Buy Coaxial Cables: How to get the best value?

Buy Coaxial cables are electric cables that transmit radio frequency signals from one source to another and in cable and satellite TV installations in commercial and residential premises. They are a popular choice because they are affordable, easy to use, and repairable. Nonetheless, when shopping, you have to buy the best to get value for money. 

Things to consider when you buy coaxial cables

With many options to choose from, it can be quite confusing for a layperson to select the right one. It is worth noting that each type has its best use case – cables with an impedance of 50 ohms are ideal for data transmission, while those with 75 ohms work best when used for transmitting TV signals.

Here are the factors you need to note.

Cable Type

As mentioned above, the two main types of coax differ by impedance – 50 ohms and 75 ohms. 50-ohm cables are RG-174, RG-188, and RG-316. 75-ohm cables include RG-6, RG-11, and RG-59.

Because 50-ohm cables are often bulkier than 75-ohm cables, they require on-site assembly and installation. That said, they have a stranded 26 AWG center conductor that ensures flexibility during installation in squeezed areas. 

Moreover, the RG-188 has a Teflon taping on its outer layer to withstand temperatures of up to 200⁰C. Likewise, the RG-316 has an extruded FEP outer coating that enables it to operate at extreme temperatures without affecting data transmission.

If you only want a coaxial cable for TV, you need to consider those with a 75-ohm impedance, particularly RG-6. These have shielding that ensures that picture quality does not deteriorate, regardless of the cable’s length. 

coaxial cable for TV

For HDTVs, RG-11 is the best option, as its high gauge offers more space for signal transmission. This enables the RG-11 to transfer high-quality signals at fast speeds.

The RG-59 is the perfect option if you want to install a CCTV surveillance system. Although the RG-6 can also transmit signals from cameras to the DVR, its thickness and firmness make it inconvenient for such installations. 

Operating Frequency

Another factor you need to consider when purchasing a coaxial cable is its operating frequency. When the frequency is high, the signal energy moves from the cable’s center conductor towards its shielding; a phenomenon called the ‘skin effect.’

The skin effect affects how far the signals can travel, depending on their frequency and strength. If the operating frequency is high, the signal’s range decreases.

Characteristic Impedance

Characteristic impedance influences the performance of a signal transmitted through a coaxial cable. It is the relationship between a cable’s capacitance per unit length and inductance per unit length. For a signal to perform optimally, the characteristic impedance should match the resistance of the load transmitted.

Connectors

The two things you need to think of when choosing a coaxial cable connector are its type and how it fits. There are two distinct types of connectors –  male and female. Male connectors have a protruding metal pin at the center, while female connectors have a recessed hole to receive the male pin.

Regardless of your intended use, always choose a connector that fits the input or output port well. Ideally, it should also be waterproof, particularly if you are making an outdoor connection. It is worth noting that the F-type connector is the most popular pick.

Durability

When choosing a coax cable, assess its design to see if it is durable. You do not want to return to your dealer for a new reel a few months after installation, especially if the cabling covered a long distance. To assess a cable’s durability, check the robustness of its outer cover.

Durability

Buy Coaxial Cables–Cable Attenuation

Attenuation refers to the amount of signal loss over a particular distance. Cables with wider center conductors usually have lower attenuation than those with thin conductors, regardless of the gauge.

For instance, an RG-59 cable whose center conductor has 16 AWG can transmit signals over a longer distance than an RG-11 with a 20 AWG center conductor. When selecting a coaxial cable, keep in mind the amount of attenuation that cannot hurt your activities.

Buy Coaxial Cables By the Foot

Most dealers sell coaxial cables by the foot. Generally, the longer the cable, the costlier it is. You also have to pay extra money for connectors and other accessories, such as cable compression tools and cable strippers. 

In most cases, 50-ohm cables cost more than 75-ohm cables. Another factor that affects the pricing of coaxial cables is the quality of the material. For instance, cables whose center conductor is copper clad (steel wire with a copper coating) costs less than those with a solid copper center conductor.

Similarly, the quality of the outer coating affects the price. The more robust the cover is, the more you will have to pay. Also, cables with high flexibility cost more than stiffer models.

Conclusion

From enterprise to domestic settings, coaxial cables have a broad range of use cases. The tips mentioned above can help you choose the best coaxial cable that suits your needs.

At our company, we offer all types of coaxial cables, connectors, and other relevant accessories. We give you an option to install the cable yourself or have our technicians do it. More importantly, we offer after-sales service, in case you experience any problems with your system.

If you plan to install a CCTV system, a satellite dish, or an internet connection, do not hesitate to contact us. 

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