Matters Needing Attention When Purchasing Coaxial Cable -2
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Matters Needing Attention When Purchasing Coaxial Cable -2

Cable performance depends on frequency

Each coaxial cable's manual lists several performance parameters including attenuation and power handling capabilities, and these parameters vary with frequency. Generally speaking, the higher the signal frequency, the greater the resistive loss it suffers, and therefore the greater the attenuation. Besides, at certain sufficiently high frequencies, coaxial cables will work as waveguides and TEM mode transmission lines with extremely poor performance. This is the so-called cutoff frequency. The cutoff frequency is much higher than the highest frequency of any signal to be transmitted.

Different cables have different power ratings

Depending on the cable diameter, central and outer conductor types, and cable quality, different cables have different rated maximum processing power. These ratings are given in the form of continuous wave conditions, average values or peak values, and have different meanings depending on the type of signal carried. Besides, it is possible to give the rated values of the rated maximum voltage and the rated maximum current. It should be noted that such ratings also depend on frequency, and cables with better safety margins should be selected. Once the rated power of the coaxial cable is exceeded, there is a risk of unfortunate failure modes such as electric spark, accelerated aging, medium degradation, and combustion.

Not all coaxial cables have the same shielding performance

Coaxial cables have a variety of structural types such as braided, stranded, foil, solid, corrugated, etc., a variety of outer conductor types, and a variety of shielding methods. To further reduce the interference received or emitted, some coaxial cables can have multiple shielding layers in addition to the outer conductor. Besides, the use of different types of outer conductors and shielding layers can also achieve crush resistance, higher rigidity/flexibility and lower attenuation. For many applications, if the budget allows, the higher the quality of the outer conductor and shielding layer of a coaxial cable, the better, and the more the number the better.

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