Guide to choosing the right coaxial cables for your home
A coaxial cable is a type of electrical cable commonly used for transmitting high-frequency signals, such as those used in Internet systems and security set-ups. There are different types of coaxial cables, designed to transmit frequencies at different ranges for specific applications. If you are setting up a new home or simply want to renovate your home, understanding which types of cables to buy and use is crucial. In this article, we explain what the different types of coaxial cables are, how they are used, and how you can integrate them into your home systems.
The anatomy of a coaxial cable
Coaxial cables consist of several layers. Usually, each cable consists of a centre conductor, a dielectric insulator, a metallic shield, and the outermost layer called a jacket.
The centre conductor is the innermost part of the cable, typically made of solid or stranded copper wire. This wire is responsible for carrying the signal being transmitted. The dielectric insulator separates the centre conductor from the outer layers of the cable, and it is usually made of polyethylene.
A metallic shield surrounds the dielectric insulator, and it is typically made of braided or foil-wrapped copper. The shielding prevents other signals from interference. Finally, a durable jacket made of polyethylene or PVC provides the cable physical protection, preventing moisture and other contaminants from entering it.
How coaxial cables are used
Coaxial cables are used in many applications in the home and beyond, including in Internet systems and security set-ups, such as video and audio surveillance needs.
In cable Internet (ethernet) systems, some common types of coaxial cables used include the RG6, the RG11, and the LMR (Land Mobile Radio) cable.
The RG6 is the most common type of cable. This is due to its thickness and high durability, which in turn offers better signal quality. RG6 cables can transmit data at high speeds and over long distances. The RG11 is a thick, high-performance coaxial cable that can also fulfil your needs. It has a lower signal loss than RG6 over longer distances, making it a good choice for larger homes.
Finally, the LMR (Land Mobile Radio) cable is used in wireless communication systems, which is suitable for those who want their Internet systems at home for use in outdoor and underground installations. It is designed to be flexible and durable, with low signal loss at high frequencies.
For those who have homes on individual lots and want to instal security systems, coaxial cables can also come in handle. Some examples of viable options are the RG59, the RG6, and the Siamese cable.
The RG59 is a thin coaxial cable that can be used in CCTV systems and other low-frequency applications. If you need to transmit video signals from surveillance cameras to recording devices, the RG59 is a good and relatively inexpensive way to do that, though it does have more signal loss at higher frequencies.
The dependable RG6 is thicker and more durable than the RG59, and it sells for a higher price point, but it does have better signal quality and less loss of signal over longer distance. This is a great choice for both Internet systems and home security applications.
Finally, the Siamese cable is a type of coaxial cable that combines both video cables and power cables in one jacket – making it much easier to install and reduces clutter. This can be a good option for those who are looking at more minimalistic home designs, as only one cable needs to be run for each camera.
What to consider when choosing coaxial cables
When choosing the right network cables for you, you should consider the following:
There are different types of coaxial cables available, and they are generally sorted by thickness. Two common examples are the RG6 and the RG59. The RG6 is a thicker and typically more durable cable of the two, with better signal quality, making it a good choice for high-definition requirements and strong Internet connections. The RG59 is a thinner cable with lower signal quality, making it an optimal choice for connections requiring lower frequency signals, such as in CCTV and other security systems.
Connector types include F-type or BNC connectors, which coaxial cables typically come with. F-type connectors are usually suited for home entertainment systems, while BNC connectors are usually suited for security systems. However, the most important thing to make sure the connector type matches your equipment.
You should consider the cable length appropriate for you. Longer cables may cause signal loss, so it’s best to use cables that are as short as possible for your system.
Good shielding is required of all cables, as it can prevent interference from other signals or noise. You can select cables with higher shielding rating (such as 95 dB) to block interference, compared to those with a lower rating (such as 70 dB).
Brand, quality, and price
Finally, you should always choose a reputable brand from a reliable seller to get the best quality cables and good performance. Purchase from electrical component specialists, who will be able to help you with not just the cables but also with other equipment you will need for installation, such as cable cutters, compressions tools, and more.
Overall, choosing the right coaxial cable for your home requires consideration of your application as well as the design of your home. To make sure you pick the right network cables, you should select the right cable and connector types, installation requirements, and other considerations based on price, brand, and quality. The best thing you can do is to go to a trusted retailer and seek help from a member of staff, who will be able to help you select the best cables for your home.