Coaxial cable, often known as coax, is an electronic communication line that is sensitive to interference from outside noise sources.
It is used for transmissions that are sensitive to interference from outside noise sources.
Examples include lighting, clear air static, motors, and high-frequency electronic signals, all of which can force themselves on the wire and cause the signal to become corrupted.
Using a tube of metal foil and mesh, coax protects a single wire from this by encircling it tightly.
The signal conductor is sent through this tube in a coaxial fashion.
It is necessary to use a specific crimp termination method for coax in order to maintain the integrity of this shielding tube.
Learn how to crimp coax by following these instructions.
The 5 Best Coaxial Cables Here
The Importance Of Connections or Cable Today
Today, a faulty coaxial connection may cause significant performance degradation on digital systems such as ThinNET (EtherNET), wireless networks such as WiFi and WLANs, and high-definition video systems such as SDTV, DTV, and HDTV.
Whereas a badly fitted CCTV connector could have resulted in a 1dB or less loss on a CCTV system only a few years ago, the same faulty connection might now result in a 10dB loss on a system operating at or above 1GHz.
It is possible that only approximately a third of the signal will pass through the connection as a result of this.
Let’s have a look at some of the considerations that must be made while constructing coaxial connectors and cable assemblies.
First and foremost, regardless of whether you are utilizing solder or crimp as your attachment technique, you must be prepared with the appropriate equipment and expertise.
It is not optional to use high-quality tools.
Having the right equipment and components in place, as well as the knowledge obtained through training and experience, is essential for achieving success in both field and bench installations.
It is possible to install the center contact of the connector’s center conductor to the center conductor of the cable using either the solder or crimp methods with high reliability.
Push-on, twist-on, and wire-wrap techniques can be extremely troublesome, and they should not be considered for any assembly that requires the performance of more than 1 GHz.
Properly completed crimp and solder types of connections result in mechanical and electrical connections that are both strong and reliable.
Some technicians prefer to utilize a mix of the two contact installation methods when constructing assemblies that will be used in harsh environments or while installing test probes, for example.
Initially, the contact connection is properly crimped, and then solder is gently injected into it. It is a method that, while challenging to perfect, results in a connection that will never break save in the case of significant mechanical damage or high temperatures.
Never, ever squeeze a soldered connection together!
Solder has no compression strength, and so cannot be compressed.
Things To Prepare Before Crimping Coax Cable
The first step is to prepare the cables
The cable must first be thoroughly prepped and stripped in accordance with the installation instructions for the connection, regardless of whether the method is chosen.
- The desired outcome of appropriate cable preparation.
- Stripping the jacket, braid, and dielectric should be done at a 90-degree angle.
- Materials are impervious to harm or distortion.
- When designing a cable jacket, the diameter of the braid should be less than the diameter of the cable jacket.
Preparation of Nonconforming Cables
Shorting of braid strands must be avoided at all costs by fully and thoroughly stripping the braid.
Unless the center conductor and braid can be twisted back into position prior to assembly, any flare on the center conductor and braid is unacceptable.
Because the center contact of the connector is soldered to the inner conductor of the cable, this manufacturing process is frequently regarded as the most time-consuming.
In addition, when correctly performed, it is one of the most reliable connections available, and it may be utilized on cable with either solid or stranded center conductors.
In general, provided the metals and plating of the contacts and cable center conductors are compatible and solder-able, as well as if the technician is experienced in this sort of installation, solder connections may be anticipated to operate well over an extended length of time.
Solder has a number of advantages
The tooling required for this approach is straightforward: the primary tool is a low-wattage solder iron with a variety of tips. The use of a good vise to keep the work in place while soldering is advantageous throughout the installation process. Aside from that, solder and flux constitute the bulk of the resources utilized.
Soldering is significantly more forgiving of suboptimal techniques than other methods.
After Soldering, the desired result is obtained. Braided Coax is a flexible coaxial cable.
Surface finish and sheen of the solder surrounding the junction
There is no indication of solder flow outside of the joint area.
The solder hole is filled to the same level as the exterior pin/contact surface.
- It is necessary to demonstrate proper semi-rigid coax techniques.
