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Cable Basics

What is the big deal about cables?

The right cable assembly can make or break your entire long range system. Coaxial cable is used 9/10 times to communicate between antennas and radios. While the cable is relatively inexpensive, its downside is that it tends to leak signal, thus reducing the total signal available to the end user.

How can I avoid signal loss?

Insulation. When searching for cable assemblies, the higher the number attached to the model, the more insulation. For example LMR 240 VS LMR 400. The 400 type is a thicker cable with more insulation increasing the signal strength for the end user.

What about length?

As a rule of thumb, always run the shortest cable possible. The longer the cable, the more you will lose signal. This is however an inevitable part of your system, which is why good insulation is important.

Now connectors... What's up with that?

Connectors are a simple problem to overcome if you just follow the basic rules for cable assembly selection. N-TYPE connectors belong on outdoor antennas, SMA (sometimes SMArp) belong on USB adapters and most routers (except Linksys), the TNC (sometimes TNCrp) belong to Linksys routers. When buying kits from Simple WiFi just keep in mind what yoru connecting too and location. Inside or outside. This will determine which one to use.

How can I tell which connector I need?

The N-TYPE Connector is the largest of all connectors and is silver plated. SMA is the smallest and gold plated. The TNC which is mostly found on Linksys routers is silver and the midway point between N-Type and SMA.

Is there a limit to how much cable I can run?

Yes, we suggest not going longer than 100ft.

When do I  use 400 type?

We reccomend using 400 type of cable (Heavily Insulated) for anything 20ft or longer. FOr lengths less than that, you can get away with 195 and 240 type.

What about ethernet?

Ethernet is great because it has ZERO signal loss, even over hundreds of feet. This is because unlike coax cable, ethernet sends the signal as data not RF. As long as your access point can allow for this type of signal input/output we recommend this set up for signal transfers.

is there a limit to USB cable length?

Yes, about 15ft unless using a special power booster.

I need more help!

No problem.. check out this AWESOME tutorial on cables.