How to Terminate Coaxial Cable - DIY Coax Patch Cables

Computer Cable Store has created the following "How to Terminate Coaxial Cable" to help you do-it-yourself using bulk coaxial cable. Within this DIY article we have included everything you will need to find the materials, tools, and info on how to build coaxial patch cables.

We will discuss materials needed, cable preparation, as well as connector termination.


The first and most important material we will be using is the cable.  Bulk coaxial cable is available in a variety of different types typically categorized by the military Radio Guide (RG-) specs. The most common ones are listed below:

RG-59 Coaxial Cable
Typically used for low-power video such as baseband video for closed circuit television and RF signal connections. While RG-59 will support high quality television and video signals, it only does so over short distances. As a result, this type of coaxial cable is used for connecting VCR's and the like to television sets. The longer distance runs have since been replaced by either RG-6 or RG-11. RG-59/U has an impedence of 75 ohms.

RG-6 Coaxial Cable
This is the coaxial cable of choice for cable television, satellite television, cable modems and the like because it exhibits low loss at high frequencies. RG-6 is often sold in either RG-6/U double sheilded, or RG-6/UQ quad shielded varieties. This type of coax is also used for serial device interface (SDI) signals. RG-6 in general has an impedence of 75 ohms.

Other Materials needed:

Coaxial Connectors
Cable Cutter Tool
Coaxial Cable Stripper
Crimp Tool Frame  (with the proper die set from the list below)

Die Sets:
Die Set - RG-6, RG-174, RG-8281 - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - Cambridge RG-59 - for Crimpmaster Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - RG-174, Mini-59 BNC/TNC - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - RG-8, N-Series/BNC, for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - RG-59, RG-6, 8281/Quad - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - Combo RG-58, RG-59/62, BNC/TNC - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - F-Type CATV, RG-59, RG-6 - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - RG-58, RG-174, RG-8218 - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - Plenum and Non-Plenum, RG-58 and RG-59 - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506
Die Set - AMP Round Combo - RG-58/59 - for Crimp Tool Frame 30-506

1000ft RG-6/u Dual Shielded Coaxial Cable - Riser (CMR), Black 1000ft RG-6/u Dual Shielded Coaxial Cable - Riser (CMR), Black

This Computer Cable Storeā„¢ 1000ft RG-6/U Dual Shielded Coaxial Cable - Riser (CMR), Black can be used for antenna, cable television, and satellite installations. This cable is an 18 AWG copper clad steel conductor surrounded by a foam polyethylene dielectric.
RG-6/U is a common type of coaxial cable used in a wide variety of residential and commercial applications. The term "RG-6" itself is quite generic and refers to a wide variety of cable designs, which differ from one another in shielding characteristics, center conductor composition, and dielectric type. RG-6 was originally a military spec where RG means Radio Guide, but is now obsolete; in practice, the term "RG-6" is generally used to refer to coaxial cables with an 18 AWG center conductor and 75 ohm characteristic impedance.
Coaxial cable is a cable consisting of an inner conductor, surrounded by a tubular insulating layer typically made from a flexible material with a high dielectric constant, all of which is then surrounded by another conductive layer (typically of fine woven wire for flexibility, or of a thin metallic foil), and then finally covered again with a thin insulating layer on the outside. The term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing the same geometric axis. Coaxial cables are often used as a transmission line for radio frequency signals. In a hypothetical ideal coaxial cable the electromagnetic field carrying the signal exists only in the space between the inner and outer conductors. Practical cables achieve this objective to a high degree. A coaxial cable provides protection of signals from external electromagnetic interference, and effectively guides signals with low emission along the length of the cable.
(More Info)

Step 1: To begin, cut the cable so that the end of the cable is nice and clean. Then, after adjusting the cable stripper for your cable type, clip the stripper onto the end of the cable as shown below. You may want to test the stripper on a scrap piece of cable first to make sure the blade is set at the proper height and not cutting through the shielding / ground wire where we will be crimping the connector.

Cut the coaxial cable smooth Clip the stripper to the cable

Step 2: Twist the stripper around the wire two or three times. Keep in mind that, depending on how the stripper is setup, you may need to spin the stripper more then 3 times. In any case, spin the stripper until the core has been reached and the jacket has been cut. Then remove the loose pieces of cut jacket, dielectric insulation, and shielding ground wire.

Strip the jacket of the coaxial cable Remove the loose jacket and dielectric insulation Properly stripped coaxial cable end

Step3: Fold the shielding ground wires back like pictured here. This will allow the wires to be pushed back when installing the connector. We do not want the shielding to make contact with the center conductor as this could cause a short at some point down the road. Also make sure the ground wire shielding is not cut through and falling apart.

Fold back the shielding ground

Step 4: Insert the cable into the connector. Again making sure all the ground wires are pushed back. You will be able to see on the inside of the connector when the dielectric (white section in the picture) is flush with the inside of the connector. This is right where you want it to be. Make sure to twist connector as your putting it on, as this will ensure the ground wires will make contact with the connector.

Insert the coax cable into the connector Properly inserted cable into connector Coaxial dielectric flush with connector

Step 5: Using the Ideal Crimp Tool, with the correct die (see materials), crimp down the connector. This specific crimp tool prevents over crimping the connector with a locking device that only allows crimping to a determined level, insuring a perfect crimp. Be aware, however, that other crimp tools may not have this feature.

Crimp the connector to the coaxial cable Properly terminated coaxial cable

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