Reviews

Best Coax for Ham Radio – Top Rated Antenna Cable in 2020

It is easy for any ham radio operator to be confused while choosing the best coaxial cable. This is because the market is full of them! 

Coaxial cables are nothing but simple wire cables that have 4 different layers. They are generally copper-based. They work to prevent any interference and provide a seamless transfer of signals. The good ones also discourage signal loss, ensuring that you receive clarity. In fact, there are many departments such as fire and the police, that use them on a regular basis because of their high quality and toughness.

When you search online, you will find a great number of options to explore, which can leave you confused. This is why we thought we would help you with our list of the top 5. Read on!

Best Coax for Ham Radio – Editor’s Picks

1. RG8X Coax Cable for Ham Radio

RG8X Coax CableThis is a 100-feet long cable that has impressed many users. It is currently one of the bestsellers on Amazon. The grey colored male-to-male wire has multiple attractive features that you are bound to like. Some of them are:

  1. It has a 95% copper braid shield.
  2. PL-259 is soldered on either side.
  3. The center conductor is a 16 Ga stranded one that gives it extra strength.
  4. The connection you will get will be top-notch with barely any drops.
  5. You can use the cable for CB as well.
Pros
  • Good coax cable at an affordable price
  • Minimal signal loss
Cons
  • The end connectors are not of the greatest quality

Buy on Amazon


2. Cable Experts Coax Cable

PL259 ConnectorsThe Cable Experts Coax Cable is available in various sizes from just 1.5 feet to 150 feet. It is a heavy-duty cable that you can easily use indoors and outdoors. Some of its top features are:

  1. It is a 50 Ohm RG8X cable.
  2. It promises a strong hold of the signal and minimal signal loss. In fact, the manufacturers assure users that the loss is 8x less than other cables.
  3. Along with ham radio, you can use it for CB, RF, antenna tuner, etc.
  4. You can bury it directly into the ground because the cable is protected with a polyethylene jacket.
  5. It has a woven copper shield that promises 95% coverage.
  6. The manufacturers offer a warranty of 5 years against this cable.
Pros
  • Minimal signal loss
  • Heavy-duty
Cons
  • Slightly pricey

Buy on Amazon


3. RG 58 – Male to Male Coax Cable 

PL259 Coax ConnectorsThis coaxial cable from Yotenko has a UHF male connector and is one of the most popular cables for ham radio out there. It is quite a good purchase for the following reasons:

  1. The cable has PL-259 adapters on each side, enabling you to use it not just with your ham radio but also with meters, receivers, and antennae.
  2. The 50 ohm coax cable promises low loss and works perfectly with CB, two-way radios, CD, and amateur radios.
  3. The length of the cable is 1.5 meters, which is long enough for multiple applications at home.
  4. It has the capability to send signals through VHF, UHF, and HF. 
  5. The cable works well in high and low frequency.
Pros
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Varied applications
  • Very low signal loss
Cons
  • The soldering area is not perfect

Buy on Amazon


4. Wilson Electronics Low Loss Coax Cable 

WILSON-400 UltraThis is a 50-feet N-connector type coax cable available in multiple variations. You can just buy the cable or pair with an antenna or pole mount based on your needs. Let’s find out why you should buy it:

  1. The impedance of this cable is 50 ohms.
  2. It works to facilitate seamless signal transfer from various gadgets without losing signal on the way.
  3. The N-type connector is weather-proof and threaded. 
  4. The RF connector is medium-sized and can handle up to 11 GHz with ease.
  5. The frequency range is 30 to 5800 MHz, which is quite good.
  6. The manufacturers offer a warranty of 2 years against this cable.
Pros
  • Weather-proof and strong
  • Enhances the coverage capacity of the amplifier
Cons
  • No copper

Buy on Amazon


5. BOOBRIE RG58 Coax Cable 

BOOBRIE UHF CableThe 15-meter BOOBRIE coax cable is a male-to-male RF connector, which promises to be of high quality with low signal loss. It has a wide range of applications right from radios to Wi-Fi to microwaves – pretty much anything that needs a UHF connector. Below are a few more details:

  1. It has a single PL-259 wire that best suits aerial signals.
  2. It also has copper conductors and an impedance of 50 ohms.
  3. Its gold-plated top layer protects it from rusting. The copper conductors, on the other hand, are known to provide incredible stability.
  4. As aforementioned, it has a wide range of applications but you should remember that it only connects with UHF. 
  5. The connectors are weather-proof and strong.
Pros
  • Flexible
  • Good quality wire tips
Cons
  • Only UHF connectivity

Buy on Amazon


FAQs

Let’s learn a little more about the best coax cables for ham radio by answering some FAQs.

What is the Best Coax Cable for Ham Radio?

We would say it is RG-8U because it is affordable and highly reliable.

Can you Use RG6 for Ham Radio?

If you are working below 150 MHz, yes. If the frequency goes beyond this, you will suffer signal loss.

Does Coax Length Affect SWR?

No, the coax length plays no role here.

Can TV Antenna be Used for Ham Radio?

Ideally, you need an outdoor antenna. If you wish to use a TV antenna, you will have to modify it first.

How High Does a Ham Radio Need To Be?

70 feet is a good height but if you can go higher, it will be better especially for long distance communications.

Does Length Affect Coax Signal?

Until 50 feet, you won’t notice significant signal loss. From 50 to 100 feet, there will be some loss but beyond 100 feet, it can drop by 1/3rd!

Conclusion

The best coax cable for ham radio is the one that provides excellent coverage without signal loss. The options we listed here are among the best and you can trust them based on their pros and cons. If you have any questions, kindly leave a comment and we will cater to you at the earliest.

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