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Choosing the Right Cable Assemblies

Cable assemblies are vital to any number of applications, from communications systems to test equipment setups. To help specifiers choose the right coaxial cable assembly for their applications, W.L. Gore & Associates offers a 14-page white paper, "Selecting The Right Cable System for Your Environment."

Written by Lead Design Engineer Paul Warren, the white paper provides a proven approach to selecting coaxial cable systems. It does so by detailing the constraints that can affect the performance of a cable assemblyas well as the total costs of ownership and failure should the cable stop operating properly. It details how to evaluate the types of stress to which cable systems can be exposed, including mechanical and environment stress. The former can include the movement of a cable system in tight spaces or at high speeds, especially when used in automated system applications. The latter can include the vacuum of deep space or the temperature extremes of an outdoor communications system installation.

The white paper instructs a reader how to design the right cable assembly for a particular application and environment, by understanding the different types of materials that go into high-frequency cable systems. For example, siliconewhich is used for high-voltage and jacket insulationis compared with polyurethane, which serves as a jacket material but not as an insulator because of its low dielectric withstanding voltage.

The document also explains how to verify that a particular cable system design is suitable for an intended application. The literature offers advice for closely working with a cable system manufacturer, and how to convey the information needed by that manufacturer to fully appreciate the requirements of a cable-system application and its operating environment. A manufacturer, for example, can design a set of custom mechanical and electrical tests to verify that the performance of a cable system will be maintained over a wide set of operating conditions and over time. The white paper concludes with a checklist of issues that should be addressed when selecting the right cable for a specific application. The checklist includes various types of applications, including military and commercial, and general requirements (such as minimum and maximum cable diameter, potential electrical issues, crosstalk requirements, and mechanical and environmental considerations). The white paper is available as a free download from the W.L. Gore & Associates website.

W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.
380 Starr Road
Landensberg, PA 19350
(800)445-Gore (4673)

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