Coaxial cable, commonly referred to as coax, is an electronic signal wire used for signals that are sensitive to interference by outside noise sources. For example, lightning, clear air static, motors and high frequency electronic signals could impose themselves on the wire and corrupt the signal. Coax guards against this by wrapping a single conductor with a tube of metal foil and mesh. This tube runs coaxially over the signal conductor. Maintaining the integrity of this shielding tube requires a special crimp termination method for coax. Use these tips to learn how to crimp coax.
- Cut off the end of the coax. Use small, sharp wire cutters. Create a squared off surface, rather than a beveled surface.
- Mold the end of the coax using your fingers. The cylindrical cable will be distorted by the pressure of making the square cut. Mold the end of the cable back into a cylinder.
Insert the coax into a coax stripper tool
These tools are available at hardware and electrical stores. Make sure that the end of the coax is flush against the wall or guide on the stripping tool. This will ensure proper strip length.
Clamp the stripper tool closed around the coax
Smoothly spin the tool around the coax 4 or 5 times, or until you no longer hear the sound of metal being scored. Keep the rotation in 1 place on the cable. Do not apply any force that would pull on the cable insulation coating.
Remove the coax stripper tool
The tool will have made 2 cuts. Use your fingers to gently pull off the material nearest the end of the cable. This will expose the bare center conductor. Use your fingers to gently pull off the outer insulation that has been cut free. This will expose a layer of foil.
Tear off the exposed foil
This will expose a layer of metal mesh.
Bend back the exposed metal mesh with your fingers
Do not tear the layer of foil that is under the metal mesh. The foil must be left in place around the inner insulation. Bend the mesh all the way back so that it is molded over the end of the outer insulation.
Press the end of the coax into the back of an F connector
F connectors are available at hardware and electrical stores. Make sure that the white inner insulation can be seen pressing against the front flange of the connector. If you can’t see the insulation, jiggle and continue to push the coax and the connector together. Use straight pressure only. Do not twist the coax in the body of the connector.
Crimp the connection
Place the F connector into a coax crimping tool. Coax crimping tools are available at hardware and electrical stores. Fully squeeze the tool handle and release. Remove the finished crimp connection from the tool.
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