Ever since the advent of cable television, coaxial RF ("radio frequency") television cables have been an essential part of most home video installations. However, today, rather than carrying analog signals which top out at a few hundred megahertz, RF cables are typically asked to do much more. In CATV systems, these cables typically now carry high-bandwidth digital cable content and broadband cable internet. In satellite TV applications, these cables often carry high-frequency digital signals from LNBs placed well away from the satellite receiver. For these sorts of requirements, a precision-engineered cable with low capacitance and tight impedance stability is the best way to make sure that the signal gets through every time, whether in the professional environment or in the home.
The Coax: Belden 1505A
For short (say, under 25 foot) RF cables, we recommend Belden 1505A "Brilliance" precision video coaxial cable, a 75 ohm coax engineered specifically for high bandwidth applications. This coax, sweep-tested to 4.5 GHz and shielded with a tinned braid and a double-sided foil for maximum protection from noise and interference, offers superb low-loss performance over the whole television spectrum, but with better flexibility than with a larger RG-6 type cable. For longer lengths or where the very lowest loss characteristics are critical, we recommend Belden 1694A, below. View the technical specs for Belden 1505A.
The Terminations: Canare F-Connectors
The typical F-connector for RF coax is designed more for quick installation in the field, for the cable TV installer, than for durability and reliability. Most F-connectors just pass the center conductor of the coax through the connector body, resulting in a less-than-dependable, corrosion-prone contact, often the cause of loss and intermittency. Conventional F-connectors are often only weakly attached to the coax braid, for a poor completion of the cable shield and a contact which is prone to vary in quality as the cable is handled, and can even be weakened by the mere act of screwing the connector into the jack. We use our favorite F-connector, the Canare FP-series, on our RF cables. These connectors use a gold-plated center pin for a firm, straight and corrosion-proof contact with the jack, and have a solid, nickel-plated brass body with deep, well-machined threads that ensure a connection which is both mechanically and electrically sound. The connector body is tightly crimped all around the circumference of the braid, to complete the shielding from cable tip to cable tip. View Canare's specs and description of this F-connector.
We hand-cut and terminate each of these cables in our shop in Seattle, using Canare tooling and the best electronic cable strippers and pneumatic presses, so we know they're done right and tested before they go out. We think you'll be impressed with the performance of this cable; but we also offer a simple and easy return policy. If for any reason you're not completely satisfied, just return the cable, undamaged, within 30 days and we'll refund your purchase price in full.
Belden 1505A, discussed above, is a great product; we prefer it, for short-run RF applications, to anything else on the market because its small size and good flexibility make it more manageable than a larger coax without any perceptible sacrifice in performance. However, in longer runs or where low loss performance is critical, Belden 1694A offers the same features as 1505A in an RG-6 type cable. View the technical specs for Belden 1694A.
Belden 7731A is an RG-11 coax; it is huge, stiff, and unpleasant to work with, but is extremely low-loss due to its large center conductor size and is built to the same tight tolerances as Belden's smaller precision video cables. We recommend it for extreme long runs (100 feet and up), and then only if flexibility is not likely to be important.
RF Isolation Transformer:
On occasion, a/v systems can have trouble with hum resulting from a ground loop involving the CATV signals coming into the home. A CATV ground loop typically will result either in an audible, level 60-cycle hum in your audio or in "hum bars," moving diagonal lines in your video. For these situations, we offer an RF isolation transformer from Calrad; this is just a straight 75 ohm/75 ohm impedance transformer, meant to break the ground connection between the CATV system and your home, thus eliminating any ground loop. Note that this transformer cannot be used in a connection to a satellite TV antenna, as these connections require the cable to pass a DC voltage.
Just fill in your cable length in feet in the appropriate form below, select any applicable options, and the price will display to the right. To purchase, click "add to cart." To view a list of sample prices of these cables in various lengths, see our RF Cable Price List.