Coaxial cables have been in use for quite a long time, and they once served as data cables. This was before the entry of STP (Shielded Twisted Pair), and UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cables with the RJ45 and RJ11 connections. Instead of becoming obsolete, the special connectors that they once utilized have seen more uses than ever especially after the emergence of security surveillance – the BNC connectors.
Apart from the RF (Radio Frequency) applications, the security camera system needs cabling that connects to terminals via the right BNC connectors that we are going to review below. Most failures of these cameras result from poor connections that get affected by external factors such as changing weather conditions. To ensure longevity and sustainable performance, you need feasible BNC connectors with the appropriate connector tool for that to happen.
Varying types of cables also needs the appropriate connectors for them to work effectively. The RG59 coaxial cable has found its way in most camera systems. Other models are used for home TV connection and aerospace communication. The main issue here and that is what the reviews and guide are going to address is the BNC connectors that you are going to use for home and business related connections since there, CCTV, video, and television applications are in abundance.
BNC Connectors Comparison Table
|BNC Male Compression Coax Connectors||Compression connector||RG59||75 ohms|
|HDView Male BNC Compression Connector||Compression connector||RG59||Not specified|
|Universal BNC Compression Connector by Klein Tools||Compression connector||RG59, RG6, RGQ6||75 ohms|
|BNC Connector – Coupler BNC Female to Female||Coupling connector||All compatible coaxial cables||Not specified|
|WildHD BNC Barrel Connector and BNC Female to Female Coupler Adapter||Coupling connector||RG6||75 ohms|
BNC Connector Tools Table
|Connector tool name||Used for||Dimensions||Weight|
|Etekcity Multifunctional Compression Connector Adjustable Deluxe Tool||Crimping and compressing/BNC, F, RCA, RG58, RG59, RG6||9.6 x 2.9 x 1 inches||15.8 ounces|
|Radial Coaxial Cable Stripper, Crimper, Punchdown Klein Tool||Cable stripping/RG59, RG6, RG6Q||1.5 x 3.8 x 9.6 inches||0.8 ounces|
|BAMF Complete Adjustable Compression Tool||Compressing/all compatible connectors||10.6 x 4 x 1 inches||14.4 ounces|
BNC Connectors’ Product Reviews
Here, we start with a BNC male connector that is all metal-rounded with nickel plating it to prevent corrosion. That is the first feature that this BNC Male Compression Coax connector has to avoid corrosive weather conditions. Now, you get 100 pieces from the package which the manufacturer boasts to be easy to use than the traditional crimp BNC connectors.
While that might be true, this BNC compression connector needs the right stripping tool for the cable and connector that fits the modern make. Customers who have used them have to push the wire jacket at the rear of the male connector for a better hold. That is much harder than pulling the PVC cable cover outward and preventing it from pushing in a tight rear hole.
The good thing about it is that you don’t have to deal with the center pin that connects to the conducting wire since it’s already installed. That is the easy part. After a proper connection to your RG59 coaxial cable, you get a secure connection that cannot be unplugged by pulling and it’s also waterproof if the wire is going to an exposed area. To get you the best RF, it uses a 360-degree radial compression.
If you are asking about the impedance, this is a 75 ohms connector that goes with a frequency of 0.3MHz to 3GHz. The only thing with these connectors is that you need the right tool to get it right and prevent damage before knowing how to use them if you are used to older models.
What customers say
“If you have been working with the crimp and compression connectors, then you note the hardness and simplicity of using these male connectors. You have to push the wire with the jacket on it into the rear black-painted part which is quite the opposite to what I’m used to – the back not connecting to the jacket, and I don’t need to strain to push anything to fit in with the help of a screwdriver. The center pin comes installed so you don’t have to deal with that and that’s great. I found the Home Depot wire stripper better for these connectors since the wire does not protrude at the front. I’m glad that the pieces were many so I will continue trying out to see the best mechanism.”
