Coaxial Cables Guide for Cell Phone Signal Boosters
About Coax Cables
Coaxial cables are specially-designed, high-quality cables used to transmit frequencies with low interference, and are designed to carry the maximum amount of data. Coaxial cables are different from standard wire because the inner wire is insulated to prevent the loss of gain per foot. This feature of a coaxial cable makes it possible to transmit enhanced signal or data across large distances. What's more, coaxial cables also feature a grounded shield of braided wire that minimizes electrical and radio frequency interference.
Coaxial cables are used widely in the cable television industry, for computer networks such as Ethernet, and in the installation of cell phone signal boosters for homes, offices, and vehicles.
Structure of Coaxial Cables
Coaxial cables feature connectors at the end of the cable that are either “male” or “female.” To connect coaxial cables, a male cable must be connected to a female cable. It is important to note the connector at the end of a coaxial cable when shopping for a signal amplifier. Separate connectors may also be purchased to change the cable’s connector from a male to female, or vice versa, if you need to connect two male or two female cables.
Coaxial Cables and Cell Phone Signal Boosters
Coaxial cables are an integral part of any cell phone booster kit. Cell phone boosters require coaxial cables to connect the different devices of the booster kit. One coaxial cable will run from the external antenna, transmitting a signal from your cell phone provider’s cell tower to the amplifier. A second cable runs from the amplifier to the internal antenna, transmitting an enhanced signal for the internal antenna to broadcast to cellular devices within range.
Some signal boosters will only require one coaxial cable from an external antenna if the internal antenna and amplifier are incorporated into one device.
Distance, Thickness, and Ohms: Features of Coaxial Cables
Coaxial cables come in different types that vary distance, thickness, and ohms. It is important when purchasing coaxial cables to determine which cable will suit your specific cell phone booster.
Coaxial Cable Thickness
Distance refers to the size of the area to be serviced; depending on the size of the area to be serviced, a longer or shorter cable must be used to connect the booster and the antenna. Longer cables that are meant to service larger areas must be thicker because a thicker cable prevents the loss of gain per foot. Thicker cables ensure the strongest signal possible will be broadcast into a large area such as a large building. Alternatively, to service smaller areas like a home or a small office, a thinner cable will work efficiently for your needs.
OHMs: Electrical Resistance
Another important aspect of coaxial cables is the “ohm.” An ohm is a measurement of electrical resistance. Ohms measure how well a current can pass through a coaxial cable. Ohms are an important aspect of coaxial cables that must be kept in mind while shopping. Boosters, coaxial cables, and antennas must each have the same amount of ohms in order to transmit data. The amount of ohms will be indicated on any booster device you purchase. If the ohms don’t match up, the signals will not be carried, and the cell phone booster system you have installed will not work.
A Guide to Picking the Right Coaxial Cable for Your Booster
For a Home or Office: For a home or office, the type of cable you need will depend on the type of booster you have purchased. Cables such as the RG-58 series or the RG-6 series will provide the correct distance, but the amount of ohms present on the booster will determine the cable you need. Always remember to check the ohms on your booster and antennas, and match the amount of ohms to the ohms on the coaxial cables.
For a Large Building: Quantum recommends a long, thick coaxial cable for a large building, such as the 400 series cables. These cables are the thickest available, ensuring no loss of gain over large distances. When purchasing any cable, always remember to first check the number of ohms and match it to your booster and antennas.
For a Vehicle: For a vehicle, a shorter cable is best, such as the RG-174 coaxial cable series. Always remember to match the amount of ohms of the antennas and booster to the ohms of the coaxial cables.
Installing Coaxial Cables
In a Home or Office: Coaxial cables are best installed from the external antenna underneath the down side of your roof’s flashing. Satellite TV users will find it easier to relay the coaxial cables on the same path as their satellite cables. Any areas where the cables pass into the house should be sealed to prevent leaking. Use a silicone or waterproof sealant for best results.
In a Vehicle: Quantum recommends installing a coaxial cable underneath the seal of your car door to minimize clutter. Simply pull down the seal gently, relay the cable along the path of the seal, and push the seal back into place.