How to Unscrew a Coaxial Cable From Audiovisual Equipment

Why do they do it? Electronics makers seem to put the cable connection in the tightest little nook possible, so that it is extremely difficult to tighten or loosen. Here's how to get those pesky cables undone.

Steps

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    Face the connection head-on. Reaching around the back of the TV or cable box is going to make disconnection of a cable much more difficult. Turn the equipment in question to face you, if need be.
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    Remember to rotate the connector in a counter-clockwise direction to loosen.
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    Use your hands if at all possible. Tools make it very easy to damage the connection port that is attached to the equipment.
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    If you must use tools, try to find a coaxial cable wrench. This looks something like a 3 to 4 inch (7.6 to 10.2 cm) octagonal pipe with one side missing. The gap allows you to surround the cable and connector entirely, and unscrew the cable with very little mechanical advantage (i.e. it uses less force and is less likely to damage equipment).
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    If you can't find a coax wrench, the next best option is a pair of small slip-joint pliers (i.e. "channel-locks"). Use one to grasp the base of the connector and prevent it from moving while the other is used to unscrew the cable. Use other types of pliers as a last resort.

Tips

  • Your local cable TV service guy should have a coaxial wrench in his toolbox. If you can get the cable company there to help you, that may be your best option if your fingers won't cut it.
  • Rule out other problems before taking drastic measures. Check all other connections, test other devices to be sure they have similar issues, etc.
  • When installing equipment, the connections need to be tight, but do not overtighten them. This will prevent damage in the first place, and save headaches later.

Warnings

  • If you do decide to open equipment to perform repairs, let it sit for at least a day before opening. Televisions, especially, have capacitors that will hold a charge for many hours, and it can kill you if discharged into your body.
  • Excessive force will damage the connector, and short of opening the equipment and soldering it back on, there's no way to fix it on your own.

Article Info

Categories: Cabling and Wiring Connection