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RF Coaxial Cables and Components

These are somewhat fragile and surprisingly expensive when new - they are not simply bits of wire! Failure modes are subtle and very time-wasting.

If you suspect damage, please attach a label and send a notification via the bristolhackspace-members email reflector.

50ohm T-Pieces

These are used

  • where one low frequency (i.e. not RF) signal needs to be split to go two receivers.
  • to “convert” the scope's 1Mohm//20pF input into a 50ohm//20pF input

Do not use t-pieces to combine power from two sources - the sources will be damaged.

50ohm Terminators

50ohm terminators are for RF signals only, so as to prevent reflections from an otherwise unterminated cable's.

Do not use them as general-purpose 50ohm resistors, nor to dissipate any significant power.

Maximum voltage: 5V.

These are stored in labelled component drawers; please replace them after use.


These can be prone to subtle damage; such damage is traditionally indistinguishable from a faulty circuit, thus wasting hours of debugging time. Do not kink stretch crush them, e.g.

  • kink/crush them by draping them over the storage rack's fingers
  • yank them out of the rack, since that can fracture the centre connection

All cables have 50ohm BNC connectors; never try to mate them with 75ohm connectors since subtle damage will occur. (I don't think we have any 75ohm connectors; they most likely to be found on broadcast equipment)

Some cables are 75ohm; these are marked and suitable for general purpose low frequency use only.

They are stored on the rack next to the test bench.

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