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Old 12-22-2008 - Cable Impedence 101 - Cable Systems - Voltage Talk forum
cosmos cosmos is offline
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Default Cable Impedence 101

Why is communication cable impedence given in ohms, instead of ohms per foot? Doesn't the cables impedence consider the resistance which is proportional to its length?
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Old 12-22-2008 - Cable Impedence 101 - Cable Systems - Voltage Talk forum
Bryan Holland Bryan Holland is offline
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When radio frequency signals are transmitted via coaxial cable or ribbon cable, the impedance of the cable is significant in determining the load placed on the source and the efficiency of the transmission.

Provided the internal impedance of the source and the impedance of the load or termination of the cable are equal, it is possible to manufacture a cable which will present a constant impedance at both ends, regardless of the length of the cable segment. This impedance is called the characteristic impedance of the cable.

Thus, a 50Ω coaxial cable, terminated in a non-inductive 50Ω resistor, will present a 50Ω impedance to whatever equipment is connected to its other end, regardless of the cable length.

The most common impedances of coaxial cable are 75Ω, used for unbalanced connection of televisionantennas, and 50Ω, used for computer networks and many other purposes. The only common impedance of ribbon cable is 300Ω , used for balanced connection of televisionantennas. Thus, the baluns used in converting signals from a television antenna between balanced and unbalanced incorporate a 4:1 transformer for impedance matching purposes.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_impedance"
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Old 12-22-2008 - Cable Impedence 101 - Cable Systems - Voltage Talk forum
cosmos cosmos is offline
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Thanks Bryan! The Wikipedia explaination of characteristic impedance refreshed my understanding.
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Old 12-22-2008 - Cable Impedence 101 - Cable Systems - Voltage Talk forum
Bryan Holland Bryan Holland is offline
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I have found information on Wikipedia to be wrong from time to time. Be sure to cross-check that information. I for one don't quite understand what it is saying.
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Old 12-23-2008 - Cable Impedence 101 - Cable Systems - Voltage Talk forum
GregS GregS is offline
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Wow, there's an old description 50 Ohm computer networks on coax.. Don't see a lot of that these days
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