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Coaxial cable

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"Coax" redirects here. For the act of coaxing, see Persuasion.


RG-59 flexible coaxial cable composed of:
A. Outer plastic sheath
B. Woven copper shield
C. Inner dielectric insulator
D. Copper core
Part of a series on
Antennas

Common types[show]
Components[hide]
Balun
Block upconverter
Coaxial cable
Counterpoise (ground system)
Feed
Feed line
Low-noise block downconverter
Passive radiator
Receiver
Rotator
Stub
Transmitter
Tuner
Twin-lead
Systems[show]
Safety and regulation[show]
Radiation sources / regions[show]
Characteristics[show]
Techniques[show]
V
T
E


Electronic symbol for a coaxial cable
Coaxial cable, or coax (pronounced 'ko.ks), is a type of cable that has an inner
conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting
shield. Many coaxial cables also have an insulating outer sheath or jacket. The
term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing a geometric
axis. Coaxial cable was invented by English engineer and mathematician Oliver
Heaviside, who patented the design in 1880.
[1]
Coaxial cable differs from other shielded
cable used for carrying lower-frequency signals, such as audio signals, in that the
dimensions of the cable are controlled to give a precise, constant conductor spacing,
which is needed for it to function efficiently as a radio frequency transmission line.
Applications[edit]
Coaxial cable is used as a transmission line for radio frequency signals. Its applications
include feedlines connecting radio transmitters and receivers with their antennas,
computer network (Internet) connections, and distributing cable television signals. One
advantage of coaxial over other types of radio transmission line is that in an ideal
coaxial cable the electromagnetic field carrying the signal exists only in the space
between the inner and outer conductors. This allows coaxial cable runs to be installed
next to metal objects such as gutters without the power losses that occur in other types
of transmission lines. Coaxial cable also provides protection of the signal from
external electromagnetic interference.
Description[edit]


Coaxial cable cutaway (not to scale)
Coaxial cable conducts electrical signal using an inner conductor (usually a solid
copper, stranded copper or copper plated steel wire) surrounded by an insulating layer
and all enclosed by a shield, typically one to four layers of woven metallic braid and
metallic tape. The cable is protected by an outer insulating jacket. Normally, the shield
is kept at ground potential and a voltage is applied to the center conductor to carry
electrical signals. The advantage of coaxial design is that electric and magnetic fields
are confined to the dielectric with little leakage outside the shield. Conversely, electric
and magnetic fields outside the cable are largely kept from causing interference to
signals inside the cable. Larger diameter cables and cables with multiple shields have
less leakage. This property makes coaxial cable a good choice for carrying weak
signals that cannot tolerate interference from the environment or for higher electrical
signals that must not be allowed to radiate or couple into adjacent structures or
circuits.
[2]

Common applications of coaxial cable include video and CATV distribution, RF and
microwave transmission, and computer and instrumentation data connections.
[3]

The characteristic impedance of the cable ( ) is determined by the dielectric
constant of the inner insulator and the radii of the inner and outer conductors. A
controlled cable characteristic impedance is important because the source and load
impedance should be matched to ensure maximum power transfer and
minimum standing wave ratio. Other important properties of coaxial cable include
attenuation as a function of frequency, voltage handling capability, and shield quality.
[2]

Construction[edit]
Coaxial cable design choices affect physical size, frequency performance, attenuation,
power handling capabilities, flexibility, strength, and cost. The inner conductor might be
solid or stranded; stranded is more flexible. To get better high-frequency performance,
the inner conductor may be silver-plated. Copper-plated steel wire is often used as an
inner conductor for cable used in the cable TV industry.
[4]

