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Coax Information

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Introduction
We have put together this page to provide basic information on coax cable. With this information we hope that you can make a more informed choice when selecting your coax cables.
Coaxial Definition:
1. (Mathematics) having or being mounted on a common axis
2. (Geometry of a set of circles) having all the centers on a straight line
3. (Of a cable or line) Consisting of two concentric conductors separated by an insulator.
What that means in the real world is that coaxial cable consists of a center conductor, a layer of insulation around it, a second conductor wrapped entirely around the insulation and a top insulation layer (figure 1). The center conductor carries the signal and the outer conductor is used as the shield/ground/signal return path.
Coax Diagram
Figure 1
Technically most unbalanced cables and instrument cables are coaxial cables but for most applications when the term coaxial cable is use it is referencing a cable that is designed for transmission of RF data like video or digital audio. These coaxial cables (coax) are made with very specific properties to properly handle the high frequency signal.
Main properties of coax:
  • Characteristic impedance
  • Attenuation
  • Bandwidth
  • Shielding
Characteristic impedance is probably the most important aspect of the cable and the hardest to grasp and the full details are beyond the scope of this page. Even a simple definition is hard to come by so I'll explain it like this:
It is a relationship between the center conductor and the shield affected by the diameter of the center conductor, the spacing between conductors, and the type of plastics used and has no relation with the length of the cable. The most common impedances for coax are 75ohm and 50 ohm. For proper transmission the full chain must maintain the proper impedance for example a video signal must start with a 75ohm output to a 75ohm BNC to a 75ohm coax to a 75ohm BNC into a 75ohm input. When you have an impedance mismatch it will cause a reflection of signal power back down the cable, this reflection will mix with the original signal causing loss and signal error. In a way it can be compared to a water pipe if the pipe is strait and smooth the water flows great but if you smash a section of pipe the water does not flow as smoothly. Generally, you don't need to know a lot about impedance-as long as you maintain it you will be good.
Attenuation simply defines the amount of loss the cable will have over a distance and is dependent on frequency: the higher the frequency the more attenuation you will have. This is more important on long runs, a high-loss cable might be fine for 1ft but that same cable might lose your entire signal at 200ft. Generally, you want to pick a cable for the lowest loss possible, but sometime other factors play into this like size, weight, flexibility, etc. As a general rule, a thicker gauge will have less loss, stranded center conductor will have greater loss, and a solid copper core will have less loss than copper clad steel.
Bandwidth defines the maximum frequencies the cable is specified for at a specific length. Sometimes this information can be hard to find or they will just give you a maximum frequency on an attenuation cart. At short lengths cables are very forgiving, you can probably run 3G HD-SDI (video signal) down about any cable for a foot or two, but if you want to be certain it will work you need to pick a cable with the proper bandwidth. As a general rule, a cable that has a higher bandwidth will have a better shield.
Shielding is how the shield is constructed. Shield options are foil, braid, and wrapped. A common type for RG6 will be 60% braid - 100% foil, this is a dual shield. You can find shields in almost any configuration depending on the application. Shields can be single layer or up to four layers. Foil will shield better at high frequencies but often makes for a stiffer cable. Braid is commonly paired with foil; with a single braided shield it is impossible to get 100% coverage. Wrapped shields in coax are not very common, probably because as the cable flexes it can open gaps in the shield. Interestingly, the coax shield in an RF application is used as much to keep the signal in as it is to keep interference out.
Applications
The 75ohm coax cable is used for a broad range of applications, including (typical maximum bandwidth required):
  • SDI (360 MHz)
  • HD SDI (1.5 GHz)
  • 3G SDI (3 GHz)
  • Composite (75 MHz)
  • Component (75 MHz)
  • Word Clock (192 kHz)
  • MADI (AES10) (125 MHz)
  • SPDIF (6 MHz)
  • AM (30 MHz)
  • FM (108 MHz)
  • VHF (300 MHz)
  • UHF (3 GHz)
  • Cable TV (1 GHz)
  • More
The 50ohm coax cable is used for many things, but not as many in our main market. Those applications include:
  • Antennas
  • Wireless Mic Antennas
  • Wireless Monitor Antennas
  • More
Cable information
Generally, high frequency coax cables are classified under the "RG" system, for example: RG-6, RG-59, RG-11, RG-58 and many more. This just gives you a starting point now because you can find many versions of each of these cables. For example, RG-6/U you can get it in:
  • 18ga copper clad steel with 100% foil/60% Aluminum braid
  • 18ga copper with 100% foil/95% Copper braid
  • 18ga copper with 100% foil/ 30ga served shield
  • 18ga copper clad steel with 100% foil/95% Aluminum braid
And that is just one page of one of my catalogs. The only consistency there is the 18ga size of the center conductor.
Even though there may be a great many flavors of one specific cable, the "RG" number can get you in the ball park, but further scrutiny of the specs should be done.
Cable Specifications
At EHS we stock the cables that best serve the most applications in our market. Here is a list with links to the products for quick reference. If you have a specific need please let us know and we'll see how we can help you.
Horizon RG59.MK RapcoHorizon RG-59 Shop Now
This is Horizon part number RG59.MK. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is very flexible, durable, and great performance. It will fill your needs for medium-abuse environments.

