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Author Topic: HF Coax - Once Upon a Time....  (Read 1128 times)
WA1SFH
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« on: November 28, 2003, 10:12:45 AM »

HF Coax -
Once Upon a Time....back in the early 1970's there were basically 2 types of coax.
There was RG-58U and RG-8.

Today, some 30 years later, there is a whole BUNCH of coax from which to choose.... and it is bewildering.

Can someone simplify what's out there for HF Dipole home use with pros & cons?

Thank you.
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K8AC
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2003, 12:22:20 PM »

You're right - there certainly are a lot of choices.  Check out this site - they have a good line of coax options along with explanations of what the various types are good for, along with specs and life expentancy.  Their "Wirebook" goes into much greater detail and provides all you need to know to choose what is right for you.  

http://www.thewireman.com/coax.html
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N8FVJ
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2003, 04:13:41 PM »

My favorite for HF is RG-213. I will use a 50 foot or less run for 6 meters as well. I prefer a non-foam insulator as the center conductor does not migrate from center in a smaller radius bend.

I also used RG-8 foam insulaton type for 2 meters FM however it does not connect to a rotatable beam. The coax run has a large radius for changing direction.

I am going to 2 meter & 70cm SSB. I will need a higher quality low loss coax.
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WA1RNE
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2003, 07:48:25 PM »

Check out Belden 9914 50 ohm RG/8u line.

This should be a good multipurpose low loss line for use to at least 200 Mhz - about 1.8db of loss per 100 feet.

See also www.belden.com for more info......
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2003, 02:48:11 PM »

SFH, in the early 1970's there were hundreds of kinds of coax.  You probably only heard about RG58/U and RG8/U because that's what you were exposed to.

I've been licensed since the mid-60's and used two dozen varieties of coax by 1970 or so.  But there were hundreds more I hadn't even seen.

The "high end" low-loss VHF/UHF cables like 9913, LMR400, CXP1318FX and yada yada yada actually did exist back in the early 1970's, too.  And in the 1960's.  Times Microwave, who manufactures popular LMR series cables today, made a low-loss VHF-UHF version of "RG8" back in the 1960's called Times FM-8.  It was excellent stuff, I used miles of it.  This was the predecessor to LMR400, and in many ways, was actually better (although more expensive to manufacture, which I'm sure led to the development of lower-cost LMR400).

For an HF dipole, RG-213/U is a very good choice.  It's strong, weathers well (meaning slowly), can handle some power even under mismatch conditions, and is a good "bang for the buck" for most applications.

WB2WIK/6
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K9KJM
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2003, 02:50:12 AM »

I agree with WIK.
Belden 213, Which is a RG-8 (Radio Grade number Cool type
of coax is about best for HF use. It has better physical properties than the much lower loss LMR 400.
(Which is also a RG-8 size coax)
However, For VHF/UHF use, The LMR 400 is the best stuff to use (Short of Heliax)
I learned a long time ago to mistrust some of the
"clone" coax that is available. While SOME of it might
work OK, To me it is just not worth the few pennies
difference to RISK it all on the off-brand stuff....
Even the big companies mess up. Belden, Who makes all
sorts of great wire and coax, Screwed up with many
versions of 9913.......  One to avoid!
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W9WHE
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004, 12:54:44 PM »

If you want low loss and high isolation, then LMR-400 is the very best choice. It has, by far, the lowest loss AND the highest isolation of ANY of the RG-8 Cables. And no special connectors required!

W9WHE
Proud to BOYCOTT the ARRL & its products!



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