HAM`s talk about Cables


Hams love cables! This is an axiom since every amateur radio station is filled with all kinds of different cables. It simply can’t exist without them.

Let’s take a closer look at which cables hams have to use to make their stations safe and “pleasant” to use.

Power cables

  • 380/220 Volt AC cables. The main AC cable is the major source of power feeding the ham station. To calculate the gauge of the mains cable, one must know the power consumed by the whole ham shack.
  • DC power cables are used to feed ham transceivers and transistor amplifiers (20A + types colored in red/black) and different station accessories.
  • High Voltage cables. These special cables are used to supply the anode voltage from HV power supplies to high-power HF/VHF/UHF tube linear amplifiers

Radio Frequency Cables

  • Coaxial cables. Hams use mainly 50 and 75 Ohm with different velocity factor. RigExpert Antenna Analyzers can be used effectively to define the cable’s physical length and velocity factor, as the length of halfwave and quarterwave stubs. With RigExpert Antenna Analyzers, finding the cable fault location and measuring the cable characteristic impedance is easy.
  • Open wire lines. https://www.qsl.net/co8tw/openline.htm These are mainly 600, 450 and 300 Ohm symmetric transmission lines. The balun transformers with 1:4 to 1:12 ratio have to be used to connect to unsymmetrical coaxial lines. RigExpert Antenna Analyzers have the menu option to select the SWR system impedance for 300, 450, 600 Ohm lines.

Control cables

https://rigexpert.com/products/cables-and-connectors/transceiver-cables/ These cables are used to connect different equipment both inside the shack and outside. This includes relay boxes, antenna rotators, Low Noise receiving amplifiers, CAT and PTT/keying transceiver control etc. 

These multi-wire cables can be shielded or unshielded being manufactured both for internal or outside (with UV-resistant polyethylene cover) use. 

RigExpert manufactures all kinds of interface cables for different transceivers that can be ordered on request.

Computer cables

    • USB cables – there are shielded cables to connect different USB devices to USB computer ports. These cables have all kinds of connectors and, of course, the proper one has to be chosen.
    • RS232 cables. Hams use these legacy cables with DB9 and DB25 connectors mainly for CAT transceiver control.
    • LPT cables.  Hams use these legacy cables with DB9 and DB25 connectors mainly as FOOT SWITCH and PADDLE ports to key transceivers the through the transistor interfaces and as BAND OUTPUT ports to bandswitch antennas and linear amplifiers.