Is RG6 Sufficient for Recieve-Only Antennas?

MikeThompson

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I am in the process of putting together an attic setup for shortwave listening. I have two quick questions:

1) Can I get away with regular RG6 coax? Its what is readily available to me.

2) If I have to go the RG8 route, is there an adapter available for my receivers external antenna port?

Rg8 cable ends:


My external port:
P_20200906_132602.jpg

Thanks guys, much appreciated as always!
 

n0esc

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The lower in frequency you go the less you will see any appreciable loss from coax. Keep in mind some of the best RX/TX antennas for HF frequencies are quite literally a bare chunk of copper wire.

There are adapters to easily go from pretty much any type of coax end to the proper plug. Here is one for RG8 (Actualy end is called PL-259) amazon.com/AEcreative-coaxial-External-shortwave-Receiver/dp/B07HMGMN51
 

MikeThompson

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The lower in frequency you go the less you will see any appreciable loss from coax
The bulk of my shortwave listening tends to be in the lower bands anyway, like 49m to 22m.


There are adapters to easily go from pretty much any type of coax end to the proper plug
I could use something like this:

Screenshot_20200908-080835.jpg

And screw that into this adapter I already have right?

P_20200908_081005.jpg
 

n5rv

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1, Yes, RG6 is used quite often on RX only applications for the reason that it is cheap and widely available.
2, You can find 3.5mm rf adapters in a wide variety of types.
 

n5rv

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The RG6 connector is called an F connector, not Mini-UHF. So the top pic would not work with F connectors. You can do an amazon search on "F to PL259 adapater" as an example.
 

popnokick

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The adapters you've pictured don't appear to be the right size for your radio, and neither of them is appropriate for a PL-259 male. The ones pictured in the plastic bag appear to be F-female to 1/4" audio... which won't fit into the radio's antenna socket. That socket looks like mini-audio. So if you use RG-6 and F connectors you'll need an F-female to mini-audio. If you use a PL-259 male at the end of RG8 cable, you'll need a UHF-female to mini-audio (for the radio plug). At some point you'll have enough adapters in your collection to start chaining them together and go from anything to any other thing (which is what I do in a pinch). However, every adapter makes the entire length greater, introduces more possible failure points, and adds signal loss (though not much of an issue below 30 mHz).
 

WA8ZTZ

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RG6 is fine for your application. It and the associated "F" connectors are cheap, readily available, low loss, and the connectors are easy to install with an inexpensive "F" crimper found in most hardware stores.
Notice that RG6 is 75 ohm impedance vs RG8 is 50 ohm impedance but don't sweat it for a receive only application such as yours... you will never notice the difference.
Looks like the antenna jack on your portable is a 3.5mm mini audio jack (sometimes referred to as a 1/8" jack)… check your owner's manual.
If you decide to use RG6 with "F" connector, Universal Radio RF adapter #5177 will do the job.
If you go the RG8 route with UHF connector, Universal Radio RF adapter #1619 will work.
 

MikeThompson

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Thanks for the pointers so far. I've checked the 3.5mm/coax adapter and it works fine on my receiver. I would just need an adapter for the male end of the coax to go to the female pl-259 plug on the balun.

With so many adapters and cable terminology I don't know how you guys aren't dizzy!
 

K4EET

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<snip> And screw that into this adapter I already have right?

View attachment 90999
<snip> The ones pictured in the plastic bag appear to be F-female to 1/4" audio... which won't fit into the radio's antenna socket. That socket looks like mini-audio. <snip>
Mike, could you take the two connectors out of the plastic bag and lay them alongside a ruler so we can get a size comparison? I believe your connectors are an F-Female to 3.5 mm phone / 1/8th inch phone. Due to the magnification of the picture, it makes the connector look like a 1/4 inch phone plug as @popnokick observed. Thanks Mike! Dave, K4EET
 

K4EET

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Thanks for the pointers so far. I've checked the 3.5mm/coax adapter and it works fine on my receiver. I would just need an adapter for the male end of the coax to go to the female pl-259 plug on the balun.

With so many adapters and cable terminology I don't know how you guys aren't dizzy!
Your reply Mike may have answered my post for everyone. The phone plug is 3.5 mm and not 1/4 inch...
 

kf8yk

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This jumper cable would do the job without any additional adapters:


The added benefit of the thin coax used in this jumper is it prevents excessive stress on the 3.5 mm antenna jack that can be caused by thicker, stiffer cables.
 

WA8ZTZ

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Thanks for the pointers so far. I've checked the 3.5mm/coax adapter and it works fine on my receiver. I would just need an adapter for the male end of the coax to go to the female pl-259 plug on the balun.

With so many adapters and cable terminology I don't know how you guys aren't dizzy!
If you want to go from RG6 with an "F" connector to the "female PL-259" on the balun use Universal Radio RF adapter #3111.
btw... a "female PL-259" is correctly known as a SO-239.
www.universal-radio.com
 

VK3RX

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This jumper cable would do the job without any additional adapters:


The added benefit of the thin coax used in this jumper is it prevents excessive stress on the 3.5 mm antenna jack that can be caused by thicker, stiffer cables.
Definitely use something like this jumper, rather than just an adapter on the RG6 cable.
 
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