Coaxial cable is the most common type of antenna feeder in use today. Often referred to a RF (radio frequency) cable, it is used in a wide number of applications wherever the transfer of radio frequency energy is required.

Although one of the most common applications is for television down-leads in domestic applications, RF cable is used in any application where high frequency signals need to be carried over a distance. These applications include:

* Commercial and industrial transmission lines* Ethernet local area networks* Wi-Fi networks* Mobile phones* Terrestrial microwave* Air traffic control* Military* Medical* RFID antennas

How Do They Work?RF cables are designed to prevent any potential interference. To achieve this, they are constructed of four circular layers – the signal-carrying wire, insulating material (usually solid plastic), a metal shield and a final plastic protective casing.

An RF or coaxial cable carries equal and opposite current in both the outer and inner conductors. This effectively confines all the fields within the cable, so it neither transmits nor receives signals.

The cable operates by broadcasting an electromagnetic wave inside itself. It is not affected by nearby objects, making it ideal for any applications where it has to be routed around or through buildings, or close to other objects. This gives it a huge advantage over other feeder cables, such as open wire or twin.

Types of RF CableThere are many different types of RF cables:

* Coaxial (coax) cable – this is the most common and is used primary to connect your TV to other appliances.* Twinaxial (twinax) cable – this has two central conductors, and is commonly used to connect data hubs.* Heliaxial (heliax) cable – often used to connect a radio transmitter and an antenna.

LimitationsRF cables do have a couple of disadvantages in some applications, when compared to “newer” types of cables. These include:* Sound can only be carried between two devices in mono, not stereo.* If the cables are not properly manufactured, they may pick up interference from power cables or magnetic sources.

AdvantagesRF cables are the best option for connecting a TV aerial to TV equipment. They:

* Exhibit low losses* Provide stable performance* Are very flexible* Have fast transmission speed

Delaire USA specializes in manufacturing custom fiber optic and RF cables and assemblies for military and telecommunication applications. Visit for more information.