What is The Specific Difference Between RG6 And RG11
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What is The Specific Difference Between RG6 And RG11

Patented in 1880, coaxial cable has been a standard means of delivering high-frequency electrical signals over distances with low signal loss. It has many applications, including telephone trunk lines, cable television signals, and cell phone boosters. Cables come in many sizes and lengths, each designed for a specific application.


Coaxial cable has an inner and outer core that share a geometric axis. This prevents electromagnetic interference and enables more reliable data transmission over longer distances.


How is Coaxial Cable Constructed?

Coaxial cable is constructed from a single copper or copper-coated steel wire as the center core which carries the high-frequency signal. This wire is surrounded by a dielectric insulator, often made of plastic, which keeps a constant distance between the center conductor and the next layer. This insulator is wrapped with a metal shield made of woven copper, aluminum, or other metal. This cancels outside electromagnetic interference. The final layer is a rubber wrapper that insulates the whole configuration.


Coaxial cable can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications with a few differences. Coax used outdoors requires additional insulation to protect the wires from sun and moisture. Cables rated for outdoor use may run along the outside of your home to a satellite dish or to the cable box on the corner. Whether out in the sun or buried in the earth, the cable needs to be protected enough to provide seamless transmissions.


RG6 vs RG11: Similarities And Differences

RG6 coaxial cable and RG11 coaxial cable are different coaxial cable types that help you wire up AVs, CCTVs, amplifiers, cellphone signal boosters, and satellite TV systems. In choosing the right cable, you’ll come across these two cable designations. They’re not the same and they have certain differences to keep in mind when considering choosing one or another.  Here’s what to expect when it comes to RG6 vs RG11.


Indeed, their biggest difference comes from attenuation or the degree wherein the signal quality is lost. RG11 is able to offer less attenuation or signal loss due to its thickness but RG6 has more flexibility and affordability to spare by having just enough signal integrity but its thinness will naturally lead to more attenuation. Signal loss is more immediate at shorter lengths with the RG6.


Comparison Chart

Categories

RG6

RG11

Uses

Mostly used for satellite cables

Only reserved for special uses

Price

Less expensive

More expensive

Thickness

0.375 inches or ⅜ inches

0.75 inches or ¾ inches

Flexibility

More flexible and less stiff

Less flexible and stiffer

Attenuation

More signal loss

Less signal loss

Center Conductor

18AWG

14AWG


Attenuation And Compensating for It

RG6 has more signal loss compared to RG11. The RG11 cable will give you a better signal at its end compared to the end of the RG6 when given a specific length of cable. Meanwhile, noticeable attenuation will only happen to the RG11 cable once you start using longer RG11 cables since the signal travels longer distances, leading to attenuation. If you want clearer signals then, of course, you’d go for the RG11, right?


In contrast, you’ll get more signal loss from RG6 at a shorter cable length that only gets worse the longer the cable is. There’s also the upside that signal transmission from the RG11 is able to deal with higher frequency ranges, particularly in ranges that the RG6 couldn’t carry. However, as you will see below, there’s a price to be paid when it comes to this frequency and signal loss mitigation.


Signal Loss

Signal loss is more immediate at shorter lengths with the RG6....


Comparison Chart

Categories

RG6

RG11

Thickness

0.375 inches or ⅜ inches

0.75 inches or ¾ inches

Flexibility

More flexible and less stiff

Less flexible and stiffer

Attenuation

More signal loss

Less signal loss

Center Conductor

18AWG

14AWG


Flexibility

In choosing the correct coaxial cable to wire up an AV system, we often encounter the RG6 and RG11 designations. These cables are not the same and there are differences that need to be considered before choosing one over the other. The biggest difference between these two cable types is attenuation or the degree at which signal quality is lost. RG6 cables have greater attenuation compared to the RG11. Therefore, with a given length of cable, you would have a better signal at the end of the RG11 cable than at the end of the RG6. Conversely, you can use greater longer RG11 cables before experiencing any noticeable signal loss. Another upside to the RG11 cable is that it can transmit signals at a higher frequency range, which the RG6 cable could no longer carry.


Probably the biggest downside to the RG11 coax cable is its higher price per meter. The increase in price can add up pretty quickly as it is often used for long distances. The reason for the higher price is the thickness of the cable and the conductor itself within the cable. More materials directly translate to a higher cost to manufacture. Since the conductor inside the RG6 is smaller in diameter, the overall thickness of the RG6 cable is also thinner.


