The Difference Between F Type and N Type Connectors on Coaxial Cables


What is the function and origin of this device that was found attached to our coaxial cable outside by the FIOS technician?



Coaxial cables are widely used to transmit signals for television, internet, radio, and other devices. They consist of a central conductor surrounded by layers of insulation, shielding, and a protective outer jacket. Coaxial cables can be connected to various types of connectors, depending on the application and the device they are attached to.

One of the most common types of coaxial connectors is the F type connector, which is used for cable and satellite TV, broadband routers, antennas, and other devices. F type connectors are cylindrical and have a threaded end that screws onto the cable or the device. They are designed to maintain the shielding of the cable and prevent interference or signal loss.

However, not all devices that are connected to coaxial cables use F type connectors. Some devices, such as Ethernet over Coax adapters, use N type connectors, which are larger and have a bayonet locking mechanism. N type connectors are more durable and can handle higher frequencies and power levels than F type connectors. They are often used for wireless networks, radio equipment, and industrial applications.

The device that was found attached to the coaxial cable outside by the FIOS technician is an N type connector. It is not clear who put it there or why, but it is possible that it was used for one of the following purposes:

  • To convert the coaxial cable to an Ethernet cable, using an Ethernet over Coax adapter. This would allow the use of devices that require an Ethernet connection, such as computers, printers, or game consoles, without installing new wiring. Ethernet over Coax adapters usually come in pairs, with one connected to the router and the other to the device.
  • To connect the coaxial cable to a radio antenna, using a coaxial cable adapter. This would allow the reception of radio signals, such as FM, AM, or ham radio, using a coaxial cable instead of a dedicated antenna cable. Coaxial cable adapters usually have an N type connector on one end and a different type of connector, such as BNC or PL-259, on the other end.
  • To split the coaxial cable into two or more cables, using a coaxial cable splitter. This would allow the distribution of the same signal to multiple devices, such as TVs, DVRs, or modems, using a single coaxial cable. Coaxial cable splitters usually have one input and two or more outputs, each with an F type connector. However, some splitters may have an N type connector on the input, especially if they are designed for high-frequency or high-power applications.
  • In conclusion, the device that was found attached to the coaxial cable outside by the FIOS technician is an N type connector, which is used for different types of devices and applications than F type connectors. It is not clear what the function and origin of this device are, but it could be part of an Ethernet over Coax adapter, a coaxial cable adapter, or a coaxial cable splitter. The device may have been installed by a previous owner, a service provider, or an unauthorized person. It is advisable to contact the FIOS technician or a qualified electrician to remove the device and check the integrity of the coaxial cable.

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