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HomeTips & GuidesCoax Cable Assemblies: Everything You Need To Know

Coax Cable Assemblies: Everything You Need To Know

If you own cable TV, have you ever wondered what cable you use to connect your TV to your cable box and how exactly it works? The article below will discuss how coax cable assemblies work and how they are designed.

What is a Coax Cable?

Coaxial cables are designed to prevent potential interference. To counteract this, they use four circular layers. From the outside to the inside, they are a plastic casing protecting the inside materials, a metal shield, an insulating material normally made of solid plastic, and a wire conveying the signal. 

High-frequency coaxial cable

High-frequency coaxial cable

What is a Coax Cable For

In small offices and homes, you can use short coax cables for home video equipment, measuring devices, cable television, and amateur radio equipment. All in all, they now benefit;

Signal Boosters

A cellular signal booster uses an indoor antenna, outdoor antenna, and antenna to boost cellular signals and deliver stronger signals in homes, vehicles, and offices. You can use coax cables to connect the 3 components. Also, coax cables help signal to bypass any signal-blocking material.

Cable TV

If you have cable TV, coaxial cables convey data and video from cable companies to your  TV. Also, they connect your digital converter box or TV to a personal antenna.

Ham Radio

Ham radio is for communicating over the airwaves. Connecting a coax cable to your antenna provides a stronger signal. You can set up Ham radios anywhere, and you don’t need cell phone technology or the Internet. 

able Internet (Copper Based)

You can use coax cables to provide your home with internet. The copper-based cable is connected to your home from a cable service provider.

Your cable modem or router is connected to an ethernet or coax outlet to receive the signal. Then, you can connect to the internet through Wifi or connect devices directly to the router.

What Does a Coax Cable Do

Coaxial cables are an excellent option for high-frequency communications. They are an important component of several electronic devices (navigation, TV, communications, and radar) and radio communication systems. 

Also, you can use RF cables in computers and instrumentation. However, there are a number of factors you need to consider when choosing the ideal cable for your application.

How Does a Coax Cable Work

Coax cables transmit signals via the center wire. In order to make sure quality signals travel the cable length, coax cables need a metal shield. Both components simultaneously receive a current that generates a magnetic field. Therefore, allowing the signal to remain intact and not sip out as it would if a shield were not present. 

Also, the metal shield helps protect signals from electromagnetic interference. Therefore, you can install coax cables close to other electrical equipment without experiencing any problems.

To achieve optimal performance, the distance between the shield and core should be constant throughout. A dielectric insulator makes this possible and prevents any two signals from creating contact and canceling out each other.

An outer jacket protects all components from damage and insulates them. Therefore, RF signals are conveyed over long distances with minimal loss or interference.

Depending on the application, you can convert the signal into audio, images, amplified cell reception, or WiFi.

Coax Cable Assembly Design

Coax cable assembly design and materials can be tailored to certain frequency ranges and applications.

The Length of the Cable Run

Coax cables are available in various thicknesses and lengths. The thickness and length of your cable determine the signal transmission strength.

The longer your cable, the more signal loss occurs when the signal moves over a long distance. Thicker cables feature lower signal loss, making them ideal for longer cable runs. Therefore, to achieve optimal transmission, you’ll need the thickest and shortest cable that can work for your application.

In radio systems, the cable length can be compared to the wavelength of the transmitting signals. Studying the math involved can help you determine the ideal cable length for your application.

Certain cable characteristics, such as the inside diameter of the shield, magnetic permeability of the insulator, the outside diameter of the inner conductor, and dielectric contact of the insulator, all affect the wavelength quality moving through cables.

Signal Frequency Range

Different types of coax cables offer varying high-frequency signal handling capacities. Ensure the cable type you choose can handle your application’s frequency range.

The Potential For Electromagnetic Interference

Determine your service environment and choose the appropriate cable shielding. If your service environment has high EMI, you might need to prioritize EMI minimization. For effective shielding, you might need a number of metal layers (braided and foil shields) and high-density materials.  

In certain applications, such as telephony or video/audio transmission, proactive measures to handle EMI problems are important. Preventing EMI from deteriorating signals ensures dependable and steady performance. 

Service Conditions (Outdoors/Indoors)

Consider how your cable needs to be, especially if you plan on installing it in a harsh environment or outside. Coax cables have different ratings for various applications. The rating helps you determine where you can safely install your cable. Below are the three main cable ratings.

  • CMR (Communications Multipurpose Riser)—Riser cables are mainly used for cable runs between floors through vertical shafts or risers. The cable jacket is flame retardant to prevent fires from spreading between floors. However, they are not the most heavy-duty option. 
  • CMP (Communications Multipurpose Plenum)—Plenum coax cables are designed for use in plenum air spaces. The cable jacket is low-smoke and flame-retardant. In case of a fire, a plenum cable will emit the lowest level of toxic fumes, making it ideal for use in spaces designed for air circulation.
  • CM (Communications Multipurpose)—Often called PVC, CM cables are the most popular cable rating. They are rated for general applications like connecting a computer to a wall. They are not very fire retardant and release toxic fumes. It’s advisable not to use them in plenum or riser spaces.

Coaxial Cable Connectors

Consider the type of connectors you need for your systems and devices. Different applications might need specific types of connectors. Ensure compatibility to establish reliable signal transmission and a seamless connection.

Also, choose a cable compatible with your equipment and devices, including signal boosters, routers, TVs, and radios. Common connectors include BNC, SMA, and F-type connectors. Measure the distance you need and select an appropriate length.

BNC Connector

Caption: BNC Connector

Cost Considerations

The price of a coax cable will vary depending on its features and quality. You will need to balance performance capabilities and budget restrictions. However, it’s important to prioritize the cable features you choose according to your most important performance requirements.

Coax Cable Assembly Solutions at Cloom

From traditional configurations to custom, bundled, and multiport solutions, Cloom ensures you get the ideal RF cable for your application. Cloom is an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer of processed wire and wire harnesses.

Whenever possible Cloom automates its processes, including crimping and stripping, therefore enabling us to deliver large orders of custom RF cables in a short period.

Over 250,000 Custom RF Cable Configurations are Available!

  • Choose your ideal custom length (standard or metric)
  • Choose from +1300 RF coax connectors; there are both standard and speciality connectors available.
  • You can choose from 114 types of coaxial cables, including standard RG cable types, Twinax, and numerous specialty cables in conformable, flexible, armored, and semi-rigid styles.

Value Added Service Include….

  • Phase matching
  • Custom cold shrinking/ heat shrinking/ booting or no weatherproofing
  • Support as much as 65 GHz
  • Custom coaxial cable assembly harnessing and labeling
  • Several cable armor designs
  • For an additional fee, we provide test plots

Full-Service Testing Including….

  • Hi-Pot testing to 6,000V AC and 5,000V DC
  • RF testing to 65 GHz
  • Phase matching -/+2 degrees per GHz
  • PIM testing to -10 dBc (-117 dBm)

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a custom coax cable for your RF application, Cloom has you covered. As an experienced coax cable manufacturer, we are aware of the impact of a poorly designed and made cable on product performance.

Hence, we have a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals ready to provide you with the best quality cable solution for your application. For all your custom coaxial cable needs, feel free to contact Cloom Tech.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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