Another problem with the RG11 is the lack of flexibility, largely due to the thickness of the cable. This makes the use of RG11 cables in common home connections very difficult, if not impossible. The RG11 cable is not really designed to bend around corners or take sharp turns. The RG6 is much better for this and that is why it is often preferred in-home installations. The RG11 coax cable is often used in backbone installations where you would usually need to connect two points that are separated by a somewhat great distance.


If you already have the RG11 cable but need the RG6, it is safe to use the RG11 cable in its place and expect no loss of signal quality. The opposite is not always true as, depending on the signal being carried, the RG6 may or may not suffice.


Price

Probably the biggest downside to the RG11 cable is its higher price per meter. The increase in price can add up pretty quickly as it is often used for long distances. The reason for the higher price is the thickness of the cable and the conductor itself within the cable. More materials directly translate to a higher cost to manufacture. Since the conductor inside the RG6 is smaller in diameter, the overall thickness of the RG6 cable is also thinner.


Applications

Coaxial Cables, as the name implies, are electrical cables where the inner conductor & the outer conductor, share a common spatial axis and having dielectric insulation. The inner conductor, generally made of copper, is used to carry electrical signals and the outer conductor, which is a wire mesh shield, is used for grounding. Due to the nature of its construction, coaxial cables are suitable to carry high-frequency signals like Cable television signals, Broadband internet data, and keep the signals free from other external interferences.


In commercial applications, one primarily encounters 3 types of Coaxial Cables - RG59, RG6 & RG11 - which are in increasing order of cable price, thickness/weight, and signal carrying capacity. But all of them have a common impedance of 75 ohms.


RG59 Coaxial Cable (nominal diameter - 5mm), is suitable for CCTV (Camera) systems. It can carry signals with minimal losses up to a distance of 250 meters.


RG6 Coaxial Cable (nominal diameter - 7mm), finds its applications in Cable TV, Dish TV, TV Antenna, Broadband internet and can carry signals up to 450 meters.


RG11 Coaxial Cable (nominal diameter - 10mm), has similar applications as above but used either in harsher environmental conditions and/or where signals need to be carried long distances up to 600 meters.


Which One Is Best?

Of course, it depends on what you’re using it for.

In most cases, RG6 cable is the best choice, but let’s back up. RG specifications (the “RG” used to stand for “radio guide”) are used to distinguish different types of cables, but they aren’t the only way. In most cases an RG6 cable has better shielding than an RG59 cable, and is thicker because of it. However, many RG59 cables are just RG6 cables that didn’t quite meet those specs and are just repackaged.


How to tell what you have

If you look at almost any cable, you’ll see words on the side. It should say that it is RG59, RG6, or RG11. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not a professional-grade cable and you should avoid it.  You can google the writing on the side and generally get more information. If you open up any of these cables you should find a braided metal sheath surrounding a white or clear plastic center that has a piece of copper in the center.


RG59 is for antennas

Generally, I don’t even buy RG59 cable anymore but if I do it’s going to be for an antenna. RG59 cable has higher loss and isn’t generally able to handle the frequencies used by satellites.

RG6 is used for most satellite cables.

Properly made RG6 cable should give you the ability to get a stronger signal over a longer run, which is important for satellite TV since there’s a lot more signal there. Antennas are often OK with RG59 cable but do just fine with RG6 as well.


RG11 is only for special uses

RG11 cable is made for special purposes like burial or very long runs. It’s so thick that it needs special connectors and is very hard to bend. It’s a real pain to use and isn’t recommended for most indoor installations.


What to look for in a cable

When you’re looking for a cable for your satellite system, you should also be looking for cables that are sweep-tested to 3GHz (meaning that they are guaranteed to work with satellite) and have a solid copper core conductor anywhere that power is going to be used (like where the power inserter is placed.) Quad-shielded cables aren’t really that important for home but they don’t hurt.


If you’re looking at cables that you’ve salvaged from other projects, take careful stock of what you have. Is there any corrosion around the connectors? Does it look like the cable was bent sharply at any time? Older cables aren’t always the best bet. They may come in handy for a short while, but if you’re looking for a long-term solution, you may want to buy new cables.


Summary

1. RG11 is better at preserving signal quality than the RG6

2. RG11 is able to work at much higher frequencies than the RG6

3. RG11 costs more than RG6

4. RG11 is twice as thick as RG6

5. RG11 is not as flexible as RG6

6. You can use RG11 to replace RG6


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