Glossary  >  Coaxial Cable

Coaxial Cable


A coaxial cable, or coax cable, refers to a cable that transmits RF signals with speeds of up to 10 Mbps. Coax cables are commonly used by cable operators, telecommunications companies, and internet providers to transmit data.

Coaxial cables have a distinct thick, round shape thanks to their interior layers, which typically feature:

  • An unleaded copper conductor
  • A dielectric insulation layer
  • A conductive outer shielding
  • A protective plastic outer jacket
Cross-section of a coaxial cable

Cross-section of a coaxial cable

The coaxial cable has been around since the 20th century and is still popular in present-day applications thanks to its reliable, accurate transmission.

The cable's success is partly due to its shielded design which protects the inner copper core, allowing it to transmit signals efficiently without succumbing to interference and attenuation from environmental factors.

Coaxial cables are available in various sizes suited for different applications. The most common variants of the coaxial cable are:

  • RG-6 cable: a highly adaptable cable that is widely regarded as the most commonly used coaxial cable. It has applications in various industries ranging from CCTV to radio antenna installation.
  • RG-11 cable: a hardy coaxial cable known for its low attenuation and robust build. It is commonly used in outdoor situations where it can withstand outdoor conditions.
  • RG-58 cable: A lightweight coaxial cable with a 50 Ohm impedance, commonly used in indoor applications like TV antennas, and formerly the go-to cable for 10BASE-2 ethernet.
  • 400-series cable: a heavy-duty coaxial cable, similar to RG-11, that is 50 Ohm impedance and large N-connectors. It is known for its low attenuation and is found in most higher-end signal booster systems.
  • 600-series cable: even more shielded than the 400-series, this coaxial cable has lower attenuation and can be used for longer cable runs without significant signal loss. It also is 50 Ohm impedance and has N-connectors.

Example of Coaxial Cable in a sentence

"Coaxial cables are so effective because the electromagnetic field carrying a signal only exists between the inner and other conductors."

Synonyms: Coax

Related Terms for Coaxial Cable