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[Towertalk] Coax opinions

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Subject: [Towertalk] Coax opinions
From: (Steve Katz)
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 07:28:09 -0700
Belden certainly didn't invent coaxial cable, Amphenol did.  Of all coaxial
cables popular within the amateur realm, I'm not very fond of Belden
products.  The direct bury RG213/U sold by Cable XPerts (about $.40/ft) is
excellent, resiliant product that uses flooded jacket technology (same as
used for direct-bury RG6/U for CATV service) and I ran some through
accelerated life testing at QualMark Labs, an NRTL who pretty much invented
H.A.L.T. testing, and was very pleased to find that the inexpensive DB
RG213/U survived immersed high-pressure, high-temperature operation in
saline solution which theoretically simulated ten years of exposure in about
a 48 hour test.  Belden 8267 failed the same test after about 40 minutes,
but, then, they don't claim it to be direct burial cable.  If I find 8267 as
new surplus for <$.40/foot, I'll use it; but it seems senseless to pay any
premium for a "brand."  Incidentally, a major source of confusion for all of
us (including me) is that OEM branding cables by a handful of large wire
mills is extremely common and has been going on for several decades.  That
is, one mill can turn out the same cable for a dozen "brands," simply by
imprinting it, and labeling spools, differently.  Using QPL MIL-C-17 cables
is no assurance of avoiding this, because as long as the cable is
manufactured to the specification (which do not list attenuation, power
handling or many other details of concern to amateurs) in an American-based
QPL facility, it can be made by anyone and labeled with the brand name of
whoever paid to have the cable made.  As far as I know, 8267 is _not_
assured MIL-C-17 cable, although if it's imprinted with a government
contract number and date code, it's likely to be. -WB2WIK/6

> All this talk about coax and I find I am low on Belden 8267 or RG-213.
> That's what I have always used for phasing lines and short tower runs.  I
> see the actual Belden price (from Newark) is about .90/ft as compared to
> generic RG-213 from R and L and Cable-Xperts that is about $.40/ft (not
> Belden).  I know the Belden is Mil spec and the others aren't, but the
> composition and loss seem to be the same.  What is the general feeling
> about
> these other less expensive RG-213's?  Is there any reason to stay with the
> Belden and pay the high dollars?
> Mike W9RE
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