Coax quality

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KO4IPV

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Is there a big difference in these 2 different brands Times Microwave and Wilson ?
 

mmckenna

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Is there a big difference in these 2 different brands Times Microwave and Wilson ?
YES!

Wilson is low end consumer stuff. I don't think Wilson makes their own cable, it's probably rebranded Chinese stuff.

Times-Microwave actually makes coax cable, and they make good stuff.

There's a big difference between the two. If you have the option, get the Times-Microwave stuff.
 

jcop225

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There is. Time Microwave is in the business of making cable and sells to commercial and government customers all over the world. Wilson is in the business of consumer electronics including cell phone boosters. The only reason they sell cable is to go along with their cellphone booster kits and as mckenna said they buy it from a low-end 3rd party and put their name on it.

I am assuming you are comparing the 400-series cable from these two. Biggest difference is quality of materials. RF performance out of the box will be generally comparable below 1 GHz but Times LMR-400 with survive the elements much better if properly installed.

Bottom line is if you are not handling the cable much (installing it and leaving it in place) and it will be 100% indoors you can get away with cheaper cable like Wilson and other off-brands. If it is going outside, stick with Times Microwave or another reputable brand. If you do go with the Wilson you should be paying less than half the price of Times.
 

KO4IPV

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There is. Time Microwave is in the business of making cable and sells to commercial and government customers all over the world. Wilson is in the business of consumer electronics including cell phone boosters. The only reason they sell cable is to go along with their cellphone booster kits and as mckenna said they buy it from a low-end 3rd party and put their name on it.

I am assuming you are comparing the 400-series cable from these two. Biggest difference is quality of materials. RF performance out of the box will be generally comparable below 1 GHz but Times LMR-400 with survive the elements much better if properly installed.

Bottom line is if you are not handling the cable much (installing it and leaving it in place) and it will be 100% indoors you can get away with cheaper cable like Wilson and other off-brands. If it is going outside, stick with Times Microwave or another reputable brand. If you do go with the Wilson you should be paying less than half the price of Times.
99 percent of 50 ft is indoors and next time it will be times microwave
 

jcop225

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Regardless of what cable you use make sure you weatherproof any connectors that are outside. Will go a very long way to extending the service life of the cable.
 

ArloG

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Specs and reviews. Your best source of info.
I've just replaced around 75 feet of Belden 9913F7 with Times Microwave LMR400 PVC jacketed cable.
Mind you I live in an area where every last dB of signal counts. Receive only.
People put down the Belden cable for many reasons. Most common being water intrusion. I haven't had that problem.
The LMR400 might give me a little more signal. But the 9913 probably would have lived for several more years.
Yes. If you need signal, good cable is well worth the money. I tried the LMR400 because I figured it was time to replace my run and people say it's very good. There is still about 100' of Belden 9913F7 on a spool.
I prefer compression connectors over crimp style. Waterproofing for me comes from a can of Flex Seal. It works great. At least for the past 6 years or so.

Another thing the guys here could pipe in on. It's said that coax 'shouldn't be' sensitive to runs along tower or mast metal.
I have been using standoffs and gray PVC as shielding where cable has to be run close metal. In the upper VHF and UHF freqs. there seems to be a bit better reception doing it that way. Just a touch of distance from metal appears to make a difference. Input?
 

mmckenna

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People put down the Belden cable for many reasons. Most common being water intrusion. I haven't had that problem.
The issue is that the average amateur radio operators don't seem to understand the importance of waterproofing. It's rare to see a ham/hobbyist that actually takes the time to do a proper job of sealing outdoor connections. I've heard all kinds of excuses for not doing it, and most of them come down to ignorance or laziness. The issue with 9913 is the air dielectric that allows water to flow inside the cable once it enters. With a proper waterproofing job, it's not an issue, but like I said above, many amateurs don't grasp the importance of waterproofing outdoor connections.
This is a place where amateurs are far behind the professionals.

The LMR400 might give me a little more signal. But the 9913 probably would have lived for several more years.
Yes. If you need signal, good cable is well worth the money. I tried the LMR400 because I figured it was time to replace my run and people say it's very good.
LMR400 seems to have achieved "cult following" status in the hobby world. It's talked about like it's the perfect coaxial cable and the pinnacle of achievement.
It's not.
Don't get me wrong, it's good stuff and much better than RG-8. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. That's about it. There are much better cables out there. LMR400 has it's place, but it's not the 'ultimate' cable. It's good enough for most hobby use, and it's a big upgrade for folks that are relying on 50+ foot runs of things like RG-58, but it's not the 'best' as some like to claim.
 

jcop225

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I've just replaced around 75 feet of Belden 9913F7 with Times Microwave LMR400 PVC jacketed cable.
Mind you I live in an area where every last dB of signal counts. Receive only.
People put down the Belden cable for many reasons. Most common being water intrusion. I haven't had that problem.
Belden 9913F7 has a full foam dielectric so it does not suffer from the water intrusion issue that Belden 9913 did becasue that cable has an air dielectric.

The decrease in loss you are seeing between the two is from LMR-400 having a solid center conductor vs. 9913F7 having a stranded center conductor. The stranded center conductor (greater flexibility) is an advantage for cable that is handled often but for a permanent install the solid center conductor is a non-issue.
 

KO4IPV

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Belden 9913F7 has a full foam dielectric so it does not suffer from the water intrusion issue that Belden 9913 did becasue that cable has an air dielectric.

The decrease in loss you are seeing between the two is from LMR-400 having a solid center conductor vs. 9913F7 having a stranded center conductor. The stranded center conductor (greater flexibility) is an advantage for cable that is handled often but for a permanent install the solid center conductor is a non-issue.
Great info thanks for sharing
 

JoshuaHufford

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The issue is that the average amateur radio operators don't seem to understand the importance of waterproofing. It's rare to see a ham/hobbyist that actually takes the time to do a proper job of sealing outdoor connections. I've heard all kinds of excuses for not doing it, and most of them come down to ignorance or laziness. The issue with 9913 is the air dielectric that allows water to flow inside the cable once it enters. With a proper waterproofing job, it's not an issue, but like I said above, many amateurs don't grasp the importance of waterproofing outdoor connections.
This is a place where amateurs are far behind the professionals.



LMR400 seems to have achieved "cult following" status in the hobby world. It's talked about like it's the perfect coaxial cable and the pinnacle of achievement.
It's not.
Don't get me wrong, it's good stuff and much better than RG-8. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. That's about it. There are much better cables out there. LMR400 has it's place, but it's not the 'ultimate' cable. It's good enough for most hobby use, and it's a big upgrade for folks that are relying on 50+ foot runs of things like RG-58, but it's not the 'best' as some like to claim.

I think LMR400 is a good compromise between price, signal loss, and ease of working with it, at least for hobbyists, but as you said it is far from the best thing to use.

I did a run with LMR600 once on a cold day. That stuff is not easy to deal with!
 

jcop225

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dB/dollars it's only beat by competitors trying to undersell Times with the same style cable.

And I've yet to see someone run hardline for their scanner install...
 

mmckenna

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I think LMR400 is a good compromise between price, signal loss, and ease of working with it, at least for hobbyists, but as you said it is far from the best thing to use.
That it is, however it depends on length and what it's used for.

I did a run with LMR600 once on a cold day. That stuff is not easy to deal with!
Well, it's not any easier to run on hot days, either.
 
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