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In our This vs.That series, we compare and contrast two seemingly identical products to help you learn the difference between them. In this article, we will be discussing the LMR-100 and RG316 coaxial cables. Both are communication cables, but they differ in efficiency depending on the conditions of the environment they are to be used in. Therefore, you should have a thorough understanding of what type of environment you will use the cable in so that you may choose the correct type of cable.

What is LMR-100 Cable?

LMR-100 is a flexible, low-loss, communication cable. This cable is ideal in applications like short antenna feeder runs and jumper assemblies that are mostly in wireless communication systems.

LMR-100 can also be used in applications that require an easily routed, low-loss cable such as WLL, GPS, WLAN, etc. This cable features a flexible outer conductor which allows the tightest bend radius of any cable that is similar in size and performance. It also boasts the lowest loss of any flexible cable. LMR cable may be used as a drop-in replacement for RG316 or RG174 cable.

What is RG316 Cable?

RG316 is a coax, military-rated, communication cable. This cable can be used in applications such as military equipment, direct burial, the transmission of radio frequency signals, and telecommunications. It can also be used for high-frequency interconnections between PCB in telecommunications equipment. RG316 is an ideal choice for applications that require high performance and stability in high-temperature environments or in applications that have minimal installation space.

RG316 coax is also a low-loss cable. Due to the large size of its conductor, the attenuation of RG316 is lower than other options in this category. This cable also follows MIL-DTL-17 specifications. This part is M17/113-RG316.

How Do They Compare?

LMR-100 cable and RG316 cable have some similarities and some differences. The cables are both coaxial cables with an impedance of 50 ohms. Below is a chart that compares the similarity of low loss/attenuation characteristics. As the chart shows, the low loss is comparable at a variety of different frequencies, but the LMR-100 cable performs slightly better. Both of these cables have low loss or attenuation characteristics.

LMR-100 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft) RG316 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft)
30 MHz 3.9 4.3
50 MHz 5.1 5.6
1500 MHz 30.1 32

As the chart shows, these cables are constructed differently. LMR-100 has a conductor that is solid bare copper-clad steel, where RG316 has a stranded silver-covered copper clad steel conductor. RG316 having a stranded conductor makes it more flexible than the solid conductor of LMR-100.

Another major difference is that RG316 has a higher temperature rating. The higher temperature rating is made possible by the Fluorinated Ethylene Copper (FEP) jacket the RG316 coax has. This allows the cable to be used in specific applications that have higher temperature environments where the LMR-100 may fall short.

LMR-100 vs RG316 Specs for Construction
LMR-100 RG316
Conductor Type Solid Bare Copper Clad Steel Stranded Silver Covered Copper Clad Steel
Dielectric Material Solid Polyethylene (PE) Solid Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
Outer Conductor Aluminum Tape Silver Covered Copper Braid
Jacket PVC or FRPE Fluorinated Ethylene Copper (FEP)
Temperature -40°C to +85°C -55°C to + 200°C

Although LMR-100 can be used as a drop-in replacement for RG316, it does not have a mil-spec equivalent. This is another major difference when we compare the two cables. RG316 coax has a military-spec, M17/113-RG316.

If you’re unsure about what cable you’ll need in order to meet the needs of your application, consult with one of Allied’s knowledgeable sales reps by submitting an RFQ. Visit our website to learn more about LMR-100 Cable or RG316 Cable.