Difference Between RG6 and RG6/U (With Table)

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Coaxial cable refers to a cable having an inner conductor which is enclosed by an insulating layer, which is enclosed by a conductive shielding. Many cables also comprise an insulating outer jacket. This type of cable is used for the transmission of data, internet, video, and voice communications. 

RG6 vs RG6/U

The difference between RG6 and RG6/U is that although the RG stands for radio guide and 6 for electrical characteristics, the U adds a different purpose. They are both identical with the same features. However, what the U stands for has led to many speculations creating some differences between the two.

RG 6 is a coaxial cable that was a single unit conductor. It was used for bulk radiofrequency. RG stands for Radio Guide, and 6 stands for electrical characteristics of the cable. It was used by the U.S. Military for communication. It is used in cable television wiring.

RG6/U is a coaxial cable almost identical to the RG6 coaxial cable. There are many assumptions as to what the U in RG6/U stands for. The most common ones include that it stands for underground, UV resistance, or Universal. All these three properties make the cable ideal for all purposes.

Comparison Table Between RG6 and RG6/U 

Parameters of ComparisonRG6 RG6/U
MeaningIt was a military specification for coaxial cables. These served the purpose of carrying radio waves for communication.It is almost a similar coaxial cable used for many different electrical purposes today.
TerminologyRG stands for Radio Guide and 6 stands for electrical characteristics of the cable.RG stands for Radio Guide and there are many speculations as to what the U stands for.
UndergroundRG6 cables can be used on the flooring.According to first speculation U stands for Underground, meaning these cables can be used underground.
UV RaysThese can be used for indoor wiring.According to second speculation U stands for UV rays, meaning they are UV resistant and can be used outdoors. 
UniversalTheir usage has certain limitations.Another speculation states that U stands for Universal, meaning they can be used for all purposes.

What is RG6?

RG6 refers to a common type of coaxial cable. This cable is used in various different types of residential and commercial purposes. RG6 is now a generic term that is applied to different cable designs. These cable designs are different from each other on the basis of their dielectric type, shielding characteristics, center conductor composition.

The term, RG-6, is generic and is applied to a wide variety of cable designs, which differ from one another in shielding characteristics, center conductor composition, and jacket type. In the beginning, RG was a unit conductor that was used for bulk radiofrequency. RG stands for Radio Guide, and 6 stands for electrical characteristics of the cable. It was used by the U.S. Military for communication.

The unit conductor is not used in military operations as it does not meet the specifications. The ‘/U’ to the RG6 was added later on. Currently, RG6 is a term that is used for referring to the coaxial cables having 18 AWG center conductors and 75-ohm characteristic or surge impedance. CATV is one of the common types of coaxial cables. These are used for routing cable television signals to and within homes. 75-ohm cables are also helpful in professional video applications.

What is RG6/U?

RG6/U is almost the same type of coaxial cable as the RG6. Even here, the RG stands for Radio Guide, and 6 stands for electrical characteristics of the cable. This coaxial cable is used for many different electrical purposes. The coaxial cables share almost the same characteristics. The difference between the two was created by the additional U in RG6/U. The speculations suggest many theories, including Underground, UV resistance, and Universal.

It is assumed that the U means underground or burial. This means that the coaxial cable can be buried into the ground. The UV resistance assumption implies that UV radiation has no effect on the coaxial cable. The Universal assumption means that the coaxial cable can be used for all purposes. This is because the cable is assumed to be UV resistant and can be buried as well.

Altogether it makes the cable ideal for outdoor purposes. It can sustain the weather and other corroding factors as well. The manufacturers also have control over the construction of the cables. The cables can also have extra shielding, making them stronger. The stronger the cable, the better it may work or work for longer. These cables are also popularly used in the wiring of cable TV systems.

Main Differences Between RG6 and RG6/U 

  1. RG6 was a military specification for coaxial cables. These served the purpose of carrying radio waves for communication. RG6/U is almost a similar coaxial cable used for many different electrical purposes today.
  2. RG stands for Radio Guide, and 6 stands for electrical characteristics of the cable. In RG6/U, RG stands for Radio Guide, and there are many speculations as to what the U stands for.
  3. RG6 cables can be used on the flooring. According to the first speculation U in RG6/U stands for Underground, meaning these cables can be used underground.
  4. RG6 cables can be used for indoor wiring. According to the second speculation U in RG6/U stands for UV rays, meaning they are UV resistant and can be used outdoors. 
  5. The usage of RG6 cables has certain limitations. Another speculation states that U in RG6/U stands for Universal, meaning they can be used for all purposes.

Conclusion

RG6 and RG6/U are both popular coaxial cables. They are very similar, almost identical to each other. They have the same properties and characteristics. They are also used for similar purposes, popularly including the cable television wiring around the house. 

There is no significant difference between the two cables. The differences are based on speculations as to what the U stands for. However, based on the assumptions, we can conclude that the RG6/U cable is more durable because of its burial and UV resistance capability. 

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7269345/
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