- Modern design with the center pin included
- Weatherproof connection
- Tight connection after installation
- Wire fitting can be problematic
- You need specialized tools if you are used to previous models
Another BNC cable connector of the compression type is the HDView Male BNC Compression connector that suits RG59 cables in camera DVRs. That means you can use these connectors if you are using multiple cameras, all recording movements and videos. They are an upgrade from the traditional hex crimp connectors just like the above model.
The ease of use requires you to use the RG59 compression tool. It will allow you to cut the center conductor in your cable to about ¼-3/8 inches depending on your instructor and the shield to ¼ inch. Otherwise, there is some struggle in using these connectors if you don’t get it right from the YouTube video sources.
They are made for inner and outer environmental conditions as the coating makes them resistant to corrosion. Some customers advise on using packing tape to secure them if they are outside, naked in the air to guarantee longevity before repair. Furthermore, you need to make sure that the installation is once for an extended period.
Each pack comes with ten pieces which suit those who are not surveying a large area.
What customers say
“They are good pieces to fix the coaxial cables and will work perfectly if you get it right. If you use the tool dedicated to RG59 cables, you will be able to cut the conductor and shield using precise measurements and no too much struggle. Many videos will give you different views, but the conductor should be long enough to go inside the installed pin for proper contact. The conducting wire goes inside to the end where you are supposed to twist and lock to form the male connector. Make sure that you get a good pin lock for proper conductor contact. Otherwise, you may have to fix it.”
- Work well with RG59 cables
- Suitable for camera DVRs
- You have to use the RG59 compression tool
- You need the right instructions to use them as you install
Here is a superb BNC male connector that has the patented universal sleeve technology to make your connections faster and secure. You have the option of using these male connectors with RG6 and RG59 cables, so that depends on what is at your disposal. Using it means making use of the included ‘windows’ in the sleeve to help you in proper seating of the conducting wire.
They come specified for 75 ohms impedance use, and the nickel plating on top of the inner steel construction makes the connectors suitable for outside use. If you need to secure them more, then use an electric or packing tape to cover them. Also, if you are using plenum cables, those that are airtight, you will find these connectors coming in handy.
Some of us are asking if the connector can work with a stranded conductor. While the connector is made to go with the specified cable types, stranded ends need you to solder at the top to get a unified front that will make it easy to connect to the center pin. The pin comes already installed, so you don’t have to fix it like the traditional models.
If you are using a tester to make sure the connections are okay, these will abide by the rules to tell you if the link is open or short which calls for rectification.
What customers say
“These are expensive connectors from Klein, but once you hold them, you feel the value for money. The steel construction is solid, and the nickel plating makes them suitable for outside use. When compressing, the end pushes over the red rings, and you’ll hear a snap sound that tells you it’s all right now. If you follow the instructions included in the stripping cable box, everything should be okay once you finish the installation. The only flaw is that at times, the conducting center pin does not want to go in. When this becomes an issue, pull the cable backward and make sure the conducting wire is straight. That will make it easier to correct that trying to push the cable in.”
- Solid steel construction
- Nickel plating for outside use
- Connects with RG59 and RG6 cables
- Patented windows to help you view the wire insertion
- Quite expensive
- Insertion problems if you have stranded wire ends
Now, at times, you need to connect two cables whenever you need to extend the length or maybe change the gender between devices. That is the work of this BNC connector that acts as a female to female connector. To make sure it works as advertised, the designers have passed them through rigorous testing to ensure that the quality meets the expectations.
If you are still wondering how it works, this BNC connector adapter can help you connect between two devices containing BNC male connectors. Most of us will find it useful in connecting two cables with male connectors at their ends for extension purposes or when you need them to change the gender.
For durability, the coupling connector is coated with nickel to decrease the corrosion effect but adding tape on it makes it much better. If you are looking for something to extend or use in CCTV surveillance, the six pieces per package will come in handy. Instructions direct you to connect one male connector at each end, and you are good to go.
For more protection, the manufacturer includes a one year warranty for any issues that may arise as you use with no questions asked. They are also compatible with RG59 and RG6 cables for those who might be confused about where to use them.