The insulator surrounding the inner conductor may be solid plastic, a foam plastic, or air
with spacers supporting the inner wire. The properties of dielectric control some
electrical properties of the cable. A common choice is a solid polyethylene (PE)
insulator, used in lower-loss cables. Solid Teflon (PTFE) is also used as an insulator.
Some coaxial lines use air (or some other gas) and have spacers to keep the inner
conductor from touching the shield.
Many conventional coaxial cables use braided copper wire forming the shield. This
allows the cable to be flexible, but it also means there are gaps in the shield layer, and
the inner dimension of the shield varies slightly because the braid cannot be flat.
Sometimes the braid is silver-plated. For better shield performance, some cables have a
double-layer shield.
[4]
The shield might be just two braids, but it is more common now to
have a thin foil shield covered by a wire braid. Some cables may invest in more than
two shield layers, such as "quad-shield", which uses four alternating layers of foil and
braid. Other shield designs sacrifice flexibility for better performance; some shields are
a solid metal tube. Those cables cannot be bent sharply, as the shield will kink, causing
losses in the cable.
For high-power radio-frequency transmission up to about 1 GHz, coaxial cable with a
solid copper outer conductor is available in sizes of 0.25 inch upward. The outer
conductor is rippled like a bellows to permit flexibility and the inner conductor is held in
position by a plastic spiral to approximate an air dielectric.
[4]

Coaxial cables require an internal structure of an insulating (dielectric) material to
maintain the spacing between the center conductor and shield. The dielectric losses
increase in this order: Ideal dielectric (no loss), vacuum,
air, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyethylene foam, and solid polyethylene. A low
relative permittivity allows for higher-frequency usage. An inhomogeneous dielectric
needs to be compensated by a non-circular conductor to avoid current hot-spots.
While many cables have a solid dielectric, many others have a foam dielectric that
contains as much air or other gas as possible to reduce the losses by allowing the use
of a larger diameter center conductor. Foam coax will have about 15% less attenuation
but some types of foam dielectric can absorb moistureespecially at its many surfaces
in humid environments, significantly increasing the loss. Supports shaped like stars
or spokes are even better but more expensive and very susceptible to moisture
infiltration. Still more expensive were the air-spaced coaxials used for some inter-city
communications in the mid-20th century. The center conductor was suspended by
polyethylene discs every few centimeters. In some low-loss coaxial cables such as the
RG-62 type, the inner conductor is supported by a spiral strand of polyethylene, so that
an air space exists between most of the conductor and the inside of the jacket. The
lower dielectric constant of air allows for a greater inner diameter at the same
impedance and a greater outer diameter at the same cutoff frequency, lowering ohmic
losses. Inner conductors are sometimes silver-plated to smooth the surface and reduce
losses due to skin effect.
[4]
A rough surface prolongs the path for the current and
concentrates the current at peaks and, thus, increases ohmic losses.
The insulating jacket can be made from many materials. A common choice is PVC, but
some applications may require fire-resistant materials. Outdoor applications may require
the jacket resist ultraviolet light, oxidation and rodent damage. Flooded coaxial cables
use a water blocking gel to protect the cable from water infiltration through minor cuts in
the jacket. For internal chassis connections the insulating jacket may be omitted.
Signal propagation[edit]
Twin-lead transmission lines have the property that the electromagnetic
wave propagating down the line extends into the space surrounding the parallel wires.
These lines have low loss, but also have undesirable characteristics. They cannot be
bent, twisted, or otherwise shaped without changing their characteristic impedance,
causing reflection of the signal back toward the source. They also cannot be buried or
run along or attached to anything conductive, as the extended fields will induce currents
in the nearby conductors causing unwanted radiation and detuning of the line. Coaxial
lines largely solve this problem by confining virtually all of the electromagnetic wave to
the area inside the cable. Coaxial lines can therefore be bent and moderately twisted
without negative effects, and they can be strapped to conductive supports without
inducing unwanted currents in them.
In radio-frequency applications up to a few gigahertz, the wave propagates primarily in
the transverse electric magnetic (TEM) mode, which means that the electric and
magnetic fields are both perpendicular to the direction of propagation. However, above
a certain cutoff frequency, transverse electric (TE) or transverse magnetic (TM) modes
can also propagate, as they do in a waveguide. It is usually undesirable to transmit
signals above the cutoff frequency, since it may cause multiple modes with
different phase velocities to propagate, interfering with each other. The outer diameter is
roughly inversely proportional to the cutoff frequency. A propagating surface-wave
mode that does not involve or require the outer shield but only a single central
conductor also exists in coax but this mode is effectively suppressed in coax of
conventional geometry and common impedance. Electric field lines for this [TM] mode
have a longitudinal component and require line lengths of a half-wavelength or longer.
Coaxial cable may be viewed as a type of waveguide. Power is transmitted through the
radial electric field and the circumferential magnetic field in the TEM00 transverse
mode. This is the dominant mode from zero frequency (DC) to an upper limit
determined by the electrical dimensions of the cable.
[5]

