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Is RF cable the same as coaxial cable?

RF is an acronym for Radio Frequency. RF is any frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with the spread of radio waves. Whenever a radio frequency current is supplied to the antenna, an electromagnetic field is generated which can then propagate through space. Many wireless technologies are based on radio frequency field propagation.

Ericsson Coaxial Cable


Wireless RF modules for microcontroller development kits and other design-ready products are common, but where do RF cables fit in at this point? And, what does ethernet have to do with it? This is when things get tricky and confusing. The term RF has become quite generic, and there are several technologies that can be considered RF, both wired and wireless. You might even hear people talk about transmitting radio frequency signals, but aren't sure if they mean wireless or via coaxial cable. For Ethernet, it is important not to confuse the terms "RF cable" and "coaxial cable".



Most people use the two terms interchangeably, but "RF cable" simply means that a radio frequency oscillating signal can be contained within the RF cable, which is commonly known as coaxial cable. Many non-RF signals can also utilize coax. A random mention of RF is more likely to mean "wireless" these days, since most modern devices communicate wirelessly these days.



Coaxial cables are often used to transmit radio frequency signals up to a few gigahertz, so they are often called radio frequency cables. Coaxial cable is ideal for this purpose due to its relative immunity to external electromagnetic interference. It is often used to protect weak signals that are susceptible to EMI.



In other words, RF cables may be the same as coaxial cables and vice versa, but there are exceptions. This is because the term "RF" is related to the purpose of the cable, while "coaxial" is related to the physical structure of the cable.



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Ericsson RET control cable



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