"only" 3db loss ? I would rather a cable insertion loss of much less as most AP's sectors have a gain between 14 to 17dbi for 90-120° horiz and losing 3db is turning a 14 to 11db and 17 to 14db, is a massive loss and is just one reason why I only use integrated antenna's, no LMR cable & no N-connectors to seal as regards radio card or board replacement we use custom made mounting brackets to minimize the time involved in this.the best is a radio directly connecxted to antenna.
you can have at maximum 1 meter (or 2) of lmr400 cable. with good quality pigtail and N connectors you lost "only" 3db (the half of the power!).
you can place radio at the bottom of the tower using waveguide but it is very expensive.
Yah, my problem is that the tower would need to be shut down and the station taken off the air for the climber. Almost impossible to do. That is why I wanted to put the equipment at ground level.It depends on what you are doing with it.
If you really need the convenience of the radio equipment on the ground, get some good coax and go.
The school systems here were connected by 2.4GHz point to point shots for years with 100+ ft of coax. They had a good enough margin that it didn't matter whether it had short coax or not.
As a matter of fact my backhaul pulls around a -50 with everything turned up. I *could* run 100ft coax to keep my equipment more easily accessible.
The other catch is coax costs more than ethernet. I think my climber would go up the tower 4-6 times before I broke even on the price difference.
edit: for the record I have a couple of backup AP's with around 20-30ft LMR400. I can't tell the difference between them and the 3ft LMR400. You will lose more signal due to connector loss than you will an additional 15ft of LMR400.
"..station taken off air..." - do you mean your equipment will be mounted on a Radio or TV (or both ) mastYah, my problem is that the tower would need to be shut down and the station taken off the air for the climber. Almost impossible to do. That is why I wanted to put the equipment at ground level.