This is my first experience making my own coaxial cables, and after a few tries, my cables are still not working. I think I've figured out the main problem (exposed copper wire may have been a couple millimeters short), but I still have some unanswered questions. I was hoping to get some tips from the self-made experts here.
Tools & Materials I'm Using:
- DataShark/Paladin 70029 Cutter/Stripper (universal)
- DataShark/Paladin 70014 Cable TV "F" Compression Crimper
- DataShark/Paladin 70024 Waterproof CATV "F" Connectors (fits RG6 & RG6 Quad)
- Carol/General Cable RG6/U Coaxial Quad Shield Cable
1. The limited documentation for the Cutter/Stripper says that it is factory-set to properly strip RG59, RG6 and RG6 Quad cables (which, realistically, each require a slightly different blade height, right?). However, when I strip my RG6 Quad cable, the stripper does not score the outermost braid & foil layers for easy removal; it only scores the outer jacket of the cable. It's my understanding that you want to remove these first three layers (outer jacket, braid, foil), then keep the innermost braid layer so you can fold it back over the cable, correct? The main stripping blades of this Cutter/Stripper are not adjustable (it's just a "blade block" that you can pop out and flip over for use with RG7 & RG11 cables). The tool does
have a separate, round cable stripper intended for Cat5 cables, with a blade that is
adjustable, so I tried using that one to strip off the first braid layer and foil layer, but I'm having a heck of a time getting the correct blade height; now I'm scoring all the way through the innermost braid layer, so there's nothing left to fold back over the cable. So, my question is:
Is it really crucial to preserve that innermost braid layer? If there's nothing left to fold back over the cable, will the compression F-connectors still hold properly?
2. The flip-side of that question: Does it matter if you leave all three layers (braid-foil-braid) in tact and fold them over? Obviously it increases the diameter of the cable and might make it harder to twist on the F-connector, but does it affect the cable's ability to carry a signal?
3. At one point, I was having a hard time twisting the F-connectors onto the stripped cable, so I put a tiny drop of WD-40 on the folded-back shielding to help the cable slip into the connector more easily. Was that an acceptable (albeit unorthodox) thing to do?
4. Can you un-compress a compression connector? I've screwed up several "practice" cables already and I'm running through these connectors like water. Is there a tool that pulls these suckers off, or are they strictly single-use?
I appreciate any helpful tips. Thanks!