FirstNet to the Rescue

January 12, 2017 at 8:00 AMKatee Schalau

 

In today’s world, safety is a primary concern for many people. We go to great lengths to make sure that our families, homes and neighborhoods are safe and we depend on first responders to ensure public safety.  We assume that emergency personnel will have access to reliable wireless communication needed to contain and control an emergency situation. But what if the police, fire department or EMTs aren’t able to communicate with one another?

 

First responders depend on more than 10,000 separate, incompatible radio networks to communicate during emergency situations. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for responders from different jurisdictions or agencies to communicate and work together because they’re not on one network.  This also makes it increasingly dangerous for emergency workers going into a situation blindly. To remedy this, the FirstNet organization was created with the mission of building, operating and maintaining a Wi-Fi network to provide a single interoperable platform for emergency and daily public safety communications.

 

Created in 2012, the FirstNet organization is the only independent government authority with a directive to provide specialized communication services for public safety. The FirstNet network is the first high-speed, nationwide, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. With this network, all emergency workers are able to use one interoperable LTE network devoted solely to keeping them connected. Steps are also being taken to ensure that emergency responders are able to remain in communication in rural areas where wireless signals can be weak or non-existent. FirstNet uses the 700 MHz spectrum available nationwide and aims to solve interoperability challenges and ensure uninterrupted communication to enhance the safety of communities and first responders.

 

In addition to the wireless network, FirstNet is creating devices and applications to deliver high-speed data, location information, images, and video that can save lives. It allows emergency personnel to remain in communication during large events when crowds of people can create dangerous situations and congest public networks. It also provides reliable communication during natural disasters when communication lines may be down and emergency services are needed most.

 

With the FirstNet organization continuously working on the development and improvement of wireless communication for public safety, we can all feel a little safer. For more information on FirstNet and how it is using wireless networks to improve public safety, visit http://www.firstnet.gov/.

 

OM5- The Next Generation of Multimode Fiber

January 5, 2017 at 8:00 AMKatee Schalau

 

As we ring in the New Year, we are also preparing to usher in a new generation of multimode fiber – OM5. OM5 was chosen to be the new standard for cabling containing wideband multimode fiber in the upcoming 3rd edition of the ISO/IEC 11801. The acceptance of this standard is a milestone for the fiber cabling performance category because it extends the benefits of this revolutionary multimode fiber within connected buildings and data centers worldwide.

 

Here are 5 things you need to know about the next generation of multimode fiber:

 

  1. 1.       OM5 is designed to perform across the  at least four low-cost wavelengths in the 850-950 nm range

 

  1. 2.       OM5 provides optimal support of emerging Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM) applications which reduce           the amount of fibers needed for high speed transmissions

 

  1. 3.       OM5 has the ability to support four SWDM channels, each carrying 25G of data to deliver 100G Ethernet using a single pair             of multimode fibers

 

  1. 4.       OM5 cabling supports all legacy applications and is fully compatible with OM3 and OM4 cabling

 

  1. 5.       OM5 has all of the capabilities of OM4 plus more, including the addition of bend tolerant characteristics

 

Multimode fiber cable has long been a versatile connectivity solution with high capability and reliability for local area networks and voice, video and data applications. With the introduction of OM5, wideband multimode fiber will further expand its reach.

 

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Readers' Choice -Top Blog Posts of 2016

December 29, 2016 at 8:00 AMKatee Schalau

 

As another year comes to a close, so does another chapter of our blog, Engineering Hub. We covered a wide variety of topics in order to keep you, our readers, in the loop with what’s going on in the world of wired and wireless technology. Here are highlights of the 2016 posts that were the most popular with our readers.

 


1.       802.11ay: 20 Gig Wireless!


The next generation wireless standard will blow you away with triple the speed and 30xs the transmission distance of 802.11ad. Learn about all of the benefits of 802.11ay and what it means for the world of wireless networking technology. (Read more)

 

 

 

2.       Fiber Showdown: Multimode vs. Single mode


Multimode and single mode are the two most common types of fiber optic cables. Both have very different attributes and one may work better than the other, depending on the needs of your application. This post will help you decide which will give you the best results. (Read more)

 

 

 

3.       Cat6 Cable: Shielded vs. Unshielded


Category 6 Ethernet cable is designed to provide high speed data rates, but how do you decide between shielded or unshielded? Here, we compare them side by side so you can choose which will work best for your application. (Read more)

 

 

 

4.       Good Vibrations: Vibration-Proof USB Connectors

 

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the most widely used technologies to connect and power devices. One fundamental flaw of USB is its sensitivity to vibration, causing the connector to dislodge. In this post we show you some solutions to keeping your USB connected. (Read more)

 

 

 

5.      Next Generation Positioning: A look at what’s around the corner

 

GPS apps and positioning technology is something we use everyday to get directions or find something or someone nearby, and that usage is expected to continue to grow at a staggering rate. Here’s a look at what the IEEE has in store for next gen positioning technology. (Read more)

High Density Antennas 101

December 15, 2016 at 8:00 AMKatee Schalau

 

If you think multiple people using your home Wi-Fi slows down your connection, imagine an entire stadium full of people sharing the same connection. Large venues such as arenas, stadiums, convention centers and city centers are some of the most challenging environments for deploying a wireless network.

 

In these types of venues, large crowds of people are simultaneously trying to access Wi-Fi service from their devices. The high concentration of wireless users in these types of settings causes performance and capacity issues that make it difficult to provide reliable wireless coverage. This issue has led to the development of high density antennas.

 

High density antennas have a more focused beamwidth in both horizontal and vertical polarization than standard antennas. This minimizes channel-to-channel interference which helps improve coverage and provides greater capacity. The narrow beamwidth also allows the signal to be positioned exactly where it is needed, which reduces RF interference. All of which is ideal for areas with dense populations of wireless users accessing Wi-Fi at the same time.

 

Click here to take a look at L-com’s first high density antenna that was recently released.  

If there are other topics you would like us to cover, or if you have comments, please email us at engineeringhub@l-com.com

 

Properly Grounding Outdoor Lightning Protectors

December 1, 2016 at 8:00 AMKatee Schalau

 

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but one strike is all it takes to destroy your expensive electrical communications equipment. A single bolt of lightning can carry as much as 100 million volts of electricity, there’s no way to know exactly where it will strike and indirect strikes can be just as destructive as direct strikes. Damage from lightning can be extensive and costly, from downtime to loss of important data and compromised security systems.

 

Lightning protectors are an effective and inexpensive way to make sure that your valuable equipment doesn’t get damaged. L-com offers an extensive line of coaxial and data line lightning surge protectors for every application. But in order for them to fully protect your equipment it is crucial that the lightning protector be properly grounded.  Here are 5 tips to make sure you don’t get burned by Mother Nature.

 

1.  Never ground to a building's electrical ground

 

2.  Always use at least 8-10 gauge copper wire from the arrestor to the ground stake

 

3.  If possible, connect to an existing telephone company interface. These are usually on the outside of the building and have a heavy ground stake and wire near them

 

4.  If you are using an indoor device, such as a PoE interface with lightning protection, you must still run copper ground wire to the outside of the facility

 

5.  Use a grounding rod. With proper installation, grounding rods complete a safe path for lightning to discharge. They become the final connector of a grounding electrode, meeting or exceeding most local electric codes with resistance of 25 Ohms or less

 

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