What customers say
“I bought these to extend a cable. Once they arrived, I decided to leave them in the package for a while, and they stayed put in the ziplock bag. After using them, no connection was lost despite the DIY extending task, and I like the fact that their small size makes them almost unnoticeable. Recommendable.”
- Female to female connectors for male ended cables
- Can be used to extend cables
- Zero lost connection when adequately used
- Suitable packaging when you need to keep them
- Can only be used to either change the gender or extend wires. No linking to terminal ends
Here is another pack of BNC connector female that enables you to extend the cables or change the gender at some point just like the above designs. The difference between the WildHD and the previously reviewed connectors is that you get 20 pieces, all female to female connectors.
The connectors are metallic with the silver coating at the top giving them a shiny appearance. When you need to switch the cameras for CCTV surveillance or adjust how they work, if you are going to touch the cable in a bid to extend it, these can be used on prefabricated cabling. A good example is if you are restructuring with coax, twin-ax and tri-ax wiring, you can run the cables to a central point, use these connectors to connect the length that will later go to the DVR.
After using them to adjust, they do not affect the resolution as long as you are using the right cables with the proper connection. At times, you may also require to use them on cables with different lengths but still deliver some quality video surveillance. You can use them on different lengths as long as you meet the connecting specifications. You also need to note the impedance, which is 75 ohms for the correct use.
Now, there are situations where you have to install the cable in tricky areas such as in the attic. This can be a super-heated area when it’s sunny, and the question is, can the barrel connectors survive under heated conditions? The answer is yes as long as the connectors are not in contact with any other conductor that can receive and conduct heat and the heat is not directly subjected to the connection point.
What customer say
“These female connectors are solid after attachment, and they made me realize much more about extending that I was not aware of. I was using them to reposition my cameras without having to bring in a new cable, and they helped me cut down the cost as intended. I will be recommending them soon to a friend who is working on their system.”
- Female connectors for cable extension
- Metallic construction good for durability
- Can be used on a variety of cables
- The silver coating may not be ideal for outside use. Need proper taping if it’s going outside
BNC Connector Tools to Accompany the Connectors
Now that we have seen some of the BNC connectors to utilize when installing CCTV cameras and going all the way to your stations, what else do we need when connecting?
As we reviewed them above, we noted that some tools come in handy when stripping the wire PVC jackets and crimping the connectors together with the naked conductor parts for a reliable connection.
Here are some tools which will function as strippers, crimpers and wire cutters when the need arises.
Our first BNC cable connector tool is the Etekcity Multifunctional compression connector which features a sophisticated design to pave the way for more than one function.
It comes in a rugged design with a dark coating that is responsible for keeping it durable for continued heavy use. The handles are yellow in color but durable too, so there is no problem on that. To make it function, this elegant tool will enable you to work on three different types of cable adapters which include the RCA, F, and BNC. Now, the diagram at the back of the package may illustrate how to use it well, but that may not be enough.
First, you can use it to cut off the insulation which is always the starting point. After peeling off to get to the inner insulator, strip off the inner part to get to the center conductor which is supposed to go in the pin. That will take about ¼-3/8-inch squeeze and roll. You also need to make sure that the compression distance is optimal for a smooth compress instead of shattering the connector.
Also included is the built-in cable cutter that you will deploy in the first step to cut the coaxial insulation with ease. On the other hand, remember to peel it off after cutting since the tool may not do that correctly. The lever tool uses double springs for effective elasticity as you squeeze. When not in use, there is a black string on one of the handles to hold on the other by making it go round and secure both handles.
For those of us asking which cable you can work on with this connector tool, it can be used on multiple types of coaxial cables and connectors since it’s made to be versatile.
What customers say
“If you don’t know how to use this tool, there are some instructions at the back of the package to give you an idea of should happen. Otherwise, it is a superb tool that you can use on almost all cables once you land in the right directions. I use it to connect the RG6 cables, and simple instructions from one of the reviews helped me a lot. It is simple and straightforward to use, but I wish it had some precise guidelines on how to go about it. Be aware that you need the connector to be further away from the cable before compressing since getting it close to the cable will squeeze it into halves. If it were able to slide the connector on the cable and compress at the same time, the tool would serve much better.”
