Coax cables for low loss, low leakage, low PIM & high phase stability can be supplied for DC-58 GHz. Standard, Flexible, Semi-Rigid & Hardlines are all available, as are aesthetically emphasized cables. Sizes available up to 2 inch diameter.
Though coaxial cable is basically only an unbalanced transmission conduit for RF energy, its physical construction, electrical properties & RF characteristics can vary tremendously. The characteristics of your selected cable should be application driven. Off the shelf cables are general application cables that are offered to installers that do not understand how to match various cable characteristics to their specific RF needs. This nearly guarantees that the RF system will never operate to its fullest potential.
There are literally thousands of cable variations, therefore a specialist should be consulted prior to purchasing your transmission lines if you wish to ensure that those lines will not become a permanent choking point in your systems performance. The higher your operating band is, the more critical cable performance becomes.
It is not common knowledge that most MIL-spec cables place a heavy design emphasis on physical toughness and are often very poor performers of conducting RF energy compared to commercial cables. Such characteristics are of little consequence for low frequency or short patch cables but their use may completely nullify your efforts and expense of installing a high performance antenna. Many technicians and Ham operators take it for granted that since MIL-spec cables are used by the military, they must be more than adequate for their purposes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Up/Down-link from your amplifier to your antenna is the most critical RF link, by orders of magnitude since most of these runs are many times longer than any of the patch cables and may be thousands of times greater in amplitude during transmission and the downlink during RX mode is the best opportunity to input clean, low noise RF into your receiver, at the highest possible signal strength prior to amplification. We have replaced many cables for customers that cut their line loss by half for similar size or cost per foot. You can achieve a similar result by doubling your output power, but there is NO substitute for clean input power.
The physical environment must be considered however, as a cable with excellent RF qualities is of little consolation if it has a short life span in harsh environments. Saturn Antennas can supply MIL-spec or commercial equivalents but there may be better options available for your application. If you request a consultation during your design phase, you can ensure that just the right % of your budget is allocated for transmission cable and supporting components.
It is equally critical to understand that not all connectors are created equal. Choosing the best type and brand / model can make a noticeable physical or RF quality improvement to your transmission system. Characteristics like voltage breakdown, RF leakage, inter modulation, moisture inclusion, mechanical loosening, insertion losses, impedance variations, VSWR and pull-out strength can vary greatly, even within a single connector family. Experienced professionals also learn tricks of the trade to maximize a connectors RF and physical performance, something amateurs are not privy to.
Many radio operators are unaware that there is often a great deal of room for improvement in mobile installations. Mobile installations are actually more physically, RF and electrically challenging than most base station applications. Some Antenna Engineers believe that mobile antennas will tune-up better and have less coax stray currents when the line(s) are cut to a resonant length so that the antenna feed point is loaded with a peak (or null) current/voltage node of the phase angle. Off the shelf antenna/coax packages and pre-cut coax products are usually cut to a general length such as 18, 50 or 100 ft for example, rather than tuned to your band. Saturn Antennas can provide tuned cables to your specifications or the antenna manufacturers recommendations.
Installers are often unaware of proper cable routing for best performance and of fire code laws that place restrictions on what kind of cable can be safely run in walls, ceilings, under floors or in elevator shafts. Such cables are also not adequate for use outdoors so a cabling scheme must take all challenges of the cable run into consideration.
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