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Author Topic: Best 2 meter coax?  (Read 8269 times)
KJ4HPV
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Posts: 5




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« on: November 16, 2008, 04:16:51 PM »

Okay, so which type of coax is the best for 2 meter? The way my antenna is set up, I need to use about 25 feet of coax from my Radio to antenna. Should I look a RG8X for $.29 a foot, or RG213 for $.79 cents a foot, or should I just hop down to Radio Shack and pick up 20 feet of already assembled RG58 for $10.99? I am new to HAM, and Have a Diamond CP22E 2m vertical, and a Yaesu FT-2800, set up as a base radio, but I can use it because I have no coax, and don't know which I should get. Smiley
73's
Brady KJ4HPV
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N4ABA
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 05:29:02 AM »

Morning, Brady.  For 25' of coax, the RG8X will do fine for FM use. However, if you get into "weak signal" operation (SSB/CW) the higher quality coax and a good antenna will make a huge difference.  I do use some RG58 but only 'cuz it was free :-)

I'd go with the RG8X....in the future, as you add or improve your station, the vertical can remain for local use, but use a lower loss coax for the newer antennas.  Think of the lower loss cable as a lower "drag" coefficient as on your sailplane...the lower the drag, the farther you go!

Pity you're across the big hill from me....I have some RG58 I'd give you....might want to check with the locals, as you might snag some for free.  RG58 is cheap and will at least get you on the air until you can get something better.  

Cheers!
Andrew
N4ABA
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N5NPO
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 08:30:05 AM »

LMR-400....
Get some...
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W4KVW
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Posts: 508




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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 04:26:59 PM »

Stay AWAY from Radio Shack coax of ANY KIND! It is the WORST choice for feedline since it LACKS anything close to QUALITY in construction & materials.I use ONLY FLEXI 4XL made by the WIREMAN & some I am using today I bought almost 15 years ago with ZERO problems. Hope it's some help for you!For feedline on ANY band it does NOT get "BETTER" than hardline but for that short of a run it would be BIG TIME "OVERKILL"!

Clayton
W4KVW
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AB0RE
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Posts: 293




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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 08:56:03 PM »

I've had great luck with DavisRF BuryFlex.  One can buy it with the ends pre-soldered on from www.radio-ware.com.  Check out the reviews of BuryFlex here:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4515

73,
Dan / ab0re
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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2008, 03:06:57 PM »

The absolutely best co-ax is 1 5/8 inch hardline.  For a simple 2 meter amateur radio setup, however, it is overkill.  ;-)

For a 25 foot length, you'll get decent results with RJ-8X.  If you can afford a better cable (LMR 400 is one example) and intend to make your setup semi permanent, go for it.  

Whatever you do, stay away from RJ58 alltogether--for VHF (2 meter work) it is marginal at best.  Even the people who want cable for HF stay away from it, and for UHF (70 centimeters) it is just about useless.
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W3LK
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 01:36:19 PM »

That should be RG8X and RG58.

There's no such coax as RJ8X or RJ58.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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KI6LO
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 10:45:09 AM »

Brady,

Not to sound crass, but go online and learn to read and understand coax cable specifications. Not only will you be able to make informed decisions for yourself on this project but for all future ones too. There are many sources for coax and most give specifications for quality cable.

Cost alone is not a valid comparison point for coax usage or quality. Be aware of losses per 100 feet at the desired operating frequency and any special connectors needed to fit. Compare 'apples to apples' when looking at different cables. Once you decide the coax for the job, then shop around for prices. You'll find the prices vary from a few cents to as much as a dollar or more at certain vendors.

Once you find a source of quality cable, you'll probably find yourself going back there time and time again.

As a point of reference, I use Davis RF 'Bury Flex' for a 100 foot run on 20M thru 10M yagi setup. My 6M setup uses Andrew FSJ4-50B 1/2" hardline from shack to top of tower and a short piece of 9913F7 from Andrew to 6M yagi and Bury Flex on shack end to radio. My 2M SSB setup uses Andrew LDF hardline from shack to tower and again short run of quality RG-8 at the ends.

From my experience a ball park cost of most quality RG-8 class coaxs will be 0.70 - 0.90 a foot in quantity. Some vendors are very proud of their products and their prices show it. I would say aviod these except in a last resort.

Good luck in learning about coax. It can be fun and rewarding.

Gene KI6LO
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W6CD
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2008, 01:53:39 AM »

- RG8X is plenty good for a short run like 25' at VHF frequencies.  
- LMR400 would be better, as it offers less loss per foot.  But at 25', not a biggie.
- I would not recommend Radio Shack coax.

Summary - RG8X
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K2LCK
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2009, 03:41:13 PM »

At two meters, the insertion loss of coax runs from about .8 db PER HUNDRED FT to about 2.5 db per hundred ft.  If you are just using the local repeater, rg58 is fine.  Not something to be concerned with for a 25 ft run. If you ever get into SSB weak signal work, by then you will not need this question answered.. Ed
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N0FPE
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Posts: 370




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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 11:07:34 AM »

I would think a couple of sections of 3 inch rigid line should be ok!!! Ask your local FM broadcast stattion if they have any spare with extra flange mounts. LOLOL!!! Should be good for at least 50k watts. Dont forget to see if they have a spare dehydrator or Nitrogen system.

Hey! Its better than radio Shack coax!!!!

Dan
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KC8JRV
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2009, 05:02:15 PM »

How can you judge the quality of coax when the only source in town is a Radio  Shack?

As I recall, they offered me RG58  and RG8X at other times.

Seems like it was what was left over that they were willing to whack off for me.

I didn't know any better: Still don't.  What's the difference?
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WS4E
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Posts: 236




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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2009, 08:15:58 PM »


Get good cable for good prices at http://www.jefatech.com.


They have a good LMR-600 heavy cable for pretty good prices, and it has excellent specs on VHF/UHF.

Their LMR-400 type cable is also very good and for a great price.


You can get them to build pre-made cables with whatever connectors you want on them for well.  And they do a good job.
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