Radio Guide or RG cables stand for a term dating back to WWII military communications. RG cables are a common type of coaxial cable found in a variety of commercial and residential applications. While they have many different uses, RG cables are most frequently recognized as the cables used to distribute broadband internet and cable television signals.
Depending on their intended application, RG cable designs can differ in shielding, center conductor, dielectric, and jacket type. Below are some of the most common types of RG cables and their defining characteristics.
Types of RG Cable
RG-6 cable, sometimes referred to as RG-6/U (Utility), is the standard cable for cable television (CATV), broadband internet, satellite signal transmission, and “general utility use.” Well suited for high-frequency (above 50MHz) applications, these thin, flexible cables can be easily bent for residential installations.
RG-6 cable features an 18 AWG (American Wire Gauge) center conductor for strong signal quality, as well as a thick dielectric insulation and superior shielding to protect sensitive devices from being damaged by electric current.
Comprised of a lighter-weight AWG center conductor and thinner insulation and shielding than RG-6 cable, RG-59 cable is designed to deliver frequencies below 50MHz. Because its signal quality is not as high, RG-59 cables are better suited for short runs and closed-circuit television (CCTV) transmission, such as video surveillance and security cameras.
Designed for plenum spaces (the open spaces above ceilings and below floors that facilitate heating and cooling system airflow), plenum cables require special construction regulated by the National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 90A for fire safety.
These cables are jacketed with flame-retardant plastics — usually low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC), fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP), or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) — to minimize smoking in the event of a fire. This slows the spreading of harmful black smoke through air ducts and other parts of a building.
Why Choose Consolidated for Your RG Cables?
Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable has nearly a century of experience providing cable and wire solutions for a wide range of industries. To ensure every product is manufactured to customers’ unique specifications and agency requirements, we proudly employ our comprehensive Total Quality Management (TQM) system throughout each step of the manufacturing process. Our distribution center located near Chicago’s O’Hare airport allows for speedy delivery to all of our customers.
For help selecting a reliable cable manufacturer to partner with for your next project, download our free eBook, “Choosing a Wire & Cable Manufacturer for Your Product.”