RG316 VS RG174: Which Coaxial Cable Is Suitable for You?
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RG316 VS RG174: Which Coaxial Cable Is Suitable for You?

We will talk about two common coaxial cables and why they should be used. The RG coaxial cable is an old term meaning “Radio Grade” The U means Universal and dates back to the MIL-HDBK-216 published in the early 1960’s. The commercial version would be RG-174U and the quality would be subject to the specific coaxial cable manufacturer. Certain brand name manufacturers make an excellent version of the RG-174U they are also the ones making the military version most likely on the same production line.  The Military Version would be M17/173-00001 which is QPL and certified to meet the specifications of MIL-C-17 which is the current Military Standard. The manufacturer must have the production line certified by the US Government to meet those requirements. 


The critical question is what frequency the cable is to be used for.


When choosing a cable, the 1st question one should ask is what frequency is the signal that I am trying to send over the cable? Is the signal digital or analogue? Digital signals are summations of sine waves with the highest frequency ones giving the digital square wave its edges. If the system is sensitive to sharp edges or fast rise times this should be taken into account. We have found a general formula to use: is three times the clock speed for a digital signal. For a high-performance digital signal use 5-7 times the clock speed.


For example: if the clock speed is 1 GHz use a minimum of 3 GHz to 7 GHz for the transmission line. The reason for this is the high frequency signals are attenuated to a greater extent within the transmission line. This causes rounding of the signal and a loss of the sharp edges.


The following chart details the technical similarities and differences between RG174 and RG316.


COMPARISON THE TECHNICAL DATA – COAXIAL CABLE RG174 vs RG316

Here you can see at first sight the characteristics of each coaxial cable, possibly from different manufacturers.




Cable A 


Cable B

Description


RG174 Coaxial cable


RG316 Coaxial cable

Addition


D= 2,80 mm / PVC / Temp: -30°C bis +70 °C


D= 2,54 mm / FEP / Temp: -100°C bis +200°C

Impedance

[Ω]

50

50

Capacity

[pF/m]

100

95

Sheath material

[mm/Ø]

2.8

2.54

Material


PVC


FEP

Color


black


brown

Inner conductor

[mm/Ø]

0.5

0.9

Material


Steel copper
strand


Copper stranded
wire
silver-plated

Frequency

[max/GHz]

1

1

Max. Voltage

[V]



Cable attenuation

[db/400MHz]

0.55


0.53


[db/1GHz]

0.88


0.93


[db/2GHz]




Shield 1


Tinned copper braid


Silver-plated copper braid

Insulation


PE


PTFE

Shielding factor

[db]

52


Velocity

[%/c]

66

69

Delay

[ns/m]



Mechanical


Temperature

max. [°C]

+70

+200


min. [°C]

-30

-100

Bending radius

single [mm]

14

13

Weight

[kg/m]

0.012

0.015

Halogen-free




Trailing cable




No Magnetic





Legend:

Compare selection cable A with selection cable B

The following characters are:

:

for this property cable B is more suitable than cable A

:

for this property cable B is less suitable than cable A

:

cable B is equal to cable A


So, which one is best? They both are applicable in LAN/WAN or GPS. They both have a small diameter, are flexible, and both have a higher signal loss than larger diameter cables. The main differences are that RG316 coax has a far lower and higher temperature tolerance due to its FEP outer jacket, which may be reflected in the higher price of RG316.


The above table details the technical differences and similarities between RG174 and RG316. Your decision needs to be based mainly on frequency required (details in the introduction) and temperature tolerance required.


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