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Cable Reference Guide

If you are purchasing an antenna or amplifier that does not include cabling, you may be confused about which cables you can use, how much loss you'll have, and what connectors you might need. There are a variety of different cable types, from traditional RG6 "cable TV cable" that most people are familiar with to thick ultra-low-loss cable used in many amplifier systems, but they are NOT interchangeable! This page contains info about the most common cable types used with 3G and 4G antennas and amplifiers, including what equipment is typically used with each cable type, how much loss you'll incur when using the cable, the cable's diameter/"thickness", and the type of connectors that are usually found on the cable.

View/order coax cables

Type Usage Signal Loss1 Diameter Connectors2
RG174

50ohms

RG174 cable
RG174 cable is very thin and flexible but high loss; the short lengths of cable that come pre-attached to indoor/portable antennas (like the popular 12" Magnetic Mount Antenna) are RG174. Antenna adapter cables (aka "pigtails") are also made out of RG174 cable. 3.3db at 10'
(not suggested for longer runs)
1/8" Typically pre-attached to an antenna and terminated in FME/Female or SMA/Male; antenna adapter cables are terminated in FME/Male.
RG58

50ohms

RG58 cable
RG58 cable is found pre-attached to some antennas (like the 32" Omni "Trucker" Antenna); it's also available in 2', 5', 10', 15', and 20' lengths to be used with antennas/amplifiers that don't include cabling or as extensions to the pre-attached cable on antennas. It's considerably more flexible than LMR240, making it a popular choice for running under window seals, around corners, etc. 2db at 10'
3.75db at 20'
(not suggested for longer runs)
3/16" When pre-attached to an antenna it is usually terminated in FME/Female; standalone RG58 cables may have either N, FME, or SMA connectors.
LMR240

50ohms

LMR240 cable
LMR240 cable is available in 10', 20', 25', and 40' lengths to be used with antennas/amplifiers that don't include cabling or as extensions to the pre-attached cable on antennas. It's stiffer and less flexible than RG58, but has less loss. 1db at 10'
1.9db at 20'
3.9db at 40'
(not suggested for longer runs)
1/4" Either N/Male or FME/Male on one end and FME/Female on the other.
LMR400

50ohms

LMR400 cable
LMR400 cable has very little loss, but is much thicker and less flexible than RG58 or LMR240 cable, making it harder to work with. It's available in various lengths from 2' to 100' to be used with antennas/amplifiers that don't include cabling. 1db at 20'
2.5db at 50'
5db at 100'
7/16" Varies - often N/Male on both sides, or SMA/Male and SMA/Female, or N/Male and SMA/Male
RG6

75ohms

RG6 cable
RG6 is most commonly used in cable/satellite TV installations and is NOT usually used with cellular antennas or amplifiers (there are a few 75ohm amplifiers, like the Wilson DB Pro and AG Pro 801265, as well as some from other manufacturers). We do NOT recommend using RG6 cable with 50ohm antennas and amplifiers - it has significantly more loss than LMR240 or LMR400 cable AND you will need additional adapters to connect everything, which results in even more signal loss. 2.3db at 20'
3.5db at 30'
5.9db at 50'
5/16" F/Male

Notes:

  1. The amount of signal attenuation you'll see depends on which frequency you're using — there is more signal loss on higher frequencies (like some Canadian carriers who use the 2500MHz band, or WiFi, which is on the 2500mhz band) than there is on the lower frequencies (like Verizon/AT&T LTE, which is on 700mhz). Remember that you also lose about 0.5db at every connection — chaining multiple cables together is not recommended, and it often makes more sense to choose a cable that has the appropriate connectors for your needs than to use a lower-loss cable that will require additional connectors in order to connect it to your equipment (for example, you would have less loss using a 20' LMR240 cable that has the correct connectors on it than you would have using a 20' LMR400 cable plus adapters on each end, even though LMR400 cable has less loss than LMR240).
  2. The connectors listed here are the connectors found on the cables sold at 3Gstore and most other place, but cables sold elsewhere may be terminated differently. Always double check connector types when buying components piecemeal. If you're not sure what type of connector is on your existing equipment, check out our Connectors Reference Guide
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