Benefits of Polycarbonate Enclosures

November 28, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Enclosures are a great way to keep your valuable equipment safe, they can be used across a variety of applications to protect critical equipment from the chemicals, environmental elements, physical contact, theft and damage. When deciding which type of enclosure is the best fit for your application, there are a lot of options available, from cooling & heating, to power and the materials they’re made from. So let’s take a look at the benefits of polycarbonate enclosures to see how they compare.


Enclosures can be made with several different types of materials. Metal and fiberglass are very popular options, but polycarbonate offers a long list of benefits including:


·        Impact resistance – Polycarbonate is an engineered thermoplastic able to withstand 4 times the impact of fiberglass


·        Lightweight – Polycarbonate is up to 40% lighter than fiberglass and up to 6xs lighter than stainless steel, making one-person installation easier and decreasing shipping costs


·        Cost effective – When compared to fiberglass and stainless steel, polycarbonate is the least expensive option, especially when considering the cost of manufacturing


·        Durability – Unlike fiberglass, polycarbonate maintains its shape, color and strength when exposed to UV light, making it a durable choice to withstand harsh conditions


·        Easier to Modify – Polycarbonate cuts easily and cleanly, it will not splinter or produce dangerous gas like fiberglass, which equates to easier modifications


·        Cleaner, Sturdy Designs:


-   Polycarbonate enclosures are offered with a clear lid or can be made as a completely clear structure, whereas fiberglass usually requires a window to be specially installed that can be expensive and leaky

-   Polycarbonate features 100% non-metallic hinge designs that are made to last, compared to fiberglass which normally uses a steel hinge pin that will eventually corrode


Clearly, polycarbonate enclosures deliver a long list of benefits that can allow them to outperform and outshine their stainless steel and fiberglass counterparts. If you’re contemplating whether they might be the perfect solution to protect your valuable equipment, check out our full line of polycarbonate enclosures.


The Anatomy of a Spiral Strip Coax Cable

November 14, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Thinking about using spiral strip coax cables in your application? Not really sure what they are or if you need them? Lucky for you, class is in session and this week’s lesson is:The Anatomy of a Spiral Strip Coax Cable. Read on to be enlightened.


Spiral strip coax cable assemblies are a rugged and versatile flexible cabling option that offers flexibility without compromising performance. They deliver performance characteristics very similar to semi-rigid coax, making them a perfect alternative to semi-rigid cables. The unique shielding structure provides a low attenuation, cost effective option compared to semi-rigid cables. Also, the use of a strip/round braid shield results in low transfer impedance levels.


Spiral strip coax cables feature a solid center conductor, PTFE dielectric and a silver-plated copper braid outer shield over a silver-plated copper spiral strip inner shield. This multi-layer shield construction provides excellent insertion and shielding performance while providing increased flexibility.


Spiral strip cables are ideal when you’re working with RF test, lab and automated test equipment applications that need coaxial cables with exceptional shielding performance, flexibility and frequency support up to 18 GHz.


Be sure to check out our line of in-stock Spiral strip coax cable assemblies


Get to Know GPS Antennas

October 31, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Not sure if you need a GPS antenna? Wondering the best way to use a GPS antenna? These specialized antennas are made to receive and amplify radio signals transmitted on specific frequencies by GPS satellites. Those signals are then converted to an electronic signal for use by a GPS receiver. The output of the GPS antenna is fed into the receiver which can calculate the position. Here, we’ll take a closer look at GPS antennas, their uses and applications.


First, let’s get a better idea of reasons why you might need a GPS antenna. For example, in a vehicle, if a GPS receiver will not be near a window, a GPS antenna might be necessary to ensure you don’t lose signal. Also, in canyons, when surrounded by tall buildings, under cover of a lot of trees or any time view of the sky is obstructed, an external GPS antenna can be a huge help. They can also help avoid loss of signal in a moving vehicles and aid in generally maintaining the best satellite signal.


There are three different types of GPS antennas:


·        Active GPS antennas include a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) to compensate for signal loss that happens with all cables. Power from the GPS receiver is required, and provided by an external antenna jack in order to power the LNA which, in turn, can drain the receiver’s batteries faster.


·        Passive GPS antennas don’t include LNAs and thus don’t require power. However, because they’re not powered, one meter is usually the maximum cable length for the pigtail.


·        Reradiating GPS antennas are made up of two separate antennas. The transmitting, reradiating, antenna is near the GPS receiver while the receiving antenna is outside the building or vehicle. The two antennas are connected by a coaxial cable and powered by either an AC adapter or a 12 volt vehicle supply. This type of GPS antenna is necessary if there isn’t an external antenna jack on your GPS system.


