AES Insights Blog

Coax Cable Selection and Termination

Posted by Lee Dubé | About the Author on Jan 17, 2017 12:03:17 PM

Selecting the Right Coaxial Cable

Performing a quality installation will ensure optimal performance of your AES-IntelliNet® mesh radio network.  Selecting the right coaxial cable and properly installing it is the foundation to a quality installation.  Selection, however, can be challenging for those not familiar with the many types of coaxial cable and connectors currently on the market.  In this Blog post, we’ll help take some of the ‘guess-work’ out of the equation.

Coaxial cable is used as a transmission line for radio frequency signals. Its application includes connecting transceivers to their antennas.  One advantage of coaxial over other types of radio transmission line is the protection of the signal from external electromagnetic interference.  This allows coaxial cable runs (not the antennas!) to be installed next to metal objects such as gutters without the power losses that occur in other types of transmission lines.

There are a variety of coaxial cable types available today, each with a specific application.  Typically, coaxial cable has an identifier of RG (Radio Guide) followed by a number and, in some cases, the letter U (Universal).  Another coaxial cable identifier is LMR.  Cables with this identifier are low loss cables intended for longer distances.  Cable impedance (resistance of the cable) used in an AES network must be 50 Ohms, use of cable that does not have a 50 Ohm impedance will lead to adverse performance issues on the network.  AES requires the use of RG-58, RG-8 (Belden equivalent of 9913), or LMR-400 cable.

Cable distance is an important consideration when selecting coaxial cable.  The cable length will determine the type of cable that should be used.  The maximum distance for RG-58 cable is 25’ from the subscriber to the antenna, including the lightning protector. The maximum distance on RG-8 is 75’.  LMR-400 can be used up to 125’, you will need the specific terminations for that cable.

Proper cable terminations are vitally important to the performance of the network.  A bad crimp, loose connection, or damaged shielding will lead to signal loss, ground loops, signal degradation and much more.  To make installations easier, pre-terminated spools are available for purchase through AES in the following lengths: 10’, 15’, 20’ and 25’ (RG-58 is not in spools).  Spools of RG-8 with pre-terminated ends in lengths of 6’, 25’ and 50’ are available.  100’ spools of RG-8 with one end pre-terminated end are also available.

When terminating cable yourself, please keep the following items in mind:

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Topics: Insider

6 Steps for Performing a Quality Installation

Posted by Lee Dubé | About the Author on Aug 5, 2016 9:33:00 AM

Subscriber Installation

Performing a quality installation will ensure optimal performance of your AES-IntelliNet® mesh radio network. It will also provide the scalability necessary to rapidly grow your network and increase its resiliency. A comprehensive pre-installation AES Site Survey will equip the installer with valuable insight about the installation site. The site survey will reveal useful information such as:

  • Building construction information (whether the building is wood, concrete, metal, etc.)
  • Information about the distance from the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP), mounting location, etc. (this information is useful in estimating the amount of cabling, conduit, and wiring that will be necessary to complete the installation)
  • Network Connectivity (NetCon) at the site, meaning where in the building peak Radio Frequency (RF) performance be achieved.

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Topics: Insider

AES Site Survey

Posted by Mark J. Tompkins, CET | About the Author on Jul 19, 2016 2:01:25 PM


In order to successfully assess a potential installation site, it is important to understand the basic infrastructural components of an AES-IntelliNet® private wireless mesh radio network. Please become familiar with the terms listed below in advance of performing a site survey.


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Topics: Insider

Preventative Maintenance

Posted by Lee Dubé | About the Author on Jun 14, 2016 3:16:35 PM

Preventative maintenance is an important part of managing your AES-IntelliNet® network.

The goal of a successful preventative maintenance program is to establish consistent Best Practices designed to improve performance and maintain optimum network health.  Generally speaking, a well maintained network performs better than a poorly maintained network.  The success of a preventative maintenance program is dependent on the cooperation of all stakeholders – network owners, central station operators, and technicians.

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3 AES Tech Tips for Alarm Dealers and Integrators

Posted by Lee Dubé | About the Author on Apr 8, 2016 1:42:56 PM
1. Plan Out Your Network

Network planning is the key component in building a robust and resilient AES-IntelliNet® network.  By investing the time to plan a network properly, using AES recommended guidelines, you will not only build a network that meets your needs today but also a network that is highly scalable for the future.  Poor planning can result in problems maintaining and growing your network.  AES has a team of experts available to work directly with alarm dealers and integrators to establish a solid game plan for both installing new networks or expanding an existing network.  If you’re looking to build a new network from the ground up, ask about our enhanced AES-IntelliStart service. If you want to optimize your existing network for peak performance, ask about our AES-Network Management System (NMS). To learn more about the critical aspects of building a powerful AES network, please read our previous blog post ‘How to Build an AES-IntelliNet® Network’ by Rick Distefano, a seasoned AES veteran.

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