Back in days when public phone booths were popular, people had to shout their lungs out to send out a stronger signal on long-distance calls so that their voice would not break due to loss of signal. Twisted pair of wires was initially used for transmission of telephone signals but electromagnetic interference with signal was a serious issue over the larger distance. Coaxial cables were designed to reduce electromagnetic interference and signal loss to a minimum. The most significant part of the design is that all the layers of wire share the same axis and hence it is called coaxial cable.
What is signal leakage?
Signal leakage is the loss or degeneration of radiofrequency signals when the wire is unable to contain the signals. Theoretically, signals running in a cable are a close system that is completely isolated from any off-air signals so there should be no leakage or interference. However, in the reality of an imperfect world, the cable networks are not completely sealed and the signals can leak out of this imperfect sealing and interfere with off-air signals in the surrounding. Similarly, it is also possible for electromagnetic waves in the surrounding to seep into the cable network and interferes with signals flowing in the cable. All this could gravely impact the quality of signals. Usually, interference is not an issue in the coaxial cable made up to the standards of however signal leakage is still an issue and signal leakage will cause distortion and delays in connection. In today’s world where wireless communication is common, this can seriously impact the quality of both cable networks and off-air signals.
Design of Coaxial Purpose
Coaxial cables can transmit radio frequency, digital signals, and microwaves. RF coaxial cables are used to transmit radiofrequency signals for cable connections of television and the internet. The central metallic conductor (usually copper) is wrapped by an insulating layer which prevents signal leakage. The insulation which is made from plastic in most cases is further wrapped by a shield intended to prevent electromagnetic interference. The shield is usually made of aluminium to block out any signals from surrounding. This does not allow the interference of any external electrical or magnetic fields. The shield is further protected by another insulation layer referred to as an outer jacket or external jacket.
If the shielding or insulation of a coaxial cable is defective it can cause signal loss or signal leakage in the coaxial cable and greatly impact the cable user experience.
How insulation prevents leakage?
For radiofrequency cables, the type of insulation used is dielectric insulation. An insulating material which is a poor conductor of electricity is used to wrap up the central conductor of cable so the signals can not escape the system. Since the material used is non-conductor it effectively prevents the signal from being conducted out of the cable connection system. The thickness of the insulation required depends on the thickness of the conductor and the strength of the signal that will flow through it.
Signal Leakage due to other reasons
Other reasons which can lead to signal leakage are stared below:
- Signal leakage could also occur if the connection is not sturdy.
- If the connector at the end of the cable is not a good fit for the cable.
- If the connector is not installed properly.
- Splitting the cable connection using a poor quality splitter with multiple outlets can also cause signal leakage and deterioration in connection quality.
- Damaged or poor quality of insulation or shielding can cause signal leakage.
- Bending a cable beyond its capacity can bend the dielectric and can cause the coaxial conductor to go off-center, causing the signal leakage.
How signal leakage is detected?
Signal leakage meters are available to detect the exact point of leakage in the cable connection.
Sole engineering is a trusted supplier of high-quality time microwave cable. We have a variety of coaxial cables to meet your professional and domestic needs. Do not hesitate to contact us and place your order. We also deal with a walkie talkie and their accessories.