Save money by making your own cables

Why pay more when you can do it yourself? Yes, a lot of people are willing to pay extra for the quality and professional craftsmanship of Solid Signal’s custom made cables. There are just as many who want the pride that comes with doing it yourself and that means making your own cables.

If you have the right tools and the right cables, you can be making the same quality cables that the Solid Signal professionals make. It starts with this professional cable kit. It has the three key tools you’ll need to make quality cables all day long.

Use the right stuff for the job

If you’ve made cables in the past, you might have used a pocket knife and a pair of pliers. Friends, those days are long past. In order to make the top-end cables that you’ll need for satellite TV or any high-quality antenna installation, you’ll need three tools.

Cable cutter

The cable cutter is really important because trimmers and pliers can damage the white dielectric portion of the cable. You need a cutting instrument that puts even pressure on the entire cable when cutting so that the end doesn’t get flattened during the cut.

Cable Stripper

The cable stripper has specially placed blades to be able to separate the four parts of the cable and trim each appropriately. The rubber outer sheath and metal braid are trimmed away, while the white dielectric and center conductor are trimmed to the precise lengths you’ll need for a proper connector. Making sure that these parts are trimmed to the right length means the connector is weather-resistant and will work without introducing interference that can kill a satellite or cable TV signal.

Compression tool

The compression tool permanently attaches the connector to the cable so that there’s as little interference as possible and the connection is as weather-resistant as possible. Remember those crimp-on and screw-on connections from years past? They still work for antenna use but compression connectors are just so much better.

Once you have the proper tools, you just need the parts to make the cables. Start with a high-quality compression connector and you’ll be on the right track. Satellite TV installers prefer the ones from Belden and Perfect Vision, but there are a lot of high-quality options to choose from.

The cable itself

You’ll also need RG6 cable. Here you really have to be careful. A lot of people are tempted to go to their local home store because the cost of shipping cable is pretty high. Unfortunately the cable that is sold in those home improvement stores fails a crucial test. For satellite TV or amplified antenna usage, you need a cable that will carry not only signal but power. That means the center conductor needs to be solid copper. The problem is that the ones at those home stores have copper-coated steel on the inside.

If you’re going to make your own cables, invest in a 1000′ reel of the stuff the experts use. This is great cable and it’s what you’ll find in professional installations. I’ll admit that it costs more than home store cable. There’s a reason for that.  Our RG6 cable has a lot more copper, and copper is the stuff you want. You’ll need it when you’re carrying signal and power on the same cable.

Shop at Solid Signal for all the tools and the parts you need. Once you do, you’ll see at how easy it is to make the cables you need for any situation. Remember that you should always be using the shortest possible cable to avoid loss. When you do that, you’ll realize how important it is to make the right cables for every installation.

Of course, when you’re done with all that cabling, shop Solid Signal for all the stuff you’ll want to attach to those great new cables.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.