Product Reviews

Field Day Gear Series Part 1:Good Field Day Prep Begins with a Good Look at Your Coaxial Cables

As we do every year for this annual series on preparing for a successful ARRL Field Day (June 22-23, 2024), OnAllBands would like to remind you that there is no shorter—or more economical—path to improved performance than upgrading the coaxial cable assemblies you’ll be employing in your temporary stations.

And there’s no easier way to get precisely what you need than through the coaxial cable experts at DX Engineering—either by the foot; in bulk; as assemblies with connectors professionally installed; or with your choice of cable in your desired length and connector types on both ends (see Custom Cable Builder below).

With Field Day not far away, our best advice is to take stock of what coaxial cable you have and what you’ll need. Then ask the important questions:

  • Has my coax seen a few too many Field Days? Is it showing signs of wear? What about the condition of the connectors? (We know folks can get attached to their equipment and would love to see it last another season, but it’s best to be honest in your assessment. Otherwise, performance will suffer.)
  • Do we have enough coaxial cable and the preferred types to handle what we plan to set up? (Don’t guess at the last minute. Make a plan and find out for yourself.)
  • Have I been relying on cheaper coax that may have saved some money at the expense of poorer results?

Here’s a question we get a lot at DX Engineering: Does high-quality, better-made coaxial cable really make that much of a difference? For the answer, we’ll let actual customers who upgraded to DX Engineering cable tell their stories:

Five Stars (RG-8/U 50-Ohm Bulk Coaxial Cable): “Excellent coax cable—flexible and very good quality. My station has improved thanks to the excellent quality of the DX Engineering RG-8/U.”

Five Stars (RG-8X 50-Ohm Bulk Coaxial Cable): “In my 30 years of radio, I have probably soldered and made miles of jumpers and feed lines from various types of coaxial cable, but I can honestly say that this coax was a pleasure to work with. It’s of the utmost highest quality for its rate specifications. When I say high quality, I base that off of several factors. When soldering, cheap coax will melt quickly, especially the inner conductor insulation. I didn’t have that issue, even with several minutes of direct contact with my 800-degree soldering iron. Also, I didn’t notice any splitting or cracking of the jacket when I cut into it. Cheap coax will split or rip easily. No issues whatsoever. Perfect for a VHF/UHF feed line.”

Five Stars (400MAX PL-259 Low-Loss 50-Ohm Coax Assemblies): “These DX Engineering 400MAX PL-259 Low-Loss 50-Ohm Coax Assemblies are the best money can buy IMHO. The patented PL-259 connectors ‘bite’ right in when tightened and do not have a tendency to cross thread like other cheaper connectors do. Over the past year I have been switching out all of my antenna coax cable runs and radio/tuner jumpers to these types of cable assemblies.”

Best of all, you receive something that most other coaxial cable providers don’t offer—support from active ham radio operators with a combined 1,000+ years of experience selecting and installing coax in their own stations. Have a question about the right cable for your needs? Not sure about the correct length? No problem. Get prompt and informed answers from the DX Engineering team.  

Premade Coaxial Cable Assembly Options

DX Engineering coax assemblies are available in lengths from 1.5 to 200 feet (length options vary per type of coax). They either come with DX Engineering’s patented Next Generation crimp/solder 8U or 8X PL-259 (UHF Male), Amphenol 83-1SP PL-259, type-N male, or BNC male connectors on both ends. DX Engineering coaxial cable is also available by the foot and by the roll up to 1,000 feet.

All DX Engineering cable assemblies are hi-pot tested and heat-shrink weather-sealed for long life. Plus, you receive same-day shipping on in-stock orders placed before 10 pm ET Monday-Friday.

Ordering of premade cable assemblies is fast and simple at Choose from these DX Engineering coaxial cables:

High-visibility RG-8X cable with an orange PVC jacket is also now available at

Cables Made to Order

DX Engineering’s online Custom Cable Builder lets you select made-to-order coaxial cables that meet your precise needs (type of coax, type of connectors on both ends, length up to 300 feet). Custom cables are professionally assembled, hi-pot tested, and shipped within two business days after purchase. Also available on the Custom Cable Builder is DX Engineering Tinned Copper Braid and Times Microwave LMR coaxial cables.

OnAllBands will be featuring much more Field Day essentials leading up to the big weekend, including tool kits for preparing your coaxial cable, power supplies, headsets, LiFePO4 battery and charger combos (below), wire antenna kits, solar panels, and more.

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