Working with RG-11 coax with gel inside

Golay

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Someone gave me a spool of RG-11 CATV direct burial coax. CommScope F1177TSEF from what the jacket says. So I was going to use this for a couple of scanners, maybe a sw receiver, whatever. Although I'm not ready to run it, I cut off a couple of feet, and started to strip it back just to see how a connector would go on there. Just putzing around. Anyway, there is some sort of gel between the shield and the aluminum wrap. Quite the resilient type of stuff. Even with Dawn dish soap and hot water, don't really want to come off my hands.

So to all you cable tv installers out there, how do you put connectors on this sort of cable, without getting the sticky stuff all over you and the connector?
My first thought was some sort of cable wash. Would it do any harm if, after I had the jacket off, I washed it off with something like CRC's Cable Clean?
Would the CRC wash it off? I'm pondering if the wash may wick up the shield under the jacket.
If it did that, would the cable wash just dry up, not to be worried about?

If this isn't the way you do it, what do you do?

Thanks.
 

mmckenna

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That water displacing gel is often called "Ickypik" and is used in the telephone industry. It basically keeps the water from getting in.
As you discovered, it gets all over your tools, hands, clothes, anything you touch, all over the inside of your truck, etc.

HydraSol or D-Gel are the products we use at work. We have gallon containers of it and use it when prepping cable and for cleaning off tools.
I've also found that Simple Green wipes work well too.

https://www.polywater.com/product/hydrasol-cable-gel-remover/

PT TECHNOLOGIES D-GEL CABLE GAL - this one is a citrus based cleaner, and you may be able to find something similar at a hardware store.
 

mmckenna

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Thanks mmckenna. I'll get some of that stuff.
Good score on the cable.

What I can tell you is that when it gets warm the ickypik will start flowing. That means it will likely flow from your antenna (up high) to your radio (down low) and slowly and make a real mess if you don't prep everything right.
On the telephone side, "outside" cables that have the ickypik are terminated when they come out of the ground into a building in a splice case, and transition to a non-filled cable to the termination blocks. (there is usually lightning protectors as part of this). We had a few sites that were done long ago and the installers just punched down the cable directly. Over time the ickypik leaks out of the cable and makes a huge mess.

So, a good plan is to either terminate the filled RG-11 outside and transition to a non-filled cable, or seal all connections, even inside, so the creamy filling doesn't go all over. With F connectors, it's hard to seal the center, so a male F connector to a F female - F female barrel connector with heat shrink over it can help.

Any time I'm working with filled cable, I always make sure I've got at least a half hour at the end to just clean tools.
 

chill30240

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That water displacing gel is often called "Ickypik" and is used in the telephone industry. It basically keeps the water from getting in.
As you discovered, it gets all over your tools, hands, clothes, anything you touch, all over the inside of your truck, etc.

HydraSol or D-Gel are the products we use at work. We have gallon containers of it and use it when prepping cable and for cleaning off tools.
I've also found that Simple Green wipes work well too.

https://www.polywater.com/product/hydrasol-cable-gel-remover/

PT TECHNOLOGIES D-GEL CABLE GAL - this one is a citrus based cleaner, and you may be able to find something similar at a hardware store.
Goo gone works wonders to. I work for a fiber construction company and our fiber splicers use goo gone to clean the gel from the tubes. I know it's not quite the same as the same goo as found in coax both drop and hardline CATV cables. I spent 25 years at Charter and we used to use goo gone there to clean the shield on the hard line before we cored for the connector. Besides its cheaper.
 

mmckenna

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Goo gone works wonders to. I work for a fiber construction company and our fiber splicers use goo gone to clean the gel from the tubes. I know it's not quite the same as the same goo as found in coax both drop and hardline CATV cables. I spent 25 years at Charter and we used to use goo gone there to clean the shield on the hard line before we cored for the connector. Besides its cheaper.
Yeah, exactly. It's the citrus based cleaners like the d-Gel. I've found that Simple Green hand wipes work passably, too. I usually have a bucket of those in my truck anyway.
 

Golay

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Apr 28, 2016
Messages
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Location
Nankin Township, Michigan
Good score on the cable.

What I can tell you is that when it gets warm the ickypik will start flowing. That means it will likely flow from your antenna (up high) to your radio (down low) and slowly and make a real mess if you don't prep everything right.
On the telephone side, "outside" cables that have the ickypik are terminated when they come out of the ground into a building in a splice case, and transition to a non-filled cable to the termination blocks. (there is usually lightning protectors as part of this). We had a few sites that were done long ago and the installers just punched down the cable directly. Over time the ickypik leaks out of the cable and makes a huge mess.

So, a good plan is to either terminate the filled RG-11 outside and transition to a non-filled cable, or seal all connections, even inside, so the creamy filling doesn't go all over. With F connectors, it's hard to seal the center, so a male F connector to a F female - F female barrel connector with heat shrink over it can help.

Any time I'm working with filled cable, I always make sure I've got at least a half hour at the end to just clean tools.
Thanks for the help.
 

W5lz

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Feb 28, 2019
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Only had one 'chunk' of it, don't want any more! Honestly don't remember where that 'chunk' came from, I didn't specifically get it. Think it was a 'give-away' thingy, and now I know why.
 

chill30240

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Location
West Georgia
That gel inside is a sealer that will weep out to seal any minor damage to the jacket. What you wound up with is for underground use any way. That gel or "elephant snot" as we used to call it in the cable TV world would run down all over the connectors if someone would use it vertically on a building when it got warm. That crap was the biggest mess and was hell trying to remove it from clothes.
 
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