Everything You Wanted To Know About Coaxial Cables

Cellular Signal Booster
Cellular Signal Booster
Cellular Signal Booster
Cellular Signal Booster

Coaxial or coax cables are used for transmitting signals in electronic devices like a cellular signal booster. It was patented in 1880 and used as a standard way for delivering high-frequency electrical signals over distances with minimal loss. Many modern household and office applications like cable TV signal transmission, telephone trunk lines, etc., utilize them. In this article we will focus on different aspects of coax cables; read on to know more about them.

What Is A Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cables send and receive signals without any electromagnetic interference. This is achieved with the help of an outer and inner core with a common geometric axis which enables reliable long-distance data transmission. Also, they are available in different lengths and sizes with slightly varying signal transmission quality.

How Is A Coaxial Cable Made?

At the center core of a coaxial cable is a copper or copper coated steel wire that is capable of carrying high-frequency signals. It is surrounded by a dielectric insulator for keeping a fixed distance between the conductor at the center and the next layer. The dielectric insulation layer is wrapped by a metal shield that is made of woven copper, aluminum, or other metal, and its purpose is to cancel out outside electromagnetic interference. Finally, the outermost layer is a rubber wrapper to protect the whole configuration.

It is obvious to you from the details shared above that the coax cables have robust construction. They can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications, and those used outdoors have added insulation for protecting them from elements. This enables seamless signal transmission even in bad weather conditions.

How Does Coaxial Cables Work?

Coaxial cables carry signals through the copper wire at the center, as well as through the metal shield. Keep in mind that when electricity flows through a metal conductor, it produces a magnetic field, according to the Faraday’s law. So, both the inside and outside conductors of a coax cable generate magnetic fields, and the insulator prevents them from coming in contact or canceling each other out. Also, insulators protect signals from outside electromagnetic interference. This enables long-distance signal transmission with minimal loss in signal strength.

What Are Coaxial Cables Used For?

Coaxial cables are used by telephone companies, cable operators, or internet providers, and shared below are its uses.

Signal Boosters

Coaxial cables are used for connecting the three main components of a cellular signal booster, i.e. the outside antenna, the amplifier, and the inside antenna. So, the performance of this device depends on the type of coaxial cable used, as well as its length.

Basic RF Transmission

Coaxial cables can be used for transmitting radio frequency (RF) signals. Also, you must know that when an alternating current (AC) flows through a conductor, it generates RF waves.

Other uses of coaxial cables include cable internet and TV services, ham radio, etc., where high-frequency electrical signals are to be transmitted without outside electromagnetic interference.

What Are The Different Types Of Coaxial Cables?

There are different types of coaxial cables, and the major difference between them is their impedance or resistance to the flow of current which is measured in the unit ‘ohms’. There are 50-ohm and 75-ohm coaxial cables, the higher the impedance the greater the loss in signal strength and vice versa. Also, you must know that 75-ohm coaxial cables are more widely used. Shared below are the details of some common types of coaxial cables.

RG-6/U

Impedance – 75 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 5.650

RG-8

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 5.650

RG-11

Impedance – 75 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 5.650

LMR 200

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 9.0

LMR 240

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 6.9

LMR 400

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 3.5

LMR 600

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 2.3

LMR 900

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 2.5

LMR 1200

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 1.3

LMR 1700

Impedance – 50 Ohm

Maximum signal attenuation – 0.8

LMR cables are a new generation of coaxial cables that are low cost, have greater flexibility, and they can be installed easily for RF signal transmission purposes.

What Factors Affect The Performance Of Coaxial Cables?

Length

The strength of the RF signal is determined by the length and thickness of the coaxial cable; the longer the cable, the lower the signal strength and vice versa.

dBm

Decibel milliwatts (dBm) is the power ratio, i.e. power of the signal measured to 1 milliwatt, and it is used for measuring signal strength. The type of coaxial cable used determines the strength of the signal, and this is especially important when installing a signal booster.

Ohms And Impedance

Impedance is the resistance offered by a coaxial cable to the flow of RF signals through it, and it is measured in the unit Ohms. It is affected by the materials used for constructing, as well as the size of the coaxial cable.

These are the important points that you must know about coaxial cables before using them for RF signal transmission.