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Rusty coax connectors


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It seems like at least twice a year my satellite TV will start acting up and I find that one of the coax connectors has gotten corroded, the center wire has broken, etc. If this were a permanent installation I'd look into weatherproofing the connects, but since this is taken apart on a regular basis that won't work very well. Is there some trick to making these connects that are exposed to the weather last longer?

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Unless you bought solid copper core coax cable, the center conductor is copper clad steel. Enough insertions and the cladding goes away and the steel is open to corrosion. It is just smart to have tools for compression fittings, and a coax stripping tool, plus a hand full of compression fittings. Replacing the ends of you cable should happen on a regular basis.

 

While dielectric jell would seal the connection but would also be an attracter of dirt.

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During a good part of the year we move every 10-11 days, so any kind of wrapping, etc. would be rather unhandy.

 

Today, I had one center connector break off in the fitting - I ended up having to replace the fitting too. When I checked the rest of the connections I ended up replacing another one. Of course, this is during our longest stay in one spot ever - and in Houston humidity on top of that. The fittings would have probably done better had I been connecting/disconnecting them on a regular basis like I normally do.

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A small plastic box with tight fitting holes drilled for the coax entry/exit and a drain hole for any water that does get inside is a good way to keep things dry. They also make custom czble cover boxes for satellite dishes, I had one from Radio Shack that had a slide off cover for easy access and it shielded the connections from rain quite well.

 

For the short runs of cable we are using I really can't see a good reason not to go with solid copper core cable, a few bucks up front and less grief down the road is a good trade.

 

I tried grease in my connectors and it was great at keeping them dry but as was said it had a severe dirt attraction problem, particularly if you dropped a cable end in a dusty spot. 15 minutes with a Q-tip getting the dirty grease out is likely enough you won't put more in.

 

They make coax sealing tape that you can wrap a connection in and the rubber electrical tape that bonds to a solid layer (brain can't recall the right name) are both good. Removal can be pretty easy if you lay a strand of waxed dental floss alongside the cable so you can use it to cut the tape. Box was easier and cheaper though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One quick method is to wrap around the connectors Coax-Seal tape https://goo.gl/ow77TX Good sealant and stays flexible but it can be difficult to peel if you need to unplug the connectors.

Another solution is to tightly wrap 3 layers of tapes.
- First, begin down on the cable (just below the bottom connector), tightly wrap 3M Scotch Super 33 Plus https://goo.gl/3xY7MP electrical tape

- After a few turn, twist the tape so that the sticky side is outside.
- Extend an inch beyond antenna connector/cable assembly.
- Beginning at the bottom, below the electric tape, tightly wrap Scotch 130C tape https://goo.gl/WvBGAX

- Cut the tape above the last layer of the electric tape. Then, mold the 130C tape around the connection with your fingers.
- Beginning down the 130C tape, tightly wrap another layer of 3M Scotch Super 33 Plus electrical tape.

The three layers make a good sealant easy to remove.

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