Can coaxial cable be too tight?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Coaxial cable can indeed be too tight. When connecting coaxial cables, it is important to ensure a proper and secure connection. However, if the cable is tightened excessively, it can lead to several issues.

Firstly, over-tightening the connectors can damage the coaxial cable itself. The central conductor and the shielding of the cable are delicate, and applying excessive force can cause them to break or become damaged. This can result in signal loss, poor picture quality, or even complete signal failure.

Furthermore, excessively tight connectors can also damage the connectors themselves. Coaxial connectors have a specific torque specification, which is the amount of force required to achieve a proper connection without damaging the components. If too much force is applied, the connectors can become deformed or stripped, making it difficult or impossible to achieve a secure connection.

It is worth noting that coaxial connectors are typically designed to be tightened using a specialized tool called a torque wrench. This tool allows for precise tightening to the recommended torque specification, ensuring a secure connection without causing damage.

However, in some situations, it may be necessary to tighten a coaxial cable by hand. For example, when dealing with tight spaces or connectors that are difficult to access, using a torque wrench may not be feasible. In such cases, it is important to exercise caution and not apply excessive force.

If you find that a coaxial cable is too tight to loosen by hand, it is advisable to stop trying to force it. Instead, you can try a few alternative methods to safely loosen the connection:

1. Use a coaxial cable connector removal tool: These tools are designed specifically for loosening coaxial cable connections. They provide a secure grip on the connector and allow for controlled loosening without causing damage.

2. Use pliers or adjustable wrenches: If you don’t have a coaxial cable connector removal tool, you can use pliers or adjustable wrenches to grip the connector and apply gentle, even pressure to loosen it. However, be cautious not to apply excessive force that may damage the components.

3. Apply a lubricant: In some cases, a coaxial cable connection may become stuck due to corrosion or debris. Applying a small amount of lubricant, such as silicone spray or electrical contact cleaner, can help loosen the connection. Allow the lubricant to penetrate for a few minutes before attempting to loosen the connector.

While a proper coaxial connection should be tight enough to ensure a secure connection, it is important not to over-tighten the connectors. Over-tightening can damage the cable and connectors, leading to signal loss or complete failure. If a coaxial cable is too tight to loosen by hand, it is advisable to use specialized tools or alternative methods to safely loosen the connection without causing damage.