Televes amplifiers stand apart in the quality of workmanship and the different ways they can be configured. There isn’t any other line of amps that combine LTE filtering, adjustable DC blocking, and variable padding. One of the key features of this amplifier line is that they connect to RG6 cables without the use of F connectors. This cuts down on insertion loss and makes for a more secure and weatherproof connection than would otherwise be possible. The Easy F connection system is just like it says — easy — once you know how to do it.
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What you’ll need
The only tool you’ll need, besides RG6 cable and the amplifier itself, is a cable cutter. You can use almost any cable cutter, but the Televes 2162 was used here because it does the exact job required, because it’s fairly priced and because, hey, we’re promoting Televes products here. This is a compact, general purpose cable cutter that can be used for satellite or antenna use and is adaptable to many different thicknesses of cable.
The cutter has a spring-loaded latch and when open, you’ll see that there are markings to help you measure the correct amount of cable to put in the cutter.
There are two cutting surfaces on the cutter, labeled “A” and “B” and you can see that the “A” side (bottom picture) has a bigger gap. This side cuts the outer sheath of the cable and the “B” side cuts the dielectric, which is the white foam part of the cable.
Start with a cleanly cut piece of cable. Pretty much any cable cutter will do here, but don’t use needlenose pliers or “dykes” pliers if you can avoid it. A cable cutter with a curved blade will give a clean cut without pinching the cable down. That’s less important with antenna cables than with satellite but it’s still nice to start with a cleanly cut cable, as it makes everything easier.
There are measurement notches in the tool. Lay the cable down so that no more than .75″ of cable sits in the cutter past where the blades are. Close the cutter firmly and it should take no more than one full revolution with the cutter closed to cut the outer sheath.
You want to keep the braid intact. Because you’re connecting this cable directly to the amplifier, the braid makes contact with the amplifier. If it doesn’t (because you’ve cut it off) the cable connection will not work.
As gently as possible, fold the braid over to sit over the rubber sheath. It’s perfectly normal to lose a few little wires during this process, but be as careful as possible. If you cut through the braid while cutting through the sheath, start over with a fresh cut.
The second cut
Put the cable into the other side of the cutter. Here you want to have no more than .3″ between the end of the cable and the blade. A quarter inch is just fine.
Again, close the cutter tightly and make one full rotation. The dielectric should slight right off, leaving you a cable that looks like this:
It’s not important that the braid look perfect, but it is very important that there is enough of it to make good contact with the amplifier. Therefore, it’s best to resist the urge to “groom” the braid too much because the individual wires will break, leaving you with a poor-quality connection. You can use a needlenose to trim excessively long wires if need be.
If the dielectric is covered in foil like the cable you see here, it’s not necessary to remove it.
Making the connection
This is a view of the Televes 536040 Mast Amplifier. It’s a general-purpose, 25dB amplifier that also combines two antenna feeds. Other mast-mounted amplifiers are very similar in the way they look.
With one of the hinges raised you can see how the cable goes in. You don’t have to raise the hinge all the way if you don’t want to. Just unscrew it enough so that the cable goes in smoothly.
The center conductor of the cable goes into the center hole you see there (surrounded by white plastic.) The braid makes contact with the metal surface of the amplfier.
Tighten down the screw to the point where the cable won’t come out, but not so tightly that you significantly pinch it. It probably will not tighten down all the way and that’s just fine.
If you need to attach multiple cables, you can put them in at the same time and then tighten down the screw only once.
That’s all it takes to attach a coaxial cable to a Televes amplifier. If you are getting absolutely no reception, it generally means the cable isn’t put in tightly enough or the amplifier isn’t receiving power. Check all your connections and make sure there’s enough exposed braid to make good contact with the amplifier in all connection.
Here’s a video showing the same process.