Connectors[edit]


A coaxial connector (male N-type).
Main article: RF connector
The ends of coaxial cables usually terminate with connectors. Coaxial connectors are
designed to maintain a coaxial form across the connection and have the same
impedance as the attached cable.
[4]
Connectors are usually plated with high-conductivity
metals such as silver or tarnish-resistant gold. Due to the skin effect, the RF signal is
only carried by the plating at higher frequencies and does not penetrate to the
connector body. Silver however tarnishes quickly and the silver sulfide that is produced
is poorly conductive, degrading connector performance, making silver a poor choice for
this application.
[citation needed]

What is a Coaxial Cable?
Coaxial cables are a type of cable that is used by cable TV and that is common for data
communications.
Taking a a round cross-section of the cable, one would find a single center solid wire
symmetrically surrounded by a braided or foil conductor. Between the center wire and foil is a
insulating dialectric. This dialectric has a large affect on the fundamental characteristics of the
cable. In this lab, we show the how the permittivity and permeability of the dialectric contributes
to the cable's inductance and capacitance. Also, these values affect how quickly electrical data is
travels through the wire.

Data is transmitted through the
center wire, while the outer braided
layer serves as a line to ground. Both
of these conductors are parallel and
share the same axis. This is why the
wire is called coaxial!
Just like all electrical components,
coaxial cables have a characteristic
impedance. This impedance depends
on the dialectric material and the
radii of each conducting material As
shown in this lab, the impedance
affects how the cable interacts with
other electrical components.
In this lab we used a RG-580/U coaxial cable. This is just one of many types of cables that are
used today to transmit data. The dialectric of the RG-580/U was made of polyethylene. The
radius of our cable's inner copper wire was .42mm and there was 2.208mm of polyethylene
between the inner wire and outer mesh conductors.
Extending a Coaxial Cable Line



If you need to bring a TV signal from
an antenna into your house; set up a
computer network in your home; or
hook up cable TV, an FM radio or a
cable modem chances are you'll be
working with coaxial cable. Coaxial
cable, often simply called "coax," is
that fat black cable that cable TV
companies install. So you probably
already have coax in your house.
What with multiple televisions, a
computer or two and Lord knows what
else is coming down the pike, you're
apt to find a lot more coax in your life.
Here's a primer that will take the
mystery out of working with coax and
show you how to make a couple of
essential coax connections.

About Coax
Coax consists of a center wire
surrounded by insulation, which is in
turn surrounded by an outer conductor
of braided wire that serves as a
grounded shield, enclosed in an outer
jacket of insulation. The shield
minimizes electrical and radio
frequency interference. (Sometimes
there's a layer of foil between the
interior insulation and the outer
conductor as well.)
Coax gets its name because its two
channels run concentrically along the
same axis. It's quite an old product,
originally designed to carry analog
telephone signals at high capacity with
little electronic noise. It's also a
preferred product, virtually

weatherproof and much more durable
than "twinlead," the old-fashioned flat
wire originally used for TV. Signal
performance is also superior. Coax
doesn't pick up unwanted signals, and
it's not affected by contact with metal
structures. And although cable
installers often use special standoff
supports when attaching coax to
exteriors, all you need to route coax
inside your house are coaxial cable
straps.
Coaxial cable is also easy to work with. It's pretty simple to tap into an existing
coaxial line to hook up a second TV or extend a computer network ("splitting"
the line, as it's called). All you need are a few tools, an additional cable and a
splitter, a small device that divides the cable's input signal to provide an equal
signal at each output. Ordinary tools are fine for making a couple of
connections, but if you're making a lot of them, invest in a few inexpensive
specialized tools: the work will be faster and more professional. If you're
hooking up more than one additional unit, buy a splitter with three or four
outputs, or terminals, instead of two. This usually yields better results than
splitting the line at each device, which may weaken the signal.
Splitting and Extending a Line
This illustration shows how you split a
single coaxial cable line and send a
new branch to a new location. First,
let's assume you only have one TV
(the "original device" in the
illustration) connected to a coax line.
Unscrew that screw-on connector
from the back of the TV. Mount the
splitter to a baseboard or similar
location with the mounting screws
provided, or use 1 1/4-inch drywall
screws. Be sure to mount the splitter
within reach of the original coax line.
Screw the original connector into the
tap marked "input" on the splitter.

