How the IoT is Affecting Wi-Fi

October 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In today’s society, Wi-Fi has become something that people now expect to be readily available and depend on to carry out everyday tasks. With the rollout of the Internet of Things (IoT), people will soon become accustomed to having all of their things connected as well. But with all of those connected devices, can Wi-Fi handle an even greater influx of user demand for high-speed connectivity? Here, we’ll take a look at how the IoT is affecting Wi-Fi.

 

When it comes to connectivity requirements, each IoT application can have a different set of range, data throughput and energy efficiency needs. Some IoT devices only need small, intermittent data transfers, such as utility meters. While some need a constant stream of data, such as live surveillance cameras. Also, range can differentiate from very short for wearables, to spanning miles for weather and agricultural sensor applications. But there are two things that are constants for all IoT applications: the need for remote power and constant connectivity.

 

To fulfill this need, Wi-Fi is the obvious choice because Wi-Fi coverage is so widespread, but standard Wi-Fi is not always the best choice for IoT applications. Thus, there are several standards that have emerged from the need for IoT connectivity. These include LoRaWAN, multiple short range communications standards and new Wi-Fi standards such as HaLow (802.11ah) and HEW (802.11ax).

 

The 802.11ah standard was introduced to address the range and power needs of the IoT. It utilizes the 900 MHz frequency band to provide extended range, covering a one kilometer radius, lower power requirements, wake/sleep periods and station grouping options.

 

The 802.11ax standard also includes the wake/sleep and station grouping features, and has a MU-MIMO feature that allows up to 18 users to simultaneously send data within a 40 MHz channel when paired with the smaller subcarrier spacing. Internet service providers and technology startups have also begun developing an application layer that includes mesh networks that use sets of routers to work together and extend wireless coverage, and provisioning tactics that define how wireless devices connect to networks.

 

There is some fear that the IoT could essentially break Wi-Fi, but there seems to be plenty of development activity focused around finding solutions to Wi-Fi congestion before it becomes a problem. With all of the IoT devices expected to be connecting in the near future, there will likely be a significant shift in Wi-Fi practices and standards, but as with everything in the world of technology, being able to pivot and reconfigure is the name of the game.

 

Hangin' Tough - Armored Cables

October 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When your cables need serious protection and the ability to stand up to the toughest conditions, an armored jacket might be the perfect solution. Armored cables are cables with a metal or plastic covering that provides a layer of protection that is much stronger than any traditional type of cable jacket. This suit of armor makes the cables extra tough and durable, now let’s take a look at just how tough they are.

 

The rugged characteristics of armored cables make them ideal for outdoor, industrial and military applications where these features are of the upmost importance. This includes factory automation, manufacturing and chemical and petroleum processing networks.

 

One of the biggest advantages of armored cables is there crush resistance rating. L-com’s metal armored cables offer a crush resistance of up to 1,500 PSI

which makes them well suited for just about any military or industrial application. Additionally these cables feature stainless steel armor that stands up to corrosion often found in extreme environments.

 

Plastic armor, although not as rugged as metal armor, offers an extra level of crush and abrasion resistance

when compared to non-armored cable jackets. L-com’s plastic armored cables feature a crush resistance of up 800PSI.

 

Even with all that armor, these cables are still capable of high speed transmission rates. Plus, they are offered in multiple varieties to suit a wide range of applications, including armored Ethernet, armored USB, armored HDMI, armored D-sub and armored DVI cable assemblies.

 

No doubt, armored cables are tough enough to withstand the abuse that might be faced in harsh environments and rugged conditions, and if you don’t believe us, watch this.

 

Industrial Enclosures for any Application

October 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When it comes to protecting your valuable equipment, a NEMA enclosure can be a great solution. Whether your equipment could be exposed to the elements, chemicals, human tampering or theft, using an enclosure can ensure your investment is protected and provide you with peace of mind. Different enclosures provide different benefits, and you must find the best fit for your application. Here, we’ll take a closer look at Industrial enclosures and all that they have to offer.

 

When it comes to location, industrial enclosures can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications. In any setting, industrial enclosures provide extra security against theft, tampering and damage. Standard enclosures are lockable and keyed locks can be added as an extra measure to keep valuable components safe. Weatherproof outdoor enclosures can provide superior protection from the elements for outdoor wireless access points and sensitive electric components. Plus, with the option of adding heating and cooling or power, these enclosures deliver dependable performance in any climate.

