If you are reading this guide, it is safe to assume that you want to know how to splice a coaxial cable. Before discussing the different splicing methods, let us first learn a few things about coaxial cables.
Coaxial cables are also known as “coax.” It is a copper-made cable with a metal shield that is specially made to block signal interference.
These electrical cables are required to deliver high-frequency signals from point A to point B without signal loss. Some of the most common uses of these cables are the internet, cable TV, cell boosters, phone lines, and more.
Coaxial cables are available in different lengths and sizes. Each of them is designed for specific uses.
Coming to the main topic, you can splice a coax cable using connectors or without it. Splicing a coax cable is not as difficult as you think, especially when you know the right procedure. Instead of hiring a professional, you can do it yourself. Just make sure that you have the following tools:
- Coax compression connectors
- Coaxial cable stripper
- Coax compression tool
- Splice adapter or barrel connector
- Additional coaxial cable
You will find all these tools at a nearby hardware tool. After arranging the tools you can start with the splicing process.
Tips For Coaxial Cable Wiring
If you are working with coaxial cables for the first time, you may find these tips useful.
1. Use the Right Coax Cable
Installing the coax cable properly is important. Otherwise, it may create problems. Make sure that you get the right coax cable for the job. If you are not sure which cable is right, you can ask the hardware store seller or consult a professional.
2. Avoid Sharp Bends
Sharp bends can damage your coax cable. It is recommended to use a 90-degree adapter when a sharp bend is difficult to avoid.
3. Use a Coax Cable Stripper
Many people tend to use a utility knife to trim their coaxial cable. But for perfect results, you should get a coax cable stripper. It is an affordable tool with two blades. While one blade cuts through the outer jacket without damaging the braid, the other one cuts everything, except the center conductor.
4. Cut Coax Cables Carefully
The signal carried by a coaxial cable travels along the outside of the cable. This is why you need to cut the wire carefully because even a tiny nick can obstruct the signal transmission.
5. Get a Low-Voltage Box Coax Cable
Instead of a regular electrical box, you should get a low-voltage box for coax cables. It is not only easy to use, but it also allows you to push the length of the cable into the wall cavity without damaging them.
6. Keep Coax Cables Away from Electrical Wires
This is a very important thing to remember. Run the coax cable perpendicular to the electrical wires. This is because running them parallel to each other might cause interference in your signal.
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Things You Need To Look After Before Starting Splicing
There are a few important things that need to be considered before starting splicing.
- There exist different types of coaxial cables, and each of them has a different use. Determining the type of cable you need is the most important part of the process.
- The most popular type of coax cables is RG59 and RG6. You can identify the cables by checking the marking on them. In case, the marking is missing, you should take it to a hardware store. They will cut a small piece of the wire and identify it for you.
- After identifying the cable, you have to decide whether you want to use connectors or not. Based on your decision, you can arrange for the splice kit.
- To splice a coax cable you will need a pair of diagonal pliers, two F connectors, a coax cable stripper, barrel connectors, and a crimping tool.
- You can either splice the cable using connectors or without it. It is up to you to decide which method you are more comfortable with.
We will discuss both methods in the next section.
How To Splice Coaxial Cable Using Connectors with Steps
Splicing coaxial cables using connectors is easy if you know the right steps. We have elaborated the steps to avoid any sort of confusion. By following these steps you can splice a coax cable all by yourself.
- Take a coax cable stripper to strip the cable carefully. This tool can be used for all types of coax cables. Before stripping, check whether both the ending edges meet the mark on the stripper tool. Make sure that the cable is of the same length as the tool while splicing.
- After stripping, the insulation of the cable will be exposed. The copper cable will protrude out of the tip.
- Fold back the wire mesh as it is no longer needed. Make sure to get rid of stray wires as they can result in signal interference.
- Now take a compression connector, and fix it on the insulated portion of the cable. This can be a little tricky for those who are doing it for the first time. Do it carefully so that the copper wire doesn’t get damaged. Also, the copper wire should be taken out of the connector. Repeat the same steps for the other edge of the cable.
- Take the end of the coax cable with a compression connector and press it tightly until the connector crimps the cable properly. The good thing is that you can use a compression tool with all types of coaxial cables. You are required to repeat the same process for the other end of the cable as well.
- After you are done with the above steps, take the cable into a barrel connector. The exposed copper wire needs to be inserted into connector ports that are present at both ends. Once that is done, tighten the cable connector on the barrel connector. That’s it; your splicing process is over!
How To Splice Coaxial Cable Without Connectors
Now let’s talk about splicing coaxial cables without connectors. This method is perfect for those who don’t have all the commercial tools required for splicing coax cables. We have once again elaborated on the steps for easy understanding. Just do as it is mentioned, and you should be good to go.
Steps to follow:
- Take a sharp knife to carefully strip off the rubber shield of the coax cable.
- Next, expose the copper wire by cutting a small portion of the insulation at the tip.
- Use good quality electric tapes to solder the copper wires together. This will help make good insulation.
- Now roll back the wire mesh towards the tip from both ends of the cable.
- Solder the mesh wire with each other.
- To create good conductivity, you must cover the soldered connection using electric tape.
That’s how you can splice a coax cable without using connectors.
Q1. What is a coaxial cable used for?
Ans: Coaxial cables are a type of copper wire built with a metal shield. It is designed to block signal interference and is mainly used by cable TV companies to provide satellite antenna facilities to customers. Besides that, it is also used for internet connection, phone lines, cell boosters, and others.
Q2. How many types of coaxial cables are there?
Ans: Coax cables are of two types based on impedance. One has an impedance of 75 Ohm (Ω) and the other has an impedance of 50 Ohm. Coaxial cables with 75 Ohm are commonly used for video signals, and 50 Ohm cables are used for wireless and data communications.
Q3. How do splice coaxial cables?
Ans: You can splice coaxial cables in two ways. You can either splice it with a connector or without it. The steps of both methods are explained above.
Q4. What is a coax connector?
Ans: Coax cable connectors are used to connect cables to other devices. These tools are specifically designed to maintain the cable’s shielding. It is recommended you use high-quality connectors as they offer long-lasting connections. There exist two types of connector styles; male and female.
Q5. Can you join coaxial cables without connectors?
Ans: Yes, you can join coax cables without a connector. Just strip the wire and expose the inner conductor. Then push a connector over it and crimp the wire in place.
Now that you know how to splice coaxial cables, it should be easier for you to do it at home. Just follow the steps as explained in this guide, and you should be good to go. You can splice coax cables using connectors or without them. You can opt for the method that is easier for you. Splicing coax cables without connectors is mostly recommended for people who don’t have the required tools with them.