Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

All the advice I've ever come across regarding stripping RG6 coaxial cable says to be extremely careful not to nick the center conductor, and if you do, to start all over again.

I seem to be cursed with terrible luck, and always nick the center conductor... but it doesn't seem to interfere with the signal.

So, why do they say to never nick the center conductor? Should I keep trying, or is it really not that big of a deal?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The answer depends on the extent of the damage caused by the nick and where it is. Severe damage to the center core can result in noticeable signal degradation. In analog service applications, this can cause all sorts of weird visual distortions (e.g. vertical lines, dash lines, random dots, etc). In digital service applications this is a bit more dramatic (e.g. drops in cable internet speed, voip service skips, etc).

Without professional tools to verify signal strength and clarity, it's going to be difficult to say for certain. I'd venture to guess that if you don't notice any degradation in video quality, you're probably OK.

If you're going to be doing this multiple times, you might want to invest in cabling tools (e.g. crimpers, coax strippers, etc). They can make the job a LOT easier and reduce the likelihood of nicks occurring.

There's also a good set of instructions here showing the different cabling technique for various coax connectors.

-M

share|improve this answer
add comment

The center conductor of coax is just a copper strand and nicking it just slightly shouldn't hurt the signal quality. (Unlike fiber optic where a nick can be disastrous.)

However, if the nick is sufficient that the copper bends more easily, that's a structural problem and it's likely to break and create an open.

share|improve this answer
    
The trouble lies in the fact that frequently (and in my case specifically), pure copper is not used, but instead copper-plated iron. Also, because the frequencies used by cable television are in the low MHz to about a GHz, the signals are primarily using the skin effect. But the question is, does it much matter? –  Nate Nov 21 '10 at 2:12
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.