Kelly, there's no answer. Coax used indoors in a benign environment should
last forever. The same coax laying across a hot roof and exposed to daily
UV might only last a few years. I do the "loss" check about once a year or
so on all my coax -- which is one reason I leave it very accessible and
never clamp it or tie it up so securely that it cannot be easily pulled down
for the test, which I perform on the ground rather than hanging from a
tower. Since cable aging and deterioration usually begins with a dielectric
change (for the worse), a hipot (high potential) test can often be useful in
determining if the dielectric's become contaminated or has absorbed any
moisture. RG213/U passes a 5kV hipot easily when it's new...sometimes fails
the same test quickly when it's aged. Commercial hipot testers are
available surplus around here for less than $50, often. Not a bad
> Hi all,
> On a related question: when is coax old? Aside from doing loss analysis
> measurements, what signs are there that coax that appears OK is past its
> prime? How often do you replace coax? Do you replace coax on a given
> schedule, with or without signs of trouble?
> Just curious.
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