Installing coax connectors


  #1  
Old 11-18-04, 09:37 AM
covind
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Installing coax connectors

I need help in understanding how RG6 crimp-type connectors are supposed to be attached to double and quad-shielded coax.

I signed up for cable modem, but the cable guy couldn't get the line to the room I want to use for my office. He suggested an electrician to install coax inside the house, then call back to have the cable company connect. Not wanting to spend the bucks to have an expensive electrician pull cables, I went out and got quad-shielded coax, crimp connectors, a stripper, a crimper, and assorted wall outlet hardware, as well as a fish tape.

I've fished the cable, but am having a hell of a time trying to install connectors correctly. The stripper works great, but I have found conflicting information (connector box, internet sites) on how to attach the connectors.

One site said to strip all but the inner layer of foil, leave that on, and insert the cable into the connector until the end of the stripped plastic (I think this is called the dielectric) is flush with the inner ring in the connector itself. Problem is, the outer jacket and the stripped-off ends of the braid and outer foil prevent the cable from going into the inner sleeve this far. If I don't push it in that far, crimping the connector only collapses the outer sleeve, and does not hold the connector. Is the inner connector sleeve supposed to slip between the dielectric and the braid and foil? If so, any suggestions or tricks to make this work?

The instructions with the connectors just says to strip everything from the inner wire to a length of 3/8 in, then strip everything down to the plastic sleeve an additional 1/8 in, insert in the connector, and crimp in two places. When I do that, with either the larger or the smaller part of the crimper, the connector just falls off.

Help!

 
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Old 11-18-04, 05:58 PM
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First of all, if you have strippers, they should strip the wire for you - so, the second recommendation doesn't sound right to me (although, it's somewhat unclear as to exactly what the instructions say.)

The first recommendation sounds correct - you want about 3/8" of center wire, and about 1/4" of braiding/foil/etc.

Then, you have to get the dielectric to the inside edge of the connector - it's not easy (by any means - especially with RG6quad and no pusher), but it will eventually get there. Don't keep taking it off and on, it will just wad the braiding up more and more and make it harder to get on. It doesn't have to be perfectly flush, but pretty darn close.

You may have cheap RG6 which makes it even harder to get the connector on. Some coax works better than others. Some connectors work better than others. Some strippers work better than others. Some crimpers work better than others. You just have to work with what you've got.

Of course, on the other hand, you may have accidentally grabbed RG59 connectors for your RG6 coax - you'll never get them on if that's the case

Good luck!
 
  #3  
Old 11-19-04, 11:56 AM
covind
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Thanks, Brandon.

It sounds like you are saying that the inner sleeve of the connector does need to go inside the shielding. Is that right?

This morning, I went to another store and bought a few more connectors of another brand, primarily to get another set of instructions. Their directions say to fold back all the braid and foil, which I guess means I would set the stripper to only cut the outside insulation jacket with the blade that is farthest from the end of the wire. Having a fold of wire and foil at the point where the inner sleeve of the connector needs to slide inside should make the task easier, it seems to me, plus providing more thickness under the crimp to help with stress relief. What do you think?

Also, do you recommend trying to lubricate either the cable or the connector with silicone or WD-40 before jamming the connector on?

Thanks,

Dave
 
  #4  
Old 11-20-04, 09:12 AM
SkyKing
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I've done cable work for 4 years. You don't need grease or silicon.

You peel the braiding back because 1. you don't want the braiding to touch the copper core, 2. pushing a fitting on against the braiding makes it harder, and 3. the braiding needs to make contact with the outermost shell of the fitting and peeling the brading back makes a strong connection because most fittings are pressure fitted near the bottom of them.
 
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Old 11-20-04, 10:00 AM
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Quad shield is just a PITA all around. If you get a connector that's not quite compatible with your coax (or bad cable) then you'll be messing with it all day.

Just keep working with it - and get the pusher if you can find one.

Good luck!
 
  #6  
Old 11-20-04, 12:05 PM
covind
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What does the pusher look like?
 
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Old 11-20-04, 12:25 PM
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This is one of the easiest to use:



There is another type that the connector doesn't screw-on, it just slides in the end and there is a "bulb" type handle on the other end.

Personally, I like the screw-on type.

Good luck!
 
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Old 11-20-04, 02:37 PM
SkyKing
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Snap and seals are better than screw ons. Screw ons have major signal leakage problems as well as can be pulled off much easier. Snap and seals require more tools of course. Digicons are the best, but very expensive.

Look for fittings that are rated for Quad cable. Depending on the manufacturer you may have tri foil as well, and it will make your hands bleed by the time you get the freaking fitting on.

