Technical Articles

How to Ensure Better UHF Coaxial Feed Lines

HF users really don’t have many coax issues. As long as power levels aren’t breached, just about any feed line will work without much concern. Even DXE-8X coax (Mini 8) can be used for fairly long runs without worries.

Antenne_gp_vhf_2VHF users have to be a bit more careful. They will typically use the larger, lower-loss cables for VHF applications. Usually, this includes RG-8DXE-400MAXDXE-213 and others in the 0.405 diameter class. Of the types listed here, DXE-400MAX has the lowest loss and superior physical characteristics.

UHF and high-UHF users (420 MHz up to 2.4 GHz) have far greater issues. Losses at these frequencies can be excessive if the right feed lines and connectors are not used. Minimum suggested feed line would be DXE-400MAX and the preferred connectors would be Type-N (DXE-1001-S-4) or even 7-16 DIN connectors in some special applications. By far, Type-N is the most common in Amateur Radio antennas. However, 7-16 DIN connectors are preferred in commercial applications. If you are fortunate enough to have an antenna with 7-16 DIN connectors, they are absolutely the best.

In the area above 1 GHz, LMR-600 offers the least loss of commonly available coaxial cables. Short of using hardline, LMR-600 coupled with Type-N connectors (7-16 DIN is even better) is the superior choice. All of these coax and connector types are available from DX Engineering.

DX Engineering Custom Cable BuilderIf you find assembling coax with N connectors daunting, check out the DX Engineering Custom Cable Builder. This online utility allows you to select your desired type and length of cable (from RG-58A/U to DXE-400MAX) and your choice of connectors for each end of the cable. For example, if you needed 88 feet of DXE-400MAX terminated with a PL-259 on one end and a Type-N male on the other, you can order your own custom cable right online