Applications that are ideal for GPS antennas include ground mapping, survey, construction, agriculture, mining, and permanent and temporary reference stations. Of course, GPS antennas are an immense asset for aircraft. And with today’s developments in transportation technology, GPS antennas are a must for unmanned vehicles.


Now that you know the ins & outs of GPS antennas, be sure to check out our high-performance GPS Antennas that are in-stock and available for immediate delivery.


411 on IoT Sensors

October 17, 2019 at 8:00 AM


In this blog, we’ve talked about a lot of different aspects and parts of the Internet of Things (IoT) - from industrial IoT to antennas & IoT, and how the IoT is making the world safer, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Now, we’re going to take a look at IoT sensors. Along with all the “things” connected through the IoT, sensors can be enabled to collect information about the surrounding environment. Here is the info you need to know. 


IoT sensors capture data and deliver it to be stored and processed in the core network. They are offered in various sizes to best fit the application and can be designed to be discreet stand-alone products or integrate into another product. These sensors can be installed close to the point of use or at the edge of the network. Sometimes they are localized within a space, such as a building. Other times, they are a further distance away, like in a field. No matter the location, sensors in harsh environments must always be protected to maintain reliability and durability. The actual application will determine where the sensors are placed, as well as what type of sensor is used, how it sends back data and what data is collected.


Sensors are offered in mechanical, electrical, electromechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic, chemical or optical models. The type of data they collect is just as varied and which one you use depends on what your application requires. Data types include, but are not limited to: pressure, moisture, temperature, vibration, motion, chemicals, sound and speed. For precision data, the sensor will need higher accuracy. Geospatial tagging is required to collect data on location. And data that is time sensitive or mission critical might call for time tagging capabilities.


How often sensors capture data and when it gets sent back to the core network can also be adjusted depending on the application. Data can be collected as needed, during certain events, at predetermined intervals or continuously. That data can then be transmitted back (over a cable or wirelessly) as soon as it’s captured or only at specific times.


IoT sensors can be powered by an electric wire, solar power or batteries. The location of the sensors, how many are deployed and the amount of power used will largely determine the best power type for the application. It wouldn’t be feasible to change hundreds of batteries for sensors in a remote location. Just keep in mind that the more often the sensors send data, and the larger the files, the more power they’ll use.


There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing the right IoT sensor for your application, and now you should be well-versed in what to keep in mind.


5 things you need to know about MU-MIMO

October 3, 2019 at 8:00 AM


When you’ve got multiple devices using the same network, multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) is the way to go. MU-MIMO enables numerous Wi-Fi devices to receive multiple data streams at the same time. This is exceptionally more efficient than the single-user MIMO used by many routers. Here, we’ll take a look at the top 5 things you need to know about MU-MIMO.


1.      One-Way or Two-Way


Whether MU-MIMO is one-way or two-way depends on the Wi-Fi standard being used. MU-MIMO utilizes the 80211ac standard, which works solely with downlink wireless connections. Simultaneously sending data to multiple users is something that only wireless routers and APs are able to do. When the individual wireless devices are sending data to that router or AP, they have to take turns or separately use SU-MIMO to send multiple streams when it’s their turn. That said, multiple wireless devices will be able to receive data and be able to utilize simultaneous streams for sending data when 802.11ax Wave 2 comes into play.


2.      OFDMA Takes It Up a Notch


Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology is part of 802.11ax and separates the channels into smaller segments so multiple devices can communicate at the same time. This technology compliments the capabilities of MU-MIMO. It organizes how the channels are used by allowing each device their own channel so they can coordinate when to talk more easily. While it is similar to MU-MIMO, OFDMA offers a different set of capabilities as it can be used in high density environments with low throughput or small-packet applications like IoT sensors.


3.      802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6) = Concurrent MU-MIMO Streams


The introduction of 802.11ax into the mix increases the number of users in a MU-MIMO group from four to eight. The ability to have more devices connected at the same time can improve throughput and make connections faster.


4.      2.4 GHz & 5 GHz are both Options


802.11n and 802.11ac limited MU-MIMO to the 5 GHz bandwidth, but with 802.11ax, MU-MIMO will now be able to use both the 2.4 & 5 GHz bands. While 2.4 GHz can only handle a maximum of three, small, legacy channels at one time, this improvement could allow faster speeds in the often overcrowded 2.4 GHz band.


5.      Benefits of Beamforming


MU-MIMO takes advantage of another feature of 802.11ac and 802.11ax, beamforming. This keeps signals from dispersing randomly in different directions by pointing it to the intended wireless devices. This, in turn, improves Wi-Fi speeds and ranges by using the signal more proficiently.


There you have it, five more reasons why MU-MIMO can be a game changer for your wireless network. To read more about MU-MIMO, check out more of our blog posts.


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