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Thread: Service Monitors - Cables

  1. #1
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    Default Service Monitors - Cables

    What does everyone use for RF cables on their service monitors? I'm looking for some high-quality, low-loss, fairly flexible cables to use on my service monitor. Just wondering what others were using.

    TIA,

    -b

    Could a mod move this to the Test Equipment Forum? Sorry about that.
    Last edited by bsdam; Mar 15, 2013 at 01:38 PM.


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    Moved to Test Equipment
    "Don't worry about what I am, cause I'm a state agent so what you need to do is make sure your doing the right thing **** boy" -J. Dewitte

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    You want to take a look at RG-142B/U cable. It's the stuff you want for service monitor jumper cables.

    1M lengths are available on eBay (for making your own patch cables): http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=200796775745

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    +1 for the RG-142

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    I like the RG142 for nice good quality cables. For low cost I use CNT-195-FR because it uses the same connectors as RG58 and I can get the cable for around $1.50 a meter.
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    I use RG-223, pretty much the same as RG-142.

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    Excellent, Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate it!

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    You really do not want to use RG-142 for testing on the bench. It has a solid center conductor; silver plated steel, which under repeated bending and flexing will break, and/or cause an intermittent connection.
    RG-400 which is the same overall diameter as RG-142, and double shielded, and uses the same connectors as 142, but RG-400 has a silver plated stranded center conductor, which, for bench testing, is an ideal choice since your going to flexing and bending the coax repeatedly. RG-223 is also a great choice on test cables as well and similar in size and electrical characteristics to RG-400.
    -just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by EF_John; Mar 22, 2013 at 07:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EF_John View Post
    You really do not want to use RG-142 for testing on the bench. It has a solid center conductor; silver plated steel, which under repeated bending and flexing will break, and/or cause an intermittent connection.
    RG-400 which is the same overall diameter as RG-142, and double shielded, and uses the same connectors as 142, but RG-400 has a silver plated stranded center conductor, which, for bench testing, is an ideal choice since your going to flexing and bending the coax repeatedly. RG-223 is also a great choice on test cables as well and similar in size and electrical characteristics to RG-400.
    -just my 2 cents.
    Good note on the RG-142. Although not often, I do occasionally have to replace connectors after a lot of use due to the solid center you mention. Will look to use RG-400 or 223 in the future.

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    I've used both 142 and 400. I have 400 cables in my kit that are over a decade old and haven't experienced any internal breakage or intermittent connection issues.

    Both 142 and 400 have Teflon center insulators that will withstand a lot of heat, so if at all possible crimp and solder the tips.

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    I find that 142 cable to be a little stiff. 400 cable with the stranded center conductor is better. Works at higher frequencies, I think 18 Ghz.
    The top end cable I like for use with my Network analyzer is Gortex cable. Cost a lot but is very flexable and will not change phase or impedance with bending.
    For just plane old test cable that is easy to use and not cost a fortune I like Ponoma cables. 48 and 72 inch BNC ends. They use a good RG-58 type of coax with crimp connectors. These will work with most of your common measurments. I keep a set with my service monitor.

    mm

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    RG-400. I buy it in ten-foot lengths at the hamfest for $10. Same diameter, no solid conductor issues.