For instance RG-6, RG-58, RG-59 and RG-173? Also do the numbers have a specific meaning (like referring to a part of the specification)? Is there a document that lists all RG-* cables with their specifications?


2 Answers 2


A series of standard types of coaxial cable were specified for military uses, in the form "RG-#" or "RG-#/U". They date from World War II and were listed in MIL-HDBK-216 published in 1962. These designations are now obsolete. The RG designation stands for Radio Guide;

From The obvious place

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. Not for "red, gritty" after all, or radagast! \$\endgroup\$
    – Kaz
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 13:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Kaz I thought it stood for Round Ground. Since the outer conductor is normally round. And the Ground. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby no, you get that at the butcher shop. \$\endgroup\$
    – hobbs
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 7:59

A simple wikipedia search gave this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RG-59

Usually even numbered cables (RG-58, RG-316 etc) have 50Ohm impedance and odd numbered have 75Ohm

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ ... like the 75-ohm RG-6, which is widely used in the cable TV industry? Don't make sweeping generalizations when there's a really obvious counterexample. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:45

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