Coax Cable vs. Twinax Cable | Product Knockout

Product Knockout: Coax Cable vs. Twinax Cable

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

Coaxial and Twinaxial cable are similar in their applications but differ in terms of their construction. Both cables are used in data processing and information systems applications; specifically, cable TV and computer networks. This post will analyze the similarities and differences with both products as well as breaking down their construction and features.

What is Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cable is used in the transmission of video, communications, and audio. These cables are designed to transmit high frequency signals and data with low loss due to environmental factors and interference. Allied has a wide variety of coaxial cable in stock that can vary in terms of its impedance, environmental temperature, working voltage, signal loss at specific frequencies, power rating, and cost. Coaxial cable’s construction may vary depending on the application that it is used for. Many conventional coax cables feature a copper wire and copper mesh shield to remain flexible while preventing any leakage of the signal.

Coax cable is available in military grade. These cables are referred to as RGs and are used in applications where military specifications are needed, as well as direct burial applications. Coaxial cables also meet M17 military specifications. Learn more about RG and M17 coaxial cable.

What is Twinaxial Cable?

Twinaxial cable is commonly used in data transmission and information systems applications. This cable uses two twisted conductors surrounded by a common shield. The two conductors offer more protection from environmental factors and lower cable loss. Twinax cable loses its effectiveness in long-range situations over 15 MHz. It is primarily used in short-range, high-speed signaling applications including those in the computer industry. Twinax cables also meet military M17 specifications.

Coaxial Cable vs. Twinaxial Cable

There are a lot of similarities between coaxial and twinaxial cable. Both are used in data transmission and information system applications, along with protection of the signal from interference. Coax and Twinax also both have military specs, which allows them to be used in applications requiring military standards. These cables are identified by RG or M17. The biggest difference between these two types of cables is their construction. Twinaxial cable features two conductors instead of one. This allows twinaxial cables to provide a more protected and clearer signal, but only in very short range and high speed applications. Coaxial cable is more versatile in its usage and it is able to carry low frequency signals such as audio. This makes it an ideal cable to use for radio frequency and cable transmission applications.

And the winner is….

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’re unsure about what cable you’ll need in order to meet the needs of your application, let Allied help you out! Check out Allied Wire & Cable for more information on Coax and Twinax Cables or give your sales rep a call at 800-472-5655 with any questions.

Allied Encyclopedia: M17/176-00002

What is M17/176-00002 Wire?

M17 is the military standard for coaxial cables which are used to maximize performance in difficult situations that the military might encounter. M17/176-00002 is a variation of M17 coaxial cable called twinax cable. Twinax is similar to coaxial cable, however it has two inner conductors instead of one. This cable is used for high frequency signal transmission.

M17/176-00002 Construction

As stated above, M17/176-00002 is a variation of coaxial cable that is a twinax cable. Its 2 inner conductors are 24 AWG, each 19/.005 silver coated copper alloy. This cable has two solid Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) dielectric cores. These cores are twisted together and filled with two PTFE rod fillers. The outer conductor is a single braid of 38 AWG, silver-coated, high strength alloy. The inner braid has 95.4% coverage and the outer braid has 94.6% coverage. M17/176-00002 has a Perflouroalkoxy (PFA) type XIII jacket with an overall diameter of 0.129 inches.

M17/176-00002 Cable Ratings

  • Temperature Range: -55°C to +200 C
  • Max Operating Voltage (vms): 1,000
  • Impedance (ohms): 77 +/-7
  • Capacitance (pF/ft): 19.0
  • M17 Test Frequency: 10 MHz UnSwept
  • Comments: Use up to 10 MHz maximum

M17/176-00002 Wire

For more information about M17/176-00002 please visit our catalog page on M17/176-00002 cable. To request a quote on M17/176-00002 twinax cable, visit our Quick RFQ form or call one of our experienced sales reps today at 1-800-472-4655.

Allied Encyclopedia: M17 and RG Coaxial Cables

Allied EncyclopediaM17 coaxial cable? RG coaxial cable? All of these cable designations and specifications for different types of coaxial cable can get confusing, especially with how often the same standards seem to evolve.

M17 and RG standards both refer to coaxial cable, but they are not exactly the same. See how the designations differ and learn about the continuing changes in military specifications for the wire and cable industry.

Let’s start with the oldest first. RG coaxial cable designations are the old military standards for coax; RG meaning “radio grade.” They are still popularly used to refer to parts, but they have been officially discontinued by the military. You will mostly hear RG coaxial cable part numbers used by commercial industries, corresponding to the different types of connectors used in their products. There are a wide range of products still available under their RG numbers, and the differences between these numbers can depend on one or more things, including a material change or difference in ratings. Because the RG standard is no longer controlled by the government, even products with the same RG number are not guaranteed to be exactly the same, so it is important to check product specifications.

M17 refers to the military specifications (Mil-Spec) set by the U.S. Department of Defense. Mil-DTL-17, or M17 for short, is their standard for coaxial cable. They replaced the old RG numbers and ensured that the new M17 coaxial cables would stand up to tough military requirements in extreme applications and environments.

While the Mil-Spec numbers are still common, they are also being transitioned out of the industry. The government often releases cancelled or inactive standards to the hands of non-government standards bodies, like the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). These independent organizations develop standards that address the quality and safety of cable products, and both SAE and NEMA are in the process of updating and converting a selection of Mil-Spec numbers into their own standards.

No matter what kind of cable you are ordering or what identifying standards are associated with it, make sure to read every specification sheet closely. This is an important step to ensure that you choose the appropriate product for your application requirements and the standards you need.

Visit Allied’s online product catalog to view M17 and RG coaxial cable specifications now.

Allied Encyclopedia – Shipboard Cable

Allied EncyclopediaThe term “shipboard cable” covers a wide range of wire options. Different shipboard cables can be used for power, communication, control, lighting, electronics, instrumentation, and even other specialized applications. They are also diverse in terms of the people who use them: everyone from the U.S. Navy to recreational boaters.

No matter what the application or who the user is, shipboard cable must prove safe, effective, and reliable in any situation. Standards help manufacturers and end-users ensure that shipboard cable is designed to meet all product quality and safety requirements necessary for successful application on the seas.

Shipboard Cable

Shipboard Cable

If you take a closer look at any of our shipboard cable specifications, you will see that the mil-spec numbers are followed by series of letters. Each series represents a different version of that particular mil-spec cable. The letters let us know more about each one, including whether the cable is armored or unarmored, and whether or not the cable is watertight.

The following letters are associated with cable characteristics:

  • O =  Unarmored
  • A = Armored
  • S = Shielded
  • W = Watertight

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