Helium Hotspot Connections

Have a ques­tion about which con­nec­tor or pow­er sup­ply or anten­na cable you should get? Here’s an easy ref­er­ence to use when you’re order­ing parts. I make every effort to keep this updat­ed, but in some cas­es the man­u­fac­tur­ers them­selves are con­tra­dic­to­ry. Check YOUR hotspot to make sure you’re get­ting the right connector!

Man­u­fac­tersRF Con­nec­torPow­er Sup­plies and PoE AdaptersMfr Link
NEBRA HNT Out­door Hotspot MinerN‑Type FemalePOE pre­ferred or DC Bar­rel Jack — 2MM Pin, 6.5MM Bar­rel cen­tre pos­i­tive. Rec­om­mend­ed PSU 12V @1.5A.Specs Here
NEBRA HNT Indoor Hotspot MinerRP-SMA FemaleDC Bar­rel Jack 6.5 x 2.0 mm, 12V 1.5A. PoE split­ter optionSpecs Here
Bob­cat MinerRP-SMA FemalePow­er via DC 12V or PoE Split­ter Option — Bar­rel Jack 12V 5.5X2.1mm Specs Here
RAK v2 Hotspot MinerRP-SMA FemaleUSB‑C Pow­er Sup­ply or PoE Split­ter Option — Type C 5V GigabitSpecs Here
SyncroB.it HNT GatewayRP-SMA Female2.5mm, 12 Volt Pow­er Jack Option or — Pas­sive PoE (12–55 volts)Specs Here
OG Heli­um HotspotRP-SMA FemalePow­er via DC5V or PoE Split­ter Option — Bar­rel Jack 5V 3Amps 5.5X2.1mm
RAK v1 Hotspot MinerRP-SMA FemaleUSB‑C Pow­er Sup­ply or — PoE Split­ter Option — Type C 5V Gigabit
Lon­gAPSMA FemaleBar­rel Jack 12V 2A 5.5X2.5mm
Lon­gAP ProN‑Type FemalePoE 802.3at Specs Here
Lon­gAP LightRP-SMA FemalePoE 802.3af, Bar­rel Jack 12V 1A 5.5X2.1mm (to be finalized)Specs Here
Sense­CAP M1RP-SMA FemaleUSB C, DC 5v 3ASpecs Here

As you’ll see, most of the pro­duc­tion min­ers use an RP-SMA con­nec­tion. That means the cable you’ll want to order if you’re installing an after­mar­ket anten­na will be RP-SMA male <–> (usu­al­ly) N‑type male.

Want to dive deep­er, check out some pic­tures, and learn a lit­tle more? Here we go!

RP-SMA stands for Reverse Polar­i­ty SubMinia­ture ver­sion A). The RP series were designed to stop you from con­nect­ing an “unau­tho­rized anten­na” to your gear, whether that’s a Heli­um hotspot or any radio. The FCC’s thought process was along the lines of, “all man­u­fac­tur­ers will have RP-SMA so you can only con­nect them to RP-SMA capa­ble anten­nas, and nobody will sell RP-SMA con­nec­tors to con­sumers.” Pri­or to the inter­net mak­ing all infor­ma­tion and parts avail­able to every­one, that method worked well enough. Now, it’s just con­fus­ing. Onward!

Female RP-SMA con­nec­tors have a female con­tact body (ground) and a male inner pin con­tact (sig­nal). A male RP-SMA con­nec­tor is the oppo­site in both respects — male body (inside threads) with a female inner sleeve contact. 

Here are all four con­nec­tor types. You’ll also see the female referred to as an “jack”, and the male referred to as “plug”. Slight­ly con­fus­ing, right?

Next up: N‑Type Connections

Ok, that’s the con­fus­ing stuff out of the way. Here is what you’ll typ­i­cal­ly see when con­nect­ing to an after­mar­ket anten­na. These are called N‑type con­nec­tions, and are larg­er in size the the SMA series.


Ok, that should clear up most of the ques­tions sur­round­ing what cable con­nec­tion you have, and what you should get.

If you’d like to go beyond just con­nect­ing some cables, please con­sid­er hir­ing me to help opti­mize your hotspot place­ment. I dive into strat­e­gy, indi­vid­ual hotspot opti­miza­tion, and help­ing you under­stand where you can pros­per in the Heli­um ecosys­tem. Rock on!

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