RG142 Flexible High-Temperature Coax Cable

| Amanda Kole

One of the top versatile coax cables WireMasters stocks is RG142 also referred to as, M17/60-RG142. This product has proven to be an excellent solution for a vast range of applications, specifically in the military and aerospace industries. This week WireMasters is highlighting this product as we provide you with detailed information on why we love this cable!

RG142 Overview

RG142 is a versatile 50-ohm coaxial cable used for all transmit-and-receive purposes.

RG142 coax cable features a solid silver-coated copper-clad steel conductor and weighs 43 lbs per 1000 feet. Primary uses for RG142 include radio frequency, telecommunications, interconnects, and signal transfer applications in systems such as GPS, medical systems, and RADAR.  Because of its dual shielding, RG142 works very well in sensitive environments like avionics bays.  The solid silver-covered copper-clad steel conductor found in RG142 allows low-frequency electrical power to travel down the middle of the wire. 

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Benefits of RG142

The MIL-C-17 specification defines the construction of RG142.  The shielding effectiveness of RG142 is between 40 and 60 dB.  It has a solid dielectric which provides a high rate of crush resistance, enabling it to be very effective in tactical operations and applications.

When buying a Mil-Spec RG142 for example, make sure the jacket marking shows the Mil-Spec part number "M17/60-RG142 MIL-DTL-17," as well as the manufacturer's CAGE code.

Part Number History

The military created a series of standard types of coaxial cable in the form "RG-#" or "RG-#/U."  Listed in MIL-HDBK-216 and published in 1962, they date from World War II but are now obsolete. The RG designation stands for Radio Guide; the U designation stands for Universal. The current military standard is MIL-C-17. MIL-C-17 numbers, such as "M17/60-RG142", are given for military cables and manufacturer's catalog numbers for civilian applications. The RG-series designations were so common for generations that they are still used although, critical users should be aware that since the handbook is withdrawn, there is no standard to guarantee the electrical and physical characteristics of a cable described as "RG-# type."

The Importance of VSWR Sweep Testing

We highly recommend constructions with VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio) when selecting a 50-ohm coaxial cable.  Manufacturing and sweep testing cables with concern for VSWR ensures a quality cable free of spikes over the frequency range.

Precision PTFE Dielectric

The PTFE dielectric used in RG142 is a high-temperature, high-performance construction that exhibits high dielectric strength, dielectric loss, and low capacitance in proportion to the cable’s dielectric constant. QPL manufacturers can manufacture PTFE dielectrics with tolerances tighter than called for within the MIL-DTL-17 specification.  These tighter tolerances ensure the uniformity of electrical characteristics, with specific respect to impedance, attenuation, and VSWR.

Construction Details

M17 Part


Center Conductor

.037” silver-covered copper-clad steel (SCCS)

Dielectric Diameter



Silver Plated Copper (2)

Shield Diameter




Overall Diameter


Bend Radius


Weight (lbs/mft)


Attenuation (dB/100 ft.)

Impedance (ohms)

50 +/-2

Capacitance (pF/ft.)


Max Voltage


100 MHz Typical/Maximum

3.8 / 4.4

400 MHz Typical/Maximum

8.1 / 9.3

1 GHz Typical/Maximum

13.7 / 15.3