Do you use a cable TV or a video system at your home? Or do you have your internet connection via an Ethernet cable? If yes, then you must have seen a coaxial cable. Coaxial cable is very common nowadays as it is used by TV and internet technology.
You can easily differentiate the coaxial cable from other cables. You must be wondering how it is different from the flat wiring and cables that are used for providing the electricity within the buildings. The coaxial cable which is also known as coax cable is round and fat in shape.
In this article, we have provided some tips that can help you in working with coaxial cables. The coaxial cables are not difficult to handle but safety precautions must be taken while handling it. Moreover, it needs to be handled with care and there are some special tools which are required to be used in order to run the cable throughout your house and make the necessary connections for providing services.
What is coaxial cable?
The main purpose of coaxial cable is to transmit the high-frequency signals. Most of you must have got “cables TVs” at your home. This name comes from the use of cable in transmitting signals to individual homes. The coaxial cable is designed in such a way that it stops interference from magnetic fields that can interfere with the signal.
Nowadays, there are many types of coax in the market but RG-59 and RG-6 are most commonly used in home applications. The term “RG” was used in World War II and means “radio guide,” but it does not mean anything here. It is just used with products.
The basic coaxial cable is RG-59 which is the best choice for transmitting the cable TV signals. Moreover, it is also used for short cable runs. For digital video signals and satellite TV; RG-6 is a better choice.
The cable is dropped into a fitting from where you can plug the cable into a device like a cable box. The cables with attached fitting are also available in the market. But in case you need to buy large spools of cable then you need to attach the fittings by yourself.
Tips for working with coaxial cable:
Working with coaxial cable is different from working with normal electrical cable as the structuring and physical dimensions of coax are different from that of an electric cable. Below, we have provided some tips that can help you in working with the coaxial cables. Let’s have a read!
- Take great care if the plastic coating is nicked, the insulation is damaged, or the jacket is pierced. The signal will suffer in that case so do not harm it by trying to kink or crush the cable.
- Instead of making the sharp turns, try to make the rounded curves. Rather than giving a 90-degree turn, make a loop if you want to change the direction of the cable. Signal can be damaged by giving sharp turns to the cable as the turns can crush the insulation.
- Make a drip loop. If you are running a cable from outside to the inside of the house. Try to make a loop with the cable before the cable enters the hole which you have drilled. In this way, you can keep water out of your house. For protecting the cable, you can place plastic bushing inside the hole.
- Do not mix coaxial cable with electric cables. Keep a distance of at least six inches between coax and electric cables. As a signal interference may occur by placing two cables close to each other. However, the crossing of electric cable with the coax can occur, but we will recommend you to not run them close together and parallel to each other.
- Extra care must be taken while securing the cable with staples. The main purpose of staples is to hold coax in place. Do not crush the cable when you are using a hammer to place the staples. You can also use staplers for driving the staples the correct depth.
- Make use of low-voltage boxes for doing wall connections. A cable needs a place to exit the wall for a TV or other connection if you run it inside the wall. Hence, if you use a standard electrical box, which is enclosed completely then you will need to bend the cable in order to fit inside the box. This can damage the cable. By using a low-voltage box, you can protect the cable from damage as it is just a frame which supports the wall plate that holds the cable connection. Therefore, you can simply push the extra cable into the wall cavity without damaging its insulation.
- Make use of the cable stripper. When making connections, you can use a utility knife to strip the cable. But it can also mess up and can cause interference with other signals. You can avoid this by using a good cable stripper as it has two blades that leave only the center conductor exposed.
- You should use compression fittings. The screw-on fittings are also available, but compression fittings usually have a long life. An inexpensive tool is available in the market that allows you to connect the properly stripped cable to various fittings.
- You can use a wrench to finish the connection. Many people use to tighten the coax connections by using hands. This usually works fine for some time but then the fittings get loose. Hence, to tighten the hand-tighten connections, you can use a 7/16-inch wrench.
Hence, these are some tips that can help you in working with the coaxial cables. Moreover, do not forget to take the necessary precautions before handling the coaxial cables. Apply these tips and let us know how useful they were for you. For more information related to coaxial cable, keep visiting our website. If you have any questions related to the article, please feel free to ask in the comment box below: