RG213 vs LMR400 | 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.

RG213 and LMR400 are both coaxial cables that have a wide variety of uses. RG213 coax is suitable in applications where low signal loss and high voltage operations are required. This includes radio communications, electrical and data transmission, broadcast, and computer applications. LMR400 is a flexible low loss braided coaxial cable designed for use in low loss RF cables. Both LMR400 and RG213 have a lot of overlapping characteristics, however that are a few differences that set them apart and can make a big difference when deciding which cable will work best depending on your electrical requirements.

RG213 vs LMR400 Specs for Construction
RG213 LMR400
Conductor Type Stranded (7/0.030) Solid
Conductor Size (in) 0.089 0.108
Conductor Material Bare Copper Bare Copper Clad Aluminum
Dielectric Diameter 0.285 0.285
Dielectric Material Solid Low Density Polyethylene Foam Polyethylene
Shield Single Bare Copper Braid 1st Shield: 100% Aluminum Braid

2nd Shield: Braided Tinned Copper

Jacket PVC PE
Overall Diameter (in) 0.405 0.405
Weight 110 lbs/mft 68 lbs/mft

Although these two cables are often compared, there are several construction differences, starting with the very core. RG213 features a stranded bare copper conductor, while LMR400 features a solid bare copper clad aluminum conductor. RG213 coax also offers a PVC jacket, while LMR400 coax features a PE jacket. The outer conductor of these cables, also referred to as the shielding, is another significant difference that sets these two coaxial cables apart. RG213 simply has a single bare copper braid, while LMR400 has a double shield composed of an aluminum braid and braided tinned copper.

RG214 vs RG213 Electrical Specs
RG213 LMR400
Min. Temperature Rating -40°C -40°C
Max. Temperature Rating 75°C 85°C
Max. Voltage 5,000 2,500
Impedance (ohms) 50 50
Capacitance (pF/ft) 32.2 23.9
Max. Freq. (GHz) 11 6

In regards to electrical specifications, these cables differ mainly in terms of their maximum voltage rating, capacitance, and maximum frequency. RG213 is able to withstand double the voltage rating of LMR400, however LMR400 coax exceeds RG213 in both loss and power handling as is apparent by the chart below.

RG213 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft) LMR400 Loss (Attenuation dB/100ft)
100 MHz 2.2 1.2
400 MHz 4.8 2.5
1000 MHz 8.2 4.1

There are several factors that play a role in signal loss, and in this case, the different conductors are at the root of the attenuation differences. The rule of thumb here is the larger the conductor, the less the attenuation. Because LMR400 has a larger conductor than RG213, the conductor size accounts for RG213 experiencing more signal loss than LMR400.

RG213 vs LMR400

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 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 RG213 vs LMR400, 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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