RG59.MK wire has 24AWG stranded center conductor with a 95% braided shield and black jacket. It is a RG-59B/U style cable with 1 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 12.8 db at 1 GHz for 100ft.

** Now A RapcoHorizon product with same part numbers.


Carol RG-6U Carol RG-6 Shop Now
This is Carol RG-6U C5775. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is moderately flexible, durable, great performance. It will fill your needs for low abuse environments, best for studio or installed applications.

RG-6U wire has 18AWG center conductor and dual shields 100% foil and 60% braided shield and black jacket. It is a RG-6/U style cable with 3 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 11.79 db at 3 GHz for 100ft.


Gepco VE61859M

Gepco VE61859 For special order now
Available on site soon
This is Gepco part number VE61859M. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is very flexible, durable, and offers great performance. It will fill your needs for medium/high abuse environments, best for studio, live, or installed applications.

VE61859M wire has 22AWG stranded center conductor and a 95% braided shield and black jacket. It is a RG-59 style cable with 1 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 10.64 db at 1 GHz for 100Ft.


Gepco VHD1100

Gepco VHD1100 For special order now
Available on site soon
This is Gepco part number VHD1100. It is a heavy-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is moderately flexible, durable, and offers great performance with very low attenuation. It will fill your needs for medium abuse environments, best for studio or installed applications.

VHD1100 wire has 14AWG solid center conductor and dual shields, 95% braided and 100% foil shields and black jacket. It is a RG-11 HD style cable with 4.5 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 8.75 db at 4.5 GHz for 100Ft.


Gepco VHD2000M

Gepco VHD2000M Shop Now
This is Gepco part number VHD2000M. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is very flexible, durable, and offers great performance. It will fill your needs for medium/high abuse environments, best for studio, live, or installed applications.

VHD2000M wire has 21AWG stranded center conductor and dual 95% braided shields and black jacket. It is a RG-59 HD style cable with 3 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 19.60 db at 3 GHz for 100Ft.


Gepco VHD2001M Gepco VHD2001M Shop Now
This is Gepco part number VHD2001M. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is very flexible, durable, and offers great performance with low attenuation. It will fill your needs for medium/high abuse environments, best for studio, live, or installed applications.

VHD2001M wire has 19AWG stranded center conductor and dual 95% braided shields and black jacket. It is a RG-6 HD style cable with 3 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 15.63 db at 3 GHz for 100ft.


Gepco VSD2001 Gepco VSD2001 Shop Now
This is Gepco part number VSD2001. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is moderately flexible, durable, and offers great performance with low attenuation. It will fill your needs for medium abuse environments, best for studio or installed applications.

VSD2001 wire has 18AWG solid center conductor and dual shields, 95% braided and 100% foil shields and black jacket. It is a RG-6 HD style cable with 4.5 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 13.28 db at 4.5 GHz for 100ft.


Clark CD7506F

Clark CD7506F Shop Now
This is Clark Wire part number CD7506F. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is very flexible, durable, and offers great performance with low attenuation. It will fill your needs for medium/high abuse environments, best for studio, live, or installed applications.

CD7506F wire has 19AWG stranded center conductor and dual 90% braided shields and black jacket. It is a RG-6 HD style cable with 4.5 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 19.8 dB at 4.5 GHz for 100Ft.


