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Everything You Need to Know about Coax Cable Connectors

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/18/2010

You've seen them all around your home. But, what are those coax cable connectors all about? Well, learn everything that you ever needed or wanted to know about coax cable connectors.

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    What are Coax Cable Connectors?

    Coaxial (coax) cables and their connectors can be found throughout the home and business. But, what are coax cables, and why do you need them? Well, here we’ll go over some information about coax cable connectors and why they’re used.

    Coaxial cables are cables that have a thick outer layer made of plastic, followed by a woven copper shield. Sometimes there may be two layers of braided copper with a layer or two of aluminum foil. The inner parts of the coax cables are made up of a dielectric insulator with an internal copper-plated core.

    The purpose of the coaxial cable is to carry radio or audio frequencies. These cables can be used for a variety of purposes, including Internet connections, antennas and cable or satellite connections.

    Coax cable connectors are designed to connect two pieces of equipment together and maintain that connection. Connectors are made of conductive metals, including silver or gold. The radio frequencies are only carried by the plating on the connectors and not the body of the connector.

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    How to Install Coax Cable Connectors

    If you need to install a coax cable connector, follow the below steps:Crimping Tool by stevecon 

    1. You need to start by ensuring that the end of the coax cable is square. If not, using a wire cut, cut the cable.
    2. Strip off the end of the cable so that the wires are exposed.
    3. Look at the setup of the cables to ensure that you are familiar with how the connector should be placed.
    4. Remove the outer plastic.
    5. Fold back the braided copper until one piece of foil is left against the white dielectric layer.
    6. Remove the black end from the end of the coax cable connector.
    7. Push the larger end of the connector onto the end of the cable. The white end of the cable should be right next to the metal.
    8. Using a crimp tool or some type of pliers, squeeze until the connector pops into place. You should be able to hear or feel a click as it connects.
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    Replace Old Coax Cable Connector

    by Jasentaja If you already have a coax cable connector attached to the cable, you will have to remove it before replacing the new one. To remove an old connector, follow the below directions:

    1. Disconnect the cable from whatever it is attached.
    2. Either using a cable stripper or wire cutter, snip off the end of connector.
    3. Cut the edge until it is square.
    4. Strip back the wire to expose the cables.
    5. Follow the above directions to add another coax cable connector.

    If you are dealing with older coax cables, you may just do well to replace the entire cable. Standard coax cables are typically about $20 online and at retail stores. The newer ones tend to last longer than the older ones and are better able to carry signals, improving your sound quality.