Introduction: HOWTO: Compression Connectors

If you know anything about satellite, cable or antenna installations, you know about F connectors and how much of a pain they can be to crimp. Recently, a new type of connector has become popular. They are called compression connectors. The connectors are relatively cheap, but the tool used to crimp them costs quite a bit. In this video, I will show you how to build a jig to crimp these for free!

Water proofing is a very important asset to have when making RG-6 cables because if water gets into the braided shield and it rusts, your whole cable could go to waste.

Sometimes, I even use an RTV silicon with the waterproof connectors.

This video pretty much sums up this instructable.


Step 1: Supplies

For this project, you will need:

- a drill with a 9/32 or similar bit. The hole you will drill will accept RG-6 so make it close.
- two 1 inch square pieces of plywood. Thickness is no issue.
- a vice or c-clamp for portable crimping
- the connectors

Snap-N-Seal connectors come in F, RCA, BNC and others that I have not heard of yet. They are the greatest thing to grace the face of the earth when installing an antenna on the roof and you need to crimp. If you decide to use my method to crimp it cheap then it tends to be harder, but if you have the official crimper, it works GREAT!

If you only do a couple of connectors a year for personal use, I would recommend the method outlined in this instructable. If you do hundreds of them, shell out 25 bucks for the economy crimper. I have personally used the economy crimper to do HUNDREDS of connectors and it has worked great EVERY time. I work in an electronics shop and we make custom length RG6 cables for customers while they wait or shop around. When it gets busy, the crimper is a great thing!

Step 2: Start Your Engines!! (your Electric Drill That Is...)

This step is very simple. Simple line up the two squares of plywood and drill through both of them! Can you handle it?

When you are done, you will have two squares of wood with a hole in almost the same place. Measurements are not necessary.

When you drill the hole, drill it somewhat close to the edge of the wood to make the next step easier.

Step 3: Cut

This step is a little tricker than the last.

Take a saw of choice and cut a notch down into the hole you drilled on one of the pieces of wood. You want to be able to get the cable down into the hole, so cut the notch big enough to accept the RG6.

Step 4: Crimpress!

Now you are ready to crimp the connector. This is pretty straight forward.

Optional Step 1:

Slide a washer onto the cable to make the crimp come out cleaner. Do this before you slide on the connector. This step is strongly recommended because without it, the crimp is VERY difficult to do. The only problem with this step is that you are left with a washer on your cable when you are finished.

Step 2:

Strip off 1/2 inch of the cable down to the solid copper core.

Step 3:

Remove 1/4 inches of the black cover and shield. Leave the white internal core intact.

Step 4:

Slide on the connector.

Step 5:

Put the cable into the jig. Refer to the picture for help with this. It is difficult to explain.

Step 6:

Tighten the vice!

You should have a nice crimp on the end of your cable. If you don't get it the first time, try again. It takes 1 or 2 to get it right.

Comments

author
the_mad_professor made it!(author)2010-03-28

Nice neat idea.
however to get around the washer problem, you could face the wood front and back
with a piece of aluminium about 3mm thick so you would not need the washer at all then

by facing the wood  with aluminium this would help press your connector together without the wood being compressed.

keep up the good work

Paul

author
cconnector01 made it!(author)2009-02-20

Thats a great video!!! Good explanation. Really a useful post and good thought for you dude!!! Great!! Thanks for the post.

http://www.compressionconnector.com

author
lonjim2 made it!(author)2008-10-27

Great tutorial. I love these connectors. I was doing something similar for quite some time, but got to the point where I couldn't do this everywhere in the house as my vice grips were mounted to the workbench. I hit up my local computer district here in Toronto and picked up a compression style Crimper for a mere $10 CAD.

author
mattdp made it!(author)2008-07-29

This is a nice method. I've found that 1 or 2 pairs of slip-joint pliers work well, too. I did a bunch of compression connectors this way. I haven't tried it yet, but I heard that a ring of JB Wield along the rear of the connector will make it impossible to remove, and waterproof (great for outdoor connections).

author
technodude92 made it!(author)2008-04-01

where do you get these conncetors?

author
dycici made it!(author)2008-04-22

dear technoduced92 ,i can supply you these two kind connector !pls e-mail me : dy-cici@163.com my name is cici .

author
computerwiz_222 made it!(author)2008-04-02

Any electronics retailer, I have seen them at the dollar store. I'm not sure, but Radio Shack may carry them. They are great quality!

author
Scott_Tx made it!(author)2008-02-24

What if you cut a notch in the washer to remove/reuse it?

author
computerwiz_222 made it!(author)2008-02-24

You could do that... That is the way the real tool is actually made (more or less). The reason that I added the washer is because the connector was crumbling when I was crimping it. When I used the washer, it went on straight.

author
broadway made it!(author)2008-02-24

A few other tips to help with cable prep- 1. when you're done stripping the cable, fold the braided silver outer conductor back down away from the foil surrounding the white (dielectric). 2. make sure that the copper center conductor is free of any remnants of the white dielectric, most commonly a "snakeskin" effect. fingernails are the best tool to remove this. 3. if you have troubles getting the f-connector to slide easily over the cable, snap the plastic lower bit away from the metal and slide them correspondingly over separately. This makes it easier to line the cable up with the inner part of the metal. Great instructable!

author
computerwiz_222 made it!(author)2008-02-24

I love that automatic RG6 cable stripper. Once you calibrate it, you just open it like pliers and spin it around a few times. It strips off the entire end of the cable like the way I did it manually with my trusty weller cutters.

author
iffee made it!(author)2008-02-24

Can you replace with better picture in step-4.

author
computerwiz_222 made it!(author)2008-02-24

The order from left to right is: The block with notch, washer, compression connector, the other block with hole. The other block is to prevent the inner core from becoming crushed when crimping. I don't have a better picture sorry...

author
arnoldt made it!(author)2008-02-23

When stripping the cable down to the center conductor you need to make sure you try not to scrap it with the metal wire strippers. You can mess up some of the signal that travels close to the outside of the center conductor. Which could cause tiling with digital cable.

author
GorillazMiko made it!(author)2008-02-23

Nice Tool-Tip! You did a great job, nice pictures and everything!

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computerwiz_222 made it!(author)2008-02-23

thanks! I was considering including pictures of the economy crimper, but I only have one at work. Since 99% of people only do 1 or 2 i though this would suffice... Thanks for the comment