​What Is the Difference Between 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm Amplifiers?

Posted by on July 24, 2015

50 Ohm amplifiers and 75 Ohm amplifiers are part of the Wilson Pro 70 Series high-performing indoor cell phone booster kits (https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/wilson-pro-series/) where you have four available choices:

Each kit comes with antennas, cables, and an amplifier with the same Ohms, so that all parts of the kit are compatible. Wilson Pro boosters are commercial boosters, licensed by the FCC under the "consumer" category and not under the "industrial" category. Therefore they can be used in commercial as well as residential applications. Same rules apply for registering Pro boosters with respective cell providers.

The most important factors to consider when choosing between the 50 Ohms amplifier and the 75 Ohms amplifier are the differences between the amplifiers themselves and the differences between the cables that come with them.

Difference between the Amplifiers

The main difference between amplifiers is the amount of distance each amplifier covers. As part of the Wilson Pro 70 Series, both 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm amplifiers are able to cover very large areas, but the 50 Ohm can cover significantly more. For example, while a 75 Ohm amplifier can cover up to 2,500 square feet, a 50 Ohm amplifier can cover up to 7,500 square feet. This difference makes the 50 Ohm amplifier a better choice for larger areas that need coverage.

Difference between the Cables

The second main difference between the amplifiers has to the do with the cables. The Wilson Pro 70 (50 Ohms) and the Wilson Pro 70 Plus (50 Ohms) come with thicker Wilson 400 ultra low loss cables. The Wilson Pro 70 (75 Ohms) and the Wilson Pro 70 Plus (75 Ohms) come with regular RG-6 cables. Ohm is the measure of impedance. Impedance is “the measure of resistance to the flow of electrical energy” (“50 Ohm versus 75 Ohm”). However, what’s more important to know is that different Ohms have different capabilities. “Experimentation in the early 20 th century determined that the best [power handling] capability could be achieved by using 30 Ohm coaxial cable and that “the lowest signal loss could be achieved by using 77 ohm coaxial cable” (“What’s the Difference Between 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm Coaxial Cable?”). This meant that there was no perfect ohm for both and so the 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm were selected to have the most of both traits. Therefore, 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm cables are very similar, but have different advantages.

50 Ohm Cable Advantages

  • Higher Reduced Signal Loss: Signal loss naturally occurs whenever you use a cable to connect your devices together. That is why you want to choose a cable that will have the least amount of signal loss. Both the Wilson 400 (50 Ohm) and the RG6 (75 Ohm) cables are low loss cables. This means that both cables are good options because they are both dependable for having low loss. However, the Wilson400 (50 Ohm) cable is slightly better because it is thicker and has an even lower loss than the RG6 (75 Ohm). Either choice is good, but if you’re very concerned about signal loss, you might prefer one of the 50 Ohm kits.
  • Better Power Handling: Put simply, 50 Ohm is closer to 30 Ohm than 75 Ohm is to 30 Ohm, which gives it better power handling. Better power handling means that more power can go through. Since the 50 Ohm can have more power go through, it is the better choice for large residential (homes) and commercial locations (hospitals, warehouses, factories, and restaurants and shops within shopping malls or underground parking areas). Since less power can go through, 75 Ohms is better for smaller homes.

75 Ohm Cable Advantages

  • Lower Cost: Though the 75 Ohm cables aren’t as capable as the 50 Ohm cables, in most cases, they are less expensive. They are also more prevalent in existing wiring of typical homes so they don't need to be replaced if 75 Ohm amplifier kits are chosen.

Other Factors to Consider

As you can see, 50 Ohm amplifiers seem to be the best choice, so why have the 75 Ohm amplifiers at all? There are two reasons: Previous installments and buying separately.

Previous Installments

“75 Ohm amplifiers exist so that users who must use RG6 (75 Ohm) cable[s] (for example, offices where RG6 cabling is pre-installed in the walls and they cannot install new cable) have a solution” (“Amplifier/Antenna Impedance: 50ohms vs 75ohms”). It is possible to connect 50 Ohm amplifiers and 75 Ohm cables, but highly recommended not to because it creates significant signal loss. This signal loss can then cost unrecoverable or distorted signal.

Buying Separately

Another reason you may choose to select a 75 Ohm amplifier is if you’re buying the different parts of your signal booster kit separately instead of altogether, since 75 Ohm devices and cables are cheaper.

Conclusion

While both the 50 Ohm amplifier and the 75 Ohm amplifier perform well in reducing signal loss and handling power, you get more with the 50 Ohm amplifier. However, if you have a situation you can only use an amplifier with 75 Ohms or you want to save money, the 75 Ohm amplifier is a good choice to consider.

References

“50 Ohm vs 75 Ohm” Wilsonamplifiers. 10 May 2013. Web. 24 July 2015.

Maureen. “ Amplifier/Antenna Impedance: 50ohms vs 75ohms” 3GStore. 5 September 2012. Web. 24 July 2015.

The Cable Guy. “What’s the Difference Between 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm Coaxial Cable?” Cablesondemand. 6 March 2014. Web. 24 July 2015.

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