LMR-400 Coaxial cable is not only the most popular product within the LMR coaxial cable range, it is also one of the most popular coaxial cables in the World!
LMR-400 is manufactured by Times Microwave Systems USA, they are known globally as technology market leader of Ultra High performance Coaxial cables for all Commercial applications as well as Military fighter jet aircraft, Helicopters, UAV’S, Ships, Submarines, Drones and Spaceflight applications.
The LMR range is recognised globally as the industry standard ultra low loss, flexible, low cost, lightweight, DC – 6GHz coaxial cable solution for many RF applications. As there has been such high demand for the LMR-400 cable, variants of the cable have been introduced over time in order to meet specific application requirements or to comply with new regulatory certifications/qualifications.
Selecting the correct LMR-400 Cable can be daunting, there are now 20 LMR flavours out there for purchasers to select.
McGill Microwave are a European authorised distributor of the Times Microwave USA made LMR range, with almost every variant of the LMR range on our shelves, readily available on a next day delivery basis.
We are therefore going to use this article to give you the perfect guide which explains the different options available and enables you to select the perfect variant for your application. In this article, we will look at the 9 most popular LMR options below.
Lets start discussing the various LMR-400 options then!
This cable is where it all began. LMR-400 in it’s standard form comes with a Black PE Jacket, designed for 20 years outdoor service. The LMR-400 cable offers significant advantages over comparable sized competition’s products. If we take a look at any RG style coaxial cables, the LMR-400’s offers very significant advantages in size, weight and electrical performance.
RG-8, RG 213, RG 214 coaxial cables are the same physical size as LMR-400 – yet their attenuation is up to 40% higher and they have significantly inferior RF shielding performance.
The centre conductor of the LMR-400 uses a high conductivity, ultra high quality, Bare copper clad covered aluminium centre conductor material. The dielectric is nitrogen injected, foamed, closed cell, Polyethylene which achieves 84% Velocity of Propagation. The Dielectric has an Aluminium foil outer conductor, which is chemically bonded on to the dielectric core. The aluminium foil outer conductor gives unsurpassed shielding of >90dB versus >60dB for RG-8, RG 213 and RG 214.
When shopping for LMR-400, care should be taken to avoid purchasing inferior imitations of the genuine LMR-400 Times Microwave cable which can often lead to disappointment with final product performance.
You can be sure that when you purchase genuine Times LMR products, you can have piece of mind that the electrical performance will be maintained through the life of the product. The old adage has never been truer – cable’s cheap but trouble is expensive! The superior quality materials and manufacturing processes are what engineers in the superb product performance and reliability.
LMR UltraFlex is a close runner up in terms of popularity. This cable was created to offer easier flexing abilities for repeated or periodic flexures. On the whole, it is an easier cable to work with when routing the cable.
The LMR Ultraflex cable achieves better flexing abilities by employing a stranded centre conductor and a rubber (TPE) outer jacket.
Better Flexing Abilities come at a cost of 15% higher attenuation than the LMR-400 however!
It is worth noting, should you choose the LMR-UF as your preferred option, you can only use ‘TC’ style connectors with the cable – as ‘EZ’ connectors are not recommended for use with the LMR-400-UF stranded centre conductor.
The LMR-FR is effectively the standard LMR cable with a non-halogen (non-toxic), low smoke, fire retardant, Black PE outer Jacket. The LMR-400-FR is designed for use in applications where people are present, such as in building applications, ground vehicles, commercial aircraft, maritime vessels and oil rig installations. LMR-FR is UL/NEC & CSA rated ‘CMR’ and ‘FT4’ respectively, which meets FAA FAR25 requirements and is MSHA-P for mining applications. LMR-400-FR also now meets the EU construction product regulations (CPR) class B2ca-s1a,d0,a1. This cable is also UV stabilised and is therefore suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.
LMR-LSZH is a Low smoke, fire retardant, zero-halogen cable that has been designed to provide a lower cost alternative to the LMR-FR cable range. The jacket is also UV resistant which can handle harsh outside environments. This is a popular cable in Europe for mass transit type applications. It’s also popular in the maritime industry, typically used on systems such as 4G Wi-Fi, VHF/UHF radio communications, GPS and TVRO.
The LMR-DB is a totally water blocked version of the standard LMR cable. It features a water blocking agent which is located between the cable outer braid and the jacket which provides complete sealing. The significant advantage of the LMR-DB series is that in the event the cable outer jacket is damaged , the blocking agent flows to the area where the outer jacket has been damaged and effectively re-seals the cable – ensuring that the ingress threat is localised to the small area where moisture has entered the cable and prevents any further moisture ingress. This cables comes with a best in the industry 12 Years warranty!
McGill Microwave Systems has seen a sharp rise in demand for the LMR-LW cable in the last year. LMR-LW employs an aluminium outer braid rather than the traditional tinned copper outer braid. This results in a significantly lighter cable with a lower cost. The electrical performance remains identical to LMR-400. LMR-LW is around 16% lower cost than standard LMR.
LMR-400-75 is the 75 Ohm version which is ideal for
- VSAT applications
- Video applications such as CCTV, CATV, baseband or broadband
- In-Building Feeder Runs
- Any 75 ohm Wireless Application requiring an easily routed, low loss coaxial cable.
LMR-400-PVC cable is designed for low loss general-purpose applications and is more flexible than the standard polyethylene jacketed LMR-400. This is an excellent half way between the standard LMR and LMR UltraFlex. The significant advantage here is that the cable keeps its excellent loss figures compared to the UF cable, which is around 15% higher attenuation due to the stranded centre conductor.
This cable is much easier to identify from the other LMR range from a distance. The jacket is bright red in colour which is made from Fluoropolymer. This is a highly fire retardant cable which can handle much higher temperatures of up to 125 degrees centigrade. All of the other LMR range can withstand temperatures up to 85 degrees centigrade. This variant is intended specifically for runs within return air handling plenums such as dropped ceilings & raised floors. It has a UL/NEC & CSA rating of ‘CMP’ and ‘FT6’ respectively.
Are there any other options?
Yes is the answer here! The options that have been given above are the main variants, however there are other variants which are simply combined options from the above. The other flavours of the cable available are:
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