RG6 Cable: What to Consider While Buying It?

FACTS CHECKED BY  Jose George​

Coaxial cables have been around the electrical industry for many years. You might be familiar with their use in television and commercial radio to provide high-frequency signal transmission. Also, for many sectors, coax cables are a standard. What is the RG6 cable? There are many coaxial cable types, but you will find the RG-6 cables frequently. Since their invention, the RG6 cables have evolved significantly.

4k HDMI Cable | Working Principle |...
4k HDMI Cable | Working Principle | Normal Vs HDMI cable

What Does RG Mean?

The basic coaxial cable consists of a conducting wire, a shield, and an outer jacket. Here, the companies tag-efficient coaxial cables as RG type. RG means “Radio Guide.” It originates back to the old military specs. However, it does not follow them.

Since no specific guidelines can define coax cable quality, the numbering does not matter so much. For example, if you buy RG-6 cables, you only know that it is 18 AWG. Moreover, it works well with video and cable TV distribution.

There are a few other options like RG-8, RG-11, RG-58, and RG-59 that you can use in your application.

What is RG-6 Coaxial Cable?

Satellite and internet signals operate at higher bandwidths than analog video. When television broadcasts switched from analog to digital, and cable companies began to revolutionize, the higher frequencies developed a more efficient coaxial cable to carry the signals more efficiently. Hence, the RG6 line came into being to meet these specifications.

RG6 Coaxial Cable has a more extensive conductor, resulting in improved signal quality. In addition, the manufacturers increased the dielectric insulation in thickness. Also, RG 6 is built with a different type of shielding, allowing it to handle more powerful signals at the GHz frequency range.

While many RG 59 cables include a foil shield in addition to the braid, RG 6 lines made the usage of a foil shield a requirement. A looser weave (e.g., 60 percent against the 90 percent or more of RG59 cables) was used initially, although a high-percentage braid has become common in many RG6 wires as well.

RG6 Cable 1

Caption: Coaxial Cables with connectors

Factors to Consider When Buying RG6 cables

If you need a different type for your use, look into the specs of the cables.

RG-6/U

A type of RG-6 cable is found as RG-6/U cables in the market. There is no specific meaning for the letter U, though some refer to it as Universal or For Utility use. The line itself is not different from the standard version. The intent and purpose of the Rg6 and RG6/U are the same.

Shielding

Shielding eliminates ‘noise’ from tampering with your transmission, preserving signal quality. Thus, you can shield coaxial cables with two different types of design: braid and foil. Most coaxial cables provide both (although some RG 59 lines still use single shielding). Overall, choose thicker shielding if you want your thread to perform better, especially over longer distances. 

Typically, wrapped shielding comprises multiple tiny wire strands braided around the outside of a dielectric (and foil). Foil shielding consists of an aluminum or mylar foil linked to the dielectric behind a metal braid. On the other hand, lower-frequency interference is well mitigated by the braid. Here, RG 6 cable can have either a copper or an aluminum braid.

Quad shielded cables feature an additional layer of foil and braid shielding to provide superior protection. On the other hand, newer coaxial cables can perform better with a 95 percent braid without the extra thickness and weight of quad-shielded cables.

RG6 Cable 2

Caption: Stripped Coaxial cable with different layers of shielding

Signal Lost

While shielding might lower the external interference, you will permanently lose some signals. Here, the longer the signal travels, the more signal loss is. For that, it is best to keep the installation length precise.

Cable Jacket

Another factor affecting signal transmission is the jacketing your wire has. In a harsh environment, where the cable will face constant moisture, sunlight, or abrasions, you will need a heavy insulation layer. However, if the work area is smooth, there is no need for heavy-duty jacketing.

Plenum Rating Coax

Plenum or open spaces over or under the floors allow air movement in the room. These spaces are vital for air circulation in commercial buildings, but they can cause problems if there is a fire due to the high oxygen content and lack of fire barriers.

Plenum-rating of the cable is a requirement for any cable running through plenum spaces. Untreated wires in plenum spaces can quickly spread fire to other areas and emit toxic fumes all across the building. Hence, Plenum cables are flame retardant-coated and produced with certain plastics that do not emit poisonous gases or smoke like other plastics, which helps prevent this problem.

Outdoor and Direct Burial Coax

If you run the cable outside, it must be protected from the elements. An outdoor wire is made to withstand the elements since they have a PE (polyethylene) or UV-treated PVC jacket. The outer coat protects this cable from cold, dampness, abrasion, chemicals, and cutting. 

In many cases, moisture becomes an issue when burying coaxial cables. Moreover, water and pollutants can penetrate the line, corroding the shielding and conductor without extra humidity protection. Hence, choose a Direct Burial cable that contains the same PE jacket as outdoor coax, plus a gel-like material that prevents water from eroding your conductor and destroying your signal.

RG6/U Dual Shield Coaxial Strip and Termination

To prepare a dual shield Coaxial RG6/u, you need to cut and strip the wire. With its help, you will prepare the wire according to your desire. Hence,

  • Insert one end of the cable into the cutting tool. Once fixed, turn the tool clockwise. You will hear the sound of grinding. It means you have cut through the shielding down to the copper conductor.
  • Now, the grinding top will rotate the tool three more times to cut the second-level strip. Be careful so that you do not remove more braided shields than you need.
  • Take out the cable from the tool and pull out the upper pieces.
  • Brush the braided wire shield backward using the braid shield comb present in the tool.
  • As much as possible, make the bristle symmetric and even throughout. There should be no stray fragments of wire braid shield remaining against the foil shield.

Termination

  • To make a compression-style RG6 F Connector, you first need to ensure the cable is ready. F-connectors are better than any other design.
  • F-Connectors are very easy to connect. All you have to do is push on the F-Connector until its white dielectric is flush or just below flush with the inside nut.
  • As the F-Connector is in place, you can crimp the connector onto the cable.
  • After compressing, it’s a good idea to firmly pull on the connector a few times to make sure it’s stuck.

And there you have it, the RG-6 Dual Shield cable ready to roll.

RG6 Quad Shield Coaxial Strip and Termination

Here, you will follow the same steps as the RG6 dual shield termination. However, you will see one more layer of aluminum foil around the conducting wire after the braided shield. So,

carefully nip the lower right side of the foil. Then with the help of a tool, take the layer off of the wire.

Now, you will see another layer of braided foil. Brush it also towards the back of the wire and expose the final foil shield.

Termination

  • To make a compression-style RG6 F Connector, you first need to ensure the cable is ready. F-connectors are better than any other design.
  • F-Connectors are very easy to connect. All you have to do is push on the F-Connector until its white dielectric is flush or just below flush with the inside nut.
  • As the F-Connector is in place, you can crimp the connector onto the cable.
  • After compressing, it’s a good idea to firmly pull on the connector a few times to make sure it’s stuck.

And here you go with the quad shield RG6 cable.

Conclusion

RG6 cables are not a new name to anyone in the electrical field. They are popular coaxial cable types used to spread the data over the areas. Do you need more professional help? Here at Bloom, we offer wiring harnesses and cable assemblies. Your connection is made with attention to detail.

Get a free Cable Assembly Quote.