Coaxial cables, also known as coax cables, are commonly used in homes and businesses around the globe. These cables are electrical cables that transmit radio frequency (RF) signals from one point, typically an outlet, into a device.
This cable type has been around for quite some time, going back to the early part of the 20th century. These cables have since become commonplace for many modern devices. Let’s take a close look at these fantastic tables.
How Coax Cables Work
Though coax cables like these might not seem like much, they actually are quite essential for a variety of purposes. In nearly every aspect of technology, cabling is critical for providing the necessary connection between two points. Given that it’s the entire job of coax cables, it is easy to see why they are so commonly used.
There is a center conductor – usually copper wire – that plugs into a female receptor or jack. There is copper wire that has a dielectric plastic insulator, which protects the signal quality as data transfers through the conductor. There is also an additional layer of protective sheathing that keeps the cable from getting damaged by external factors.
Types of Coax Cable
Coaxial cables come in a range of varieties. There are four different coax types to be aware of. Here are the main types of coax cable:
RF coax cable. RF coax cables are perhaps the most common type of coax cable. These carry radio frequency (RF) signals from one point to another. This is the standard cable type for cable television, featuring a single pin that plugs right into the RF input on a television or other device.
RG-6 cable. These cables have larger conductors than the standard RF coax cable. Because of that, the signal quality is typically better than RF cables. These cables have a different kind of shielding and a thicker dielectric insulation. This allows them to more effectively handle GHz level signals better. It’s actually quite thin as well, which makes it ideal for ceilings or walls.
RG-59 cable. This cable type is very common in domestic settings. They are very similar to the aforementioned RG-6 the only difference being the thinner center conductor. For short runs or low-frequency transmissions, RG-59 is more ideal.
RG-11 cable. These are a much thicker version of the regular coax cable. Because of that, flexibility is a challenge, and navigating smaller spaces can be a challenge. That said, it is much better for carrying data over long distances.
The Uses of Coax Cables
Though you may not necessarily be an expert with coax cables, you will no doubt recognize the various uses. Here are the most common uses for coax cables in both residential and business settings:
TV. The single most common application for coax cables. Though these are typically the cheapest and most easily found, beware of cheap coax cables. A cable of poor quality can lead to poor reception. The most ideal coax cable for televisions is 75 Ohm using an RG-6 connector.
HDTV. When looking to use HDTV – high-definition television – RG-11 is the best option. It has a higher gauge than other cable types, which is great for transferring those HD signals at a much higher speed.
Internet. Because of its ability to carry signals at a faster speed, RG-6 cables are ideal for connecting to the internet. The larger conductor makes RG-6 cables more capable of handling internet signals that run at higher frequencies. They are also made with a different kind of shielding that allows for them to carry GHz level signals without quality loss.