F-type compression connectors are used extensively throughout the satellite (VSAT) industry and it is vital that when you are terminating a good connection is made. Here are some simple steps to guide you through the basics of preparing the coax and terminating it with an F-type connector, inspecting and possible issues you may have.
I would recommend these tools (it is worth the little investment if you are doing several VSAT installations)
- Coax cutters – these will give a clean cut and will not crush the coax.
- Coax stripper – inexpensive bit of kit that will save you time and heartache! These will normally strip other coax types like RG-11.
- F-Type compression tool – vital bit of kit. Do not try and use pliers etc, you will never get a good connector that will last.
Prepare the Coax Cables
1. Cut off each end of the coax cable squarely using your coax cutters.2. Use the coax stripper to remove the outer sheath of the coax. Make sure the stripper is set for the correct coax type i.e RG6, RG11, etc.
3. Remove any foil in the braid.
4. Fold back the braid over the outer jacket and trim and excess braids. Do not remove the inner foil around the dielectric.
N.B Make sure that there is no braids/foil touching the inner conductor as this will short out the signal and you will have to cut off the connector and start again.
5. Install the mandrel over the foil and over the braid until the centre dielectric is flush with the rear surface of the connector.
6. Trim any excess inner core so the 2-3mm extends past the connector rim.
7. Insert into compression tool and make sure that it is set for the correct connector type. Squeeze the compression tool handle and you should feel the connector compressing on to the coax.
Checking the F-Type Termination
- The centre must extend at least 1.6 – 3.2 mm beyond the rim of the F-type connector.
- It must be straight without any burrs at the end.
- Inspect for any loose braid.
- The connector is secure on the coax but do not pull it too hard as it might come off in your hand.
Possible Faults with F-Type Connectors
If the F-type has not been terminated correctly are damage to the IDU, BUC, LNB, and possible intermittent service.
The cable length is marked at 1m intervals along the entire length of the cable. This will allow you to work out how long your cable run is. There are manufacturers recommendations as to the maximum length of cable you should use.
The type of cable (this is RG-6 quad shield) and impedance (75Ω) should be printed at 1m intervals on the cable outer.