Get the Benefits of Using Coax Cable: Understand the 5 Types of Coaxial Cable


Coaxial cables, also known as coax cables, are a type of heavy, durable cable used in various controlled and commercial settings ranging from cable television installations to radio frequency transmissions. Coaxial cable is made of a central conductor core, usually stranded copper wire, surrounded by a layer of protective insulation, with a braided metal shield covered in an outer jacket. This construction helps reduce outside radio interference or “leakage” of the signal, making it an ideal choice for a variety of digital applications like cable television and internet connections.

When shopping for cable supplies, there are several distinct types of coaxial cables used in residential and commercial applications. It’s important to understand the various types of cable available, and the benefits each offers.

Hardline Coaxial Cable: Hardline insulated cable is designed for high-signal strength applications, such as radio transmitters or other devices. Hardline is typically larger than consumer versions, often measuring a half inch in diameter or more. The shield of hardline coaxial is usually made of solid metal (as opposed to the more pliable braided metal of consumer versions), making it a great choice in cases were cables will not be required to be bent around corners.

Get the Benefits of Using Coax Cable: Understand the 5 Types of Coaxial Cable

RG-6: The most commonly used consumer version of coaxial cable, RG-6 cable is primarily used for relaying digital video, cable television, and other digital signals. While the “RG” does stand for “radio guide”, keep in mind that this designation does not necessarily correspond to the material and construction quality of the cable. For high-definition signals, RG-6 cable should be used in place of outdated RG-5 cable.

Get the Benefits of Using Coax Cable: Understand the 5 Types of Coaxial Cable

Quad Shield Coaxial Cable: Adding an extra layer of protection against radio interference, quad-shielded coax cables consist of a center conductor wire surrounded by a layer of insulation, which is itself surrounded by a first braided shield and an additional layer of insulation. Finally, the cable is wrapped in a second shield and covered in an external jacket. These cables are extremely resistant to high-strength electromagnetic.

Tri-Shield Coaxial Cable: As its name suggests, tri-shield coaxial cable is structured similarly to the quad-shielded cable, but with two shields of braided metal instead of three. This type of cable offers some additional shielding against contamination and interference and is often workable in medium-strength electromagnetic fields.

Get the Benefits of Using Coax Cable: Understand the 5 Types of Coaxial Cable

Dual Line Coaxial Cable: This type of cable is similar in construction to traditional coaxial cable, with the difference that it contains two separate conductor wires in its center instead of one. This makes it a useful alternative for a variety of installations where space is limited.

If you’re considering installing coaxial cables yourself, take the time to make sure that each piece is fully contained within the cable system and avoid creating any potential for signal leakage. If such behavior is detected by your cable service, your connection may be severed for good. Understanding the differences between the types of coaxial cables available is the first step to making sure that your installation is done right, no matter what the application.

  • August 24, 2021