For some people, learning the RF antenna connector names can sometimes be the most complicated thing about deploying a wireless network. If you are doing an indoor WLAN deployment and your access points have integrated antennas then you have spared yourself the joy of learning connector naming conventions. For those organizations requiring external antennas, the task of keeping all the connector types and names straight can be a somewhat confusing task to say the least.
With this post, I hope to provide a bit of clarification for anyone who is struggling to determine the connector types needed in their WLAN deployment. Here are a few connector types/names accompanied by some tips on how to identify them. (My apologies for the relatively limited selection of connector types but I’m writing this from a hotel room and using my phone to take pictures of the gear I have with me.) :
1. RP-SMA Plug (RP = Reverse Polarity and SMA = Sub-Miniature Type A). You’ll note that it has a female inner-receptacle and inner-threading.
2. RP-SMA Jack. This connector has a male inner-pin and outer-threading. Another name you might see associated with this connector is: RP-SMA Socket.
3. Type N Plug. This connector has a male inner-pin and inner-threading. Another name you might find associated with this connector is: N-Type Plug.
4. Type N Jack. It has a female inner-receptacle and outer-threading. Other names you might find associated with this connector are: Type N Socket, N-Type Socket, N-Type Jack.
5. RP-TNC Plug (RP = Reverse Polarity and TNC = Threaded Neill-Concelman). This connector has a female inner-receptacle and inner-threading.
6. RP-TNC Jack. It has a male inner-pin and outer-threading. Another name you might see associated with this connector is: RP-TNC Socket.
Properly deploying a healthy and secure WLAN can sometimes be a confusing task for the uninitiated. Hopefully, this post can clear away a bit of that confusion by helping to put a name to a few of the different connectors you might encounter.
If anyone has any images of SMA, or TNC connectors, and is willing to share them, please let me know and I will be happy to update this post.