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Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

A place to ask questions about base setups.

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G2527
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Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by G2527 » Tuesday, 03 May 2016, 18:56 PM

I currently use the Grey rg58 100 ft coax with my Antron99 and I've had this coax for 10 yrs or more. And since I'm getting back into this hobby, I want to do this right the first time so I don't have to mess with it after the antenna's up. I'm not sure if I remember before someone saying the thicker coax works better or not. I mean my system picks up good and coax is not damaged, just old, but if it helps the receive or transmit, I might as well get new coax.
So the question would be what is the difference between coax sizes and benefits for using them ? Or should I just stick with the rg58...
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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by jessejamesdallas » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 3:41 AM

Biggest difference is the larger coax like RG 213 and LMR 400 is they will handle more power than the standard RG 58.

The LMR 400 has a higher viscosity factor and better shielding than RG 213 and RG 58, but is about double in cost vs RG58 and a little harder to work with.

If your coax has been up for 10 years, I would defiantly consider replacing it tho...Connectors could be rusty, could be some water build-up inside...If it were me and I was getting back in, that 10 year old coax would be my first upgrade.
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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by 543FtWorth » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 4:50 AM

I dont use rg58 for anything. You have a lot of loss with 100 feet of rg58. For such a long run I would use lmr400. You can buy different brands of the 400 much cheaper than the Times Microwave brand. The better coax does handle more power but also have much less loss. Can you shorten the length any or do you need the full 100 feet?

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by MDYoungblood » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 4:59 AM

There is some good RG58 out there that is 97% shielded but a lot of cheap junk too, I use it mainly to make jumpers. RG8X or mini is good for mobile installs and I use for jumpers as well. Most RG8 is 95% shielded but some cheap stuff is only 85%. I like RG213, comes in a variety of designs, most are 95/97% shielded, solid or stranded center conductor, RG213F is flexible (hence the "F") and is 100% shielded, comes in a direct burial too. LMR 400 comes in several brands, is being used mainly for long runs of 100ft or more, 100% shielded, comes both solid and stranded, burial too. I prefer poly insulation over the foam, solid core is harder to work with than stranded.
I personally like Belden coax but am currently changing everything here over to Times Microwave, there are other brands that are just as good. My rule of thumb is RG58/8X = short runs of 20ft or less, RG8 = runs of less than 50ft, RG213 = runs up to 100ft, LMR400 = everything.

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by Bombero » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 7:48 AM

Hey..

All my coax in my station and in the mobile is LMR400UF.

I've had it up on my flat top roof for about 6 years now and never had a problem.

I'll keep it up another 4 years and then change it out.

Good luck on your decision...

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by 772 alberta » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 8:41 AM

RG-58 is junk, the only time I might use it is for a jumper for a swr meter or freq counter on the test bench for a few seconds because it bend easy that's it. RG-8 mini for the truck installs. For base work- lmr-400 is to much. Lmr-400 is best on higher freqs like VHF and UHF etc. if you look at the specs on RG-8 and RG-213 almost the same if I remember right. I use RG-213 or better for base work or long runs. All I hear on here is RG-8,213 lmr-400 = ok,-better,-first born. Most of all my coax I run is RG-214 . Check it out. Double shielded and low loss. It's good for all bands. Plus it nice to work with, doesn't get all stiff and kink up like the cheaper stuff. Easier to work with at lower temps to.
Lmr-400 has its place like I said, or if to have a 60ft +tower 100 ft from the house then there you go.
I think all the lmr-400 guys have over look it or don't know about it.
So when your standing there looking at the rolls of bulk coax take a look at how it's put together, so looking at the 213,214 and the 400 now look in your wallet, I think your going with 214.

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by 543FtWorth » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 10:03 AM

I have a short piece of 214 here. It is quality stuff. Good point about the 400 being stiff. The way my station is set up the lmr400 never gets moved. The jefatech brand is very affordable. Their lmr400 equivalent is cheaper than their 213, I think that's because they use a copper plated aluminum center conductor. The Shireen RFC-400 gets good reviews but I have not used it.

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by MDYoungblood » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 10:27 AM

I agree, nothing wrong with RG214 either. I was just mentioning the everyday coax that is readily available, if you go to the manufacturer's websites you'll be overwhelmed at the variety and each has there place. Don't get too concerned with velocity for 27mhz, those numbers only matter for going VHF/UHF or extremely long runs.

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by The DB » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 12:23 PM

Coax has viscosity? That is a stat for oils and such, never heard it in reference to coax... Are you guys referring to the velocity factor by chance?

Anyway, unless you have more than a 100 foot run LMR-400 is overkill. Yes, many people swear by it, but in most CB installations it is not needed.

RG-58 is fine as long as you get the better versions of it, and you keep it under 20 feet or so. Honestly, I would suggest going with RG-8X if you can from 0 up to about 50 feet. If your going to go more than that, RG-8/213/214 is the way to go.

One big reason people use better coax is the losses present. At 100 feet in length you will notice quite the difference between RG-58 and LMR-400, but the difference between RG-213 and LMR-400 will be barely seen if you can see it at all.

LMR-400 was intended for VHF and higher frequencies. While it works on CB, unless you have a very long run it really is overkill. If you really want overkill there is alway heliax... :P


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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by G2527 » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 14:34 PM

Thank you for all the great replies. I believe all I need is 50 ft (543FtWorth) I plan on raising the antenna only 30-36 ft and this mast is next to our home/2nd floor window. So I will decide on one of these choices offered in the replies. I don't want to have to run thick wire. And were we live, I don't plan on beefing up this system with any power amps or such(for now), mainly I'll just add a nice power mic or two.
So since I don't plan on getting new coax for power purposes, I might go with the 95% doubled shielded Rg8X or Rg8x Mini as I've seen(which seems to be same size as Rg58)
I'm thinking if I have my antenna up a sufficient height and good quality coax and a decent radio, I should have no issues shooting skip or hopefully chatting with people from this site on the air waves. I'm sure there will be things I will add in the future to modify things a bit, but for now I want to focus on the needed stuff. I want to invest wisely!
Again I appreciate everyone's time to leave all this great advice.
Ty
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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by MDYoungblood » Wednesday, 04 May 2016, 14:53 PM

The DB wrote:Coax has viscosity?
MDYoungblood wrote:Don't get too concerned with viscosity for 27mhz
Oops, that's what I get for posting from my iPad while waiting in the doctors office, got to proof read the spell check, and glasses will help. I've made the corrections, thanks DB.

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Re: Choosing Coax for Base Station/Antenna

Post by Crusher » Thursday, 05 May 2016, 2:37 AM

If you plan on getting something smaller like rg8x or the mini 8 stuff. Look up LMR 240. It is the same size as 8X but much better quality.


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