- Three in one functionality
- Solid construction
- Includes cable cutter
- Works on most cables and connectors
- No illustrative instructions on how to use it
Klein tools have been around for years, giving you the best tools to simplify your work. Here is a Radial Coaxial cable stripper and crimper that can be used on a variety of cables dedicated to voice, video and data applications. It comes with the ability to measure the sliding depth and also give variable stripping options.
Since it is a tool to be used on cables, you can comfortably use it on RG6Q, RG6, and RG59 coaxial cables. To do this, it uses the 2-level coaxial/stripping which is all done at once, with measurements going 5/16 and ¼ inch for the outer and inner levels measurements respectively. That is approximately 7.9mm and 6.4mm for the fractions.
To assist you in cutting off, the blades are made of sharpened carbon-steel which is one of the hard metals. With this, you can use the stop to adjust the different cable diameters for that accuracy you are looking for when stripping. When done correctly, you get a nice length for the center conductor before crimping the BNC connectors. At the back, there is a small loop that is suitable for rotational movements while in use. The bright yellow color was put on it for a purpose – to make it visible even from a far distance. That helps if you have a lot in mind and looking forward to the faster completion of the installation at hand.
What customers say
“This is the best tool I have landed on in years. I’m used to RG6 cables, and this one offered more than a hand. If you are using such cables to connect to the existing ones or attaching them to the TV installation panel, this tool will help you cut the wire precisely and get a good conductor length that will enable you to place the connectors for proper crimping. It may not be the only tool you need but having it amongst your collection is a worthy investment.”
- 2-level cable preparation and stripping
- Adjustable coaxial stripping with a sliding depth gauge
- Quality cutting blades
- You need the right instructions to use it properly
The last tool here is a heavy one, and it has multiple functions that will make you consider it as opposed to many devices for the same job. This BNC connector tool comes with features aimed at saving your time and space. The combination of a head on a swivel gives you triple rotation specification that works together with the interchangeable block to make a 3-in-1 tool. That is how it saves your space and having to invest in more than one instrument.
The BAMF Complete Adjustable Compression Tool can be adjusted to fit a wider variety of cables as long as you are using the compression connectors. So, for those of us asking if you can use it on PL-259 coaxial cables, the answer is yes if the connectors are not crimped style. You can use it on F, composite or RCA connectors with no problem at all since it is adjustable for these forms of installations. It is also possible to use it on the ¼ turn connectors.
The handle is made to move on demand which means it will stay in position as opposed to springing back to a standing position when you are done with fitting and compressing. One of the flaws that most of us will not enjoy while using this BNC cable connector is the heaviness out of the heavy duty materials. It feels solid and sturdy for long time use and multiple working, but it would suit you better if it was used once in a while and not almost daily use. The carrying weight is too much for that. On the other hand, the construction is what enables its users to compress the connectors with ease when compared to the competing substitutes.
Whether you are in the field of more challenges or using it a few times, this is a tool for all the amateurs and professionals in the related installation field. Once you get it, you are allowed to use it for the first 60 days as a trial period to see if suits your realm. If you are not satisfied with what it does, the 60 days is a period of money back guarantee with no questions asked. It also comes with a one year warranty for any issues that might arise along the way.
One more thing, if you are confused on how to use, the manufacturer tackles that by sending a pdf full of instructions to guide you through via your email. That’s cool with the current technology.
What customers say
“This is a tool that was made by a genius for more bnc connections. The use of the head on a swivel allows you to use the tool more than once for different purposes and it allows me not to carry many tools. Furthermore, it’s a heavy item so, you don’t need to carry much when you have it. Due to the heaviness, I recommend it to all DIY users as opposed to daily users unless you have the energy to carry it whenever you need to. The removable piece has the labels for which head to use depending on what you want to do. That is why you don’t need to memorize it. The manufacturer arms you with instructions via the email so, the manual part is sorted out. Overall, it is worth your investment.”
