RG142 vs RG400 | Product Knockout

Product Knock-out

Our Product Knockout series is a match-up between two similar products. In boxing terms, think same weight class, same caliber, and same level of experience and amount of exposure. The purpose of these posts are for you to see a side-by-side view of two similar products, and to be able to understand which one will be crowned champ for your specific purposes. Take your seats and prepare for battle, because the gloves are coming out.

RG142 and RG400 are both high temperature coaxial cables with a maximum temperature rating of 200°C, which allows for installation in heat sensitive climates and projects. RG142 is a versatile coaxial cable designed for use in radio frequency, telecommunications, interconnects, and signal transfer applications. Likewise, RG400 coax cable is well-suited for use in satellites, systems, and other tactical operations and equipment. RG142 and RG400 are strikingly similar in most regards, however there are a few subtle differences that set them apart. First we’ll take a look at each cable’s construction.

RG142 vs RG400 Specs for Construction
RG142 RG400
Conductor Type Solid Stranded (19 strand)
Conductor Material Silver-coated Copper Clad Steel Silver Covered Copper
Dielectric Diameter .116” .116”
Shield Double Silver Plated Copper Braid Double Silver Plated Copper
Jacket FEP FEP
Overall Diameter .195” .195”
Weight 43 lbs/mft 50 lbs/mft

RG142 coax cable features a solid silver-coated copper clad steel conductor, while RG400 coax cable has a stranded silver plated copper conductor. The differences in conductor material and type play a major role in the cable’s weight differences and slight difference in pricing, as well as how they differ in terms of flexibility. RG400 weighs 50 lbs/mft which is slighter heavier than RG142 which weighs 43 lbs/mft. RG400 coax is also more flexible and has a greater resistance to flexing fatigue failure as compared to RG142 coax. Again, the flexibility can be attributed to the conductor stranding. Finally, copper clad steel is slightly less expensive than copper, thus why RG142 costs less than RG400.

RG142 vs RG400 Electrical Specs

RG142 RG400
Min. Temperature Rating -55°C -55°C
Max. Temperature Rating 200°C 200°C
Max. Voltage 1900 1900
Impedance (ohms) 50 +/-2 50 +/-2
Capacitance (pF/ft) 29.4 29.4
Max. Freq. (GHz) 12.4 11.0

In terms of electrical specs, RG142 and RG400 are able to withstand the same ratings across the board. Both cables are rated for up to 1900V with a temperature range of -55°C to 200°C.

RG142 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft) RG400 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft)
Typical Attenuation Max. Attenuation Typical Attenuation Max. Attenuation
100 MHz 3.8 4.4 4.1 4.5
400 MHz 8.1 9.3 8.6 10.5
1 GHz 13.7 15.3 14.2 18.1
2.4 GHz 23.3 25.0 23.6 30.2
5 GHz 37.4 41.8 37.0 52.1
10 GHz 60.0 70.7 57.8 78.0

Focusing on RG142 and RG400 attenuation, it’s important to keep in mind that the larger the conductor, the less the attenuation. The attenuation is directly aligned with frequency and determines how far the signal will travel over the coaxial cables. Because RG142 has a solid copper clad steel conductor, low frequency electrical power is able to travel down the middle of the wire. The attenuation from RG400 coax is slightly higher because of the conductor stranding.


RG400 coax cable vs RG142 coax cable

Winner by unanimous vote? Instead, it seems as if the match has ended in a technical decision. In this case it looks like our crowned champ depends on your specific application use.

If you are unsure about what coaxial cable you’ll need in order to meet the needs of your application, consult with a qualified engineer or with one of Allied’s knowledgeable sales reps. To learn more about RG142 and RG400, visit the coaxial cable main product page.

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Merrimack, NH, Tampa, FL, Pewaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at www.awcwire.com.

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