Guide to Patch Leads
What is a patch lead?
Antenna cables tend to terminate with a standard connection, most commonly a female FME connector.
You will need a patch lead to plug an antenna into your mobile phone or wireless broadband modem - this is a short cable that acts as a conversion from the FME connector to the device-specific connector that will plug into your device.
In Australia, the most common plugs for wireless broadband dongles are TS9 (Sierra Wireless, ZTE) and CRC9 (Huawei).
Why do I need a patch lead?
If you need to connect your mobile phone to another device, such as a repeater or an external antenna, then you will typically need some way to connect the different interfaces.
A patch lead is essentially an adaptor with a segment of low loss cable in between the connectors, which allows you to conveniently attach the two devices and start enjoying improved quality of service.
My phone doesn't have a port to plug in an external antenna, what can I do to improve reception?
You can still improve signal by using a cradle or passive patch lead.
This type of patch lead has a small pad containing a coil of wire, instead of a device connector, and uses the principle of electromagnetic induction to allow incoming signal to 'jump' from the pad to the phone's internal antenna.