What's the difference between 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm Coaxial Cable?

When it comes to wiring up your electronic components, there is no reason to hesitate when choosing between 50-Ohm and 75-Ohm coaxial cable because each is specifically suited to perform a particular electrical function. Once you have discovered the ideal application of each sized coaxial cable, you can easily decide whether a 50-Ohm or 75-Ohm coaxial cable is the right choice for you and your signal requirements.

The Science behind Coaxial Cables

As electrical current moves through a circuit, it is natural that it will lose some of its effectiveness in a process known as resistance. For those familiar with the differences between Direct Current (DC) and Alternate Current (AC), they are aware that the former is optimal for the most basic of electrical functions, whereas the latter is a far more complex electrical system.

The complexities of Alternate Current invite a more nuanced phraseology when describing these characteristic measurements. To begin with, when gauging the loss of electrical current in an AC system, the electrician is no longer measuring resistance, but rather they are measuring impedance.

At the heart of this complexity is the fact that AC current not only deals with the relative strength of the wavelength signal, but also the pulse nature of the wavelength. AC signals routinely switch back and forth between positive and negative phase a certain number of times each second. As an example, the typical 120-volt power that courses through a residential property changes phases sixty times per second.

Regulating the complex interaction of magnitude and phase requires balancing the three crucial components of Alternating Current's impedance for optimum performance. Specifically, in addition to dealing with normal electrical resistance, the two remaining components include the current's induction and capacitance. The first measures the creation of the voltage within the circuit, the second measures the electricity that can be stored in the system for effective use.

Choosing Between 50-Ohm and 75-Ohm Coaxial Cable

While this information is all very well and good from a technical point of view, it does little to inform your selection of whether you need a 50 Ohm or 75 Ohm coaxial cable. For devices that demand high power characteristics, and a low loss of electrical power, the 50-Ohm coaxial cable is the industry standard and the ideal solution.

An excellent rule of thumb when parsing through these options includes the knowledge that the 50-Ohm coaxial cable is best utilized when paired with devices that serve as a transmitter or a tranceiver. Therefore, when outfitting radios, walkie-talkies, broadcast transmitters, Wi-Fi, and cellular phone repeaters the 50-Ohm cable is perfect.

Conversely, when power storage is not the issue, but rather the desire for the most efficient way to move a signal through a cable without losing any energy, the 75-Ohm coaxial cable delivers the best results. Selecting the 75-Ohm cable is the course of action if you would adopt when powering up devices like home theater gear, BluRay devices, HD televisions, and the like. Depending on the proposed application of your electronic device, that should guide your decision as to whether you would select the 50-Ohm and 75-Ohm coaxial cable to get the job done.