- Surface finish and sheen of the solder surrounding the junction
- There is no indication of solder flow outside of the joint area.
- preparation of nonconforming cable
- Techniques for Flexible Braided Coax Should Be Clearly Displayed
- Clean 90-degree peeling is seen on the dielectric.
- There is no indication of melting.
- Solder has a number of disadvantages.
- It takes a longer amount of time to complete than other ways.
Cold solder connections can cause difficulties if the connector is not correctly soldered to the cable, as can be seen by watching the solder flow through the contact solder hole on the connector’s contact.
When exposed to severe vibration during operation, soldered connections between the contact and the cable’s center conductor might work harden and develop micro-cracks, which can then lead to solder fatigue and cable failure.
When mechanical or thermal stressors are applied to a solder joint, the soldering might become uneven and even fail.
It is critical to keep the heat used during the soldering process under control and to avoid allowing solder to wick or a hot tip to deform the dielectric of the cable.
Poor technique will almost certainly have a negative impact on performance. Before proceeding with the installation, this operation should be rectified or re-started from the beginning.
Since its inception, this manufacturing process has been the workhorse of the industry, and it is likely the most widely used method of terminating coax wire with connectors in the world.
When it comes to crimping connector contacts and ferrules, the right equipment must be used with care and precision.
Time and money are invested in order to enhance productivity while lowering the amount of labor required.
If you anticipate making thousands of crimps over the course of a tool’s expected usage lifecycle, consider investing in a heavy-duty, piston-driven crimp handle such as the RFA-4009-20, which is designed to withstand repeated use.
Ensure that the crimping die you use is compatible with the cable, connection, and crimp handle that you are using. Coaxial crimpers are designed to properly distribute the pressure applied to the connection by the crimping tool.
Several advantages to crimping on
Because there is no need for soldering, the installation time is significantly decreased.
For an experienced technician, it takes around 15 seconds to install a crimp-crimp connector, significantly decreasing the amount of time necessary to construct cable assemblies.
These skills are extremely valuable in today’s cabling market when time is of the essence and fewer professionals are being expected to maintain an increasing number of pieces of machinery.
Today, crimped digital video, computer, and network cabling is nearly routinely used in these applications.
If you are precutting for extremely big commercial works, having your supplier prepare your cables in advance can save you a significant amount of money.
When done correctly, crimped connections have the potential to outperform soldered ones.
In order for the connection to remain secure under thermal cycling (the coefficients of expansion of the two metals may be different) and vibration, a properly crimped connection must deform the metal sufficiently past the yield point, but not excessively, so that the “spring back” keeps the connection secure.
A good crimp connection is gas-tight and will not wick, and it is frequently referred to as a “cold weld” since it does not wick.
It is similar to the solder technique in that it may be used on solid or stranded conductors and offers a reliable mechanical and electrical connection.
preparation of nonconforming cable
- Obtaining the desired crimp effect
- All six crimp surfaces have the same amount of compression.
- Within the pin step down, the center contact crimp die is positioned.
Crimp-on has a number of disadvantages
If the crimping is done incorrectly, the contact will not sit properly within the connection, causing the interface to fail to meet specifications. Both the signal continuity and the signal quality will decrease as a result.
Contacts that have been crimped are unable to be uncrimped and reinstalled.
A lot of the time, this means the entire connection assembly must be discarded and replaced with a completely new one.
Unless crimped with the right dies and professional crimp handles, crimped connections on the solid wire can be poor and prone to failure if not performed with the proper tools.
It is possible for the stranded wire to shift and loosen within a crimped junction, however, this occurs only rarely and only under extreme conditions of frequent flex.
The use of clamp connections is more common than the use of connectors with crimped ferrule studs in this situation.
Results in a nonconforming crimp
- The crimp die is located outside of the crimp area.
- The pin’s body is no longer perfectly concentric.
- The impedance of the connection will be negatively impacted.
- preparation of nonconforming cable
Results in a nonconforming crimp
- The pin/contact has been deformed, and it is no longer straight or concentric with the cable it was originally.
- The pin/contact has started to crack at the crimp. Excess material is shown as a “dog ear” on the pin.
