The Types and Uses of Coaxial Cables

What is a coaxial cable? A coaxial cable is a special type of cable that is used by telephone companies, internet providers, and cable operators in order to convey video, data, and voice communications. But it’s not only used by companies, it also has extensive usage within homes.

Coaxial cable assemblies have been around since the 20th century and has various usecases for accurate and reliable transmission. However, it also has some limitations which have pushed some companies to switch to fiber optic cable, category cable, or even opting to simply use a wireless signal instead, which is growing in popularity as the years go by.

The main advantage of a coaxial cable is its shielded design that allows the copper core to transmit data rapidly without experiencing damage or interference.

The 3 Common Cable Sizes

There are 3 sizes that are commonly used: RG-6, RG-11, and RG-59

But what does RG stand for? RG stands for “ratio guide with the numbers referring to the diameter of the cable. For example,6 would mean .06, 59 means .059 etc. Another name for them is also RF (radio frequency) cables.

The majority of non-industrial use cases for coaxial cables is RG-6, although sometimes an installer can opt to use a larger cable such as RG-11 depending on the individual use case. There are other sizes outside of the main 3 rf cable assemblies, but those are typically used for very specific and customized use cases.

The majority of connectors are F-style with N-style sometimes being used instead for certain circumstances. There are a few different types of F-style connectors used for RG-6 cables: screw-on connectors: crimp style connectors, and compression connectors. You will need a male and female connector of the same type in order to make a connection.

Coaxial vs Fiber Optic Cables

There are advantages to both coaxial and fiber optic cables and depending on what you are looking for you may prefer to opt for one or the other. One of the main deciding factors to consider is the distance and amount of data being sent. Coax cables are more suitable for shorter distances due to their higher chance of signal loss over a long connection, but because they are less expensive, are easy to install, and are extremely reliable when used to their strengths, they are a popular choice for consumer and residential settings.

On the flipside, fiber is starting to grow in popularity, particularly for the usage of fiber internet which offers a tremendous increase in internet speeds over cable. Though it does have a higher upfront cost to install and keep on, the technology is expected to come down in price for wire harness manufacturers at some point down the line.

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