting up a portable antenna, and when I am not on the air it is in front porch.

I am not going to have it out when it is pouring rain outside, but I did notice a lot condensation on the antenna and coax when I left it out overnight to work on night bands.

Should I still imply some waterproof treatment or pl259 is water resistant enough? I think that warp the connector in raincoat tape and cut it open every setup and take down is a little hassle.

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For temporary connections, there's small "clamp on" cable boxes, something like:

waterproof box

box2

Definitely not "condensation-proof", but "should reduce quite significantly".

Other than that, there's people that swear by the powers of the flexible LIDL or Aldi plastic radome, i.e. a plastic bag fastened with rubber bands or whatever around the parts to be protected. I can see how that would be even better, but look less professional.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that a way. But I see that wrap-around with plastic works too. I used to have camera wrapped with food wrap and leave it outside to shoot overnight time lapse. WB2WIK on the eham said pl259 is tho not waterproof, it is fairly water resistance, what is your take on that? eham.net/articles/17553 $\endgroup$ – Matthew Wang May 8 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ Don't ask me about PL259, I have a personal and half professional opinion on it, and that is to replace it with N-connectors ;) but no general statement can be giving: there is more and less weatherproof connectors, and it's impossible to figure out in which category yours falls. $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller May 8 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ @MatthewWang WB2WIK Steve is correct, the PL-259 is not waterproof. I have always carefully stretch-wrapped electrical tape over outdoor connectors, first having filled them with non-hardening silicone dielectric grease. When taking many of those connectors apart decades later, the silver and copper braids were just as shiny as new. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 8 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @MatthewWang In your comment you used the word warp. I think you meant to write wrap, so I edited it for you. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 8 at 13:08
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For temporary weatherproofing my coax connectors I use a piece of bicycle innertube and a few cable ties.

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Your are rightly concerned about dew infiltrating the connector. This can cause corrosion over time and moisture can build up to the point that short circuits result. But, if you only leave the antenna outdoors for a day or two at a time and not in the rain, it's unlikely you need very much moisture protection.

I treat the threads of all PL259/SO239 connectors - whether used indoors or out - with a thin layer of the Aluminum-loaded grease originally intended to prevent oxidation of Aluminum house wiring ... when that was still a thing. This is sold at most hardware and home improvement retailers as "anti oxidant compound" under trade names like NoAlOx, OxGard, etc. The pressure between the mating connector threads forces connection through the Aluminum particles.

Especially if the connector is mounted in a vertical orientation, you may find that this provides enough moisture-repelling effect to protect your connection without adding external sealants. It also serves to prevent over-tightened connectors from seizing.

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    $\begingroup$ Brian, to the inexperienced me, this sounds somewhat dangerous in that grease somewhat moves around and often seems to have a life of its own. Wouldn't dielectric grease be better? Same anti-corrosion properties and same metal-to-metal conductivity though /maybe/ slightly reduced conductivity due to no conductive grease path; far less chance of an internal connector short if grease moves to the pin during multiple connect/disconnect. (Maybe this should be a Question?) $\endgroup$ – Chris K8NVH May 8 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ The key is to apply a really thin layer. I've pulled apart antennas - with great difficulty - on which the builder slathered the stuff. I use a toothbrush to smear the substance onto the threads, then wipe off the excess with cloth or paper towel. I've had antennas and connectors survive tropical environments for years. $\endgroup$ – Brian K1LI May 8 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisK8NVH don't forget that you really want that outer connection to be conductive! $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller May 8 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisK8NVH I fully agree, silicone dielectric grease is better. For example, billions of F-connectors in the CATV industry have been filled with that. Taking apart a connector filled with anything but that showed discoloration on the silver-plated pin. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 8 at 12:57

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