How to Tell if a Coaxial Cable is RG6

By Robert Kingsley

According to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, over 60 million homes subscribed to cable service in the United States as of September 2010. Each of these households has coaxial cables installed to provide a cable signal. RG-59 is an older technology cable that may not be able to provide the digital service associated with the digital broadcasting transition implemented in 2009. RG-6 is the updated cable that is recommended for digital use.

Things You'll Need

  • Screw driver
  • Caliper or micrometer

Step 1

Find a wall plate in your home where a cable wire is connected.

Step 2

Unscrew the external wire and place it on the side.

Step 3

Remove the two screws holding the wall plate in place.

Step 4

Pull approximately one - two feet of cable out of the wall and look at the outside of the cable for stamped-on letters and numbers; these tell you the cable type. If there is nothing printed, you will need to measure the diameter of the cable to determine its type.

Step 5

Measure the diameter of the cable using a caliper or micrometer. RG-6 has an outer diameter of 0.272", while RG-59 has an outer diameter of 0.242".