 

There are numerous features that make industrial enclosures ideal for protecting sensitive equipment, these include mounting plates that securely mount equipment inside an enclosure and a thermostat controlled cooling fan that keeps equipment cool in high temperature environments. Also, a mounting lid can prevent damage and theft of the equipment inside the enclosure, these lids can have hinges, removable lids or clear viewing windows for easier viewing while maintaining security. Power over Ethernet (PoE) interface is another great feature that delivers power to the enclosed equipment where power sources are limited, plus it provides additional surge protection for internal PoE compatible equipment.

 

Many applications can benefit from the use of an industrial enclosure, and while the details might vary, they all share a similar set of requirements that include being able to operate under exceedingly harsh conditions that include exposure to corrosive chemicals, extreme temperatures and more. Some of these applications include industrial automation, oil and gas, and transportation. Rugged, industrial enclosures are also ideal for security and automation applications such as access controls, fire alarms, video surveillance equipment and building automation.  Indoor and outdoor enclosures can be used in a variety of locations to protect equipment, including cell towers and rooftops, open-access basements, telecom closets, shopping centers and factories.

 

Overall, industrial enclosures are a great way to keep expensive equipment safe. In almost any application, and even in the harshest conditions, they provide a level of security that is unmatched. To take a look at L-com’s complete, comprehensive line of industrial enclosures, click here.

 

Case Study: Union Electrica

September 27, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Union Electrica, a systems design and installation services company based in Uruguay and servicing all of Latin America, won a large contract with the city of Medellin, Columbia. They were tasked with the challenge of deploying a WiMAX network that connected more than 1,200 subscriber points, but they needed help. Fortunately, L-com had the perfect solution.

 

To successfully complete the WiMAX network rollout in Medellin, Union Electronica needed a system that would support the 3.5 GHz frequency with a focused directional wireless connection that could perform in all weather conditions. They also required low-loss cables and lightning and surge protectors to complete the installation.

 

L-com was able to fulfill all of Union Electrica’s network requirements with a 3.5 GHz antenna that was compact, minimized interference, supported vertical or horizontal polarization and featured a 25° beamwidth.

 

The L-com team also provided low-loss coaxial cable assemblies, surge protectors and COTS antennas and accessories, all of which were in-stock and available for immediate shipment to fulfill the accelerated installation schedule.

 

In the end, with the help of L-com, Union Electrica was able to successfully deliver a high-speed WiMAX network to the city of Medellin while meeting all budget and installation deadline requirements.

 

To read the entire case study click here.

 

Smart Homes - The Future is Here

September 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

 

Long ago, the idea of a home having the technology to be interactive was only a possibility in a Hollywood production or sci-fi novel. But those days are gone, the future is here and smart homes have moved from the realm of fantasy to an endless world of possibility. With the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the world in general is becoming smarter and safer, and that includes our homes. Here, we’ll take a look at the technology behind the innovation bringing technological magic to your home.

 

First, what is a smart home? A smart home is automated, much in the way your coffee pot or your air conditioner are automated to turn on at a certain time or temperature. But a smart home takes that one step further by connecting all of those automated devices in your home through a wireless network, they are then able to be monitoring and programmed from one device. It is that communication with the devices that makes it smart. The devices in a smart home all rely on connectors and sensors to transmit and relay signals. Most wireless home automation uses low-power equipment so that power supply is not an issue.

 

To connect all of these devices, a combination of long and short-range wireless communication protocols is used, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT and ZigBee. With this technology, along with smartphones and tablets, we are now able to connect a multitude of devices within the home, this includes TVs, heating and cooling systems, lighting, appliances, security systems and cameras, or anything else that can be connected to the network. Plus, the communication to these devices is not distance limited, meaning you can control or change your thermostat while you’re at work or traveling using WAN connectivity via a router. Many new homes are being constructed with this technology built-in, older homes can be retrofitted with smart technologies and there are devices from companies like Google and Amazon that will connect to many electronics within your home.

 

Why would someone want a smart home? For one, it can make life a lot easier. Being able to control the devices within your home from your smartphone is super convenient. There is also an additional level of safety added when you’re able to monitor your home through a connected security network. Video cameras can provide surveillance in and around the home, with smart locks you can allow repairmen into your home and you are able to monitor when children get home from school. For people with disabilities or limited movement, smart homes that allow them to manage the home environment from a single, mobile device can make life much easier. In addition to safety, smart homes can be very energy efficient, which is good for the environment. Being able to control the thermostat remotely and turn lights and appliances on or off can be a great way to save energy.

 

With the growth of the IoT and more things becoming connected, it is no wonder that this would apply to our homes as well. Not only do smart homes provide convenience, they can also be good for the environment and give assistance to the disabled. Lucky for us, we no longer have to wait for the home of the future, the future is now. 

 

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