Clark CD7506

Clark CD7506 Shop Now
This is Clark Wire part number CD7506. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is moderately flexible, durable, and offers great performance with low attenuation. It will fill your needs for medium abuse environments, best for studio or installed applications.

CD7506 wire has 18AWG solid center conductor and dual shields, 95% braided and 100% foil shields and black jacket. It is a RG-6 HD style cable with 4.5 GHz bandwidth with an attenuation of 13.3 dB at 4.5 GHz for 100Ft.


Mogami 2964 Mogami 2964 Shop Now
This is Mogami part number W2964. It is a medium-weight coax 75 ohm style cable that is very flexible, durable, and sounds great. It will fill your needs for high-abuse environments.

2964 wire has 24AWG center conductor with served shield and gloss black jacket. This does not confirm to a standard RG cable size, Mogami provides specifications to 10 MHz with attenuation of 1.9 db at 10 MHz for 100ft. According to the Mogami reps it will support 3G SDI at a maximum of about 100ft but for optimal performance the maximum is at 50ft.


To simplify the chart some of the values have been interpreted from known values.
db Loss per 100ft
Wire 1 MHz 10 MHz 100 MHz 200 MHz 500 MHz 720 MHz 1000 MHz 1500 MHz 2300 MHz 3000 MHz 4500 MHz Link
Horizon RG59 0.4 1.3 4.1 5.7 9.4 11.45 12.8 Shop Now
Carol RG6/U 0.26 .18 2.05 2.83 4.53 5.55 6.59 8.45 10.95 11.79 Shop Now
Gepco VE61859M 0.26 0.91 2.09 4.33 7 8.85 10.64 10.5 13.22 15.63
Gepco VHD1100 0.14 0.43 1.20 1.75 2.9 3.30 3.86 4.73 5.80 6.72 8.75
Gepco VHD2000M HD .25 .91 3 4 7 8.60 10.35 13.05 16.50 19.60 Shop Now
Gepco VHD2001M HD 0.22 0.73 2.45 3.4 5.9 7 8.28 10.5 13.22 15.63 Shop Now
Gepco VSD2001 HD 0.22 0.7 1.8 2.5 4.2 4.95 5.87 7.3 9.13 10.65 13.28 Shop Now
Clark CD7506 .22 .7 1.9 2.5 4 4.9 5.8 7.3 9.1 10.6 13.3 Shop Now
Clark CD7506F .22 .73 2.3 3.4 6 7 8.28 10.5 13.2 15.6 19.8 Shop Now
Mogami 2964 N/A 1.9 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Shop Now

Wire Specifications
Wire Format Shield Conductor Outside diameter Flex life Cycles Jacket Filler DC R /1000ft Cap to shield
Horizon RG59.MK 75ohm coax RG-59 95% Braided 24AWG .240" N/A Black Matte No N/A N/A
Carol RG-6U 75ohm coax RG-6 Foil and Braid 18AWG N/A N/A Black No N/A N/A
Gepco VE61859M 75ohm coax RG-59 95% Braided 22AWG .242" N/A Black No 15.3ohm 16.2pf/ft
Gepco VHD1100 75ohm coax RG-11 Foil and 95% Braid 14AWG .405" N/A Black No 2.5 ohm 17pf/ft
Gepco VHD2000M 75ohm coax RG-59 2x95% Braided 21AWG .242" N/A Black No 14.3ohm 17pf/ft
Gepco VHD2001M 75ohm coax RG-6 2x95% Braided 19AWG .275" N/A Black No 8.5ohm 17pf/ft
Gepco VSD2001 75ohm coax RG-6 Foil and 95% Braid 18AWG .272" N/A Black No 6.4ohm 16.3pf/ft
Clark CD7506 75ohm coax RG-6 Foil and 95% Braid 18AWG .272" N/A Black No 6.4ohm 16.3pf/Ft
Clark CD7506F 75ohm coax RG-6 2x90% Braided 19AWG .272" N/A Black No 8.5ohm 17pf/Ft
Mogami 2964 75ohm coax Dual Served 24AWG .189" 16000 Black Gloss No 27ohm 65pf/ft
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