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What is Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cables are a type of data cable primarily used to send radio frequency signals. They are commonly used by telephone companies, the television industry, internet service providers, and cable operators to send audio, video, and data signals. Coaxial cabling is designed for the transmission of high-frequency signals with a minimum of loss.

What should be considered when choosing Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cable is offered with various configurations, so it is important to know what properties your application needs. When purchasing coaxial cable, you should consider impedance, environmental temperature, working voltage, signal loss at specific frequencies, power rating, and cost.

What is the most common type of coaxial cable used to carry video signals?

The most commonly used coaxial cable that carries video signals is the RG-59 B/U type 75 ohm coaxial cable.

What does RG stand for in “RG Coax Cable”?

“RG” is short for Radio Grade.

What is the difference between coaxial, triaxial, and twinaxial cable?

Coaxial cables have two conductors that share a common axis. Triaxial cable has three conductors that share a common axis. In twinaxial cables, there are two conductors twisted together that share a common shield. The conductors in twinaxial cables do not technically share an axis.

What is the Construction of the Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cables consist of two distinct conductors separated by insulation. They are arranged to form concentric cylinders sharing a common axis. Because there are so many applications and industries that rely on coaxial cable, countless variations of the product have been created. For this reason, coaxial cables are available in a wide range of materials and constructions.

  • Conductor

Solid or seven-stranded conductors are most common in coaxial cables. Generally, solid conductors are used in applications that require little flexibility while conductors with increased stranding provide more flexibility for other applications. Common materials include bare copper, tin-coated, silver-plated, or nickel-plated copper as well as copper-clad steel or copper-clad aluminum. Copper clad materials are great for high-frequency applications while plated copper is a good choice for applications in which soldering and corrosion are concerns.

  • Insulation

Some of the most common insulation materials used in coaxial cables are Polyethylene (PE) and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Some common examples of coax with these types of insulation are:

  • Polyethylene (PE) — Used in RG8 cable, RG11 cable, RG214 cable, RG223 cable, RG217 cable, RG307 cable, and more.
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) — Used in RG142 cable, RG142B cable, RG178 BU cable, and RG179B cable, among others.

Both PE and PTFE are materials chosen for their stable electrical characteristics.

  • Outer Conductor

This is usually composed of several small aluminum or copper conductors that have been woven into a braid around the insulation. Additional braids can be used as shielding.

  • Shield

Coaxial cables may or may not be shielded. Shielding helps to keep the cable's signal intact and uninterrupted by electromagnetic interference.

  • Jacket

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Fluorinated Ethylene Polypropylene (FEP) are common jacket materials used in coaxial cables. Some examples of coaxial cables that have PVC and FEP jackets are:

  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC)— Used in RG6 cable, RG174A cable, RG214 cable, RG223 cable, and more.
  • Fluorinated Ethylene Polypropylene (FEP)— Used in RG142B cable, RG178 BU cable, RG179B cable, RG180 cable, RG188A cable, and other RG coaxial cables.

These jacket materials help to protect the cable from environmental hazards and may even add fire retardant characteristics. As you can see, coaxial cables come in a wide range of materials and constructions, but they all share one thing in common: the important job of signal transmission.

Do coaxial cables degrade over time?

Yes. Unfortunately, a coaxial cable will degrade over time and need to be replaced to maintain the quality of the signal.

Which types of coaxial cable do Allied Wire and Cable carry?

We carry triaxial, twinaxial, low loss coax cable, low noise, high power, and high-temperature cables. We also distribute RG coaxial cable products manufactured by Belden Cable and Alpha Wire Company.