Possible causes include using the incorrect crimp die or applying too much pressure.
A crucial aspect to keep in mind when utilizing the crimp method is to ensure that the connection you use is appropriate for the coax cable being used. It is important to have a tight fit on the inner conductor before applying the crimp.
When using suitable tools, it is critical to maintaining proper ratios between ferrule stud ID and cable dielectric OD and ferrule stud OD and ferrule ID in order to avoid poor crimping.
Double crimping should be avoided at all costs, especially on the contact; this is referred to as “flagging” or “dog ears.”
How to Crimp Coaxial Cable in 7 Easy Steps
You’ll need a wire cutter, a coaxial stripping tool, an F-connector, a coaxial crimping tool, and coaxial cable to complete this project.
All of the items you’ll need may be found at your local hardware store.
These goods are also available for purchase on the internet.
Step 1: Cut the coaxial cable at the end of its length.
Using the wire cutter, cut the coaxial cable’s end at the appropriate location.
In order to create a fine cut, the wire cutter should be sharp enough to do so, and the cut should be square rather than beveled.
Step 2: Form the Extending End Part
Mold the end of the cable with your palm at this point.
Even the back section of the end component, which is usually cylindrical, should be molded into the form of the wire.
Step 3: The next step is to clamp the stripper tool around the cable.
It is necessary to place the coax into the proper location in order to clamp down the stripping tool around it.
To guarantee that the strip length is correct, make sure that the end of the coax is flat against the wall or the guide on the stripping tool before starting the stripping process.
After that, rotate the tool around the wire until you no longer hear the sound of metal being scored by the tool.
It might take 4 or 5 spins to get it right.
It is important to maintain the tool in one spot when spinning, or you might wind up harming the cable.
After you’ve made two cuts using the coax stripper tool, you may continue on to the next step.
Step 4: Make the Center Conductor visible
Pull the material closest to the end of the cable at this point.
It is possible to accomplish it with your finger. Now that the central conductor has been revealed,
Step 5: Remove the Outer Insulation (if applicable)
Remove the outer insulation that has been cut loose and discard it.
It is also possible to perform it with your finger.
There will be a layer of foil visible.
When you tear this foil away, a layer of metal mesh will be revealed.
Step 6: Bend the metal mesh
Bend the exposed metal mesh in such a manner that it forms a mold over the end of the outer insulation before gluing it in place.
There is a layer of foil behind the metal mesh that serves as an insulation layer for the inner insulation. Care must be used when bending the metal mesh in order to prevent the foil from being ripped off.
Step 7: Crimp a cable into an F connector.
Press the end of the cable into the F connector and tighten the connection with a crimping tool. To accomplish the operation, you’ll need to use a coax crimping tool.
Incorporate the connection into the jaws of the crimping tool and squeeze it vigorously to seal the connection.
The crimp connection should then be disconnected from the crimping tool.
Our Final Thoughts
The simplest method of doing this procedure is to slide the F connector onto the cable and then secure it with a coaxial cable tool, which simultaneously pushes the connector into the cable while also crimping it.
If you are a newbie, the entire procedure may take up to 5 minutes, but if you are familiar with crimping work, such as you are skilled in crimping cable ferrules, crimping PEX, or other crimping work, it will take no more than one to two minutes.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is it safe to bend coaxial wire in any direction?
The most prevalent form of damage is that caused by harsh or inappropriate handling, as well as by accidents.
Given that coax has a large minimum bend radius, it is important to maintain as consistent a distance between the inner conductor and the shield as feasible throughout its length.
Is it possible to link coaxial cable without using connectors?
If you have a coax cable that does not have a connection, it is a simple matter to make your own.
Remove the insulation off the wire to reveal the inner conductor.
Then lay a connector over it and secure it using a crimping tool.
When working in confined places, utilize a right-angle connection to prevent the wire from being bent excessively.
Is it possible to splice a coaxial cable?
Alternatively, is it possible to solder two wires together?
No, not at all… That is why coaxial cable is required, rather than simply two wires side by side as is the case with conventional mains power cable.
Additionally, without careful consideration of the joint shape, it is not possible to splice coaxial wire with any degree of reliability.