Discover Complete Guide to Antenna Cables & Connectors

All the CB antennas come with a coaxial cable and the connector that best fit with the system.

But these two components are available in different quality levels that can affect the signal strength received and transmitted by your CB antenna.

The best CB antenna cable is the one that is tough, thick and waterproof so that it can protect the core of the cable from the influence of the environment and can keep the signal consistent.

Accessory Cable – RG316

RG316 is a low loss, FEP enclosed miniature coaxial cable that can work unaffectedly at temperature as high as 200°C.

The cable consists of a CCS inner conductor that is silver-coated and a silver-plated copper braid that covers the entire length of the conductor for preventing the signals from weakening due to subtle escapes.

This cable is among the best CB antenna cables used by a huge number of CB’ers.

Electrical Specifications
Mechanical Specifications
Resistance: 50Ω Weight/100m: 1.8kg
Capacitance: 96pF/m Minimum Bend Radius: 13mm
Signal Loss: 0.79dB/m @ 850MHz, 1.27dB/m @ 2100MHz Conductor Material: Silver coated CCS (0.51mm)
Frequency Range: 0-3GHz Insulating Material: Teflon PTFE (1.52mm)
Maximum Recommended Length: 50cm (cellular bands) Outer Shield Material: Silver coated copper braid 95% Coverage (1.95mm)
Velocity of Propagation: 70% Outer Jacket Material: Brown FEP (2.5mm)
Nominal Delay: 5.08ns/m
Voltage Withstand: 1200Volts DC

Standard Cable – RG58U

This CB antenna cable is the most common one among the lot.

This is the one you will find along with your CB antennas and it is known to be affordable and flexible with great performance.

Electrical Specifications
Mechanical Specifications
Resistance: 50Ω Conductor Diameter: 0.9mm
Signal Loss: 0.46dB/m @ 850MHz, 0.76dB/m @ 2100MHz Insulating Material: Gas-injected FHDPE
Frequency Range: 0-6GHz Outer Shield Material
Maximum Recommended Length: 15m (cellular bands) Aluminum Foil-Polyester Tape-Aluminum Foil 100% Coverage
Velocity of Propagation: 77% Tinned Copper 90% Coverage
Outer Jacket Material: Polyethylene (5mm)
Nominal Delay: 4.19ns/m

Low Loss Cable – LMR195

If you have to travel through heavy rains frequently then this is the antenna you will need.

It is a waterproof cable that is 5mm thick, supports a consistent signal transmission and reception and show a performance higher than the RG58U cable.

Electrical Specifications
Mechanical Specifications
Resistance: 50Ω Weight/100m: 3.0kg
Capacitance: 83.3pF/m Operating Temperature: -40° ~ +85°C
Signal Loss: 0.36dB/m @ 850MHz, 0.53dB/m @ 1800MHz Minimum Bend Radius: 12.7mm
Frequency Range: DC-6GHz Conductor Material: Single Strand Solid Copper (0.94mm)
Velocity of Propagation: 80% Insulating Material: Foam PE (2.79mm)
Nominal Delay: 4.17ns/m Outer Shield Material
Voltage Withstand: 1000Volts DC Bonded Aluminium Polyester Tape 100% Coverage (2.95mm)
Peak Power: 2.5kW Tinned Copper Wire 88% Coverage (3.53mm)

Super Low Loss Cable – LMR400

This is the most premium quality cable available till date. It is about 10mm thick that helps the cable to stay strong and less flexible for the best signal transmission.

It is recommended for any type of applications and operating conditions. The standard nomenclature of this cable always has “400” in it.

Electrical Specifications
Mechanical Specifications
Resistance: 50Ω Weight/100m: 14.6kg
Capacitance: 78.4pF/m Minimum Bend Radius: 72mm
Signal Loss: 0.12dB/m @ 850MHz, 0.20dB/m @ 2100MHz Conductor Material: Solid Copper (2.74mm)
Frequency Range: DC-16GHz Insulating Material: Gas Injected Foamed Polyethylene (7.24mm)
Velocity of Propagation: 85% Outer Shield Material
Nominal Delay: 3.92ns/m Sealed APA Tape 100% Coverage (7.37mm)
Voltage Withstand: 2500Volts DC Tinned Copper Braid 98% Coverage (8.17mm)
Peak Power: 16kW Outer Jacket Material: Black Polyvinyl Chloride PVC (10.3mm)

Cable Connectors

There is a wide variety of connectors available with each of the above mentioned cables.

