Types of Indoor Antenna Connectors

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Types of Indoor Antenna Connectors
Most televisions require a male coaxial connection. (cables around the world d image by Michael Cornelius from Fotolia.com)

There are a variety of connectors that adapt a wide range of signals from an antenna to a television. When discussing adaptors, the term "male" and "female" adaptors are commonly used. Simply put, male adaptors are inserted, and female adaptors accept and enclose the male adaptor. Most of the adaptors described are a "pigtail." Basically, this is a short length of cable with a male coaxial adaptor on one end and a male or female adaptor on the other. Pigtails also are integral to DIY antenna for laptop or desktop computers for wireless antenna updates to extend signals.

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Coaxial Connectors

By far, the most common connectors used for television are coaxial connectors. This is a thick cable with connectors that are usually threaded. The male connector has a rotating, threaded collar surrounding a central insulated wire. The female connector is threaded to accept the male collar and has a hole that the central wire fits. Coaxial cable should be short since it loses signal over distance.

RCA Connectors

RCA connectors are another common connector between the television and an antenna. This is a series of three coloured adaptors. The red male adaptor is the right audio and plugs into the red female adaptor. The white male connection is the left audio channel and plugs into the white hole. The yellow male connector is the video signal and fits into the yellow female plug.

S Video Connector

Some antennas use an S-video. Also known as "super video," this connector uses multiple pins to move the signal. The connector comes in both a four- and seven-pin variety, with pins arranged in a circular collar. One side is notched to assure that the male and female connectors are lined up correctly. Super-video cable is used in many newer televisions because it retains the signal better than coaxial cable.

N Connector

An N-connector has a threaded female adaptor on both sides. It is used to connect two male coaxial cables adaptors.

RP-TNC Connector

This adaptor comes in male and female format. This adaptor is also threaded and similar to a coaxial cable connector, but is smaller. This adaptor is used to connect wireless adaptors to the indoor antenna. The RP stands for reverse polarity, meaning that the male connection is in the device and the female connector is on the cable. RP adaptors are rarely used.

MCX Adapter

The MCX adaptor is the smallest cable connector. It is used by several companies that manufacture computerised indoor antennas, such as Lucent. The male MCX connector is a small, insulated wire jacket that fits into a corresponding female connector. The MCX is used in both standard and reverse polarity, or RP models.

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