In our This vs. That series, we're comparing (and contrasting) two seemingly similar products. A lot of products seem the same at first glance but can greatly affect the outcome of your next application. Today, we're comparing the RG223 and RG58 cables.
RG58 coax is commonly used in radar systems, flight guidance equipment, aerospace communications, and high-frequency RF antennas for ground support equipment.
RG223 cable is most often used in applications like phasing harnesses, cable sets, test cables, and radio systems. RG223 coaxial cable can also be used in GPS applications requiring low signal loss and high shielding performance.
How Do They Compare?
Both coaxial cables are built to tough military standards, each with its own mil-spec equivalent. The mil-spec equivalent of RG223 is M17/84-RG223 and for RG58 the mil-spec equivalent is M17/28-RG58. These coaxial cables are similar in their applications, but are they built the same?
|RG223 vs RG58 Specs for Construction|
|Conductor Size||20 AWG||20 AWG|
|Conductor Type||Solid||Stranded (19/32)|
|Conductor Material||Solid Silver Coated Copper||Tinned Copper|
|Dielectric Material||Solid Polyethylene (natural)||Foam Polyethylene (natural)|
|Shield||1st Shielding: 95% Silver Coated Copper Braid 2nd Shielding: 94% Silver Coated Copper Braid||95% Tinned Copper Braid|
|Jacket||PVC (Non-Contaminating Vinyl)||PVC|
|Weight||40 lbs/MFT||26 lbs/MFT|
Though these coaxial cables are similar, they differ in most of their construction, starting with the very core. Both cables are sized 20 AWG, but RG223 coax features a solid silver-coated copper conductor, whereas RG58 features a stranded tinned copper conductor. While both have a Polyethylene (PE) dielectric, RG223 uses solid PE, and RG58 uses a foamed PE. However, it's the shielding, which is often referred to as the outer conductor in coax cables, that really sets these two products apart.
Both cables have coated-copper braided shields but differ in the material and number. RG58 has a single tinned copper braid shield, while RG223 features two layers of a silver-coated copper shield. The double shielding on RG223 makes it a larger and heavier cable than RG58.
|RG223 vs RG58 Electrical Specs|
|Min. Temperature Rating||-40°C||-40°C|
|Max. Temperature Rating||90°C||60°C|
In regards to the electrical specifications, these cables are almost identical, but the construction does affect some electrical characteristics. Because RG223 has silver-coated copper conductors, it can withstand more heat, resulting in a higher temperature rating compared to RG58. In addition to a higher temperature rating, the double shield in RG223 allows it to have a higher capacitance than RG58.
|RG223 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft)||RG58 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft)|
These products also differ when it comes to the attenuation of each cable. Attenuation is the loss of signal strength during transmission, which results in lower signal strength. RG223 and RG58 are comparable cables, so why does the attenuation vary? There are many factors that can either increase or decrease the loss of a signal, one of which is temperature. Since RG223 has a higher temperature rating than RG58, RG223 experiences more loss compared to RG58.
If you are unsure about what coaxial cable you need in order to meet the needs of your application, consult with a qualified engineer or with one of Allied’s knowledgeable sales reps. To learn more about RG223 and RG58, visit the coaxial cable main product page.