Cabled vs. Connectorised Antenna


UHF RFID antennas come with two types of outlets: Either a cable or a connector as shown in the picture below. Our customers are often unsure, which one to choose – in particular, as they are concerned about the loss involved.

There are good reasons for both options which you might want to take into consideration when selecting the right antenna for your deployment.

To make it easy for you, we have compiled the differences between a cabled and a connectorized antenna in the table below. 

 

Cabled Antenna Connectorised Antenna

Cable provided

Can be plugged straight into the desired RFID reader – if the RFID reader’s connector is compatible with the cable’s termination.

Consider:

 

The cable length of a cabled antenna is standard, which means the deployment distance is limited to the antenna’s cable length unless an extension cable is used.

 

On the contrary, when the distance between antenna and RFID reader is shorter, the provided cable must be wound and secured. This extra cable length would induce losses that cannot be omitted.

Free cable choice

An extension lead must be purchased to connect the antenna to a reader.

 

That way a custom cable length can be used between the antenna and the reader regardless of the distance and losses associated with cable length can be minimized to achieve very efficient RFID read points/systems.

Cable quality non-selectable

As the cable is already included the buyer has only little influence on the quality of the cable.  

Low Loss Cable Option

As the cable is not included, the buyer has the option to purchase high-quality cables with low loss to maximize the RFID performance.

No loss

The losses associated with the cabled antenna is zero as the cable is directly fed into the antenna.

Almost no loss

There is a tiny RF loss involved in the range of <0.1 dB. This loss is negligible.

This loss evolves from the mating mechanism and is due to the connector to cable transition.

More storage volume

The included cable requests a bigger packaging box. This will engulf more warehousing space.

Slim packaging – easier storage

Connectorized antennas come in a slim and sleek box that can be easily warehoused and transported. 

Flexible cable routing

Cabled antennas have the flexibility to route the cable either sideways or through the back of the wall provided the cable supports the bending.

Cable routing limited to connector location

The flexibility of cable routing is dependent on the connector’s location. Side connectors provide some flexibility provided the cable supports it. Rear connectors limit the routing to the back of the antenna. 

Cable damage requires full antenna replacement

Deployed antennas must be replaced when the cable is damaged. Cable damages include cable wear and tear, broken connector, detached cable from the antenna, etc. 

Lower replacement costs in case of cable damage

As the antennas are connectorized, only the cables need replacement. Cost of replacing the cable is minimal compared to replacing the whole antenna as such. Connectors are robust compared to cables.