# Pigtail antenna cable

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Can pigtail cable be substitute with coaxial cable?

## Answers and Replies

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Ouabache
Homework Helper
Not sure what application you have in mind. Are you feeding an antenna? to an rf transmitter or reciever?

In my experience a pigtail cable, is a more of a descriptive term for a "short length" of almost any kind of cable and not necessaily coaxial.

Coaxial cable comes in many specifications depending on your application, things like nominal impedance, type of dielectric material, center wire may be solid or stranded, attenuation - dB signal loss, which is dependent on frequency of signal you may be using, etc.

here is an example of a few coaxial cable specifications:
http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/coax_chart.htm [Broken]

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WiFi application

Pigtail is a skinny cable that connects an antenna to wireless PCI card.

Ouabache
Homework Helper
david90 said:
WiFi application

Pigtail is a skinny cable that connects an antenna to wireless PCI card.
Okay, the pigtail as I mentioned above, describes a short length of wire, which can be of any type..

Your application is definately RF, so I would investigate using one of the coaxial cables. Do a little web search for that cable spec. You may actually find a better cable (less lossy) to use, than that which come with those cards

GENIERE
david90 said:
WiFi application

Pigtail is a skinny cable that connects an antenna to wireless PCI card.

“Pigtail” is a term I’ve often used and often heard but it has no technical significance.

What you are describing is likely to be a short coaxial conductor with a nominal impedance of 50ohms.

Using a cable of different impedance will lessen the range.

Ouabache
Homework Helper
“Pigtail” is a term I’ve often used and often heard but it has no technical significance.
It generally is a descriptive term, referring to a short length of cabling.
(no doubt coming from idea that a pig's tail coils and is fairly short)

What you are describing is likely to be a short coaxial conductor with a nominal impedance of 50ohms.

Using a cable of different impedance will lessen the range.
Choice of 50 $$\Omega$$ characteristic impedance is a reasonable starting point. However that impedance is not useful for all RF applications, so careful choice should be made in each case. Another useful parameter to consider is velocity factor.

Though the application in the following URL, is for CCTV (closed circuit television), here is an excellent primer for learning about coaxial cable parameters. http://www.pfm.howard.edu/infosys/choosing_correct_cable.pdf

Also try to choose connectors that are less lossy, such as N-type. The PCI cards vary as to which connector is needed for that end of the cable, so be sure to find out what end-connector your card uses.

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