Cables that are usually known as coaxial cable, or simply coax, need crimping to be done before you can use them. This is because these cables are basically used to deliver signals, and are highly sensitive to outside interference. If you use a connector with the cable head, the chances of interference lessen.
That’s why it is crucial to have a good crimp on the cable. But if you are wondering how to crimp a cable wire, we are here for you. In this piece, we will be sharing the step by step process on how you can easily crimp a cable wire.
What You Need
There are some basic tools you need for this purpose. Make sure you have these tools ready before you start the crimping process.
- A crimping tool or a crimper
- Cable stripper
- Crimp terminals
- A heat-shrink system
- A cable that you need to crimp
How To Crimp Cable Wire – Step By Step Guide
Now that you have gathered all that you need, it’s time to move on and crimp the cable. So here’s what we are going to do.
Step 1: Choosing the Wire
What exactly are you going to do with this crimped wire? That is the question you need to answer before you select the cable. It depends on the application. If you can figure out what you are going to do and what is the actual requirement, then it gets easy to choose the wire type.
The first thing you can do is simply check the wire size. You will find the measuring unit as American Wire Gauge, also known as AWG. So, for example, the cable may come with a measurement of 15 AWG.
Okay, what if you don’t have that information anywhere? Do you leave it like that? Of course not! There is another way you can figure it out. That’s a hack we’re talking about here.
All you need to do is simply strip and take out a small length of the insulation of the wire. Now be careful and put on your glasses if you need them. Count each wire strand you find in it. These orange metal wire strands will give you a tough time in counting, but that’s how it’s done.
Now measure the diameter of a strand. As you can find the number of strands and the diameter of one strand, simply multiply these two figures and you get the AWG measurement right away.
Step 2: Choose The Crimp Terminal
There are lots of terminals you can choose from. Not all the terminals are of equal quality. The quality of the crimp joint will highly depend on the terminal you choose. You need to keep the following points in mind while choosing a crimp terminal.
- Choose the terminals that come with plating. It will mean you have low contact resistance and corrosion-proofing.
- Find the pre-insulation as the terminal will come with metal sleeves that are applied to get a good grip on the wire.
- Finally, find the turned pin as these are made from rod materials and they support the connector creation.
Step 3: Choose The Crimping Tool
Now, this is a crucial part and you have to be very careful. You can’t use pliers for this purpose in any way. Crimping tools are specially made tools that are dedicated to the crimping of cables. These tools come in different varieties and sizes and you need to look for the best one for your purpose.
In that case, choose the one that is designed to fit the crimp terminal you have in your hand. You can get some idea from the maker on how to match the crimping tool to your terminal. But if you fail to make that contact, don’t worry. Just find a tool that can house the terminal you have and that comes with a ratchet design.
Step 4: Crimp The Cable!
At this point, comes the crimping job. You need to follow a number of steps here, as well, to make sure you are doing it absolutely right. So here are the steps
- Measure the length of the wire first. Then strip the end of the cable to a short length. The stripping should be in such a way that when you enter the cable into the crimper, there should be about 1 to 2 mm of wire hanging out of it. Now cut down the insulation from the end and take the wire strands out.
- Now, place the wire into the crimping tool. Double-check if all the wire strands are inserted.
- Now press the crimper against the cable with a good amount of force. Make sure that the connector gets a good uneven shape while you press.
- Once done, remove the crimp and examine the wire. Make sure it is there in its correct position. Check if the insulation itself is secured enough.
Step 5: Use The Heatshrink
Take the crimp and wire and fit the sleeve over these two. Check if the sleeve is in its right position. Don’t let the sleeve cover the terminal end of the crimp. Now use a hot air gun to make the tube shrink.
Now that you know how crimping the cable wires works, here are a few points that you need to consider.
- Always use a crimping tool. Never use an alternative to it. As we mentioned before, don’t use pliers for this purpose. Read more on useful crimpers here.
- Don’t choose solid wires for crimping. Always use wires with separate strands.
- If the crimping tool has ratchet failure, dump it immediately.
- Run test crimping on different useless cables before you try it on the actual cable you are going to use.
When you know how to crimp a cable wire, it gets really easy to run different projects even if you don’t have coax in your pack. Making one within minutes is really a possibility if you have the technical know-how on the crimping process. We hope this piece of ours made it really easy for you to crimp your own cables!