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DIY cables - compression vs crimp

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   kurtZoom


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Posted March 28 2006 - 04:08 AM

I've been driving myself mad researching and planning my cables. I am planning on making 25-30 cables (mostly RCA/RCA...but a couple F connectors also) I had planned on the Canare crimp stuff but then came across the Permaseal and F-Conn compression stuff. Crimp Canare - est $300 for tools and materials Pros - well made, pretty, widely accepted as good stuff Cons - price of tools, applicacation specific tool requirement (RG6 vs RG59 and brand specific - i.e. one crimp tool if I'm useing Canare 5CFB a different if I use Belden 1694a etc.) Compression Permaseal - est $130 for tools and materials (F-Conn is like $220 for tools and materials) Pros - much less expensive, tools are cheaper and more versatile (can be used on just about any RG59, RG6) Cons - no "cool" factor???? durability? connection? Any thoughts on these two technologies would be appreciated.
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#2 of 8 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted March 28 2006 - 04:29 AM

I don't know if there even is such a thing as a truly durable connector. I have had BNC connectors come off the cable; one just the other day, in fact. It doesn't seem to matter if they're the compression-nut kind or the crimp variety, although I tend to go for the latter when it comes to replacements; eventually some of them will just let go.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted March 28 2006 - 05:32 PM

The only thing you really need for the Canare cables is the crimp-die and a ratchet frame. The ratchet frame is something like $24. This will give you the exact crimp you need for the plug and coax.

Get the document from Canare that shows how far back to make the cuts for the plugs and you eliminate the expensive 3-cut stripper. You can:

- Just use a sharp razor knife to make the cuts being careful.

- Read the dimension of the coax and you can likely find inexpensive coax-strippers with nearly that sized holes to make the 3 cuts. Something like this for about $8 each:

Posted Image

The trick is just practice on 4 or 5 short pieces of coax getting the cuts neat and uniform before you start on your 'real' cables. Your first set of strips will be bad/messy. But spend 30 minutes and do 8/10 of them, and you will start making pretty good strips.

Here is the kicker for me: if the Canare/Belden coax has similar prices/specs - which plugs are closer to the 75 ohms that video signals require? An RCA plug is a crappy connector compared to a BNC or even "F" connector as far as impedence goes, but the Canare plugs seem to have the respect of the industry and many DIY cable builders.

While 'waterproof' is nice for outside the house, it's a bit over-kill for behind your equipment. And I just saw a $4 price for "F" or BNC Permaseal connectors. A good, broadcast-quality BNC connector is about $0.50 even from Canare.

I'd go with the Canare stuff, but skip the stripper. Buy the crimp-frame from Parts Express.

With the money you save buy a heat-gun from eBay for $30 and a bag of assorted shrink-tubing and use this to seal the end of the RCA plugs to the coax. This will also give some mechanical strength to the union.

Hope this helps.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   kurtZoom


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Posted March 29 2006 - 12:47 AM

thanks Bob it does help I was starting to lean back towards the canare stuff and this pushes me further my only concern it I have RG6 run througout the house and may eventually re-terminate the lines. with the canare I'm doubting the I can do it. Bob - have you used the canare "boots" for finishing the ends? See them alot on the BJC and other custom made stuff. They are only 15 cents each, look pretty and will help with ID. Thanks again
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#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted March 29 2006 - 03:10 AM

We run a boat-load of video long distances at work. Virtually all of the cable is West-Penn or Beldin RG-59; there's a trifling of Beldin RG-6. We use sort of generic dies, cheap multi-blade wire strippers, and Amphenol BNC ends. We've played with the compression stuff, and the Permaseal single-piece compression fittings are virtually impossible to install. Someone else makes two-piece compression fittings, and they look like they function far better than the Permaseal stuff. But we keep going back to the good-old generic crimper and Amphenol ends. We're going to try some crimp-on RCAs soon - as soon as that order goes out, really. I can't remember who makes the ends that we're going to try, though. Leo

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted March 29 2006 - 04:05 AM

I use compression plugs for my cables and they work fine. A cable stripper makes short work of stripping the cable properly and they're not that expensive. As far as tools go check out eBay as there are often very good deals there for tools

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Ted Drain

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Posted June 08 2006 - 05:19 PM

I had a site up awhile ago that detailed how I build Canare/Belden cables without buying the expensive Canare dies. I changed providers awhile ago and never bothered to get it back up. But - thanks to Google's free hosting, here it is:


Some of the manufacturer's links are a little out of date but the basic info is still valid. I ended up spending about $90 for the tools and covered that by making cables for some friends.
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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   scott>c


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Posted June 08 2006 - 10:11 PM

I bought a cheap set off E-Bay that cost less than 40 dollars. It has an adjustable compression tool and stripper and even comes with a few f connectors and rca plugs. Ive been using Skywalker compression rca plugs. They r very easy to use and fit pretty snug. http://www.techtools....TS&Category=75 This site has them and also Monster rcas which I`m sure wil be great. For lesst than 2 bucks a plug I find its a pretty good deal. Also my cheap compression tool is holding out great. I`ve made many interconnects so far and I`m very satisfied.

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