How To Choose Coaxial Cable For An Installation

Choosing the right coaxial cable is key to a correct installation. There are several factors that are usually decisive when choosing one and the other, in addition to the price, of course.

Coaxial cable is used for both DTT and satellite installations, as well as in certain video surveillance installations (CCTV). Using an inappropriate cable or its deterioration are very frequent reasons for the malfunction of many installations. Therefore, we are going to try to help you know how to choose the ideal coaxial cable .

 

How to choose coaxial cable

The   main function of coaxial cable is to carry the RF signal. These are the signals that go from the antennas to the  receivers , being able to go through  amplifiers ,  distributors  and  television sockets  among other elements, this happens for both DTT and satellite.

It is possible to find different types of coaxial cables , depending on the material, the diameter of the center conductor and the dielectric or the use among other factors.

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Indoor or outdoor coaxial cable?

The first big difference and factor to take into account when purchasing a coaxial cable is where we are going to place it . Depending on whether the use is going to be outside a home or building or it is going to be used inside, we will choose a coaxial cable or another.

The outdoor coaxial cable is made of polyethylene , and they are prepared to withstand inclement weather: rain, high and low temperatures, the action of the sun, etc. It is generally black, although we also have white outdoor coaxial cable for aesthetics , widely used in private terraces where the black cable does not blend in. The range and variety of this type of cable is somewhat lower compared to indoor coaxial cable.

Indoor coaxial cable is white and comes in different qualities and thicknesses. In the following article you will see the best indoor coaxial cables.

 

What kind of installation is it?

Depending on the installation and the situation, a coaxial cable or another will be suitable.

Once the first big question as to whether it is for interior or exterior is resolved, we must take into account these characteristics:

  • Signal loss
  • Wire thickness
  • Inflammability
  • Material
  • Price
  •  

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According to the loss of signal:

There are coaxial cables that offer very low signal loss. They are usually somewhat higher in cost because they are 100% copper and have a very good shielding . The screening is key to avoid signal loss and therefore the mesh that makes the coating must be of good quality.

In addition, this type of coaxial cable has a very low attenuation and is designed for medium, large and very large installations. For example, in large neighborhood communities.

The signal losses in 800 MHz usually go from 0.12dB to 0.23dB, being the average in most cables between 0.16dB and 0.19dB.

 

According to the thickness of the cable

The thickness of the coaxial cable ranges from 5mm the thinnest to half an inch the thickest. The vast majority of coaxial cables tend to have an  average thickness of 6.8mm .

Thicker cables are used for long cable runs as they offer greater resistance. While, the thinnest coaxial cables are used in DTT installations or to pass these cables through tubes that are narrow and a thicker cable does not fit in short runs.

 

According to flammability

The European regulation for Building Materials that came into force on July 1, 2017 takes into account flammability. For this reason, the use of halogen-free coaxial cable is increasingly important . This type of coaxial cable is not flame propagating, that is, if there is a fire this type of cable does not burn and prevents the fire from continuing to grow and spread.

 

According to the manufacturing material

The material with which the coaxial cable is made is closely linked to its quality. We distinguish between the inner conductive material that is the core of the cable, also called live, and the braided wire mesh  that covers it.

This is the manufacturing material in order of quality:

  1. Copper (Cu)
  2. Tinned copper (CuSn)
  3. Copper plated steel (CCS)
  4. Copper Aluminum (CCA)
  5. Aluminum (Al)

Therefore, you can take this scale into account when choosing the coaxial cable for an installation.

 

According to the price

The price will depend on all the factors mentioned above. It is true that there are cheap coaxial cables that usually stand out for lower quality materials in the scale seen in the section above.

This type of cheap coaxial cables are used for simple installations, with a few meters of cable and where the attenuation that the cable may have does not influence excessively. On these occasions these cables work perfectly and fulfill their objective.

 

How to avoid interference?

If we are in an area where there is interference caused by mobile phone 4G, we need a quality coaxial cable .

To avoid such interferences we will need a coaxial cable with a good shielding . These coaxial cables are usually called with the following nomenclature: class A ,  class A +  or  triple shield  or  triple mesh coaxial cables . These cables provide extra shielding that is unaffected by interference.

Mobile telephony can cause interference in our signal

Paying too much attention to shielding is useless if you do not pay attention to two fundamental things in the installation. On the one hand  connect the elements to ground , which makes the mesh fulfill its function. On the other hand use  shielded connectors ,  quality connectors  to avoid the interference is introduced through the connector itself.

You can check the  price of coaxial cables in our online store .

 

Coaxial cable for CCTV

Finally, we would like to tell you that coaxial cable is also used in video surveillance installations (CCTV) . In these cases, more specific coaxial cabling is usually used for this: RG59. This cable is thinner and goes together with the power cable for the cameras.

 
Coaxial cable for CCTV

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