Make your own Coaxial Cables.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan_Myers, Sep 27, 2001.

  1. Dan_Myers

    Dan_Myers Agent

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    Question:
    I have two different RG/6 cables. 1 is a spool of Magnavox RG/6 purchased from a local home store. The other is about 1000 ft of RG/6 purchased at a garage sale for $5.00. I have tried to solder a RCA plug on the end of both of these and with both of them the solder will not stick to the outer wire. The braided stuff. Does it have some sort of coating or something like that? How to remove it?
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    - Dan
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Does the solder you're using have flux already in it? If not get some flux.
    o Clean the braid with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (preferably 100% IPA if available, or at least 50% IPA/50% distilled water). Use an acid brush to apply the IPA. (This will help to eliminate any oils and dirt from your fingers.)
    o Dry the braid with a dry cloth or compressed air. (This will remove any water that didn't evaporate.)
    o Apply a small amount of flux to the area you want to solder. (Flux allows the solder to flow better and aids in good adhesion. It's like a wetting agent.)
    o Tin the ends of the braid with the solder by heating it with the iron and touching the solder to it. (Don't actually solder it to anything yet, this is just a prep step.) The flux should do it's job and you'll see the solder flow everywhere and really stick well.
    o Repeat the cleaning step using the isopropyl alcohol. (This is to remove any flux.)
    o Now the ends of the braid should be ready for soldering. With the ends properly tinned you should be able to get some good adhesion when making the solder joint.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Bill Catherall on September 27, 2001 at 03:32 PM]
     
  3. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Oh, another tip. If the solder you're using does already have flux in it (some have a flux core) then you may not be heating the braid enough. Are you melting the solder to the iron tip and trying to drip it onto the braid? You really need to get the braid hot. Hold the tip to the braid and hold it there. Touch the solder to the braid. If the solder doesn't melt when it touches then the braid isn't hot enough. If it does melt then it should stick.
    It's best to tin the braid before trying to make a solder joint. It will make it easier to make the joint and you won't have to heat the braid up as hot again. This is good if you don't want to burn out the components you're soldering to.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Dan,
    You didn't mention whether this cable has aluminum or copper braid. If it's aluminum, then it's my understanding that you're pretty much waisting your time. While I've never tried it myself, a very knowledgeable fellow I know (an old time bench tech back when you actually had to do repairs at the component level instead of just replacing boards) said if you're not using cable with copper braid not to even bother. He said it's more trouble than it's worth.
    If anyone else disagrees with this please correct me! Like I have to ask! [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  5. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Brian, if the braid is aluminum, it's not only more trouble than it's worth, it's Impossible. It's likely that he's not getting the braid hot enough, especially with a low-wattage iron and small tip - that braid is a big heatsink.
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hank,
    I thought that was the case. But having never tried it, I was a bit wary of making an absolute statement! [​IMG]
    Thanks for the confirmation!
    Brian
     
  7. Dan_Myers

    Dan_Myers Agent

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    Actually I switched from my low unknown watt soldering pen to my 250 wat gun to make sure I was getting it hot enough. I was heating the braid until the heat of the braid melted the solder but it wouldnt stick to the *slap my head* aluminum braid. That was the answer, I guess I will have to hunt up some copper braided cable.
    Thanks guys
     
  8. Greg Foan

    Greg Foan Stunt Coordinator

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    Just curious......why not just use an F to RCA adapter type connector?
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Or use crimp-style connectors...
    Greg
     
  10. Dan_Myers

    Dan_Myers Agent

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    Well, I did not consider using a crimp on F and then using a F to RCA adapter because I was under the assumption I would not achieve as good quality connection as having the proper connector on the cable that I needed. I did however turn up a crimp on RCA adapter at parts express and I think my solution might be to order a dozen of these and use the existing cable that I have.
    One thing though, it says on the parts express site for this product.
    here: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...15422&CATID=39
    that it is for RG6U and RG6U quad shielding cable. Now the stuff I have says on it RG6 and I didn't really notice until I ran some in the walls of my new house that it is quite a bit thinner then the stuff my builder was running. Is RG6U considerably thicker then RG6? I thought maybe that the RG6 I had was not really decent RG6 until I came across my second stash of it that was another manufacture also RG6 and the same thickness as the stuff I already had.
    I am trying to make a few 25' cables. 1 for Tuner to Subwoofer 1 from my Tuner to my TV (old 27" with no SVHS or better) and one from my Tuner to my PC for DVD playback.
    Should the cable and crimp on connectors work fine for this?
    Thanks guys, I always learn alot here!!
     

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