Coaxial Cable

Meaning of Coaxial Cable

The cord that conducts electricity and is covered by a sheath made up of several layers is known as a cable. The usual thing is that it is made of electrical conductors such as aluminum or copper.

The coaxial cable, meanwhile, is a type of cable used to transmit signals of high frequency electricity. These cables have a pair of concentric conductors: the live or central conductor (dedicated to transporting the data) and the outer conductor, shield or mesh (which acts as a current return and ground reference). Between them is the dielectric, an insulating layer.

According to abbreviationfinder, coaxial cables were developed in the 1930’s and were very popular until recently. Currently, however, the digitization of the different transmissions and the higher frequencies with respect to those used previously have caused these cables to be replaced by fiber optic cables, which have a more important bandwidth.

The structure of the coaxial cable is composed of a core developed with copper wire that is wrapped by an insulating element, pieces of braided metal (to absorb noise and protect information) and an outer jacket made of plastic, Teflon or rubber. it has no driving ability.

Among the various types of coaxial cable (with different diameters and impedances), the most frequent are those made with polyvinyl chloride (better known as PVC) or with plenum (materials that resist fire).

Long distance telephone networks, Internet and cable television, the connection between the antenna and the television, and amateur radio devices often use coaxial cables.

The area where coaxial type cables are most commonly found is digital audio. In this case, the connector resembles an RCA (the type of connection used for analog video and audio, which consists of a white, a red, and a yellow plug), although the information it carries is quite different. Compared to a normal audio cable, it is considerably thicker, since it uses the same type of mesh that is seen in traditional television antenna cables.

The digital coaxial transmits an electrical signal, which runs through the copper wire that is inside, covered with aluminum foil to avoid interference. The first difference from analog audio cables is price; since the sound quality they offer is far superior, it is necessary to pay almost ten times more. This can tempt an inexperienced user to make a homemade alternative from a traditional RCA cable, making a serious mistake.

Among the disadvantages of such a decision are the absence of isolation, which causes signal losses in very long cables, and a considerable decrease in bandwidth. This would result in cut sound, as not all the digital information from the device would be received constantly. Also, interference from other electrical appliances would be perceived.

Considering that coaxial audio cables don’t cost a lot of money and that, assuming you have the necessary equipment, they offer considerably better audio quality, the decision not to purchase them is difficult to understand. It is important to understand that, as the type of information they transmit is digital, it can include both the two channels of stereo sound and the six of the surround sound (generally known as “surround”). Also, as with video over HDMI or DVI, you don’t need to spend large sums of money to find the best results, since (even for inexpensive products) digital data is always the same.

Coaxial Cable