RG Cables: Know More About The Cable Type

FACTS CHECKED BY  Jose George​

The characteristic impedance of most coax cables is 50, 52, 75, or 93 Ohms. And they have standard type names in the RF industry. All thanks to the TV, most use RG-6 cables as the most common coaxial type of cable in our homes. Have you ever thought about what this RG is? Let’s dig deeper into RG cables.

What are RG Cables?

During World War II, the military used a particular series of standard coaxial cables: RG-# or RG-#/U. You can find their mention in the MIL-HDBK-216 standard published in 1962. However, these designations are becoming obsolete. Here the RG stands for Radio Guide, and the U stands for Universal. Currently, the military specifications for these coaxial cables are MIL-SPEC MIL-C-17. MIL-C-17 numbers, for example, M17/75-RG214, specify military cables. Further, it also sets catalog numbers of manufacturers for civilian applications. 

However, the earlier designations of the RG series have become so common that people still use them. At the same time, critical users should understand that after the handbook withdrawal, there is no guarantee of the physical and electrical characteristics of the cables described as “RG” type. 

Now, the RG designations help users identify compatible coaxial cable connectors that fit into the inner conductor and the old RG designated cables’ dielectric and cable jacket dimensions.

coaxial radio frequency cables

Image: coaxial radio frequency cables

Common Types of Radio Guide Cables

Nowadays, RG cables refer to the cables you use for internet connections and cable Tv signals in commercial applications and residential installations. Read further to know the common types of RG cables.

RG-6

RG-6 or RG-6/U is a standard cable for satellite signal transmission, cable television, and broadband internet. Here, the “U stands for a utility which means the cable is suitable for common utility use. The cable can work in high-frequency applications above 50MHz. Further, these small and flexible cables are pretty easy to bend for domestic installations.

RG-6 cables have 18 AWG (American Wire Gauge) as the middle conductor, ensuring solid and clear signal quality. Surrounding the conductor is a thick dielectric layer and excellent shielding that protects the cables from high electric currents.

RG-59

These cables comprise a lighter-weight American wire Gauge as the middle conductor. Further, its padding and shielding are smaller than RG-6 coaxial cable, making it a thinner cable. These wires can produce frequencies below 50 Megahertz. As the signal quality of these cables is not too high, they are more suitable for short runs and closed-circuit television transmissions like video surveillance and security cameras.

RG-11 

RG-11 cable has a higher gauge, i.e., 14 AWG, than other cables. The signal quality of these cables is better as there is less fluctuation. These cables provide 3Ghz frequency for TV antenna, HDTV, Video distribution, and CATV. You can use these cables for particular purposes such as burial or long-run cables. As these cables are thicker, they are hard to bend, and thus, you need connectors to turn them. Due to this reason, these cables are not fit for indoor installations.

RG-316

You can use this cable as a substitute for RG178 as it is twice its size with 26 AWG. As a result, its attenuation level becomes half, reducing signal loss. Further, its FEP outer jacket allows it to work at an operating temperature of 200oC.

RG316 is a 50-ohm cable making it suitable for data transmission, and RG316/u has a minimal diameter of 0.098″. In addition, it has a stranded central conductor, which puts them in the category of flexible cables. 

radio antennas with coaxial cables and power cables

Image: radio antennas with coaxial cables and power cables

Conclusion

If you are looking for RG cables for installations in your home or offices, Cloom is here to help you. We have years of experience in offering cable and wire assemblies to a wide range of industries. Our technical experts ensure that our customers get products with unique specifications.

Get a free Cable Assembly Quote.