Next, you'll need two new coaxial
cables, one for the original device and
one for the new device. You can either
buy them with connectors already
attached or put them together yourself
the next page shows you how. Screw
one end of each new cable to an
output tap on the splitter and the other
end into the input jack on the back of
the TV or other device.
Support the cable between the splitter
and the devices with coaxial cable
straps nailed to baseboards every 2 or
3 feet. If you need to run cable
through interior walls, drill passage
holes in corners or other
inconspicuous locations using a spade
bit. You can run cable through exterior
walls almost the same way. To keep
water out of your walls, always make
a drip loop where the cable enters your
home, as shown above. Be sure to seal
the exterior hole with silicone caulk.
Attaching a Coaxial Cable
Connector
Coaxial cable connects to electrical
equipment with F-plugs, which clamp
onto the stripped cable and screw or
slide onto the device or splitter. (If
you're adding a new cable, it'll need F-
plugs on both ends.)
To put an F-plug onto a length of
coax, cut the cable's end square with
lineman's pliers. Next comes a two-
step stripping process. First, use a
coaxial cable stripper or a utility knife
carefully to remove 1/2 inch of the

cable's outer covering. As shown in
the animation, peel back the woven
outer conductor (and foil, if any),
folding it back over the outer
insulation. Second, strip 1/4 inch of
the inner insulation to expose the
slender center conductor. To attach the
connector, first slip its ferrule onto the
cable. Then push the body of the
connector over the white insulation,
fitting the sleeve under the outer
conductor and foil. The white
insulation will bottom out in the
connector, and the inner conductor
will protrude through the hole in the
end of the plug. Finally, crimp the
ferrule with a coaxial cable crimper or
pliers to hold the connector in place.
Tip From the Pros
The woven outer conductor lies in an
irregular cavity just underneath
the cover, and it's virtually impossible
to cut all the way through the outer
jacket without damaging the
conductor beneath. Adjust the blade of
your cable stripper or manipulate your
utility knife to cut just partway
through the jacket. Bend the jacket at
the cut, and you can pull it free
without damaging the outer conductor.
The most common type of antenna feeder used today is undoubtedly coaxial feeder or
coax cable. Coax cable, often referred to as RF cable, offers advantages of
convenience of use while being able to provide a good level of performance. In view of
this vast amounts of coax cable, coax feeder are manufactured each year, and it is also
available in a wide variety of forms for different applications.


Applications of coax cable
Coax cable or coaxial feeder is used in many applications where it is necessary to
transfer radio frequency energy from one point to another. Possibly the most obvious
use of coax cable is for domestic television down-leads, but it is widely used in many
other areas as well. While it is sued for domestic connections between receivers and
aerials, it is likewise also used for commercial and industrial transmission lines
connecting receivers and transmitters to antennas. However it is also sued where any
high frequency signals need to be carried any distance. Its construction means that
signals that the levels of loss and stray pick-up are minimised. In view of this it is also
used in many computer applications. Coax cable was used for some early forms of
Ethernet local area networks, although now optical fibres are used for higher data rates,
or twisted pairs where frequencies are not so high as these cables are much cheaper
than coax.


RF coax cable history
RF coaxial cable is a particularly important part of today's RF and electronics scene. It is
a component that could easily be overlooked with little thought of how it appeared. In
the late 1800s there were a huge number of basic discoveries being made in the field of
electricity. Radio, or wireless as it was originally called was not understood well, and the
first transmissions were made in the 1890s. Some transmissions were made earlier but
not understood.
The first known implementation of coax cable was in 1884 when Ernst von Siemens
(one of the founders of the Siemens empire) patented the idea, although there were no
known applications at this time. It then took until 1929 before the first modern
commercial coax cables were patented by Bell Laboratories, although its use was still
relatively small. Nevertheless it was used in 1934 to relay television pictures of the
Berlin Olympics to Leipzig. Then in 1936 an a coaxial cable was installed between
London and Birmingham in the UK to carry 40 telephone calls, and in the USA an
experimental coaxial cable was installed between New York and Philadelphia to relay
television pictures.
With the commercial use of RF coax cable establishing itself, many other used the cable
for shorter runs. It quickly established itself, and now it is widely used for both
commercial and domestic applications.


