What is RF Cable?
Rf cables or radio-frequency cables are a sub-type of coaxial cable that is utilized to send radio-frequency waves. Rf cables are a set of casings to protect signals from interference.
Proper selection of Rf cable is important because improper Rf selection makes your system unstable as well as wastes your time and money. To
Properties of RF Cable
Electrical properties of RF cable include
- characteristic impedance
- transmission loss
- frequency characteristics,
- temperature characteristics
- shielding characteristics
- maximum tolerance
Mechanical properties of RF cable include
- Minimum bending radius
- Unit length
- Can convey a wide frequency band
- The high degree of defense against external interference
- Small antenna effect and small radiation loss
- Smooth structure
- Convenient installation
- Cost-effective and economical
Design Of RF Cables
The basic structure of RF cables consists of a coaxial design having four circular layers and. Few modifications are made to prevent signal interference. These four circular layers from inside to outside are arranged in the following manner
- the wire carrying the signal
- an insulating substance that is usually solid plastic
- a metal shield
- Finally, a plastic casing protects the materials inside.
Identification Of RF Cables
It is easy to identify the Rf cable with the help of connectors at the end of the cable. Rf cables connectors have a specific pin that plugs into the RF input on a TV or other equipment and a corded piece of metal around the connector that can be used to protect the cable from the RF input port
Types Of RF Cables
1. Braided Flexible Cables
The most common form of coax cable is a Flexible (Braided) Coaxial Cable. It is mainly preferred for use due to its flexibility. It comprises a twisted or ‘braided’ layer of fine wire acting as the outer conductor; hence, the name “braided coaxial cable”.
The braided outer conductor provides a good shield to the center conductor. Further, the number of strands twisted in the braid and the number of braid layers used in the structure provide a measure for its effectiveness and efficiency. The shielding given by the braid is enhanced if an extra aluminum foil is combined over the braid, especially for short wavelength and high-frequency applications, where the high intensity of radiation shielding is of prime importance. Replacing braided cable with a semi-rigid cable in such applications where a high degree of shielding is required relieves this problem.
Semi-rigid Coaxial Cable is a particular type of Rf cable. In order to reserve all of the Rf energy within the cable, it uses a sturdy tubular outer conductor mostly made of copper. It is still a favored cabling choice for fixed connections such as inter-subsystem connections inside a microwave system. The semi-rigid cable connections are predicted to remain settled during the regular operation of the microwave system and not interrupted frequently. Moreover, specific bending tools are applicable for bending or giving shape to the semi-rigid cable.
Another sub-type of semi-rigid rf cables is a Consistent semi-rigid cable. It is in between flexible and semi-rigid cables in terms of their rigidity and conformability.
3. Flat Ribbon Coaxial Cable
Flat ribbon coaxial cable is the excellent quality of ribbon cable, where different coaxial cable series are gathered side by side and placed together inside a shielding jacket. Each coaxial wire is made up of a central conductor insulated by dielectric material from the outer conductor or the foil. A drain cable connected to the foil runs along the length of the ribbon coaxial cable and offers an electrical ground connection. Ribbon Coaxial Cable merges the benefits of both ribbon cable and coaxial cable. It is beneficial to use this type of cable when multiple high-frequency RF signals are required to be transported to another point in the system, such as a panel-built termination box.
It presents a sharp and easy installation choice for applications requiring simultaneous transportation of microwave signals, radiation shielding, and crosstalk shielding from each other. The ribbon coaxial cable is available with the insulation displacement technique.
Applications of RF Cables
- Attaching the radio transmitters and receivers to the antenna in a telecommunication system,
- It is utilized as transmission lines for radio frequency signals
- Distribution of CATV, HDTV, and CCTV signals,
- Coaxial Ethernet system (Computer networking),
- Remote control, live broadcast of a sporting event from the stadium to a studio,
- Labs to test different microwave systems using test and measurement equipment,
- Aerospace operations, where the cables are used on-board the aircraft, and
- On-board spacecraft (wherever space-grade, radiation-hardened cables are used), and several others.
- Used in feedlines connecting radio transmitters and receivers to their antennas
Before You Leave
RF cables are the most common electric cables utilized for electronic works. Although they have few drawbacks, they are still the best choice for some particular operations to install an efficient system, a proper selection of Rf cables is an essential and topmost requirement. The proper information about RF cables helps you to utilize your money in the right place and save your time as well.