The Pressures of Pressure Crimps 

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A Step-by-step Guide for connecting your RG59 and RG6 Cables to a Pressure Crimp

This pictorial tutorial is specifically designed for anyone who wishes to learn how to link up bulk RG59 and RG6 (Coaxial [RF] Video) Cables to F-type, BNC, or RCA connectors. Since RG59 cables are one of the most common video cables in use today, it is convenient to learn how to connect or extend your own cables for your analog Cable TV or video applications. Typically fitted with F-Pin ends (for Cable TV) or BNC ends (professional video applications), the RG59 cable has been also commonly to connect to RCA connectors. The main difference between RG6 and RG59 is that the RG6 cables have a thicker copper wire allowing better transmission of the signal. RG6 is primarily being used today for satellite and digital cable TV, where higher frequencies are required that RG59 cable cannot support.

Step 1: Identifying the Cable

Some RG59 and RG6 cables comes paired with a power cable. If this is the case, the power cable is easily identified by its dual cable structure (pictured as the red and white jacketed cable above). This distinguishes the upper cable as your A/V cable. Separate the power cable from the A/V cable simply by pulling the two apart. If you have trouble splitting them, use a cutter and make a small incision between the cables to assist the severance. Now that you have your isolated coaxial cable, you are ready to go on to the next step.

Step 2: Making a Clean Cut

After you have identified your Video Cable, you will need a Cable Cutter. Make sure the cutter is sharp and in good condition to avoid any unclean cuts. Make a clean cut at the tip of your cable with your Cable Cutter. Do not cut too far back from the tip to avoid a loss of length of your cable.  Making a clean cut on your cable will ensure a snug fit and an accurate positioning of your cable into the connector.

Step 3: Setting the Stripper

Next you will need a wire stripper, which will expose the interior layers of the cable. This will allow you to gain access to the conductor and also to remove the shielding beneath the surface of the cable.  Make sure that your setting on the wire stripper matches the desired length you want the wire to be stripped. The red arrow in the picture shows the position of the setting. Simply pop out the orange X and insert it back into position to the desired setting, matching the number with the black arrow on the stripper itself. The number key on the left hand side shows the length each setting will yield.

Step 4: Stripping the Cable

Now that you have set your stripper, it is time to put your wire into the stripper. Make sure that you put your stripper on the correct way. The end of the wire should match up with the end of the stripper. Make sure that the two are on the same plane before stripping. To strip the wire, simply rotate your stripper around the cable either clockwise or counter-clockwise. A couple rotations is sufficient until you feel little to no resistance. Do not over strip your cable in case of damaging the conductor. Also make sure that you strip enough so that you expose all the parts desired.  Simply remove your stripper and the portions of the cables that have been cut. Your cable should look something like the above picture. Three identifiable layers should be present: the Cable jacket, the mesh shielding and the conductor. 

Step 5: Cleaning the Cable Part 1

Peel out the mesh shielding from the wire to expose the aluminum shield underneath.  Next, you will need a precise electrical cutter. This is different from other cable cutters in that it can cut at more angles and with much higher versatility.  Using the precise electrical cutter, trim the mesh shielding from the wire as closely to the cable jacket as possible. 

Step 6: Cleaning the Cable Part 2

Now that you have removed the first layer of mesh shielding, you can continue to remove the first layer of aluminum shielding. Much like your kitchen aluminum foil, it will easily tare off.  Next repeat what you did for the first layer of mesh shielding to the second. Peel away the mesh and using the precise electrical cutter, cut away the mesh shielding to expose the second layer of aluminum shielding. This time, do not remove the second layer of aluminum shielding. You cable should look like this now. Having removed 3 layers in all: 2 mesh shielding and 1 aluminum shielding.

Step 7: Spacing the Cable

For this step, you will need a spacer which is necessary to separate the cable exposed from the layers we have just removed. This assists in maintaining a good fit for the connector to the cable. Match up your cable to the conical end of the spacer and be sure that the second layer of aluminum shielding goes into the hole of the spacer while everything exterior to the aluminum shielding remains out of the hole.   Push down on the cable with the spacer with a twisting motion to guarantee a nice separation between the layers. Remove the spacer from the cable and examine the cable. Be careful not to hold the cable at the tip so that you will not disturb the space you have just created. You should clearly see a space between the layers as indicated by the brown arrow.

Step 8: Preparing to Crimp

Pick out the connector you wish to attach to you cable. Shown above is a BNC Male type connector for RG59 Quad. There are a variety of connectors you can choose from but the important factor is to make sure the connector you pick is compatible with both your cable and your video source.  Before crimping your connector onto your cable. Make sure that the exposed cable is long enough to reach near the head of your connector. Match up the tip of your aluminum shield to the bottom of your connector head (as shown with the dotted line). Now make a mark on your cable at the same position as the end of your connector (shown above as the brown arrow). This will help you indicate how far your cable should be inserted into the connector before crimping. Now manually push your cable into the connector to your marked point. 

Step 9: Crimping the Cable

Now for crimping. You will be needing a crimping tool to connect your connector to the cable. Make sure that you crimping tool is of the right size for your connector. The pictured crimping tool is for RG59, RG6 and RCA connectors.  Insert your cable and connector into the crimping tool and press down on the handles. You should feel resistance until the point where the colored rubber portion of your connector reduces to a line (colored blue in this tutorial).  Remove your crimping tool and give your connector a few good tugs to make sure it is on tight. Congratulations, your cable is now crimped and ready to perform to its optimum capacity.

Step 10: Enjoy your Video

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Now sit back and enjoy your quality video entertainment. Or at least marvel at your own handiwork.