A coaxial cable is a cable that has a wire inside with a conductive outer sheath shielded by a dielectric (non-conductive) material. Here's a quick look at how to attach your own connectors for coaxial cable TV.
Method 1 of 3: Initial steps
Step 1. Determine the size of your cable
Cable terminology can be confusing. Look at the side of your coaxial cable to identify its label. In most homes, the most common types of cables are RG-6 and RG-59.
- RG stands for "Radio Guide". The numbers you find next to the different cable versions correspond to the diameter (59 means 0, 059 and 6 means 0, 06, etc.) and the internal characteristics of the cable, this includes the amount of shielding and the attenuation of the cable, which means the amount of signal lost per length of cables.
- You may also see the term RF used on these cables, which stands for "Radio Frequency".
- Most non-industrial cables are known as RG-6, although lower quality, thinner cables of the RG-59 type are still used in some areas and in older homes. Professional installers can use thicker RG type cable, such as RG-11 (which is only used when the distance between the source and the end point of the cable exceeds 60m).
- RG cables used in homes for normal uses must be of the 75 ohm type (RG-59 or RG-6).
- Also note that all cables (and their connectors) are available in many qualities. Get the best possible quality.
Step 2. Choose the correct connectors
Most connectors for video applications are F type. However, your system may use N type connectors.
- Note that there are different models of F-type connectors for RG-6 cables, screw systems, and crimp connectors.
- Fairly screw connectors are easy to use, but they are less secure and may leave a gap in the form of an air pocket.
- Crimp connectors consist of 2 elements: a ring (the crimp element) and a ferrule. They are generally more difficult to install, but achieve greater length and provide a better connection if used correctly.
- Note that to make a connection you will need a male connector and a female connector of the same type.
Male connectors have a small piece of prominent cable in their center, while female connectors have a small recess to accommodate the wrong connector. Be sure to use the connectors of the type suggested when making a connection. Most cables terminate with male connectors
- Use an SMA (subminiature version A) connector for very small coaxial cables.
Method 2 of 3: Strip the cable
The first step in attaching a connector to your cable is to prepare the ends of the coaxial cable.
Step 1. Cut the cable flush
Step 2. Cut the outer part of the cable (usually black plastic) to a length of 1.2 cm
Be very careful, and do not make nicks in the metal braid that sits directly under the black insulation. It may be a very lightly woven metal braid, or an envelope of the aluminum metal foil type serving as shielding
Step 3. Gently push the shield back
Make sure that none of the small wires of the outer shield braid come in contact with the central copper connector.
Step 4. Cut out the plastic insulation that is in the center of your coaxial cable (usually white, but it can be transparent)
Be absolutely sure not to scratch or nick the center connector. Any damage to this connector can seriously affect your signal quality
Step 5. Insert the connector onto the cable by screwing so that the central copper part comes out of the connector
Make sure that the shield (aluminum foil) is cut so that it does not come into contact with the terminal part of the connector
Step 6. Screw the connector onto the end of your cable
The wire will be cut at the outer casing and the connector will wrap around the shielding fabric, providing a tight fit.
Method 3 of 3: Use a crimp connector
This is another method that can be used to install coaxial cable connectors.
Step 1. Place the crimp ring on the end of the cable
Step 2. Strip the outer part about 6mm
Step 3. Cut the inner insulation, and bring the metal braid back to strip the inner cable
Step 4. Leave about 3mm of insulation
Step 5. Position the ferrule over the end of the cable so that the central copper wire protrudes from the hole
Step 6. Insert the crimp connector onto the end of the cable
Do this so that the connector end is between the foil shielding and the outer insulation.
This operation can be very difficult to perform. Try to hold the end of the cable with pliers or to immobilize it and do not twist when pushing
Step 7. Crimp the ring around the end of the cable
Step 8. Cut any pieces of cable that protrude or might not be attached to the connectors
Step 9. Cut the center copper wire that protrudes from the center of the connector
Step 10. Pull on the connector to make sure it is secure and crimped
- You can purchase a crimping tool, wire cutters, and stripping tool specially adapted to coaxial cables and their diameter. It will be necessary to practice a little using these tools, and it will not be useful to buy specific tools to make this kind of connection. A quite conventional stripping tool may be sufficient as long as you are careful.
- Do not use a screw-on type F connector. Your cable signal will "leak" because of a cheap connector or poor quality connection. This will cause an unwanted signal to "enter" into the cable and add distortions in the form of vertical lines, dotted lines that move horizontally across the screen or "beats", or small white dots. random on your entire screen.
- If you are using high speed internet or more than 2 TVs, be sure to use high quality RG-6 type connectors. When installing a connector on your cable, good preparation is essential to achieve a clear picture as well as a stable connection in the case of cables for a modem. Use a snap-type connector that you can find at any specialist center for electronic equipment. In addition, when preparing the end of your cable, be sure not to nick or damage the central copper strand, this could cause problems with the Internet, such as intermittent connection or loss of data packets..
- Professionals use specific compression tools to crimp connectors which are no more expensive than a simple crimping tool. This kind of tool is now used instead of a crimping pliers since it makes the connector more waterproof and improves the quality of the collection at the junction point.
- Make sure you make a good connection. Don't settle for a job done halfway. The TV signal can escape from bad connectors and interfere with many devices that use radio frequency technologies. In addition, you risk breaking the rules regarding radio frequencies.
- If you're not sure how to complete these steps, let a cable professional take care of it. Most offer very favorable rates, especially compared to an electrician.