What is coax cable? - the basics
Coax cable, coaxial feeder is normally seen as a thick electrical cable. The cable is
made from a number of different elements that when together enable the coax cable to
carry the radio frequency signals with a low level of loss from one location to another.
The main elements within a coax cable are:
1. Centre conductor


2. Insulating dielectric


3. Outer conductor


4. Outer protecting jacket or sheath
The overall construction of the coax cable or RF cable can be seen in the diagram
below and from this it can be seen that it is built up from a number of concentric layers.
Although there are many varieties of coax cable, the basic overall construction remains
the same:

Cross section though coaxial cable
1. Centre conductor The centre conductor of the coax is almost universally made
of copper. Sometimes it may be a single conductor whilst in other RF cables it may
consist of several strands.
2. Insulating dielectric Between the two conductors of the coax cable there is an
insulating dielectric. This holds the two conductors apart and in an ideal world
would not introduce any loss, although it is one of the chief causes of loss in reality.
This coax cable dielectric may be solid or as in the case of many low loss cables it
may be semi-airspaced because it is the dielectric that introduces most of the loss.
This may be in the form of long "tubes" in the dielectric, or a "foam" construction
where air forms a major part of the material.

Outer conductor The outer conductor of the RF cable is normally made from a
copper braid. This enables the coax cable to be flexible which would not be the
case if the outer conductor was solid, although in some varieties made for
particular applications it is. To improve the screening double or even triple
screened coax cables are sometimes used. Normally this is accomplished by
placing one braid directly over another although in some instances a copper foil or
tape outer may be used. By using additional layers of screening, the levels of stray
pick-up and radiation are considerably reduced. The loss is marginally lower.