The snap and seals we used were made by Thomas & Betts. 25.00 for 50 I think. You can get all the tools at BudCoCable too. They have proffessional tools. It might only set you back maybe 60.00. Go to Lowes to get strippers. For 11.00 you can buy ones, and as a SubContractor for the cable company (aka I bought all my own tools), those strippers work the same if not better than the aligator or other 90.00 coaxial strippers. Plus, they are adjustable for RG59 & RG6.

In fact, there is some guy selling them on Ebay. Thomas & Betts RG6 SNS. They are most likely stolen from his cable company (as some of our guys did this as well) but, it's not like you as the buyer can do anything about it.
 
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Old 11-20-04, 03:45 PM
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Snap and seals are better than screw ons.
Just to clarify - that tool is for any kind of F-connector, not just screw-on connectors. It screws on the business end not the cable end - so it holds the connector still while you push the coax in the other end.

So, essentially, it avoids this:
...it will make your hands bleed by the time you get the freaking fitting on.
 
  #10  
Old 11-20-04, 04:05 PM
SkyKing
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Oh, My apologizes. I was refering to screw on fittings! I didn't mean the pusher.. That looks like it will save your hands some pain.

Sorry for the confusion!
 
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Old 11-21-04, 07:24 AM
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No problem - I knew you were talking about the connectors themselves, I just wanted to make sure we didn't get anyone else confused about the tool itself.

I haven't used the T-type pictured above, but I have used the other type (with a "bulb" looking handle) and they work pretty well. I want to get a T-type and see how it works too. A lot of the Quad we use is tri-foil, so they are a pain to put on.
 
  #12  
Old 11-21-04, 09:22 AM
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seems like you could make a pusher pretty easy with a .25 barrell connector and a piece of scrap wood

Im looking ot buy a quaility crimp tool what do you guys recommend ?

I dont do a lot of CATV but I just wired a small motel for voice and data and I'm going to do the CATV for them also

im thinking T&B or digicom
 
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Old 11-21-04, 07:07 PM
SkyKing
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BudCoCable.com is where I get my tools from. The crimping tools are for any snap and seal style fitting. I think digicon makes sns' now but the ones I'm refering to are coned shape. Ihaven't seen their crimpers yet (as only the cable company used them to distinguish our work from theirs for a long time).
 
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Old 11-24-04, 03:04 PM
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I put some RG6 on the other day. If you heat the outside plastic cover a little with a heat gun it makes it much easier to get the connector on and seated under the shielding. I used a small butane pencil torch, but you could use an electric heat gun too. You don't want to use much heat but just enough to soften up the tough outside plastic shell.
 
  #15  
Old 11-24-04, 05:04 PM
SkyKing
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working outside in the winter with the under ground line I have a lot of problems with putting fittings on. But if you just put them in your hand and exhale warm air on them and quickly put them on, it goes like butta!
 
  #16  
Old 11-28-04, 12:52 PM
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Bread good. Heat... BAAAAAAAD.

You put a butane torch on that coax all you want to, fellas. If you're one step shy of completely ignorant.

Heat + Coax = Bad. Remember this formula, especially in systems 750 MHz and higher with any sort of digital compression. Simply for the fact that applied heat to coaxial cable increases attenuation, which we all know. What most of us grunts out there crawling attics DON'T know is that from Commscope to Belden, pick your poison, dielectric is not solid, but in fact, an injected foam. I've seen it first hand, the application of heat and the preservation of the outer jacket, only to have the dielectric 'debubble' for lack of a better term. In the particular circumstances I've chased it, I was looking at RG6Q over 100-150 ft. runs with at least 10/14 dB at the demark. Add a little heat and watch your whole band slide off into nowhere. At best, watch your top end magically lose 20-30 dB.

Like I said, gang, the classic formula. I've seen it on .500 and .750, too. Heat + coax = Lots of work for Joe Cableguy.
 
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Old 12-14-04, 08:55 AM
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It depends on the amount of heat.......Yep, you can indeed apply enough heat to cause the dielectric to bubble, if you're that stupid. I used a butane torch just because it was handy. A match would be enough as well, but I didn't have a match handy. You shouldn't apply enough heat to melt anything, but just enough to make the outer cover soften up just a bit to ease getting the connector on. If you have the touch there will be no harmfull effect on the coax at all. I can't count how many coat connectors I've applied using a soldering utensil and using enough heat to make the inner insulation very soft. Sure, that was years ago and you didn't operate at frequencies higher than 900 mhz, but that was the proper proceedure to put on PL259's, BNC, and many other connectors. I've owned & used a number of spectrum analyzers for years & years and are well aware that you can cause damage while putting on connectors that's why I said.... "You don't want to use much heat but just enough to soften up the tough outside plastic shell."
 
 

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