RG213 or LMR 400

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by NI7I, May 25, 2010.

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  1. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Getting ready to buy some coax. For a kajillion years I have been using RG213 and once in a while RG8 and now I see many folk are using LMR400.

    I see two differences. The center conductor in lmr400 is solid and it also has an additional shield of foil.. Are these differences a good thing? or not? and ,m will my stock crimp PL259 connectors work on LMR400?

    What we have here are too many choices.. confusing an old guy with only 3 remaining brain cells and two of them dont get along.

  2. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    LMR400 is just a low loss version of 213, to simplify the description. It is lighter weight, too, because of the solid center conductor, and light foam dielectric. The AL sheath adds additional shielding, making it an equivalent of 100%.

    But the center conductor is larger than standard 213, so normal crimp connectors designed for only 213 will usually not work.

    LMR400 is not good to use where there will be any flexing, because of the solid AL center conductor. Otherwise, it has become coax of choice for many people.

  3. K9XR

    K9XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    A lot of guys use LMR400 or 9913 from the shack to a switch on the tower and then either 9913 FLEX or RG213 to feed the antennas from the switch. You sure don't want to use 9913 or LMR400 as a rotor "loop". They are just too rigid.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depends on the connectors and the tool, but probably not. Regular solder-on PL-259s work fine with LMR400, however.

    If you're using short runs like 100' on HF, LMR400 has no advantage over RG213/U. You'd never see the difference in loss. However for "long" runs (200+ feet), or at VHF (especially above 144 MHz) the LMR400 advantage is noticeable even for 100 feet (at VHF or UHF). The difference at 70cm is huge.
  5. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Thanks fellows. I guess I'll stick to RG213. I had a deel locally for LMR400 for 58 cents and had to ask. Guess I'll be able to use my stash of 213 crimp connectors.

    Again, thanks.

  6. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are various forms of Times Microwave LMR400. The basic LMR400 part has a copper-covered solid aluminum center conductor. LMR400UF has a stranded copper center conductor and is a drop-in replacement for Belden 9913. Davis RF sells a less expensive version called BuryFlex400.

    Bryan WA7PRC
  7. K9KJM

    K9KJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is correct. There are several VERSIONS of Times LMR 400. The low cost version has the solid center conductor. Also available is the "Ultra Flex" version that has a stranded center conductor, Plus the flooded direct burial type, etc.

    The selection of coax feedline depends on several things. FREQUENCY of operation, And overall LENGTH of feedline being some of the most important.

    For most everyday normal length runs at HF, It is tough to beat good old Belden
    RG 213. Tough stuff that can be run over by a truck.

    HOWEVER old RG 213 has much more loss at higher frequencies than LMR 400.
    At most any reasonable length for VHF or UHF, The Times LMR 400 is the clear choice to use.
    Also note that good quality Belden RG 213 costs MORE than Times LMR 400, From most all dealers......
    (Belden came up with some low loss coax that proved to have many problems with a number of it's many versions...... 9913. A good coax to stay away from.)
    KN6EWX likes this.
  8. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Thanks for the good information . The links that were sent were helpful. I cant really see any advantage to going to LMR400. my run is less than fifty feet and it is for HF primarily. Since I already have 40 crimp connectors for RG213 going to 400 wouldnt be cost effective.

    Thanks and Regards
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For 50 feet at HF, LMR400 "buys" you absolutely nothing. RG213/U's a better choice.

    Of course it pays to get "real" RG213/U and not cheap junk. Belden 8237 is good, but there are others that are perfect as well. I buy by the 1000' spool, mil surplus cable (new old stock, never used, with sealed ends) at the local surplus depot and usually 1000' of mil-spec RG213/U costs about $300, so it's $0.30/foot. 1000' (including the wooden spool) only weighs <100 lbs, I can lift it and plant it in the back of my van pretty easily. When I'm about to run out, I go get another spool!
    K7OO likes this.
  10. K0SPN

    K0SPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    $.58/ft is pretty cheap for LMR400; about $.30-$.40 cheaper than the prices I see, but I may not know the cheap places to buy it.

    While it may not provide a noticeable advantage for your application, it is high quality cable and you may end up saving a few bucks even having to buy connectors; do the math and see.
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