CB Coaxial cable, has an internal conductor enclosed by a tubular insulating layer, which is further surrounded by a tubular conducting shield. Many coaxial cables also have an insulating outer cover or jacket. Coaxial cables are copper-based wires and are composed of four layers. The center of a coaxial cable has a thin wire conductor. Surrounding the copper wire is a layer of plastic for insulation. Op top is a wire mesh layer for more insulation and the last later is another rubber later. Each end of the cable has a thin layer of copper that can be screwed into the receiving electronics. Coaxial cable differs from other shielded cable used for carrying lower-frequency signals, in that the dimensions of the cable are organized to give a precise, constant conductor spacing, which is needed for it to function efficiently as a transmission line.
Why it is so important
Just like the body organs cannot function properly without the blood vessels connecting them together, the different components of a CB system are also rendered useless if they are not connected to each other through a good quality thick coaxial cable or simply called the coax.The importance of cb coax cable can hardly be overstated because there is always a need of strong synchronization among the different CB parts in order for the system to operate efficiently and that cannot be made possible without a coax.
There are different types of coax cable used nowadays that serve different needs specific to the CB radios and antennas models being used. Performance of your coax depend on Radio, Antenna and also depends on the types of connections you make with it.
Elements of Coaxial Cable
Coaxial – two conductors sharing the same center.
Center Conductor (Copper Core) – the wire at the very center of the cable.
Insulator – the material surrounding the center conductor.
Shield – the outer conductor surrounding the insulator. Usually in the form of wire mesh.
Outer Insulation (Jacket) – the outer covering of the cable.
Propagation velocity – speed of signal traveling in coax.
Types of Coaxial Cables
There are a vast number of coaxial cables available in the market, all have different functions and features.
RG-58: This type of coax is used for single antenna installations and for jumper wires that go between the radio and a test meter (SWR meter). The RF resistance of this type of coax is 50-ohms. Within this group you will find coax labeled with RG-58 or RG-58. These cables have a solid center conductor. The common outer diameter for this type of cable is about 0.20″.
RG-8X: This type of cb coax cable is also used for single antenna installations or jumpers between pieces of equipment. Sometimes it is referred to as “Mini-8”. Like the RG-58 type coax, RG-8X also provides 50-ohms of resistance. In short, this cable could be called hi-performance 50-ohm cable. It always has a stranded center conductor and a high shielding percentage. It will also handle higher power (wattage) and has a higher propagation velocity. For the general user, it is more than what is required. However, if you are using amplifiers or just like to get the absolute most from your set-up, it will deliver. The outer diameter of RG-8X is typically about 0.24”.
Several times a year we get tech calls from installers who place dual antennas on their vehicle and run RG-58 or RG-8X from each antenna to a T-connector at the back of their radio only to find that the system “doesn’t get out”. You should not use 50 ohm coax on a ground plane dependent dual antenna installation. These flawed installs can be misleading because SWR tests can show exceptionally low SWR, making the operator think that all is well. However, the impedance of the antenna system does not match the requirements of the radio and therefore, the output power of the radio is greatly reduced. In several tests, we found that a 4-watt radio would only generate 1.75 watts of output power that is the equivalent of having an SWR reading.
Difference between RG-8X and RG-58
RG – 8X is the upgraded version of RG – 58, it is thinker in the diameter. Following are the differences between RG-8X & RG-58.
|RG – 8X||RG – 58|
|RG-8X cb coax cable is an upgraded version of RG-58 coaxial and is suggested for high-powered applications or users who simply want the best coax possible.||RG – 58 cable can be used for moderately high frequencies.|
$23 – $60
RG-8X is the best choice for heavy duty vehicles, trucks applications as well as base station setups.
| $8 – $58
This RG-58 CB coax is a reasonable choice for general CB installations.
Signal loss & outside interference is less because its shielding rating is almost 95%+, this will increase signal’s intensity, or amplitude in large distance transmission. PL-259 connectors is joined by hand soldered so the chance of PL-259 connector’s breakage is very less.
|All CB radios and mount studs that accept a PL-259 coax connection. Compatible with high-powered applications.||All CB radios and mount studs that accept a PL-259 coax connection. Compatible with moderately high frequencies.|
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