RG223 vs RG58 | Product Knockout

Product_KnockoutOur Product Knock-out 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.

RG223 and RG58 coaxial cables are both used for high frequency signal transmission. Common applications include use in antennas, communications equipment, and in broadcast. RG-58 coax is commonly used in radar systems, flight guidance equipment, aerospace communications, and as a high frequency RF antenna for ground support equipment. RG223 cable is best used in applications like phasing harnesses, cables sets, test cables, and radio systems. RG223 coaxial cable can also be used in GPS applications requiring low signal loss and high shielding performance.

Both coaxial cables are built to tough military standards; each cable has its own mil-spec equivalent. The mil-spec equivalent of RG 223 is M17/84-RG223 and for RG 58 the mil-spec equivalent is M17/28-RG58.

These coaxial cables are similar in their applications, but are they built the same? Read on to find out.

RG223 vs RG58 Specs for Construction
RG223 RG58
Conductor Size 20 AWG 20 AWG
Conductor Type Solid Stranded (19/32)
Conductor Material Solid Silver Coated Copper Tinned Copper
Dielectric Diameter .116” .114”
Dielectric Material Solid Polyethylene (natural) Foam Polyethylene (natural)
Shield 1st Shielding: 95% Silver Coated Copper Braid

2nd Shielding: 94% Silver Coated Copper Braid

95% Tinned Copper Braid
Jacket PVC (Non-Contaminating Vinyl) PVC
Overall Diameter .212” .198”
Weight 40 lbs/mft 26 lbs/mft

Though these coax cables are similar, they differ in most of their construction, starting with the very core. Both cables are sized 20 AWG, but RG-223 coax features a solid silver-coated copper conductor, whereas RG-58 features a stranded tinned copper conductor. While both have a Polyethylene (PE) dielectric, RG223 uses solid PE and RG58 uses a foam PE.

The shielding, which is often referred to as the outer conductor in coaxial cables, is what really sets these two products apart. Both cables have coated-copper braided shields, but differ in the material and number. RG58 has a single tinned copper braid shield, while RG223 features two layers of a silver-coated copper shield. The double shielding on RG223 affects the size and weight of the cable, making this a larger and heavier cable than RG58.

RG223 vs RG58 Electrical Specs
RG223 RG58
Min. Temperature Rating -40°C -40°C
Max. Temperature Rating 90°C 60°C
Max. Voltage 1900 1900
Impedance (ohms) 50 50
Capacitance (pF/ft) 32.2 26

In regards to the electrical specifications, these cables are almost identical, but the construction does affect some electrical characteristics.

Because RG223 has silver-coated copper conductors, it can withstand more heat, resulting in a higher temperature rating compared to RG58. In addition to a higher temperature rating, the double shield in RG223 allows it to have a higher capacitance than RG58.

RG223 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft) RG58 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft)
50 MHz 4.8 3.2
400 MHz 12.0 9.0
1000 GHz 21.0 14.5

These similar products also differ when it comes to the attenuation of each cable. Attenuation is described as the loss of signal strength during transmission, which results in a lower signal strength.

RG223 and RG58 are comparable cables, so why does the attenuation vary?

There are many factors that can either increase or decrease the loss of a signal, one of which is temperature. Since RG 223 has a higher temperature rating than RG 58, RG-223 experiences more loss compared to RG-58.

RG223 cable vs. Rg58 cable

RG223 cable vs. Rg58 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 RG223 and RG58, 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.

2 Responses to RG223 vs RG58 | Product Knockout

  1. John says:

    “There are many factors that can either increase or decrease the loss of a signal, one of which is temperature. Since RG 223 has a higher temperature rating than RG 58, RG-223 experiences more loss compared to RG-58.”

    Nonsense. Temperature of what? Everywhere I look to check the data on those two cables, they tell completely opposite. Higher temperature rating means that the cable can operate efficiently in higher temperature. That makes it better, not worse.
    Why would the manufactures go for the trouble of coating the core with silver if it makes worse conductor?? I think you got lost somewhere here, specially with that temperature business.
    Don’t you know that silver is a better conductor then copper?
    Where is your data from? Cheers

    • awcwire says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reaching out to Allied! Overall, silver-plated copper does have many benefits over tinned copper. In the electrical specifications chart of this blog post, you can see that the temperature rating of RG223 is higher than RG58, as well as the capacitance.

      However, it seems that you were referencing the section on attenuation. Attenuation is described as the loss of a signal along the length of a cable, and so minimizing the amount of loss in a cable run will increase the performance of the cable.

      General Cable compares attenuation to a log flume ride at an amusement park:

      “A certain amount of water (400 gallons) is present at point A (top of the ride). The water travels to point B (bottom of the ride; 390 gallons present); however, along the way some water splashes out (loss was ten gallons). That loss is similar to attenuation.”

      In their catalog, Times Microwave explains how temperature affects attenuation, stating “elevated temperature increases cable attenuation by increasing the resistance of the conductors and by increasing the power factor of the dielectric.”

      Hopefully that helps to clear up any confusion!

      If you’re interested in learning more about attenuation and how to prevent it, this article may help: https://awcwire.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/low-loss-coaxial-cable/

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