Having the best VHF radio and antenna unfortunately makes no sense at all if we use a poor quality cable. RG58 is the standard marine VHF cable found on most installations and included with many VHF antennas. It is 50Ω as required and only 5 mm thick and useful for routing inside the mast or through tight spaces but it has very high signal loss over anything more than a couple of metres.
We all know the advantages of having the VHF aerial on top of the mast but if we start to calculate the signal loss in a typical mast installation then the advantages might not be worthwhile. Typical RG58 cable has a signal loss of 1.7dB per 10 metres of cable in the 100 Mhz band and an even higher loss at the frequencies we normally use (Channel 16 - 156.8Mhz).
45% Less Signal Loss Compared to RG58
Made by SSB of Germany, Aircell-5 offers a huge improvement. It is 50Ω and only 5 mm thick as with RG58 but the loss is reduced to only 0.94 dB per 10 metres in the 100 Mhz band, an improvement of 45%. It is very flexible and can be used with standard Pl-259 VHF connectors.
The low loss of Aircell-5 is achieved by a moisture resistant PE-Compound Dielectric (LLC) with a gas proportion of more than 70%. The single core inner conductor of Aircell-5 is made of low in oxygen copper (OFC). To get a good shielding the outer conductor is manufactured with twin layers of copper. The black PVC outer cover is UV-stabilized.
Sold by the metre
See the Ecomax-10 for the next generation of RG213/U.
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