Coaxial Loss Calculator

Coaxial Loss Calculator

Do you know that you lose 4G /5G signal in coax cables between the antennas and the router?
The result is decreased speed, range and reliability. Good news are you can avoid most of that loss by using less cables and keeping those as short as possible.

Enter length (m)
Total signal loss
(mid-range 4G)
Total signal loss
(urban 4G)
Total signal loss

Mast coax cable length
(between below deck router and antennas on the mast)

Meridian DOME router
15 cm
14%

***The loss calculation in red is based on an LMR400 (most common cable used for such installs) incl. insertion loss of 4 connections; at frequency 3400 MHz. See more details below.

Mobile version of the calculator coming soon. Please open this page on desktop.

Coaxial loss with a typical Pepwave installation:Classic setup, below deck router, antennas on the mast:
5 chunks of coax cable in use; all different type.

Loss occurs in 1) mast cable, 2) pigtail router to mast cable, 3) pigtail mast cable to antenna, 4) cable inside router, 5) cable inside antenna. Additional loss occurs in multiple junctions/ coax connectors accounting for approx. 10% each.

Length (m)
Loss (dB) at frequency in MHz, incl. insertion loss of connectors

Cable location
1800
(mid range 4G)
2600
(urban 4G)
3400
(mid range 5G)

Inside Router

Pigtail router to mast cable (LMR-195)

Mast cable (LMR-400)

Pigtail mast cable to antenna (LMR-195)

Inside Antenna

Total Loss (dB)

Total Signal Loss (%)

Coaxial loss with Meridian 5G all-in-one dome:There is only one 15cm cable connecting modem and antenna-circuit. No connectors, no insertion loss.

Length (m)
Loss (dB) at frequency in MHz, no insertion loss since no connectors

Cable location
1800
(mid range 4G)
2600
(urban 4G)
3400
(mid range 5G)

Cable Modem to Antenna-Circuit, soldered
0.15
0.33
0.39
0.645

Total Loss (dB)
0.33
0.39
0.645

Total Signal Loss (%)
7%
9%
14%

“Aftermarket” domes trying to put a Pepwave or Celerway routers inside a dome:

“Aftermarket” domes trying to put a pepwave or celerway routers inside a dome close to standard mast mounted antennas have 3 chunks of cable in use; all different type: 1) inside the router, modem to SMA connector, 2) pigtail connecting router’s SMA connector to antenna connector (SMA or N-type), 3) cable inside the antenna

Length (m)
Loss (dB) at frequency in MHz, incl. insertion loss of connectors

Cable location
1800
(mid range 4G)
2600
(urban 4G)
3400
(mid range 5G)

Inside Router
0.2
0.484
0.572
0.946

Pigtail router to antenna (LMR-195)
1
0.5775
0.7007
0.8085

Inside Antenna
0.4
0.968
1.144
1.892

Total Loss (dB)
2.0295
2.4167
3.6465

Total Loss (%)
37%
43%
57%

How the above is calculated:

Submitting RF signals (EM waves) over Coax cables decreases signal power and signal quality.

Decrease of signal power, Attenuation or Loss, is measured in dB.
dB (Decibel) is a logarithmic unit of measurement.
Type/ Quality of the coax cable(s) are the key factors, as well as the number of junctions.
Every single coax connector increases power loss.

10dB loss equals 10% of original signal power remaining, equals 90% loss of signal power.

Formula – Loss “L” in dB:
L = -10*log(Po/Pr) | Po: output power; Pr: reference power

Formula – Remaining Power “P” in %:
P = 10 ^(L/-10) | ^: powers

Decrease of signal quality (RSRQ, SNR) is related to the type of coax cables, as well as the number of different coax cable types in use.
Multiple junctions/coax connectors decrease signal quality significantly, due to insertion losses and signal reflection.

General rule:
Coax cables as short as possible.
Quality (mainly defined by diameter of the inner conductor) as good as possible.
Avoid multiple junctions/ coax connectors.
In a perfect world, the antenna circuits are connected to the modem with 1 single piece of cable, no connectors, cable soldered.

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