SATELLITE EQUIPMENT REVIEWS
SATELLITE & AERIAL COAX
It's as well to know what not to use too, some satellite & aerial installers use the cheapest coax & I've heard at least one even insist it's just as good cos he tested it over a run on a meta ... & it can be very cheap too compared to genuine Webro WF100 or say Triax TX100 & it will perform seemingly almost the same, especially in the beginning.
So what's the difference then?
The plastic outer can be made of any plastic that will perish in the sun & weather (ie it's not tested UV safe/ frost safe or anything safe) & can be so soft/ weak it can be easily damaged at installation eg on a brick edge or roof edge, while clipping etc.. & damage/ split over time & even birds or anything with teeth can easily bite into it.
The inner plastic [dielectric] can crush & cause creases/ kinks in the coax at install or over time causing odd frequency problems all over or just at certain points in the spectrum so one could get a good result on a meter at one point & another area is low or zero &/or 22kHz lnb switching signals or any other signals it can also carry can suffer this way & again the dielectric is usually of a material that can also perish easily & absorb water if the foam type.
The screening should be at least braid plus foil, (unless you found some very dense copper braided coax ).
The foil in cheap coax can be plastic coated with a very thin film of alloy (think Quality Street wrappers only not quite that good) & that also perishes easily leaving useless clear plastic & some white powder oxide.
The braid can be soft alloy & cut/ splinter if you try to use a screw on fittings so they really need the more expensive crimp on or compression connectors & the not cheap tools to go with them, splinters of alloy braid can get in the electrics of stbs & soft alloy braid also perishes easily leaving no shielding & loss of outer continuity.
The core in cheap coax can be a cheap alloy &/or with a thin copper coating or even copper look & easily perish.
The softness of cheap outer plastic combined with weak inner plastic dielectric & low QC & poor consistency also means connectors can come loose over time.
When cheap coax &/or it's connectors fail it not only causes reception problems & switching faults, it can also cause damage to receivers, lnbs, motors, amplifiers etc.. electrically or even acting as a conduit for rain water.
WF100 & TX100 are CAI approved (a good start) ... use very tough UV tested plastic outer & well tested inner dielectric non-absorbent foam dielectric which will not easily crush either, both use cooper braid & copper foil shielding & copper core but Triax use a higher tensile copper alloy that increases the strength of pure copper several fold as a tougher option but loses circa 6% for the added alloy & Webro use near pure copper, slightly weaker but does not lose that 6%. These coax cables are both tough & uniform in production & QC & consistently solidly fit correctly chosen quality connectors including waterproof.
Where you buy is important, make sure it's a reputable supplier, we had a customer that bought what he thought was twin Webro wf100 to cable round his home before we installed the satellite system & it clearly wasn't Webro & just split. https://twitter.com/purplesat/status/547516974495178753
All told WF100/ TX100 & decent connectors look much more expensive than the cheapest coax with the cheapest connectors but long term they usually prove much cheaper as once installed it's job done . (why I use them).
There are other coax brands & versions & several that have used other cost saving methods to produce an as good a product that I'm not against, it's more the time it takes to test them all.