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Tube VS solid Conductor (Coax)

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What is the (operational) differences between tubed copper conductor coax and solid conductor coax? What are the advantages and disadvantages of 1 over the other? I apologize if my terminology is wrong for the 2 types!
 

jackj

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It is all about costs. RF energy tends to travel on the surface of the conductor, higher frequencies tend to penetrate the conductor less. This means that the center of the conductor carries very little of the RF so why fill the tube with expensive copper when a hollow tube will work just as well.
 

prcguy

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Are you referring to the coax center conductor and the use of hollow tubing in larger cable like Andrew Heliax? If so they can get away with that due to RF skin effect where the majority of the RF current is confined in a shallow depth on the outside of the conductor.

Low frequencies like 1Mhz will penetrate a little deeper below the conductor surface than higher frequencies like 100MHz. Using hollow conductors saves on copper costs and weight without impacting RF performance. Some cables will use a copper clad aluminum or steel center conductor for similar reasons but the steel version will have higher DC resistance.

For pure DC a solid conductor is preferred since the current will flow through the entire cross section of the conductor.
prcguy


What is the (operational) differences between tubed copper conductor coax and solid conductor coax? What are the advantages and disadvantages of 1 over the other? I apologize if my terminology is wrong for the 2 types!
 
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Clearwater, Fl.
Yes, it is Andrews Heliax AVA7-50, specifically 1-5/8". I was at one of our new county sites and they put in this for all of the 700 & 800mhz antennas.
 

mmckenna

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1 5/8" is somewhere around $12.00/foot, just imagine how much it would be if that had to be a solid center conductor.
I've got a 2 foot piece of that sitting next to my desk left over from our 800 trunked system install.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Clearwater, Fl.
It is all about costs. RF energy tends to travel on the surface of the conductor, higher frequencies tend to penetrate the conductor less. This means that the center of the conductor carries very little of the RF so why fill the tube with expensive copper when a hollow tube will work just as well.
Very interesting, that explains why the better coax is coated with copper and not just aluminum, as is cheaper coax. Didn't know that. This will be 1 more question I get right on the test!!!
 
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