Cable - Capacitance, Resistance,inductance

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 13, 2006
Cables often have specifications such as resistance, inductance, and capacitance. Does anyone know how I should measure these specifications? Is it as simple as using a multimeter?


Joined Feb 24, 2006
Cable parameters cannot in general be measured with a multimeter. Since they are distributed paramaters capacitance, inductance and resistance are usually measured per unit of length. DC resistance of a conductor can be measured with a multimeter but that measurement is of little practical value since we are generally more interested in the cable parameters as a function of frequency.

The top of the line instrument to measure cable parameters is a network analyzer; it is a pricey bit of gear. There are also a variety of other instruments that take more work but yield similar results.


Joined Apr 24, 2006
Papabravo.. I did understand what you said that cable parameter is function of frequency.

But i didn't understand is how can we measure the capacitance and inductance of cable using network analyser ?

From frequency response impedance Z can be derived

but then how can we derive capacitance and inductance?

I guess we can say the attenuation dB/m using Network Analyser.



Joined Apr 24, 2006

I understood that cable parameter is frequency dependant.

Frequency respone,obtained from Network Anaylser, can be used to derive impdance (Z) of the cable.

However, I can not figure out how can we obtain Capacitance and Inductance from it ?



Joined Apr 17, 2007
Using a network analyzer, you can get the output presented in a Smith Chart format which will show you the capacitaive and inductive compnents of the transmission line. Call Comm/Scope in Hicory NC and they will give you more details.


Joined May 16, 2005
With good cable, we don't need a tape measure. Footage should be printed on the cable every one or two feet.

Network analysers are expenisve to buy, but there are many places where such can be rented.