Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Information about RG Coaxial Style

RG-style Coaxial Cable

(blogger@L-com.com) Exposed view of an RG-style coaxial cable with call-outs

Following our popular post about Antenna Coax Cable Types where we talked about the low-loss style coaxial cable used in antennas, we wanted to spend a moment talking about the RG-style coaxial cable.

RG is sometimes attributed to mean "Radio Guide". The different standard RG numbers were originally set by the US government long ago. In fact, the actual letters stood for:

  • R = "Radio Frequency"
  • G = "Government"
  • U = "Universal Specification"
  • A, B, C, etc., = Added after the standard number to indicate a modification from the original standard, such as to change the center conductor from solid to stranded to improve flexibility

So, a cable referred to as RG188A/U is really the universal standard 188, with modification "A", set up by the government for radio frequency use. Today, RG references are no longer precise and are more of a general reference. Individual vendors may have slightly varied specs for the same RG cable, so it is important to understand those specs for your application.