How to test coax cable?

Posted on: June 07,2022

How to test coax cable?



Do you know what the most common material used in networking is? Coax cables can be found for almost every type of network there is- cable, internet, and satellite. You'll find them inside many rooms of businesses and homes.


This cable is responsible for transmitting data from one point to another with great accuracy. Coaxial Cable is used in all sorts of electronic devices, especially computers and telephones. All parts need this particular kind of wire for proper function, so it's often seen being sent out to homes across the country to connect them to corporate servers or connections elsewhere through computers.


When it comes to watching videos or listening to music on your favorite devices, there's nothing worse than hearing staticky noises and experiencing pixelated images. While you may want a fancy new television or other cutting-edge technology at home, this equipment will only be disappointing if its wiring isn't installed properly. Give cables a thorough inspection right away whenever you experience glitches in internet speed or problems with image quality.

1. How to test coax cable with a multimeter



The Coax Cable testing procedure is an easy one to do and you can do it at home. With a multimeter, you'll be able to check for continuity and see how much current it has (or doesn't). If your cable has continuity, then that means it's working fine and there isn't anything wrong with it. 


On the other hand, if there's no spark when trying to test for the contact between two metal wires--like what happens in this situation--then the wire is broken somewhere and needs repair or replacement. To measure how strong your cable is, all you need is a simple digital signal meter- it's called continuity in these situations.


The best way to check for continuity when testing coaxial cables is by using a digital multimeter. Testing for continuity on coaxial cables can be done in the following steps:


  1. Test your coaxial cable for proper connection by disconnecting it from all attachments. This includes disconnecting the cord from the TV, camera, or other cables near where the cord is plugged in.


  1. When you attach the tip of your coaxial cable to an external source, touch one probe of the multimeter to where it meets a metallic part. Touch the other probe of the multimeter to where it meets the center wire or core. You're looking for a readout close to zero ohms - if it's above zero, then you may need someone else's help fixing this.


Get a reading greater than zero? Then, your coax cable needs to be fixed - or replaced. This reading is telling you that something has interrupted the signal from ever making it there in time.

2. How to test coax cable without a multimeter


There are many methods for testing coaxial cables that don't involve a meter.


TESTING COAX CABLE WITH OHMMETER


You could measure how much resistance the circuit has with an ohmmeter. Connect the ohmmeter to the cable. If it's working, there should be a low-to-moderate resistance reading of 75-100ohms. If the reading is outside of this range, it may be time to replace your cables.

TESTING COAX CABLE WITH CONTINUITY TESTER



Coax cables are the backbone of many data transmission systems in modern times. When it comes to finding out whether your cables are wearing down or breaking, a continuity tester is one of the best tools you can use to check. In order to carry out such an inspection, all you need is a coax cable and continuity tester.


First, set up the alligator clip on the continuity tester so it can make contact with one of the exposed wires at one end of the coax cable. Then, touch the continuity tester's tip to the other exposed wire on the end of your coaxial cable.


The continuity tester will make an audible beeping sound if it detects continuity; if it doesn't detect continuity, the device will remain silent.

TESTING COAX CABLE WITH COAX CABLE TESTER


To test the cable, first ensure that the power is turned off to the device you want it to transmit through. Attach one end of the coaxial cable to the input at the testing device and attach the other end to the output on it. Power up the device and see if you have a strong connection.


Signal too weak? Try moving the cable to find a better connection. If you are still facing trouble with a good signal, there may be an issue with the coaxial cable. Try testing your connections by unplugging one end of the cord from the probe and plugging it into the device directly. If the signal is still low, then there may be a cable issue.

                                                             NF-858C


Whenever the signal is strong, it could be that there's something wrong with the tester. Give another coax cable a try and see if you'll get better results.


What are some common problems of Coaxial Cable?


As far as cables go, coaxial cable is more likely to become damaged than most. But, many audio professionals are still using it like an ordinary wire - even though they know it can't last if they do so. 


Coaxial cables are different from power cords and CAT5 because they need to be handled differently in order to endure. In fact, they should never be used near water or other liquids or chemicals; otherwise, expect them to fry and die sooner rather than later.


Water Damage


No matter how careful you think you are, coax cables always end up getting wet. Waterlogged coax will produce altered electrical characteristics which may render them useless or make them weird in some way. 


It is worth mentioning though, that even if the connectors are well-covered by rubber seals and its seal tightly compressed, there could still be small gaps where water could enter. So please be careful never to leave your coax cables outside when it rains and never submerge them in water for too long at once.


Heat Damage


It is well-known among electrical engineers that materials such as Polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride are used for insulation. These materials have very low melting points (around 150° Fahrenheit) and will start to become soft if exposed to long periods of lower heat. 


But when it comes to higher heat levels, these plastics emit toxic fumes that can lead to injury or even death. When this happens, the position of the center conductor in relation to the shielding can change because these hot plastic materials might start to soften up around this area. 


Once this happens, the signal cannot make it past this point because there won't be any more connection made between all wires needed for this process to work; meaning coaxial cables should stay away from sources of intense heat such as stage lights or electric radiators - since sometimes even tight bends might cause wire connections to break off completely when left outside for extended amounts of time in hotter climates.


Connector Damage


There are many reasons why one may experience problems with cable connections. Depending on the severity of the problem, there are different ways to fix it. When a cable is terminated incorrectly or not at all, this could cause problems such as insufficient wiring termination where there needs to be insulation between wires due to voltage which causes connection issues when mating cords, and dirty connections may affect reliability. 


A silver-plated connector is considered tarnished when oxidation takes place due to moisture buildup and when exposed to sulfur compounds they form copper sulfides which can lead to producing hazardous gases during vaporization (such as hydrogen sulfide). This type of oxidation reduces electrical conductivity through the copper core of an element because copper oxide conducts poorly.

TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR COAX CABLES

Coax cables are vulnerable to a range of problems, from damage and lack of insulation to infiltration from water.


To prolong the life of your coax cable and decrease the chance for it to malfunction, follow these simple steps:


  • Regularly clean the connections with a soft cloth - never any harsh chemicals or solvents.

  • Take a quick look at the cable for any physical damage, like cracks in the outer jacket or kinks on it. If you find some kind of issue, then replace the damaged cable immediately.

  • In order for your system to function properly, you need to seal off all the connectors from water infiltration.

  • To keep your coax cables safe for storage, use an anti-static bag so they don't become damaged.


Extend the life of your coax cables with these easy-to-follow tips.

CONCLUSION

In this article, we will guide you through a few simple steps for checking if your coaxial cables are transmitting properly or not. Though the best way to tell is by using a multimeter, we hope these steps can help you determine whether there is an issue with your cable or not.