Tricks/Tools for compression fittings

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by CJTE, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    So, I've done about 20 compression fittings over the last 2 days (probably 15 one day and 5 another).

    My fingers have been rubbed raw. Specifically my thumb and index from pushing and twisting on the connector.

    I shave about 1/4" off the di-electric and another 1/4" off the sleeve and then the other 1/2" is sleeved. By the time I get 1/6th of the way down the sleeve it becomes very hard to slide the fitting on.

    I couldn't imagine doing this everyday without either building calluses on my fingertips and/or finding a better way.
    One thing I considered was heat but I cant get the right amount of control from my lighter to make that effective. (Most of the trials resulted in the cable getting too hot and bunching up, thereby making it near impossible to get the fitting on).
     
  2. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

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    I had the same problem until I realized I was using the wrong terminal. Easy mistake to make.
     
  3. woodybeetle

    woodybeetle Legend

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    If your term shave means to apply a knife or razor blade to the cable in hopes of creating a suitable mating surface for a compression fitting, that may be your problem. Home depot or lowes both sell a rg6 stripper designed to do the job correctly for about 10 bucks. In no way should 15 fittings make your hands sore. We regularly install 400 to 500 a day per man and have no problems, the right tools make the job easy
     
  4. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member

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    I had the same problem until I realized I was using the wrong CABLE. Easy mistake to make. :)
     
  5. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Here's a good instruction page, though there are a few things that are outdated.

    http://www.hometech.com/learn/coaxterm.html

    The most important thing is that you have prepared your cable as such:

    [​IMG]

    1/4" of the center conductor is bare, and then 1/4" of the outer jacket is removed (as mentioned earlier, you want a proper stripper tool to do this). The shield braid is then pulled back against the jacket, while the foil is left in place. The shield braid is NOT cut off and not left forward, because there is a metal tube inside the connector that has to slip down between the shield braid and the foil jacket. If the jacket isn't pulled back, the braid will bind up and the connector just won't fit.

    [​IMG]

    Also, it is very important that you use an RG6-sized connector on RG6, and an RG59-sized connector on RG59, which are two common sizes of TV coax cable. RG59 is thinner, and was commonly used to wire up homes for "cable" from the 70's up until about 1990 in most places. Since then, RG6 has more or less been the standard, though I still run into the occasional house where a contractor inexplicably used RG59.

    There is also a difference in sub-types of RG6. The most common RG6, and what DirecTV uses, is called Dual Shield, meaning it has one layer of foil shield and one layer of shield braid. There is also Tri-Shield and Quad-Shield (QS), which add a second layer of shield braid and foil respectively. QS is noticably thicker and stiffer, and with most brands/models of connectors requires a specific QS connector in order to have enough room for the cable to fit into the connector. The connectors used by DirecTV, the PPC brand "EX6-XL" model, are designed to be "universal", meaning they'll work on any RG6. When stripping QS, you need to cut off the outer two layers of shield, leaving one layer of shield braid and the inner foil, then pull back the shield braid as normal. QS is definitely more difficult to install connectors on.
     
  6. barryb

    barryb New Member

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  7. barryb

    barryb New Member

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  8. ffemtreed

    ffemtreed Icon

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    I don't do connectors very often but I had a lot of trouble with fingers cramping and such. I got a flaring tool and it helped a LOT to get those connectors on. The pro's that do these connectors day in and day out can get away without having to flare, but for the people who only do a couple a year or month......
     
  9. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    I have an Ideal compression tool (see below) and the stripper that Barry posted aboot. I strip the coax, place the fitting in the tool, insert the coax and push until it stops, then compress it. Easy!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Use one of the strippers people have shown above, and make sure you have the correct fittings for the coax you are using. Quad shield is larger than regular RG6, and if you are trying to put regular connectors on quad shield, you will have lots of trouble.
     
  11. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    For working in the cold....assemble the dish & as many fittings as possible in a heated area. The cable ends for the dish can be stuffed up the exhaust pipe of a running truck to soften them (a little).

    And I have a lighter that say "gitt'r done!" for that added professional touch.

    Don't forget the cable grease (dielectric lube) and boots!

