Dictionary of Engineering Terms
"A" "B" "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "J", "K", "L", "M",
"N", "O", "P", "Q", "R", "S", "T", "U", "V", "W", "X", "Y", "Z"

Air Dielectric Cable. A cable that uses air instead of another material to separate the different conductors. Although a support structure [as shown] may be used to support

Semi-rigid Air Dielectric using a spiral strip
Semi-rigid Air Dielectric

Cable Armor. Also called metallic Armor. A protective covering for wires or cables. Made as a woven wire braid, metal tape, or interlocking metal cover. Types of Cable Armor include wire braid, steel tape and wire armor. Cable Armor is made from steel, copper, bronze, or aluminum. Cable Armor may also be called Armor Clad [Type AC] and metal Clad [Type MC] or generically [Type BX].

Refer to the Dictionary of Engineering Terms for a more in depth definition of Cable Armor.

Graphic of a braided Coax Cable, Multi-conductor RG119 and RG120 style
Wire Braid Protection

Note that in the case above the braid is also used as a conductor. In the example shown both the inner braid and outer braid is used as the outer conductor. Note; in many cases a Drain Wire is also used in this type of cable to assist in connecting the shield to ground.

Insulation Types:
Thermoplastic, Chlorosulphonated polyethylene,
Synthetic rubber has a maximum 5000 volts at an ambient temperature of 70C [100C is the maximum conductor temperature]
Polyvinyl chloride has a maximum 600 volts at an ambient temperature of 50C [75C is the maximum conductor temperature]
Ethylene propylene has a maximum 2000 volts at an ambient temperature of 60C [90C is the maximum conductor temperature]
Cross-linked polyethylene has a maximum 5000 volts at an ambient temperature of 60C [90C is the maximum conductor temperature]

Aluminum sheath, Armored, Cotton braid, Chlorinated polyethylene, Fibrous covering, Glass braid, Lead sheath, Polyamide jacket, Rubber jacket, Synthetic rubber jacket, Thermoplastic jacket, Unjacketed, Neoprene jacket, Cross-linked polyethylene jacket

Coax Cable Manufacturers, Coax Connector Manufacturers

Cable Vendors

Bare Conductor. A conductor having no insulation.

Braid. A fibrous or metallic group of filaments interwoven to form a protective covering over one or more wires. See metal Braid.

Bunched Lay. In a bunched lay conductor, the strands are twisted together in the same direction without regard to geometrical arrangement.

Cable Protector. An item designed to be interposed between a cable and its support or housing to prevent chafing caused by contraction and expansion due to changes in the ambient temperature or damage or injury from outside sources.

Collar. A component designed to be affixed around an electrical cable to limit the axial movement of the cable at the point where it passes through an opening.

Composite Cable. A cable that uses conductors of different sizes.

Concentric Lay. A concentric lay conductor or cable is composed of a central core surrounded by one or more layers of helically wound strands or insulated conductors. It is optional for the successive layers to be alternately reversed in direction of lay (true concentric lay) or to be in the same direction (unidirectional lay).

Conductor. A conductor is a wire of circular cross section or a group of wires not usually insulated from one another, suitable for transmitting a single electric current.

Core. The non-conducting center of a cable.

Crimp Contact. A contact whose crimp barrel is a hollow cylinder that accepts the conductor. After a conductor has been inserted, a tool is used to crimp the contact metal firmly onto the conductor.

Dielectric Core. The insulating material that makes up the center of the cable, through which the conductors are run, and around which surrounded by a jacket. Normally a cable has only one dielectric core, RG392 has three.

Double Shielded. A cable that uses two metal braids for shielding. The conductors may or may not be separated by an insulating or barrier tap. The RG400 cable is an example in the right side-bar. RG393 is another.

Drain Wire. A wire that runs linearly along a foil shield wire or cable and is used to make contact with the shield. Grounding of foil shields is done with drain wires.

Dual Cable. A cable constructed of individual coaxial cables enclosed within a common outer conductor. Although it would seem be apply to any cable that has as insulated conductor, grouped as a pair, and surrounded by an outer insulator.

Filament. A thin flexible wire used in a cable. A monofilament thread used as an air gap between the conductor and core [RG62, RG63, RG71, RG79 & RG114].

MIL-C-17/218 Cable Drawing
MIL-C-17/218 Armored Coax

Filler. A material used between conductors in a multi-conductor cable [fiber cotton].

Flexible Cable. A flexible coaxial cable is constructed of a single inner conductor covered by a flexible low-loss, RF dielectric core material, which is then surrounded by a braided outer conductor(s), with the whole covered by a protective covering. In some cases this is covered by an extra braided armor for use in extremely abusive applications. Each element of the cable is designed to contribute to the requirements of the finished product.

