A Compression F Connector on an RG6 Cable

How to Put an F Connector on a Coax Cable

A Compression F Connector on an RG6 Cable
A Compression F Connector on an RG6 Cable

In this article I’ll give you a step by step procedure for how to put a crimp or compression F connector on an RG6 or RG59 cable. This is known as terminating the cable.

The first stage of the process is to strip the cable. See my article on How to Strip a Coax Cable for details on how to do this.

Tools

There are two different types of tools available for terminating a coax cable.

Hexagonal Crimper

Hex Crimper
Hex Crimper

The traditional tool was a hex crimper. This is a tool that is like a big pair of pliers with a hex shaped slot. When you close the handles it crimps(presses it into a hexagon) the connector onto the cable. This makes for a very firm connection between the cable and the connector. You would have to pull very hard to get a hex crimped F connector of a cable! The disadvantage of the crimped connectors is that it distorts the shape of the dielectric of the coaxial cable. This changes the electrical properties of the cable, introducing a small amount of signal loss.

Hexagonal crimpers can be used for F connectors as well as PAL BL Male and Female Connectors and are suitable for RG6 and RG59.

You can buy hex crimpers from electrical suppliers or on eBay by searching “rg6 rg59 hex crimper”.

Compression Tool

Compression Tool
Compression Tool

The newer style of coax termination tool is the compression tool. Compression connectors were developed to prevent the signal loss associated with crimped connections. Instead of deforming the dielectric, a compression connector grips around the sheath of the cable in an even manner, not changing the shape of the cable. As a result the connection has a much lower loss than a crimped connection.

Compression tools use special Compression F Connectors which are available for RG6 and RG59. You can also get PAL BL Male and Female connectors and RCA connectors.

You can find compression tools for coax cable at specialist TV antenna suppliers or by searching on eBay for “rg6 rg59 compression tool”.

Procedure

With a Hex Crimper

  1. Check your already stripped cable has no loose metal shards bridging the white plastic dielectric to touch the centre conductor. Remove any that are found.
  2. Line up your hex F connector, so that the bare conductor and shield of the coax cable will go through inner barrel.
  3. Slide the connector down the end of the cable until resistance is felt.
  4. Looking through the front of the F connector, check that the centre conductor is lined up properly to poke out of the hole in the connector, and that the dielectric and shield is also neatly centred within the barrel of the connector.
  5. Firmly gripping the cable with one hand and connector with the other, twist the connector back and forth while applying pressure on it to push it down the cable.
  6. The connector is in the right place when the centre conductor protrudes about 1-2mm from the end of the screw part of the F connector, and the dielectric 1-2mm from the end of the barrel.
  7. Place the connector in the hex crimper, choosing the best fitting slot. Only the barrel section should be in the crimper, the screw section show remain outside the tool.
  8. Firmly close the handles of the crimper. This will take a lot of force.
  9. Remove the crimped connector from the tool. The finished crimp should be hexagonal and firmly on the end of the cable.
  10. Check that no loose metal shards bridge from the outside of the connector to the centre conductor.

With a Compression Tool

  1. Check your already stripped cable has no loose metal shards bridging the white plastic dielectric to touch the centre conductor. Remove any that are found.
  2. Line up your compression F connector, so that the bare conductor and shield of the coax cable will go through inner barrel.
  3. Slide the connector down the end of the cable until resistance is felt.
  4. Looking through the front of the F connector, check that the centre conductor is lined up properly to poke out of the hole in the connector, and that the dielectric and shield is also neatly centred within the barrel of the connector.
  5. Firmly gripping the cable with one hand and connector with the other, twist the connector back and forth while applying pressure on it to push it down the cable.
  6. The connector is in the right place when the centre conductor protrudes about 1-2mm from the end of the screw part of the F connector, and the dielectric 1-2mm from the end of the barrel.
  7. Check that you have the correct F Connector attachment in your compression tool
  8. Place the in the tool, with the centre conductor protruding into the F Connector attachment and the barrel of the connector almost against the back stop of the tool.
  9. Firmly close the handles of the tool, this will take some force to achieve.
  10. Check that no loose metal shards bridge from the outside of the connector to the centre conductor – see below.
Checking the F Connector is free of metal shard
Checking the F Connector is free of metal shard
  • Ray

    My TV uses a roof aerial at the back there are two inputs, one is for RG6 can i use this for better quality, and to get more channels, i did try myself, but found no signal, i had to revert back to normal coaxial.