Different types of cables have different functions and it is easy to view any cable as a single, working unit. But each cable is made of different layers, with each layer providing a different function. Learning how these pieces interact makes it easier to understand just how a cable works and what can be done to avoid damaging a cable.
Coax is one of the most common types of cable, having been in use for well over 100 years. While the technology has improved over time, the basic layout
Coax cables are capable of transmitting radio frequency (RF) signals and have served as the backbone of communications technology for decades. From radios to telephones to televisions to computers, coax cable has seen continued use even as the technology it supports continues to evolve. Stretching back over 100 years, the origins of coax cables begin towards the end of the 19th century.
Oliver Heaviside, the grandfather of modern coax cable
1880: The original coax cable was created by English inventor
Coax cables are fairly simple to assemble, but there are a few different ways to go about doing so. Having a good coax signal is heavily dependant on installing a connector correctly. If you are unsure about how to install a coax connector, see our installation guide here.
Whether crimp, solder, compression, and twist-on is the best option will depend on the exact setting the cable will be used in. Consider questions such as:
- Is the cable low- or high-voltage?
- Will it be used for field-work or factory-work?
- How experienced are the individuals working with the cable?
- How long is the cable expected to last?
- What is the budget?
- Will the cable be in a hazardous environment (extreme temperatures,
Cable switches are used to connect multiple signal inputs (computers, DVD players, video game consoles, etc.) to a single output (televisions, computer monitors, etc.). Switches all work on the same general principle and most are purely mechanical. A switch only goes from multiple inputs to one output; if you need to go from one input to multiple outputs, you will need a splitter instead.
Switches are used when you have a screen, such as a TV or computer monitor, that does not have enough ports. For example, say you have a TV with one HDMI port but you want to connect a DVD player, a laptop, and a video game console. One option would be to constantly reach behind the TV and switch the cables, but that gets old fast. The simpler solution would be using
Cable splitters are used to connect multiple TVs, computer monitors, or other devices to a single signal source. There are differences between the various types of splitters, but a few general rules apply to them all. Splitters only go from one input to multiple outputs; if you need to go from multiple inputs to one output, you need a switch instead.
When a signal goes through a splitter, it is divided and becomes weaker. Imagine an HDMI splitter as an example. Modern HDMI cables are capable of a 4k signal, which works fine if you are using a single HDMI cable by itself. However, say you use a 4-way HDMI splitter to run four cables to four TVs. Each signal would only have half the normal strength so none of the TVs will have 4k quality.
Because the signal is evenly divided, the signal will become weaker for bigger splitters.
Coax is one of the oldest types of cables and has withstood the test of time, still being used over 100 years after its invention. While many stores today have pre-made coax cables available, sometimes another option is needed. Users may need a cable in an unusual size or just need to replace a broken connector. This guide will show users how to put coax connectors onto the end of bare coax cable.
Along with the many types of coax cables there are to pick from, there is also an assortment of different coax connectors. When selecting a connector, you need to make sure you select one rated for the cable you are assembling. The back end of the connector that attaches to the coax cable needs to be the right size for installation. If the connector is too small, it will not fit. If it is too big, the connector will not secure properly and can be pulled off or even just fall off.
The type of connector you need will be determined by the equipment used with the coax cable. A television coax connection, for example, uses an F-type connector as the industry standard. Not every connector can be used with every type of coax cable, but all types of coax cables do support multiple types of connectors.
Coax (coaxial) cable is one of the oldest types of cables, having been in use for over 100 years. Like ethernet, coax cables come in both solid and stranded versions, although they are usually solid. Only a few types of coax, namely RG58 and RG8, are available as stranded.
Most coax cables fall into one of two categories, RG (Radio Guide) and LMR. No one is 100% sure what LMR actually stands for. It could stand for a term, someone’s name, or just be random letters. There are many rumors and theories for what LMR may mean but nobody really knows for sure.
RG cables are labeled “RG#” with the number formerly standing for the diameter of the cable. For example, RG59 cable originally had a diameter of .059”. While these measurements have changed over the years, the names of the cables have stuck. There are many types o