How To Install a Camlock Connector onto a Cable

Those in need of temporary and portable power products will often purchase wire and cable by the foot along with individual camlock connectors and install them onto the cables themselves. Some may already have usable cables on hand, and just need inline camlock connectors to attach to their cables.

However, for those who have yet to install Camlock connectors on their own may have trouble as it can be a complicated process. At Power Assemblies, we want to help as best as we can. In this blog, we will explain the step-by-step process of how to easily install a Camlock connector on your own with a few simple tools and techniques. You can also visit our YouTube channel or scroll down to watch a quick video about the process and steps needed to install a Camlock connector onto any compatible cable.

The Tools Needed to Install a Camlock Connector onto a Cable

First let’s start by gathering the appropriate tools needed for this task. Before you begin the installation of your camlock connector onto a Type-W, Diesel Locomotive, or Stage Cable, we advise you to work at a clean, organized area with all the tools and materials needed laid out and handy in order to move swiftly from one step to the next. To start, you’ll need either a utility knife or cable strippers to strip back the jacket of the cable. Next, you’ll need a pair of lineman pliers for the purpose of tightening the strain relief wire. The next tool you’ll need is a rubber mallet. Sometimes it can be difficult to get the brass contact on, so we prefer to use a rubber mallet to gently tap it on if you’re having trouble sliding it on.  These brass contacts will then require a 7/16 Allen wrench to tighten the double set screws. 

Finally, you’ll need some general-purpose spray-on lubricant to slide on the boot, and a flat head screwdriver to complete the assembly. These are standard household tools that you should be able to find around your house or office. However, if you find that you’re missing any of the required tools, you can visit a local hardware store to purchase them. Keep in mind that Power Assemblies builds these cables fully assembled with the camlock connector attached to simplify this process and minimize the labor required for our distributors and their customers.

Tool Checklist

  • Utility Knife or Cable Strippers
  • Lineman Pliers
  • Rubber Mallet
  • 7/16 Allen Wrench
  • General Purpose Spray-On Lubricant
  • Flat-Head Screwdriver

The Step-by-Step Process

If you have an inline camlock connector, it should include all the necessary components needed to finish the installation. To begin this process, you will need to measure the diameter of the cable jacket to determine at which notch on the camlock connector you will cut. For example, on a type-w 4/0 cable you would need to cut the back of the camlock connector at the 800 mark. Open the bag with the components for the camlock connector and grab the thin copper shim. You will then wrap the copper shim around the end of the cable to measure exactly how far back you will need to strip the cable. This next step will need to be taken with extreme caution. Use your utility knife or cable strippers to carefully strip back the jacket of the cable without cutting off any copper strands, and then pull off the excess jacket to expose the copper strands.

Following the copper exposure, you can rewrap the copper shim around the bare copper strands followed by attaching the strain relief wire onto the jacket just beyond the exposed copper strands. Use your lineman’s pliers to tighten the strain relief wire all the way down and push it down to lay flush on top of the copper shim. 

Now you’re ready to attach the brass contact. Slide your brass contact over the copper shim and strain relief cable. The strain relief cable will need to be on the opposite side of the double set screws of the brass contact. If you’re having trouble getting the brass contact on, it’ll help if you gently tap it with the rubber mallet. Be sure to double check that the contact is all the way on and is as close to the jacket insulation as possible. Now we can tighten the double set screws and get ready to put the boot on. Take your Allen wrench and fasten the double set screws on the brass contact while checking that they are fully fastened and flush with the contact.

Hang in there, we’re almost done. Now spray some general-purpose lubricant onto the brass contact along with the end of the camlock connector to help you easily slide it into place. You will need to try and match the arrow with the set screw hold on the brass contact to finish installing the connector. Be sure the boot is snug and covers the entire contact, strain relief cable, and extends past the jacket insulation. Once the boot of the camlock is in place, you can attach the final piece of the puzzle. We will use our flat-head screwdriver to fasten the black retaining screw. Lastly, you should inspect the cable, and give the camlock connector a good tug to ensure it is attached properly and securely.

The Finished Camlock Assembly

Now you have your fully assembled cable and are ready to provide the power. At Power Assemblies, our cable specialists build innovative power solutions day in and day out. We stock hundreds of assemblies and are ready to ship instantly. We know installing camlock connectors can be a tedious process, so for any custom cable inquiries, you can visit our website at to request a free quote or give us a call today at (866)-825-8525. If you’d like to see a visual representation of this process, take a moment to view our YouTube video below.