Sometimes a cable just isn't long enough to do a job. When that happens, a cable coupler fuses together two cables without soldering or crimping. This small device, usually a metal port or plastic box with two female inputs, takes only a few seconds to use and results in the same uninterrupted connection as a single long cable. Cable couplers come in several styles and often are used in home electronics, sports timers and automobiles.
One of the most commonly used versions is a coaxial cable coupler. Coaxial cables are thick wires with a single metal prong coming out the center, and they often are used with cable television. The simplest style of coaxial coupler is one that allows for a metal pronged male end to be slipped into both female sides of the coupler to connect the two cables together. Another, more secure, coaxial coupler requires each male end to be threaded around a screw-like female end that locks the two cables together tightly. The screw-type of coupler is preferred for coaxial cables that get a lot of movement, and the slip-on coupler is better for stationary cables, such as those with a television.
Another common type of cable coupler is one used for ethernet cables. Unlike its coaxial cousin, this is a small box with two square female inputs on each end. It functions the same as any other coupler by connecting two cables without the use of tools. After two ethernet cables are snapped into the coupler, its signal will pass directly through the box and off to its destination. This coupler is commonly used with home computers connecting to the internet and also with sports equipment such as digital timers.
Automobile engines also utilize a cable coupler. A car motor is made up of dozens of cable connections, and one of the most common places for a coupler is the motor shaft. Unlike electrical cable couplers, this does not have two identical ends but instead offers a solid steel piece with a threaded screw-like top with a tapered end on one side and a bulky flat end on the other. The two cables are slid through the hollow center, and a screw locks them into place, connecting the car's motor shaft and its drive cable.
For most types of cable, there is a cable coupler created to fuse them together. A coupler's simple and effective design allows connections to be made without any technical knowledge. Cable couplers are utilized in electronics, sports, the automotive industry and more.