RG58 Compared to LMR-200 & LMR-100 Coax: Shielding & Signal Loss

Frequency (MHZ) RG58 LMR-200
100 0.048 0.038
200 0.073 0.048
400 0.114 0.068
500 0.125 0.070
900 0.195 0.228
1000 0.213 0.119
1500 0.245 0.129
2400 0.354 0.169

RG58, LMR-100 and LMR-200 all have the following characteristics in common:

  • 50 Ohm impedance
  • A weather-resilient polyethylene (PE) dielectric
  • PVC outer jacket

Structural comparison of RG58 and LMR-100 (aside from what is mentioned above):

  • LMR-100 is a 50 Ohm coaxial cable which shares structural and material similarities with RG58, but has an overall lower diameter of 2.79mm (0.110 inches). 
  • RG58 and LMR-100 have the following key differences:
    • LMR-100 carries a solid bare copper-covered steel (BCCS) central conductor of 0.46mm 
    • LMR-100 is a double shielded coaxial cable.  The inner shield is made from aluminum tape and the outer shield of braided, tinned copper.

Structural comparison of RG58 and LMR-200 (aside from what is mentioned in the first paragraph above):

  • LMR-200 is a larger diameter (6.1mm 0.24inches) low loss coaxial cable that has double shielding (meaning less loss of signal along the length of the cable), with braided tinned copper and aluminum tape layers coating the dielectric and inner conductor.
  • LMR-200 possesses a larger conductor of 1.42mm diameter made from bare copper (BC) 

About RG58

Electrical characteristics of RG58 The typical impedance is within a 2 Ohm range of 50 Ohm. It operates at frequencies up to 5GHz. The conductor resistance is 38.4 Ohm. The dielectric resistance is 500 Ohm.

Structure and material composition of RG58 cable

Like all other coaxial cable, RG58 comprises an inner conducting wire, surrounded by and insulating layer and outer conducting shielding. RG58 coax cable is typically manufactured to the U.S. specifications MIL-C-17F and MIL-C-17G 9.

  • The conductor has a diameter of 0.91mm (0.036 inches) and is made from stranded (7 or 19 strand), tinned copper wire, which has added resistance to oxidation and is readily soldered. Solid conductor variants are also available.
  • The dielectric diameter is 2.95mm (0.116 inches) and is made from solid polyethylene (PE). Polythene is heat stable up to a maximum operating temperature of 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit), provides flexibility, fire resistance and resilience against abrasions and weathering.
  • RG58 is shielded with flexible and heat stable tinned copper wire braid with coverage of between 70% and 95% depending on manufacturer.
  • The outer jacket of RG58 cable is made from UV-resistant PVC, which is heat-stable but has limited resistance to acids, alkalis and inorganic solvents.
  • The overall diameter of this cable is 5mm (0.2 inches).

RG58 is a coaxial cable type for antenna cables, made to strict U.S government specifications. The ‘RG’ pre-fix stands for ‘Radio Frequency Government’ and the number refers to the gauge of the cable.

RG58 applications This coax cable performs well for a variety of radio frequency communication applications in a low-power setting. Key applications include:

  • Testing and measurement
  • Ham and emergency services radio
  • Marine VHF
  • WLAN antennas

Comparison of RG58 with LMR-100 and LMR-200

Posted by George Hardesty on 12th Nov 2019

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