Harness. One or more insulated wires or cables, with or without helical twist; with or without common covering, jacket, or braid; with or without break-outs; assembled with two or more electrical termination devices; and so arranged that as a unit it can be assembled and handled as one assembly.

Impregnated Cable. A term that refers to the paper used as insulation within the cable, and its processing. Adding or impregnating the paper with another material to increase its insulating properties.

Insulated Conductor. (insulated wire) An insulated conductor (insulated wire) is a conductor (wire) surrounded by a layer or layers of non-conducting material (insulation) which isolates the conductor (wire) from other conducting materials or from ground.

Insulation. Insulation is nonconducting material used to separate a conducting material from other conductors or from ground.

Insulation Resistance. The insulation resistance of an insulated conductor is the electrical resistance offered by its insulation to an impressed direct-current potential tending to produce a leakage of current through the same.

Jacket. The outermost layer of insulating material of a cable or harness. One layer is common, RG115 uses three jacket layers.

Length of lay. The length of lay of any helically wound strand or insulated conductor is the axial length of one complete turn of the helix, in inches.

Pin Contact. Male-type contact designed to slip inside a socket contact.

RG6. 75 Ohm impedance cable, MIL-DTL-17/2-RG6. Double shielded cable with a PVC jacket. High-end video cable. Refer to the RG6 Cable Description and description.

RG11. MIL-DTL-17/16-RG11. Same as RG12 but Unarmored.

RG12. 75 Ohm Flexible RF Coaxial Armored Cable. Refer to the RG12 Cable Description.

RG22. 90 Ohm Flexible RF Twinaxial shielded cable. Refer to the topic on the RG22 Cable Description for electrical data.

RG58. 50 Ohm impedance cable, MIL-DTL-17/28-RG058. Single shielded cable with a PVC jacket. The standard cable used for 10BASE2 Ethernet.

RG59. 75 Ohm impedance cable with a single inner conductor and a single shielded cable. The inner conductor is a solid , copper covered steel 20AWG inner conductor [wire]. The dielectric core is solid polyethylene material with a diameter of 0.145 inches. The outer conductor is a single braid copper wire of 34AWG with about 95 percent coverage. The cable covering is a PVC jacket with an outer diameter of 0.242 inches. General 75 ohm video usage up to 1GHz, with TNC or BNC cables specified by MIL-PRF-39012. The RG-59 cable has a weight of 3.5 pounds per 100 feet and an attenuation of 9dB per 100 feet [0.4GHz] to 16dB per 100 feet [1GHz].

RG58 / RG59 Cable Diagram
50 or 75 Ohm Shielded Coax

The current military specification sheet that covers RG-59 is MIL-C-17-184 [part number M17/184-00001], which replaced MIL-DTL-17/29 [part number M17/29-RG59]. The specification sheet goes under; MIL-C-17/184; 75 Ohm Radio Frequency Flexible Coaxial Cable. RG-59 is used with RS-170, and SDI.

Rod Filler. A [paper] material placed inside a cable to fill the unused area not taken up by the wires running within the cable.

Semirigid. [Coax] A cable that uses a solid copper covering as a shield. Semi-rigid cable is bendable, but is normally pre-bent or shaped before use. The military specification MIL-DTL-28830 covers corrugated semirigid coaxial cable. Also MIL-DTL-129 [RG401], 130 and 133 covers semirigid coaxial cable.

Shielded Cable. Cable surrounded by a metallic covering intended to minimize the effects of electrical crosstalk interference or signal radiation.

Shielded Pair. A shielded pair is either a parallel wire pair or twisted pair over which a braid of copper wire has been applied.

Shielded Twisted Pair. A twisted pair is composed of two insulated conductors twisted together, with at least one metal braid covering the wires.

Socket Contact. A female-type contact designed to slip over a pin contact.

Strain Relief. A connector device that prevents the disturbance of the contact and cable terminations. A back-shell or cable clamp.

Stranded Conductor. A stranded conductor is a conductor composed of more than one wire.

Triaxial Cable. A cable that is constructed the same as regular coaxial cables except for an additional interlayer of dielectric material over the outer conductor, over which is laid an extra shield, with the whole covered by a protective covering. RG307 [75 ohm] and RG402 [50 ohm] are examples of triaxial cables.

Triplex Cable. A cable using three insulated twisted cables made of either copper or aluminum wire and normally covered by an insulating jacket.

Twinaxial Cable. [Twinax] A cable with two conductors running down the long axial of the cable. A shielded coaxial cable with two central insulated conductors. The RG22 Cable is a twinaxial cable.

Twin cable. A cable constructed of individual inner conductors within individual dielectric cores within a common outer conductor, or may have individual inner conductors within a common outer core that may be filled-to-round [RG108, & RG111].

Twisted Pair. A twisted pair is composed of two insulated conductors twisted together. However a cable may have any number of twisted-pair wires within a single jacket.

Wire. A wire is a slender rod or filament of drawn metal.

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