Coaxial cable, when first introduced, was commonly used to carry cable TV signals. Since then, it's use has spread to audio, video and even high-speed broadband usage. At the centre of these cables is a solid core surrounded by a sheathing cable. A tough, flexible and weather-resistant shell surrounds the outside of the cable. Although they are built to last, sometimes these cables can break. Whether you repair or replace a coaxial cable, neither procedure is particularly difficult.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Wire cutter
- Coaxial cable stripper
- 2 compression-style F-connectors
- Compression fitting tool
Find the break in the coaxial cable. Use the wire cutters to snip out either end of the break. Ensure that the cut on either side of the cable is square.
Insert one of the wires into the coax strippers. Gently squeeze the ends of the strippers together. You should feel it bite into the cable. Slowly spin the strippers around the cable until you make one complete circuit. Pull the strippers off the cable. If you've done it correctly, you should see the bare centre wire sticking out of the surrounding cable. Repeat the process for the other wire.
Slip a coax connector over the end of the wire, ensuring that the centre wire goes neatly through the connector. Insert the wire and connector into the coax crimper. Squeeze the ends of the crimper together. Repeat for the other wire.
Connect the two coax connectors together with a barrel connector.
Identify the coaxial cable that you want to replace and follow it until it meets the next coaxial cable or wall box.
Unscrew the cable from the adjoining barrel connector or wall box. Use the adjustable wrench if needed. Connect the end of the replacement cable here.
Follow the other end of the coaxial cable to its termination point. String out the replacement cable as you work. When you find the other end of the cable, disconnect it from the barrel connector, wall mount or other connection point. Connect the other end of the replacement cable.
Tips and warnings
- If repairing or replacing coaxial cables outside, apply a few drops of clear silicone caulk over the connection points to ensure a watertight connection.
- Check the size of the cable before starting your repair or replacement. This is usually stamped on the side of the cable and identified with a combination of two letters and two numbers, such as "RG59." Match the size of your cables for the best connection.
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