¿ RG-59 or RG-6 ?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KB3ZGV, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. KB3ZGV

    KB3ZGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The RG-59 seems like it would be easier to solder to with it's 95% copper braid. I'm kinda curious what the other 5% is though.

    But from what I'm reading the RG-6 is supposed to be lower loss, but the braid looks like it's hard to work with.

    Is there really that much difference in loss for HF applications?

    I'm guessing RG-6 would be best used with SMA crimps and an adapter to a PL-259. I hate to buy a bunch of crimp SMAs and a crimper that I'm hardly ever going to use, but,,,,,,,
  2. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You still have an option to flag down friendly cable TV technician and offer him a bribe !
    I did and I got 100 feet terminated RG-6! But I had to buy internet box and service from him, so it was not free.

    BTW some ( better quality ?) RG-6 is in addition to two aluminum foils and very brittle aluminum braid filled with sticky goop to boot. I am assuming for better protection from water, especially when "buried" only six inches deep in Texas waterlogged clay.

    73 Vaclav
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I made that mistake when we were trying to help a fellow ham get up an antenna. He didn't have any coax, but found a long length of RG-6 from a defunct Cable TV line. We came to the grim realization that the shield could NOT be soldered under any condtions! SO that coax wound up getting pitched and the ham was able to beg a run of RG-58 from some locals. So RG-6 is absolutely USELESS (unless you like CRIMP connectors!)
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    There isn't anything except copper in the braid of RG59/U. What the 95-percent means is that the shield covers 95-percent of the area. To get 100-percent, the shield basically has to be a solid material, not braid which, due to the construction, does have some "open" areas. Using 2-layers of braid does get the coverage to almost 100-percent but it takes things like a solid copper or aluminum foil to get to the 100-percent level.

    Glen, K9STH
  5. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Joe -

    For RG-6/U coaxial cable, you need to know SPECIFICALLY what version you have (Dual, Tri, Quad shield). You can get the specifications by reading mfg. markings on cable and Internet Google search.

    As far as connectors, soldering modern CATV cable is a fool's journey.
    CATV industry desired connectors installed with high reliability from minimally trained technicians ---
    so T&B "Snap-N-Seal" (weatherproof crimp connector) is most popular in either F, BNC, or RCA connectors.

    I am not aware of any SMA connectors for RG-59/U or RG-6/U CATV coaxial cables.
    The SMA connector is really too small (physically) for proper connection to RG-6/U.

    I would steer you toward BNC crimp connectors (instead of F),
    then use the readily available BNC-UHF adapters.

    Amphenol SMA catalog

    Amphenol RF Connectors

    Vaclav --

    That RG-6/U version is for OUTSIDE CATV cable plant (buried and aerial) ....
    the gel (goop) is to prevent water intrusion (corrosion).
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  6. KB3ZGV

    KB3ZGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, I said SMA when I meant F

    Are the F connectors OK to use?

    What is the advantage of the BNC over the F?
  7. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    COST and Availability of adapters for amateur radio gear.
    The "F" connectors (CATV, DTV standard) are fine for RG-6/U or RG-59/U
    BUT the F-to-UHF adapters are not cheap ($20-$25) and a bit more difficult to locate, and rarely found surplus.
    Pasternack Adapters

    BNC connectors (75 and 50 ohm) adapters are common to find at video production studios, TV studios, military ops, and CATV head-end premises.

    For example, the BNC female to UHF male (PL-259) adapter is ~ $12 each.
    I did not mention the RCA (Phono) Snap-N-Seal connector for RG-6/U,
    BUT they would also work as well.

    they even make a right angle version

    BTW, you have large distributors (and some mfg) for these connectors in Philadelphia area.
    Telco, CATV, and network technicians should be able to tell you -- which ones have a Counter/Retail/Will Call operation.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The answer is, "The other 5% is air.":eek:
  9. KB3ZGV

    KB3ZGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Something about the idea of there being only a crimp connection to the shield bothers me. Am I just being paranoid?
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A properly applied crimp makes an excellent connection, usually better than a lot of people can make a solder connection!

    Glen, K9STH
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