DON’T DO IT: Twist-on F connector

The sad thing is, this image comes from Wikipedia, meaning it’s “The” official photo of an F connector in many people’s minds. It’s also about the worst thing you can do to an RG6 cable.

You will find twist-on F connectors at your local hardware store and you may think that they are a great alternative to learning how to put on compression connectors. Just don’t do it. Seriously.

Twisting a connector onto the end of RG6 cable is going to torque all those little wires in the braid on the outside of the connector and that’s going to hurt you, I promise. It may not hurt you today, but sooner or later it is going to hurt you.

If you look at this photo, it also looks like someone cut the center conductor with a pair of pliers or something, which is also a total no-no. You should always use tools designed for cable preparation rather than something that you use to pull off rusty bolts. Whether it’s antenna, satellite or cellular boosters, you really need to put proper compression ends on the cable or at the very least buy cables that are pre-made to the specifications you’ll need for the task at hand. Not every job requires quad-shielded, plenum-rated RG6 with compression connectors, but every job can use top quality cable and it seems to me that if you’re planning to leave an installation in place for a while you really owe it to yourself to do it right.