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How to Install a BNC Plug on Cable

Updated February 21, 2017

BNC connectors fit on the end of coaxial cable to make quick connections to electronic equipment with twist of a quarter turn of the outer collar. The cable carries signals from DC to 11 GHz, and the BNC connector has little interference with frequencies up to 4 GHz. Select a coaxial cable appropriate for the particular power and frequency of the signal you are connecting and for your specific application. Since there are several types of connectors to choose from, you need enough technical experience to select the correct one for your application.

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  1. Install the ferrule over the cable for a crimp-type connector. It will come with the packet of parts and instructions included with the connector. For a compression connector, there is no ferrule. There is only one part: the connector body.

  2. Prepare the cable by stripping off the outer connection with the wire strippers or scissors, trimming the shield to the proper length and stripping the insulation off the centre conductor. The dimensions for the distances of the stripping come with the instructions for the particular BNC connector.

  3. Prepare the shield as per instructions on the particular connector. For some types, you don't need to do anything. For others, you need to straighten out the braids and fold them back over the outer connector.

  4. Place the centre conductor into the pin on a crimp connector and crimp it in place with the tool. For a compression connector, you don't need to do this, as the centre conductor fits into the centre pin as you insert the cable into the connector.

  5. Insert the cable into the connector, along with any washers, grommets, spacers or other hardware included with the connector. See the instruction sheet that came with the connector for details. For a compression connector, there are no other parts.

  6. Place the connector into the crimp or compression tool and align it according to the instructions included with the particular connector. Firmly close the tool until it stops. Open the tool and remove the completed connector.

  7. Tip

    Straighten the centre conductor on for a compression connector and make sure it goes into the centre pin socket as you insert the cable into the connector body.


    Use only connectors built for your specific type of coaxial cable, and crimp or compression tools built for your specific connector. If your crimp connector has several parts and no instruction sheet, don't guess on their arrangement. Return to your dealer for an instruction sheet or buy a new connector with one included.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire strippers or scissors
  • Ruler
  • BNC connector, crimp or compression
  • Instructions for the connector
  • BNC connector tool, crimp or compression

About the Author

Richard Asmus

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.

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