A triaxial cable, commonly called triax, is an electrical cable with three conductors sharing the same axis. It’s your typical coaxial cable with an added outer copper braid which is insulated to keep it from the signal carrying conductor. The copper braid acts as a metallic shield.
Two of these conductors are cylindrical and insulated from each other and the third conductor.
The shielding on the triax cable enables it be used in driven shield applications. These applications are made in such a way to protect internal conductors from electrical noise.
Why use triax cable
There are many different types of cables you could use for your video and broadcasting needs. Coaxial cables, twinax, hybrid cables, quadrax, fiber optics etc. But why does triax cable stand out? We will explore the reasons from a technical viewpoint.
i. Increased bandwidth.
The design of the triax cable among other things seeks to increase bandwidth ensuring the frequencies is transmitted to maximum range. This guarantees a high degree of effectiveness.
ii. Superior rejection of interference.
More than any other cable, the triax is designed to attenuate interference. This is why it is the broadcaster’s favorite for above normal noise areas. For instance large concerts, sports events, antenna or radar systems with noisy signals or higher than usual cross talk or where signal transfer between communication channels is unwanted.
Owing to the shielding effect in triax cables, the interference is greatly reduced and clear signals are transmitted. This level of clarity other cables cannot achieve, making triax superior.
The outer metallic shield (mostly copper) acts a protective envelope for the enclosed conductors. A feature which increases its useful life. The cable also can endure extreme conditions. Perhaps this is why triax cables outlive others.
iv. Easy to use.
Since triax cables are standardized, the ease of use and convenience is greatly enhanced. Say you are to broadcast in an arena with inbuilt cabling system. All you need to do is simply plug in and continue, eliminating the need to set up your cable system.
Setting down is also as easy as ABC. It’s simply unplugging, well securing the cables and packing. It’s this ease of use that many broadcasters go for.
v. Fire safe/ fire resisting capacity.
Triax cables are manufactured in strict conformance to the regulations and high quality standards. After manufacture, they undergo intensive testing to confirm compliance. And if need be, updating is done.
A recently updated feature is fire safety. This has enhanced safety, more so in the case of a fire outbreak.
vi. All weather.
Designed to withstand temperature changes, different humidity levels, and so on, the cables can be used both internally and externally/ outside buildings. It can withstand the toughest of treatments. This is the flexibility and durability a broadcaster with different tasks some in-house others in the field requires. Hence the embrace of triax cables.
The design of the triax cable enables it multiplex. With the outer shield in the design structure, it is able to take multiple signals, combine them into a single signal and transmit it.
The practice of multiplexing eliminates the need for multiple cable set up as the one triax cable handles many signals. Not only does this provide for cleaner set up but also reduces noise by reducing the number of cables in the set.
A good example is the standard triax system. It provides power, gunlock, intercom, program audio, tally (a signal that alerts the operator that their camera is on the air) return video (of that program) and control access unit.
viii. Easy to fix.
Triaxal cables are very durable. But should they break down, it is easy and quick to repair. Replacement is straightforward too. This means you can even fix it in the field whenever develop defects in the course of work.
ix. Reduced distributed capacitance.
The shielding mechanism where the inner conductor is braid and driven parallel at the transmitting end, working against the outer insulated braid above the ground leaves the inner braid floating providing Faraday Shield. It’s this feature that is responsible for the reduced distributed capacitance.
x. Reduced cable loss and loading.
This a great quality that increases the effectiveness of triax cables presenting it as a better cable.
Florin is an marketing consultant with deep experience using customer insight and data to design and build solutions that deliver great customer experience and commercial advantage.