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RG6 Coax Cable Explained: A Short Guide

RG6 Coax Cable Explained: A Short Guide

Written By Alejandra Jasso
30th Jan 2024

Understanding RG6 Coax Cable

Coaxial cables carry radio frequency (RF) signals across distances with minimal signal loss. They are the backbone of communication technology. Common applications include cable TV, internet, cell phone signal boosters, and more. There are a lot of coaxial cables on the market, each designed for specific uses.

One of the most popular types of coaxial cable is RG6, commonly found in residential settings. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about RG6 coax cable.

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What is RG6 Coax Cable and How Does it Work?

RG stands for “Radio Guide”, the original military specification for coaxial cables dating back to WW2. The number distinguishes the cable’s specifications.

RG6, sometimes called RG6/U (Universal or Utility), generally refers to coaxial cables with 75 Ohm impedance and an 18 AWG (1.024 mm) center conductor. With a large conductor, it’s able to provide strong signal quality. It also has a thick dielectric insulator and better shielding. This enables effective GHz signal handling and increased protection from signal interference.

RG6 Coax Cable Explained

*Amount of shielding varies across manufactures.

Separated by the dielectric insulator for consistent separation, the core carries the signal from point a to point b while the shield protects the signal from electromagnetic interference. All components are further insulated and protected by the outer jacket. The tails of RG6 cables are usually terminated with F-Type connectors. This construction enables the transmission of quality signal with low loss.

Thin, about 6.90 mm (0.275 in) in diameter, and flexible, RG6 cable is easy to install, making it a popular choice for residential and some commercial applications. The thicker the cable, the harder it is to maneuver throughout a building without compromising the cable’s integrity.

So, when watching TV or using the internet, the RG6 cable is consistently passing the information, making sure it reaches its destination without getting mixed up or disturbed by outside "noise".

There are different variations of RG6 coax cable for general, direct burial, aerial, and plenum use cases.

What is RG6 Coaxial Cable Used For?

Due to its specifications, RG6 cable is well suited for high frequency (over 50 MHz) applications, such as:

  • Cable Television (CATV)
  • Satellite Signal Transmission
  • Broadband Internet
  • Residential Cell Phone Signal Boosters
  • And More

How Much Loss Does RG6 Cable Have?

As RF signals travel through the length of the RG6 cable, there is always some loss that occurs. It’s inevitable. Some coax cables have less signal loss (attenuation) than others.

The extent of attenuation is influenced by both the cable's length and the frequency of the signal. Here is a chart illustrating signal loss in dB (decibels) per 100 feet for RG6 coaxial cables.

Frequency Attenuation (dB/100ft)
55 MHz 1.6
211 MHz 3.05
300 MHz 3.55
450 MHz 4.40
550 MHz 4.90
750 MHz 5.65
865 MHz 6.10
1000 MHz 6.55
1750 MHz 8.44
2150 MHz 9.90
2400 MHz 10.48

*The attenuation values depicted in this chart pertain specifically to our Bolton RG6 coaxial cable. It's important to note that attenuation for coaxial cables from other manufacturers may vary slightly.

For the strongest signal transmission, it’s recommended to use the shortest RG6 cable possible for your application.

What’s the Difference Between RG6 and RG6/U Coax Cable?

RG6 and RG6/U coax cables are essentially the same. The “U” simply refers to universal or general utility use.

What’s the Difference Between RG6 and RG11 Coax Cable?

RG11 coax cable has similar applications as RG6. Differences lie in specifications. RG11 cable is thicker with a larger center conductor, allowing superior signal transmission.

The key advantage of RG11 is its ability to carry signals across longer distances with significantly less loss compared to RG6. This makes RG11 the preferred choice for extended cable runs. The trade-off is flexibility. RG11 is less pliable and may pose challenges in maneuvering throughout a building.

Because of its characteristics, RG11 cables are pricier than RG6. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of your application.

RG6
RG11
Uses Short cable runs in residential and some commercial settings. Longer cable runs in residential and commercial settings.
Attenuation Low Signal Loss Lower Signal Loss
Impedance 75 Ohms 75 Ohms
Thickness* About 6.90 mm / 0.275 in About 10.29 mm / 0.405 in
Gauge 18 AWG 14 AWG
Flexibility Flexible Less Flexible
Price Less Pricy Pricier

*Thickness may vary slightly across cable manufacturers.

What’s the Difference Between RG6 and RG59 Coax Cable?

RG59 cable, characterized by a smaller conductor, thinner dielectric insulator, and less shielding, falls short in signal quality transmission when compared to RG6. It’s best for transmitting frequencies below 50 MHz across short cable runs. RG59 cable attenuation is pretty significant. Applications include CCTV, audio video, and other low-frequency systems.

RG6
RG59
Uses High-Frequency Applications (above 50 MHz) Low-Frequency Applications (below 50 MHz)
Attenuation Low Signal Loss Higher Signal Loss
Impedance 75 Ohms 75 Ohms
Thickness* About 6.90 mm / 0.275 in About 6.15 mm / 0.242 in
Gauge 18 AWG 22 AWG
Flexibility Flexible More Flexible

*Thickness may vary slightly across cable manufacturers.

Are All RG6 Cables the Same?

Despite their similar appearance, not all RG6 cables are identical. There are RG6 cables designed for indoor, underground, and aerial applications. The materials they are made from and their construction can affect performance. This is why specifications are not uniform across coax cable manufacturers.

When searching for RG6 cable carefully analyze the cable's specifications to make sure it meets your needs.

Shop High-Quality RG6 Coax Cable 

Since coaxial cables are the backbone of RF communication systems, it's only logical to invest in the highest quality RG6 cables for optimal performance. Signal Boosters is a leading provider of coaxial cables. Here are our most popular RG6 coax cables:

Bolton RG6s Low Loss Coax Cable
Starting at $6.99

Bolton RG6s Low Loss Coax Cable

F-Male, White Jacket
View Details
Wilson 25 ft Black RG-6 Cable with SMA-Male Connectors | 950625
$12.99

Wilson RG6 Coax 25FT

SMA-Male, Black Jacket
View Details
Wilson 30 ft CBL RG6 Cable F-Male / SMA-Male Connectors - 950631
$14.95

Wilson RG6 Coax 30FT

F-Male/SMA-Male, Black Jacker
View Details
SureCall RG-6 50 ft White Coax Cable F -Male Connectors | SC-RG6-50
$19.99

SureCall RG6 Cable 50Ft

F-Male, White Jacket
View Details

[View All Coax Cables]

If you have any questions about RG6 cable, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-470-6777 or email us at sales@signalboosters.com. To customize your own coaxial cable, check out our custom cable builder.

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