What Is RG59 Coaxial Cable?

RG59 is a general-purpose coax cable with a characteristic impedance of 75 ohms. You can use RG59 cable indoors, outdoors, or buried in the ground. It's suitable for use with baseband signals, broadcast frequencies, and audio and video signals over distances up to 100 feet. The cable's relatively poor high-frequency signal attenuation characteristics compared to other 75-ohm coaxial limits its suitability over longer distances for broadband internet and high-definition TV signals. The cable is flexible and easy to handle.  You may sometimes notice a U after the name, this simply means it’s a general-purpose coaxial cable.

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  • RG 59
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    • Approx LBS/MFT: 42.00
    • Cond. Material: Bare Copper Clad Steel
    • Dielectric (in): 0.146
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RG59 Cable Construction:

RG59 is a coaxial cable with a single concentric conductor surrounded by a dielectric layer and screen. The conductor is solid copper-coated steel with a diameter of 0.0253 inches (22 American Wire Gauge or AWG). The dielectric is low-density polyethylene with a capacitance of approximately 22 picofarads per foot. The cable has a pure copper braid screen and a polyvinylchloride (PVC) jacket for protection. RG59 coaxial cable has an overall diameter of one-fourth of an inch.

RG59 Cable Applications

RG59 is commonly used for analog CCTV applications and other audio video applications requiring a 75-ohm cable. It's suitable for wiring analog TV aerials, component video cables, home theaters, and short and medium-length connection cables between digital cable and satellite receivers.  Installers prefer this audio video cable over alternatives because of its low cost, small diameter, and good flexibility. 

Similar Cables to RG59

Similar 75-ohm cables include military specification RG59, RG6, and RG11 coaxial cables.  


Allied Wire & Cable (AWC) M17/29-RG59 coaxial has broadly similar characteristics to standard RG59 except that the cable has lower losses, a higher rated operating temperature, and a guaranteed 3 GHz performance.  


RG6 coaxial cable has better high-frequency characteristics and lower losses than RG59 cable. RG6 coaxial has an 18 AWG solid copper coated steel conductor and a slightly thicker dielectric layer. Shielding is better because the cable has an aluminum braid and polyester foil tape shield. It's slightly thicker than RG59 cable and not as easy to bend.


RG11 cable is a more modern cable to meet the frequency requirements of high-definition TV (HDTV). The cable is thicker than RG59 and RG6 cables, with an overall diameter of just under half an inch. Overall losses are lower, and you can use this cable to reliably transmit a signal over distances further than 100 feet.  


RG58 coaxial cable isn't compatible with visually similar RG59 coaxial because it has a lower characteristic impedance of 50 ohms. Using RG58 coaxial on installations requiring a 75-ohm characteristic impedance results in a poor signal and interference due to signal reflection.

RG Coaxial Specifications

Center Conductor: 22 AWG copper clad solid steel wire
Dielectric (insulation): 0.146-inch low-density polyethylene
Shield: Pure copper braid
Jacket: Black PVC
Nominal Impedance: 75 ohms
Actual Impedance: 73 ohms
Nominal Capacitance: 22pf/ft
Operating Temperature Range: -40°C to 80°C
Maximum Voltage: 2300 volts
Conductor Resistance: 55 ohms per thousand feet
Velocity of Propagation (%): 66
Attenuation at 900MHz: 10.2 decibles per 100 feet

RG Coaxial Approvals

  • Military specification MIL-C-17
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant
  • UL 1581 vertical tray flame test
  • UL CL2 fire resistance
  • UL 1354 for coaxial cable