But it gets difficult to pick the right one according to your requirement. Usually this confusion occurs while picking the cable by gender.

It can be differentiated as follows

Male Connector – Has the protruding metal pin or the receptacle in the center

Female Connector – has a hole that allows for the male connector to fix in

Female 7/16 ConnectorMale 7/16 Connector

BNC

This connector is the commonly bought one and is preferred to be used in the VHF/UHF systems.

BNC connectors are recognized for their superb performance from DC to 4GHz and have an impedance of either 50Ω or 75Ω.

It has the unique Bayonet twisting interface that allows for making quick connections.

F Type

It is a 75Ω connector often used in conjunction with standard RG59 and RG6 75Ω coaxial cables.

It can show great performance up to 1GHz but is not suitable for the requirements of the modern day broadband.

This connector is employed with the cables used for the cable TV, HFC, set-top boxes, cable modems etc.

FME

This 50Ω connector is used with the cables making connections for the mobile phones and wireless broadband antennas.

The FME connector performs outstandingly in the 0-2GHz frequency range and the smaller connector diameter will help you make connections in a faster and a neater way.

MC-Card

It is another micro-miniature 50Ω connector that features snap-on mating, appropriate for RF devices operating between DC and 6GHz.

It is often used in place of the MMCX connector because of the functional and physical similarity between the two.

MCX

It is also called as a Micro Coaxial connector and is aimed at working for RF applications between DC and 6GHz.

Most of its dimensions are similar to the SMB connector except for a 30% smaller outer diameter that enables the users to make tight connections easily. GPS, TV tuner cards, RF hardware and the PCB mounted have these connectors employed with the cables.

Mini-UHF

It is the exclusive mini version of the UHF conncetors for space-limited RF applications.

It presents many amazing features found in the larger UHF connectors too. It can operate through DC and up to a frequency range of 2.5GHz.

MMCX

It is also called as a Micro-Minature Coaxial connector that is a smaller version of the 50Ω MCX coaxial connector.

It generally operates through DC to 6GHz and with its snap-lock function, you can easily adjust and rotate it to about 360 degrees.

PCB mounted on PCMCIA cards, modems, and GPS devices usually have these connectors employed.

N Type

These 50Ω connectors are employed with the high quality antenna systems due to their extensive performance band – DC to 11GHz.

This connector is wide and large but is really easy and simple to get it connected. It is found in radars, electronic instrumentation, mobile base stations and most of the microwave band antennas.

QMA

The QMA connector is an easy-to-fix connector that enables safer and easier coupling.

It is widely used in cellular base stations and defense applications. It frequency range extends to about 18GHz at 50Ω and often gives a tough competition to the SMA due to its snap-lock design.

SMA

It is a 50Ω connector that is found on the rear side of desktop modems and as the physical interfacing screw thread of some small-size antennas.

It is designed to be used for a wide range of RF applications and is appropriate for operations at DC to 18GHz.

SMB

This connector has an impedance lying between 50Ω and 75Ω and because it is capable of operating from DC to about 4GHz, it is perfect to be used with RF applications.

Its performance and size is similar to the SMA connector. These connectors are used widely in the equipment used for telecommunications.

SSMB

This is the miniaturized form of the SMB connector. With its snap-on interface, it ensures that all the connections are neat and secure.

It exhibits great performance from DC to about 12 GHz and has a constant impedance of 50Ω.

TNC

They are pretty similar to the BNC layout with the difference lying in the threaded connector.

It surpasses in performance than the BNC at microwave frequencies. These connectors have a unique design that is waterproof, threaded and has a constant impedance of 50Ω.

It finds its uses in the radar, Wi-Fi equipment and military systems as it is capable of operating at about 11 GHz.

UHF

In this series, variable impedance connectors are available that are required for the systems that will operate at lower frequencies ranging from 600KHz to 300KHz.

These connectors work best for radio and UHF applications. The CB/UHF (477MHz) users use these connectors frequently. Their impedance can vary between 30-40Ω.

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