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Understanding the Basics of Coaxial Adapters

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Aug 09, 2023
  • RFID
Coaxial Adapters

When it comes to RFID systems, not all data communication takes place wirelessly. For example, the communication between readers and antennas takes place with the help of coaxial cables. These cables, readers, and antennas form a secure connection with each other using special connectors on their ends. Due to development and technological advancement, there are different types of connectors available, that are not compatible with each other on their own. Thus, we use coaxial adapters to form an efficient connection between these connectors.

So, let’s check them out.

What are Coaxial Adapters?

An RF Coaxial Adapter is a type of coaxial connector with a common internal signal transmission line but with a connector jack on either side. These connectors can be of similar or different types on either end.

The use of these adapters is very common in RF technology applications, with a variety of combinations of connecting options on the adapter ends. Using connects may cause some level of insertion loss, this occurs due to two primary reasons:

  • The charge/energy is dissipated by the conducting material in the connector, like copper.
  • The dielectric layer inside connectors can also cause some dissipation of power coming through the cable.

How are Coaxial Adapters Used?

The only use of a coaxial adapter is to form a viable connection between two incompatible connectors. These can be connectors between two coaxial cables, or a cable and an RF device. The adapters act as a bridge between two signal-carrying components with different/incompatible connect types or genders, with minimal signal loss.

For example, connecting a cable with an RP-TNC Male connector to an RFID reader with an N-Type Male connector, using an RP-TNC Female to N-Type Female coaxial adapter.

Another example would be connecting two connectors of the same type. For example, connecting two RF coaxial cables with both of them having N-Type Male connectors with the help of a Coaxial N-Type Female to N-Type Female Connector.

 Types of Coaxial Adapters

There are a couple of criteria that we can use to classify coaxial adapters into different types. These are the types of connectors on the adapters, the number of connectors on the adapter, and the shape of the Adapter.

(A). Types of Connectors

There can be two types of connector combinations in a coaxial adapter. Firstly, the connectors are the same on all the ends of the adapter. These types of adapters are used to connect two cables or RF components with the same type of connectors on them. For example, a system with only BNC Male connectors will need a BNC Female to Female adapter.

Secondly, the connects can be of different types; these adapters are used to connect two incompatible and different types of connectors together without compromising the performance of the system. The incompatibility could be due to different classes of connectors, or both the connectors having the same gender.

(B). Shape of the Adapter

In addition to different-looking connectors, the adapters can come in more than one shape too. Some adapters come in an “L” shape, known as the Right Angled or 90° adapters. Another type of adapter shape is the 3-Way Coaxial Adapter, it comes in a “T” shape, with one input connector and 2 output connectors.

(C). Number of Connectors

Most coaxial adapters have two connectors used to form a connection between two cables or other components of an RF system. However, some adapters also have three or even four total connectors. This is done to diverge the signal coming from a single cable or component onto two or more paths.

Popular Coaxial Adapters

As mentioned above, there is a huge variety of coaxial adapters available in the market. Depending on the of connectors employed, number of sockets, impedance, etc. So, instead of looking at the enormous lists of everything that is out there, let’s check out the most popular types of adapters in use.

And luckily for you, they are all available at

  • 1. N-Type Male to N-Type Female (Right Angle Connector)
  • 2. RP-TNC Female to N-Type Female
  • 3. N-Type Female to N-Type Female
  • 4. BNC Male to TNC Female
  • 5. 90 Degree SMA Male to LMR200/RG58
  • 6. 1 N-Type Male to 2 N-Type Female 3-Way Connector

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is a coaxial adapter?

A coaxial adapter is a device that connects together, two or more coaxial connectors which are incompatible with each other.

Q2. Why is it called coaxial cable?

The reason RF cables are called coaxial cables is due to their internal structure. These cables are made of multiple different layers of conductors and dielectric material, one over the other, and meshed around a single axis/core.

Q3. What are the three types of coaxial connectors?

There are three main types of coaxial connector families, namely: BNC (Bayonet Neill–Concelman), N-Type Series, and the F Series.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Aug 09, 2023

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