What are Coaxial Adaptors?

Coaxial adaptors are metal components that convert one type of coaxial connector into another type of connector. If you’re connecting a booster antenna to an internet router, you may need a coaxial adaptor to convert an N connector (used in cable technology) to an SMA or TNC connector (used in internet technology). Adaptors can also convert SMA to TNC connectors.

Coaxial adaptors are easy mechanical fixes that make it possible for incompatible cable and internet equipment – like N-type boosters and SMA-type routers – to work together.

What are the Types of Coaxial Connectors?

In cable and internet technology, there are three main types of connectors: N, SMA, and TNC.

N connectors are the most common type of radio frequency (RF) connectors for coaxial cables. Because these connectors are standard in cable technology, most booster antennas use an N connection to attach to cables. Boosters with an n connection include both directional and omnidirectional antennas, as well as a wide range of models within these two categories.

Most internet routers, including those produced by Netgear and Linksys, have SMA connectors. While these connectors conduct RF signals through the center conductor pretty much the same way as N connectors, the two connectors don’t have compatible specifications. For example, SMA connector plugs are 0.312 inches in diameter and N plugs are 0.827 inches in diameter.

Some internet equipment manufacturers use TNC connectors instead of SMA connectors. TNC connectors are slightly larger than SMA connectors, but smaller than N connectors. TNC plugs have an outer diameter of 0.590 inches, versus 0.312 for SMA and 0.827 for N connectors.

Are Coaxial Adaptors Necessary?

The cables that come with booster antennas typically have an N connector on one end (for the antenna) and an SMA connection on the other end (for the router). In this case, it isn’t usually necessary to use a coaxial adaptor to transform an N connector into an SMA or TNC connector.

If your router has a TNC jack (instead of the more common SMA jack), however, you may need a male SMA to TNC coaxial adaptor. This component converts an SMA plug into a TNC plug.

If your cable isn’t specially designed for booster antennas, you may need a male N to SMA or TNC coaxial adapter so that the cable fits into your router. This adaptor component converts an N plug into either an SMA or TNC plug. Be sure to buy the right adaptor for your router!

Booster Antenna for Your Fixed Wireless Router or Modem

There are multiple ways to connect a cellular booster antenna to your fixed wireless internet router, including with a cable designed for booster antennas or with a coaxial adaptor that can transform a normal cable. When the option of using a coaxial adaptor is on the table, your connection will be compatible with almost any type of antenna regardless of coaxial connection.

Hannah Fillmore-Patrick

About Hannah Fillmore-Patrick

Content Editor

Hannah enjoys hiking, rock climbing and travelling eastern Europe and southeast Asia. Hannah is currently based in Bosnia.

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