RP-SMA Cables & Adapters

RP-SMA connectors are one of the most popular popular kinds of coaxial antenna cable connector types.  RP-SMA is an abbreviation for Reverse Polarity SMA.

RP-SMA extension cables are used to connect WiFi antennas to WiFi radios such as access points, USB WiFi adapters and bridges.  The RPSMA cable allows you to position your WiFi antenna in the best possible location to achieve line-of-sight to the wireless access point or hotspot that you are trying to connect to:  You will achieve far greater range by placing the antenna outdoors – outside of a window, or higher if possible.

The RP-SMA Right-Angle adapters in the photos above are used when the connection is made in a tight space such as a small outdoor enclosure or case for a printed circuit board (PCB).  It’s always best to not use an adapter on an antenna cable unless you have no better option, because you lose about 1/2 dBi per connection by adapter.

MiniPCI Cards:  To connect an antenna with an RP-SMA connector to a miniPCI WiFI card, you will need a U.FL to RP-SMA cable.

Antenna cable connectors vary in a number of ways with the most basic categorization being that of their frequencies. There are those used for microwave frequencies, RF and those used for even lower kinds of frequencies. The various types available in the market can be found in video, RF, microwave, audio and digital industries all of which are meant to be used in a specific application for a unique purpose. All in all, their sizes are determined by their set frequency range. The waveguide propagation mode that is normally circular in nature, found in the coaxial structure is what limits the frequency range for connectors. The larger the diameter for the outermost conduct, the higher the frequency limit.