    Joe
     
  12. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    That's basically what I'm doing. I bare a bit more than the standard 1/4" and I'm using a propper stripper (I'll link to it at the end for reference). I completely understand pulling the braid back, which I have done, and I leave the foil in place.

    I'm definitely using RG6, I'm almost positive it is NOT quad but I'll double check in a few minutes. And the compression fittings I am using are the same fittings the techs in my area use on the perfect vision cables.

    I'm almost positive I'm using Dual Shield. 1 layer of braid and 1 layer of foil.

    That's essentially the compression tool I have.

    The cable I'm using is labeled RG6/U 18AWG 3.0 GHZ BC TYPE CMR
    From DeepSurplus

    The tools I'm using came in a kit by DataShark (Paladin Tools), except for the compression fittings, after I used the 10 in the kit I broke out the standard DirecTV fittings.
     
  13. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    Just tried that method with sad results. I had to force the the cable into the fitting and even then it didnt go all the way in. Just for the sake of it I tried compressing it even though the plastic sleeve around the dilectric wasn't all the way to the top of the fitting.
    It compressed but didnt stay on the cable (I twisted it right off) and then found out it also ripped the foil.

    The fittings I'm using are labeled PPC CMP6.
     
  14. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member

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    What kind of CABLE are you using? Something is not right, it's either the wrong cable for the connector or the wrong connector for the cable. With the right tools, cable and connectors "it's so easy even a caveman can do it." (Sorry Geico). I use the Snap-N-Seal IT1000 (got it for $35 used off eBay with about 500 connectors). It automatically strips to spec as well. http://technicalconnectionsinc.stores.yahoo.net/thbeitsnnses.html .
     
  15. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Another thing to check is that the foil and white dielectric foam are round and not distorted. Twisting or rolling the foil between your fingers should round it out if it isn't. It needs to fit smoothly into the tube of the connector.

    And definitely put the connector on the cable by hand. It is very important that the dielectric foam is flush with the bottom of the threaded connector cup (see earlier pics).

    If you're having problems, it may just be the cable itself. As any installer will tell you, some brands of cable are significantly more difficult to work with than others, and even a "good brand" will occasionally have a batch that's more difficult. Finally, the cable is much easier to work with if it's warm than if it's cold, because the jacket and the shield braid have to stretch to accept the fitting.

    Otherwise, practice, practice, practice. When I train a new tech, I take some scrap cable and cut about 10 foot-long lengths and have him strip and put fittings on both ends (I don't have them compress the fittings; no need to waste them). After doing 20 or so, you start to get a technique for doing them.
     
  16. ffemtreed

    ffemtreed Icon

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    another thing you want to make sure of is when you cut the cable make sure your cutters aren't squishing the end of the cable. I had that problem at first before I broke down and bought a good set of pliers to cleanly cut the coax.
     
  17. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    As posted:
     
  18. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    CJTE:
    I feel your pain.
    I've tried multiple strippers/compression fittings/compression tools/cable types and found great variability.

    I have also used :
    Flaring tools :http://www.amazon.com/Paladin-4910-SealTite-Compression-Flaring/dp/B0009G6RXY

    and a Tee female F connector to get a better grip:
    https://www.theelectricaltoolstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=183

    Bottom line is that some cable/connector combinations are just tight!
    I use a lot of Belden cable esp 1694. It's great cable but the compression fitting just take a lot of force.

    I've used some generic cable from Loews or Home Depot and the fitting slide on like butter. I've even pushed the dielectric out the end of the fitting!
    If you are just looking for the easiest to put on try some other cable, Loews or Home Depot usually have some that glide on. I,for one, want the "best" spec'ed cable and put up with the calloused and blistered fingers after a 12 to 20 wire project!:):):)

    doctor j
     
  19. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    That's very important advice.

    You might also try pinching the side of the jacket to stretch it slightly to give your connector's inner sleeve some more room.

    And when you have to muscle one on, it is best to put the connector in a 7/16" nut driver.
     
  20. davejacobson

    davejacobson Legend

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    just get a good coax stripper like has been mentioned and it should do the trick.I use one like that sandoun and never have much of a problem. Yesterday in was -10F did aprox 12 connections outside with no troubles.I only have trouble when I try to use just a knife
     

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