Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

cable brand and type for lab BNC cables 50 ohm?

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I am wondering since its been a while, whats good BNC cables for hookup for things like function generators, etc, with a focus on flexibility, durability and stability on a reduced frequency range. I would not mind getting the full performance at 4GHz but I mean for things like DDS systems, audio generators, and so forth, where there is good shielding, good flexibility, etc. I will say around 1GHz max but lower if necessary to get the other good attributes.

I wanted to buy HP cables at first but I am thinking I should make my own. I have had a crap shoot when it comes to stuff I actually like, because I can look at specifications all day but I want something thats good in the lab, thats only going to come from someone that works alot.

I know this thread is around kinda in some form in some places but it does not hurt to 'renew' this topic to discuss recent findings on durability and performance.

My favorite thus far is old HP/Agilent BNC cables

I had the same problem a while ago and asked the experts here


I wanted something better than RG58, as I starting to play with LNA and noise figure measurements
I decided to stay clear of solid inner conductor and foam dielectric, due to reliability on the test bench

Ended up with "arnoflex 58 LSNH" from koax24.de
Same dimensions as RG58, so I could use my stock of crimp connectors (quality H&S)
Slightly lower loss, but useable to 3Ghz 
Most important a lot better screen - minimum 30dB better than standard RG58

Finally I got taper sleeves in Blue, so I could distinguish them from my normal RG58, which are Black or Red

if flexible and less loss than RG58 is a matter, I'd go for the H155; somehow, personally, everything thicker than a RG58 seems to me very unhandy in a lab environment

David Hess:
For RF, double shielded cables or better are needed for sensitivity measurements which will otherwise be corrupted by leakage through the cable shields.  But I also like double braided shielded cables despite their extra stiffness because the connectors are more firmly attached making them more reliable.

Another consideration is that cables with Teflon dielectric are much easier to solder without damage, which may be important in some applications and if you need to solder the center connector pin.

So for low frequency non-RF applications, I like 0.1" diameter RG-316 for its extra flexibility and ease of soldering.  Where low leakage through the cable shield is important, I prefer RG-223 (solid PE), RG-142 (solid Teflon), and especially RG-400 (stranded Teflon), for their ruggedness and low leakage despite their extra stiffness from having a double shield.

do you have any preference on manufacturer? how about the outside coating?

I am thinking maybe there is some reliability factors and maybe flexibility that come in from quality extrusion (i.e. better maintained dies and stuff). kind of hard to imagine but I would like to know if anyone noticed anything


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