Removing/attaching cable connector
September 15, 2005 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I have a standard cable television cord that runs from through a small hole in my living room floor (coming up from the basement). I would like to re-route this cable to another part of the house. The problem is that the connector on the end of the cable is too big to fit into the hole. Is there an easy way to disconnect this bit so I can pull the cord through the hole (and reattach it after I create a hole in a different room)?
posted by sharksandwich to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can cut it off and then put on a new one after you move it. While there are some ends you can use screw or clamp on with no special tools, the better quality connectors require you to buy a tool to put them on. I just bought a kit of 10 connectors and a tool for $27 at Lowe's. You also need to make sure you buy the right kind of connector for your cable. The latest type of cable used for digital cable-TV and high speed internet is RG-6 and it requires RG-6 connectors.
posted by internal at 2:13 PM on September 15, 2005

posted by scarabic at 2:45 PM on September 15, 2005

I think internal has it right. However, while he suggested that your cable might be RG-6, I think there is a good chance that a standard cable television cord installed for indoor use is the cheaper (and thinner) RG-59. Either way, no matter which style of cable was installed, it would be terminated with a male F connector. Just cut off the connector at the end of your cable, purchase a crimper and a few matching crimp-on male F connectors (either RG-59 or RG-6 depending on your cable) and install a new connector once you've threaded the cable to the new location. A coax cable stripper is also a handy tool, but a sharp knife is an acceptable substitute if you're only installing a few connectors. Don't attempt to re-use the old connector, they're not designed to be removed and reinstalled unless they're the twist-on style of connector (which I doubt the previous installer would have used).
posted by RichardP at 3:09 PM on September 15, 2005

Rather than buying a crimper, Radioshack (or whatever it's called now) has replacement ends that you can just screw into place. I've used them with great success.
posted by furtive at 3:10 PM on September 15, 2005

Okay. I've gathered all of the components but have come accross a problem. I purchased a cable cutter device that makes two cuts: exposing 1/4" of the center conductor and 1/4" of the Dielectric. The problem is that the cutter does not remove the braided wire covering the Dielectric. The crimper instructions says to fold the braided wire back exposing the Dielectric. I've tried to reset the cutting depth but the braided wire jacket still remains. Any suggestions how to remove this bit? Or does it need to be folded back as instructed? What happens if I don't remove the braided wire jacket?
posted by sharksandwich at 4:29 PM on September 15, 2005

Sounds like the cutter is intended for use with the twist on ends. I agree with furtive, the twist on ends are great, any quality difference between them and a crimped connector is marginal at most. So, if you can return the crimper and find twist ons, I think that would be best...
posted by Chuckles at 4:34 PM on September 15, 2005

If you're installing a crimp-on F connector, bend the braid back along the outside of the cable as evenly as possible using your fingers (scroll down for crimp-on connector installation instructions) before pushing the end of the cable into the crimp-on connector.
posted by RichardP at 4:38 PM on September 15, 2005

You might find this diagram helpful. The connector depicted may not be style you are installing, but if your connector is similar you may well find the diagram helpful.

With regards to twist-on connectors, despite the recommendations of furtive and Chuckles, I'd avoid them. Many professional installers find them unacceptable and in my (admittedly anecdotal) experience they fail more often then the various "tool applied" F connectors.
posted by RichardP at 4:57 PM on September 15, 2005

I've only ever used twist on and I've never had a failure. And so what if it did fail? You could just unscrew it, adjust the placement of the wires and twist it back together.
posted by The Monkey at 5:45 PM on September 15, 2005

If you actually want to go professional, you'd use compression connectors (and an appropriate compression tool). The salespeople that demonstrate these set up a swing suspended by a single RG-6 coax with two of these connectors connected underneath a wood board. They then swing on the new swing seat and it won't break.

I have it on good authority that these same connectors, if used with 4 cables, can be used to tow commercial vans as well... :-D

But you're probably not looking to do anything like that. In that case for indoors, anything is ok (even twist on). Outdoors use something with grease inside and NEVER twist on (water will wick into the cable over time).

richardp's link shows the compression tool and connector in use.

(BTW: This *is* what cable TV installers use, in case you want your cable to look like theirs for some reason)
posted by shepd at 8:53 AM on September 16, 2005

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