- Multiple functionalities
- Sturdy and solid construction
- Minimizes the cost of buying more tools
- Instruction manual sent via email
- It’s heavy
BNC Connector and Tools Buying Guide
We have gone through some of the BNC connectors to look for when you need them as some of the materials for home TV installation and CCTV surveillance. We have majored on security cameras since this is where you will see ample bnc applications. Now, here is a guide to tell you more about the connectors and some of the common mistakes you should avoid when installing.
BNC Connectors’ Main Use
For those of us who are asking what is a bnc connector, it stands for Bayonet Neill Concelman connector and some experts like to call it the British Naval Connector. It is used on coaxial cables which we have mentioned throughout the article and the connection makes use of a male and female connectors. For them to mate and transmit, they need to achieve a quarter turn.
As we said above, the security surveillance systems are the primary users of these connectors today. They provide the connection between the cameras on our outlets, corridors and streets and the CCTV DVR system. Most of the time, you will see people specifying coaxial cables such as RG59. Other types of cables come in handy such as the RG6 and RGQ6 among others.
As for the DVRs and cameras, they are both have the bnc connector female ends where the bnc male connector on the cables will use to join the cameras and the system. Once you work on the bnc connectors on the wire and attach them to the cameras, the other end with male bnc will go to the DVR. All bnc connectors lock to connect to another part to create a reliable connection.
Apart from CCTV, you will also find them on TV and radio applications not to mention what the aerial communicators use on airplanes when in the air.
BNC Connector Types
Well, various kinds of bnc connectors are used in different frequencies and impedance. First, before we go to what to use on different types of cables, the main difference between bnc connectors is the impedance needed. They are divided into two categories of 50 ohms and 75-ohm connectors. The dimensions used on both are different, but that does not block them from mating if needed. As for the 75-ohm connector, they use a frequency of 2GHz, and you will find them on VHF connections. If you want the 50-ohm connectors, they require a rate of 4GHz, and they go to RF and data applications.
What we did not touch are the 95-ohm variants found in the aerospace departments and almost nowhere else. Mostly, you will see them on glass cockpit connections for displaying visuals on the aircrafts.
Now, there are bnc connectors for almost every other coaxial cable you will find or use. What we often use includes the popular RG59, RG6, RGQ6 and RG11 which are all manufactured under plenum or non-plenum specifications. With that, it means that you have to select connectors that suit either both cable forms. For non-plenum types, you get them in homes and riser buildings. Plenum types contain more protection since they are made to be airtight. In contrast to the PVC jacket used on non-plenum types, the plenum types use a particular protection measure that restricts the inner parts from burning out and releasing harmful chemicals in the air.
What you need to know is that you need the right connector for the cable you are using. Various bnc connectors are designed to integrate with the different types of cable covering. This means that if you don’t have the right connectors, you end up with the wrong connections which will eventually fail when it is time to test.
Crimp vs. compression bnc connectors
These are the types that you will quickly find in the market. The words ‘compression’ and ‘crimp’ imply the mechanism used in terminating the cables to have a fixed connection. Crimp style was majorly used back in the day, and the protocol involved crushing the sleeve over the cable. It is a kind of deformation of the metallic connector which forces it to bind with the cable. The flaw with crimp connectors is that they do not entirely protect the cable’s connection against the external environment.
That is where the bnc compression connectors come in – to solve the protection problem. This is the modern type of terminating the cables where the connectors clamp all-round the cable, giving it 360-degree protection. That means there no little penetration for cold, dust and heat. They also deliver 60 pounds of force, and that gives you a connection to rely on for the next few years. The flaw with compression types is that they are more expensive than crimp styles but with the excellent connection they give, you would better vouch for that.
What You Need to Know Before Buying Bnc Connectors and Tools
The cables you are using are what will determine what you are going to connect with on both ends. After choosing your cable wisely, then you will know which bnc connector to go for. Most people will prefer the bnc compression connector due to the ultimate protection it gives our cables. If that is what you will use, then you need a proper stripper and a compression tool to terminate the connector after stripping is done. As for the crimp connectors, you still need s cable stripper but what you choose, again, should concur with your cable requirements in addition to getting the proper crimping tool.
