Coaxial cables are an important part of many industrial and commercial applications. They provide a high-quality signal that is perfect for video, audio, and data transmission.

Have you ever wondered how coaxial cables transmit information at a powerful rate? In this guide, we are going to review their design, how they work, the unique benefits they can offer, and some common applications for them.

Coaxial Cable Design

A coaxial cable is made up of four primary parts: an inner conductor, an outer conductor, an insulating barrier between both conductors, and an exterior jacket. The combination of these four components enables coaxial cables to transmit high-frequency signals over long distances with minimal signal loss.

The inner conductor is typically made of copper wire and is the primary catalyst for transmitting electric current through the cable. Conversely, the outer conductor helps protect the inner conductor and carries the return current back to the source.

The insulating barrier is placed between the conductors to prevent interference between them. This ensures that the signals are transmitted with greater efficiency and clarity.

Lastly, the exterior jacket protects the entirety of the cable and is made with an insulating material. In most cases, this is a durable, yet flexible rubber, such as neoprene.

How Do Coaxial Cables Work?

Now that we understand the inner workings of a coaxial cable, let’s take a closer look at how they transmit information.

As previously mentioned, coaxial cables are designed to carry high-frequency signals over long distances with minimal loss. To do this, they rely on two primary methods: impedance matching and shielding.

Impedance matching is the process of reducing resistance to the flow of electric current. This is achieved by ensuring that the inner conductor and the outer conductor measure the same diameters. The impedance of a cable is measured in Ohms and is typically available at either 75 or 50 Ohms.

Shielding is a process that protects the signal from interference. The most common type of shielding used in coaxial cables is copper braid shielding. This form of shielding consists of a woven copper mesh that surrounds the inner conductor.

Lastly, coaxial endpoints are often fastened in place rather than simply plugged into an endpoint. These cables typically include a fastener on each end that is threaded over the endpoint for an extra measure of connection security.

The Benefits of Using Coaxial Cables

The most immediate benefit that coaxial cables provide is enhanced signal quality. Interference is reduced drastically while the strength of the signal is increased for more effective transmissions over farther distances.

Due to their simple design, coaxial cables are also cost-effective and readily available. They can be designed, assembled, and implemented in a relatively short amount of time, even for custom solutions.

Common Applications for Coaxial Cables

One of the most recognizable applications for coaxial cables is cable television. The term “cable television” originated from these signals being transmitted to receivers in homes and commercial buildings through the use of a coaxial connection.

Today, this still remains the primary method for accessing high-numbered channels on TV sets worldwide. Coaxial cables are also often used for other everyday signal transmissions such as modems and routers for computers as well as satellites, security cameras, and high-quality audio equipment.

While they are most commonly used for these applications, coaxial cables can be employed in a number of other ways depending on the needs of the user.

For example, some companies use them to connect various pieces of industrial equipment or as part of an emergency backup system. Others use them to transmit signals for long-distance communications, such as radio and television broadcasting, aerospace and nautical radio systems, and military applications.

With an industrial or military-grade coaxial cabling system, you can ensure stronger signals in remote areas where other connections may fail. They are also designed for higher durability to withstand constant use in the field. Since coaxial cables are heavily relied on for the systems they support, one with a weak construction can easily break and compromise the integrity of the communications infrastructure. 

Get Custom Coaxial Cables That Meet Your Specifications

Midcon Wiring Solutions is the leading provider of industrial-grade cabling across the global aerospace, military, and telecommunications sectors. Each of our RF solutions is custom-engineered to meet your exact specifications up to 110 GHz.

To learn more about how we can develop a solution for your organization, contact us today to speak with our team of engineers.