3. Outer protecting jacket or sheath Finally there is a final cover or outer sheath
to the coax cable. This serves little electrical function, but can prevent earth loops
forming. It also gives a vital protection needed to prevent dirt and moisture
attacking the cable, and prevent the coax cable from being damaged by other
mechanical means.
How RF coax cable works
A coaxial cable carries current in both the inner and the outer conductors. These current
are equal and opposite and as a result all the fields are confined within the cable and it
neither radiates nor picks up signals.
This means that the cable operates by propagating an electromagnetic wave inside the
cable. As there are no fields outside the coax cable it is not affected by nearby objects.
Accordingly it is ideal for applications where the RF cable has to be routed through or
around buildings or close to many other objects. This is a particular advantage of
coaxial feeder when compared with other forms of feeder such as two wire (open wire,
or twin) feeder.
Stripping coax (short for coaxial) cable is not very difficult, and can be mastered with a
little practice. While tools designed specifically for this purpose are available for
relatively little cost, this wiki will explain how to strip RG6 coax (a very popular cable and
satellite TV cable) with a common razor knife and cutters to prepare for a typical "F"
(cable or satellite TV) connector.
Steps
1.
1
Hold the cable in one hand (as if it were a stick to be whittled), with the end to be
stripped pointed away from your body.
Ad
2.
2
Hold the razor knife in your dominant hand and extend the blade if not done so
already.
3
Firmly press the edge of the blade (not the point) into the cable at a right angle
(perpendicular to the cable) about an inch from the end. The object of this cut is to
cut through the outer jacket, layers of foil and / or braids and finally the dielectric foam
(usually white in color) that surrounds the center conductor. There will be some
opposition to the blade as it sinks deeper into the cable. When the blade approaches
the half way point through the cable, ease up on the pressure of the blade. This will
occur when the blade has reached the center conductor of the cable, which is at the half
way point through the cable. It is very important to not damage this center conductor by
nicking it with the blade.
3.
4
Run the blade half way around the cable by rotating the tool around the cable.Do
not allow the blade to nick the center conductor as you continue to cut around the
center conductor.
4. 5
Reposition the cable as needed in the other hand, so that the blade can easily
continue to be rotated around the cable to continue the cut, while still being held
in a comfortable position.
5. 6
Return the blade to the storage position in the tool and put the tool down.Grasp
the the cable between the end and the fresh cut. Firmly pull the end off of the cable
while twisting the end back and forth.
6. 7
Discard the cable end and pick up any stray wires from the "metallic shield" or
braid.
7. 8
Cut off any braid wires that extend beyond the jacket so that they are flush with
the jacket with the knife or wire cutters.
8. 9
Carefully inspect the center conductor for nicks. If it is nicked, it will be required to
repeat the above steps until you are able to perform the steps without damaging the
center conductor. It may take 6, 10 or more attempts before it can be done successfully
if never attempted before.
9. 10
Remove any film or dielectric foam remaining from the length of the center
conductor (if present) by gently scraping the center conductor with fingernail. Be
sure the center conductor is clean all the way around over it's entire length.
10. 11
Hold the cable again as earlier to prepare for removal of the outer jacket.There are
different types of "F" connectors and ways to attach them to the cable. Most common
"F" connectors can be attached to cables prepared with the dimensions used here and
should be used unless the connectors you are using specifies a different dimension.
11. 12
Hold the razor as before, aligning the the blade on the jacket about 5/16 inch back
from the cut made in the previous step. The purpose of this cut is to penetrate the
jacket only, and leave the braid intact. The cut will be perpendicular to the cable like the
first cut. Many "F" connectors specify that the braid not be removed, while others prefer
it removed. Plan to leave it in place for now, as it can be removed later, if needed. The
braids are woven around the length of the dielectric foam, and lie just beneath the outer
jacket. The individual wires that make up the braid are thinner than a hair, and are
easily cut. Gently press the blade into the jacket and run it around the cable, in the
same manner as was done in the first cut to the center conductor. Once the blade has
cut around the circumference of the jacket, press the tip of the blade against the jacket
at this cut and gently cut towards the end of the cable. Again, try not to cut the braid.
12. 13
Return the blade to the storage position in the tool and put the tool down.Peel the
5/16 inch jacket off of the cable, leaving only the braid covering the dielectric.
13. 14
Fold the braid back, over the outer jacket. This should expose the dielectric, which
surrounds the center conductor. There is no concern if some of the braid wires were cut.
Check the requirements (if any) of the "F" connector you will place on the end of the
cable.
14. 15
Inspect the cable end. It is very important that there are no wires, filings or other
conductive bits between the center conductor and the braid. The white dielectric should
show anything that bridges these two parts easily. Remove anything found.
15. 16
Place the "F" connector on the end of the cable. Make one final inspection by
looking into the connector. Make sure that no conductive debris is between the center
conductor and the "F" connector before securing to the cable.
16. 17
The "F" connector is fully seated on the cable if the dielectric is flush with the
"bottom" of the connector, when viewed from the end - looking in. It should not
extend beyond or be recessed more than 1/16 inch from the bottom of the connector.
Under no circumstances should the center conductor be in contact with the "F"
connector.
17. 18
Secure the the "F" connector to the cable only with the tool designed for the
connector.
Coax compression connector tool
Coax connector crimping tool
Inexpensive crimping type tool.
18. 20
Cut the center conductor so that it extends beyond the "F" connector 3/16 to 1/4
inch.

Coax connectors made easy


Step 1
Strip the outer layer of the coax cable to reveal the braid (Earth)



Step 2
Trim back and fold the braid back over the coax cable.



Step 3
Strip off the inner conductor so it can fit into the center pin of the connector.



Step 4
Insert the coax into the connector and trim off the excess and solder the tip. Do not heat up too much or you
may damage the connector. Only use enough solder to fill the tip of the center pin.



Step 5
Using a multimeter test for an open circuit by holding the probes against the center pin and the outer casing.


Three Methods:Initial StepsStrip The CableUsing A Crimp-Style Connector
Coaxial cable is any cable that has an inner wire shielded with an outer conductive
sheath by a dielectric (non-conductive) material. Here's a look at how to attach your own
connectors to cable TV coaxial cable.
Method 1 of 3: Initial Steps
1.
1
Determine your cable size. Cable terminology can be confusing. Look on the side of
your coaxial wire for the size designation. In most homes, the two most common sizes
are RG-6 and RG-59.