All cables come with their specifications which include the types of connectors that they can utilize. Always take your time to read the directions on the box, manual or the PVC jacket covering the cables. It’s only after that you can know which connectors to buy and what to avoid.
All brands that design bnc connectors also deploy the right tools to use with those connectors. On the other hand, there are universal bnc connector tools that will accommodate some connectors from different brands. If this is your hustle, then you can look at some of the tools that we have reviewed above to get an idea of what you can add. If your connectors strictly specify particular compression, crimp or stripping tools, then you need to collaborate with what they say for a long lasting termination.
BNC connectors are just a part of the entire connection, be it the home TV or a CCTV system. However, if you don’t get it right the first, time, you’ll have to go back and do it correctly so, it’s vital to get the appropriate connectors for your cables. It becomes easy when you get tools and connectors that can work with the cable you have.
The main advice here is to perform some research and purchase using an informed decision.
What Connection Mistakes Do You Need to Be Aware of?
Now, with all the videos out there showing you how to install bnc connectors, it is clear that everyone with a DIY idea on how to fix them will air it out. Some will work for you while others might not work but what happens when you incorporate bad ideas which lead to having to revisit them? Labor, time and resources are squandered in the process not to mention the frustration.
At times, you get everything right, but the resulting system performance is not up to per. Here are some mistakes that you need to know about in a bid to improve the results and help you avoid making mistakes in the first place.
Choosing a wrong connector
Do not use a non-plenum cable to connect a bnc connector that supports plenum cables and vice versa. Also, it is not wise to use a connector meant for RG6 cables on RG59 cables unless they support both. Check your cable specifications to get it right the first time.
The wrong bandwidth
It is advisable to always check the frequency that your cables are using before deciding on the connector. Regardless of the brand, you either get a 50-ohm or a 75-ohm for the usual use, and they all need varying frequency. If you are using a 4GHz cable, then it is better when you selected a bnc connector that allows 50 ohms of impedance. For 2GHz cables, the call for the 75-ohm connectors and you will find that on VHFs and RFs.
Disregarding compression connectors
Most of the veterans will go for the crimp style, but that is old school now. With the emergence of compression connectors, you get more protection on the latter than the prior. BNC compression connectors surround the cable to give 360-degree intactness, and that is a guarantee for cable longevity as it transports the views to your station.
For the best performance, always consider value for money which means what you get after purchasing.
The wrong stripping tool
Most strippers advise you to go 1/4-inch thick, but others will need up to 3/8 inches. If you are using the wrong tool, then your cable will not fit correctly with the connector or not at all. It is a good idea to check cable specifications for the right stripping.
If the tool is not sharp, then the center conductor will have some interruptions. You might get the braid going around the conductor, and that is not a good thing for ultimate performance. If the braids also hang outside the connector, that will pave the way for moisture.
Using knives and razors for stripping or over-twisting using the tool
The strip tool will require three rotations, clockwise and anticlockwise for proper stripping. More rotations make the center conductor vulnerable to destruction.
Pulling too hard when testing
Make sure the way you are pulling the cable does not increase the tension on the connectors. Too much pull may also cause lower performance since the pressure to stay intact is too much.
Not pushing the center pin into the conductor
Some bnc connectors that we have reviewed have some problem when it comes to inserting the wire into the pin. The connectors come with pre-installed pins which are opposed to the traditional method. So, make sure you have the right distance for you conductor to get to the pin. If you are required to push beyond for assurance, make a point of doing so as you look at other instructions. If you don’t squeeze the wire far enough for a better pin grabbing, the connection may not work, or you end up getting poor results.
Check before Install BNC Connector
Now that you have the bnc connectors you need for your cables and the tools to utilize, it is essential that you check your requirements and where you live before installation. First, home use is more straightforward and not complicated as in business use. Therefore, always check that so that you can spend appropriately and get the right equipment.
One more thing, you need the right instructions to use on every connector since brands have gone ahead to differentiate them. On the other hand, there are common things that all bnc connectors share as we have seen above.
Are we missing something about bnc connections? Feel free to comment below, and we will be glad to share your views.