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Tech How-to: Removing A Coaxial Cable Terminator Lock

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I have a few splitters left behind from the cable TV service we had years ago. Recently, the oppressive summer heat got us rethinking our living and work spaces at home, so now we have two TVs in the same room.

With this new setup, I wanted to see if a single antenna feed could be split between those two TVs, but the only 2x1 splitter we happened to have around had a coaxial lock on one of the connectors. Anyone reading this is probably experiencing the same thing but, just in case, the inner cuff just spins and spins if you try to remove this type of lock. Also, if you'd prefer a video tutorial, you can find one at the bottom of the page here.

coaxial cable lock on a digital splitter - photo by KilmerMedia

Continuing on, the telecom companies have a special tool to install or remove these locks, but you know there’s always a workaround! One guy on YouTube shoved a variety of hex keys into the barrel, then squeezed superglue in there. Don't do that!

Looking inside the barrel, I noticed two small slots, which are where the aforementioned cable company's specialty tool connects so they can turn the mechanism… When you see one of those slots, grab a small, solid flathead screwdriver, stick it in there, and turn.

looking down the barrel of a coaxial cable lock installed on a cable splitter - photo by KilmerMedia

If that doesn't do the trick, you might be able to use a wire cutter to snip the end of the lock. Then, cut away enough metal until you can access one of the slots. From there, stick a screwdriver in the slot to start turning the barrel. In this particular case, lining up the tip of a flathead screwdriver with the notch is all it took to remove the coaxial lock.

coaxial cable lock removed from a cable TV splitter - photo by KilmerMedia

And there you have it! Keep in mind, if you have a 3x1 splitter and an unused port, it's best to leave the lock/terminator plug on there. Otherwise, RF signals can spill out and interfere with other devices nearby.


Here's the video tutorial:


"How To: Remove A Coaxial Cable Terminator Lock"

Written by Justin Kilmer

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