RG stands for "Radio Guide." The numbers of the various versions of RG cable refer to
the diameter (59 meaning .059, and 6 meaning .06, etc) and internal characteristics of
the cable, including the amount of shielding and the cable's attenuation, which refers to
how much signal loss there is per length of cable.
You may also see the term RF used with these cables, which stands for "Radio
Frequency."
Most non-industrial coaxial cable is now known as RG-6, although the previous thinner
lower-quality standard of RG-59 is still used in some applications and older homes.
Commercial installers may use a thicker RG cable, like RG-11(which is only used if the
distance from the source tap to your point of termination at the home is greater than 200
feet)
RG cables used in homes for ordinary purposes should be 75 ohm (RG-6 or RG-59).
Be aware that all cables (and their connectors) come in a variety of qualities. Get the
best quality cable you can.
2.
2
Choose the right connectors. Most connectors for home video installations are made
with F-Style connectors. However, it is possible your system uses N-type connectors.
Be aware that there are several types of F-type RG-6 cable available, primarily screw-
on and crimp-style connectors.
Screw-on connectors are easy to use, but are less secure and can leave a small air
pocket. Some people believe this may affect your signal quality.
Crimp-style connectors have two parts: a ring (or crimp) and a terminator. They are
typically more difficult to install, but can attain the greatest lengths and best connections
when used correctly.
Know that to make a connection you will need a male and a female connector of the
same type.
Male connectors have the center wire sticking out, while female connectors have a
space for the center wire to stick into. Be sure to use the opposite gender to the
connector you will be making. Most cables end in male connectors.
Use an SMA (sub-miniature Version A) connector for very small coaxial cable.
Method 2 of 3: Strip The Cable
The first step to attaching your own connector is to prepare the end of the coaxial cable.
1.
1
Cut the cable flush.
2.
2
Trim the outer cover (usually black rubber) back 1/2".


Be very careful not to cut into the metal braiding directly beneath the outer housing. The
braiding may be both "loose" wire and a foil-like metal present in shielded wire.
3.
3
Carefully pull back the inner braiding (second channel) outside the outer
cover. Check to make sure none of the braided wire gets wrapped around or touches
the copper center conductor.
4.
4
Trim back the (usually white, but may be clear) dielectric plastic from the inner
core cable.
Be absolutely sure not to scratch or nick the center conductor. Any damage to this
conductor can severely impact your signal.
5.
5
Push the connector down over the cable end so that the copper core of the
coaxial cable sticks out.

Be sure the dielectric (aluminum foil) is trimmed so that it does not enter into the
terminator of the connector.
6.
6
Screw the connector into the end of the cable. The thread will cut into the outer
housing and wrap the shielding weave, making a tight fit.
Method 3 of 3: Using A Crimp-Style Connector
This is another method which can be used to connect coaxial cable connectors.
1.
1
Place the crimp ring over the cable end.
2.
2
Trim the outer cover back about 1/4".
3.
3
Trim the shielding, wire wrap and dielectric back to the bare inner wire.
4.
4
Leave about 1/8" of dielectric.
5.
5
Place the terminator over the end of the wire so the copper core sticks out
through the hole.
6.
6
Push the crimp-style connector down into the cable end so that the tube of the
connector goes between the foil and the outer housing.

This can be very difficult to do. Try holding the cable end with a pair of pliers, or
clamping it in a vice. Try not to twist when pushing down.
7.
7
Crimp the ring around the outside of the cable.
8.
8
Trim any loose wires.
9.
9
Cut the inner core wire flush with the end of the connector.
10.
10
Tug on the connector to make sure it is attached.


Take a look at this instructional video and learn how to wire a coaxial plug. The coax plug
consists of a body, a pin, a collett, a braid, and a clamp...
Tips
If you have high speed internet and more than two TV's, make sure you use a high
quality RG 6-type connector. When putting a connector on the cable wire, proper
preparation is essential to get a clear picture as well as a good seated connection for
the cable modem. Use a compression style connector available at any popular home
improvement center. Also, when preparing the end of the wire, be sure not to "score" or
nick the copper center conductor as this can cause problems with your internet such as
intermittent connectivity and packet loss.
You can buy crimpers, cutters and strippers specially designed for coaxial cable in
certain diameters. These tools do take some practice to learn how to use and you do
not have to use special tools to make these connections. Regular strippers will do as
long as you're careful.
Do not use the screw-on style F-type connectors. Cable signal will "leak" out of a cheap
or poorly terminated connector such as these. This can cause unwanted signal
"ingress" to get into the cable line and cause odd distortions such as vertical lines, dash
lines moving horizontally across the screen and "beats," or little white dots randomly
over the entire screen.