RF Frequencies 101

February 1, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

RF, radio frequency, is an electromagnetic wave between 1 MHz and 3 GHz used in wireless networks to transmit video, voice and data. They can also be used for AM radio broadcasting, navigational beacons and shortwave radio. Waves from 3 GHz to 30 GHz are microwave frequencies used for FM radio, aviation communications, radar and satellite links. Millimeter wave frequencies range from 30 GHz to 300 GHz and are used to transmit large amounts of data and simultaneous voice or video. RF waves can be transmitted through different media such as coaxial cable, a circuit board or through an antenna.

 

There are three main factors to consider for RF waves: frequency, wavelength and Hertz. Frequency is the number of electromagnetic wave cycles that pass a specific point per unit of time. Wavelength is the distance after which the electromagnetic wave fields repeat themselves. Hertz is a measurement of the wave cycles per second.

 

           1 Hertz (Hz)              =      1 wave/ 1 second

                                           1 Kilohertz (kHz)        =      1 thousand waves/ 1 second

                                           1 Megahertz (MHz)     =      1 million waves/ 1 second

                                           1 Gigahertz (GHz)      =      1 billion waves/ 1 second

 

To get the full picture, and for a handy reference, here is a chart of RF frequencies:

 

 

For more information on RF frequencies used in wireless networks, check out some of our other blog posts: RF Antenna FAQs and Wireless Infrastructure 101.

 

Hot off the Presses - L-com’s 2018 Master Catalog

January 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

The big reveal is here and we’re ready to share our 2018 Wired & Wireless Product Guide full of thousands of products including many new and best-selling items. Long regarded as a valuable resource for technicians, engineers and educators, L-com’s master catalog is packed with tips, tutorials, full-color product images and more, making it an excellent reference guide and educational tool.

 

Here are some of the new products featured this year:

·       M12 Ethernet Cabling for Harsh Environments

·       Continuous Flex Industrial Cables

·       HDMI High Flex Cables

·       Outdoor-Rated Ethernet Assemblies

·       Premium Panel Mounted Mini Coupler Kits

·       IP68-Rated Ruggedized LC Plugs and Receptacles

·       USB 3.1 Adapters

·       Category-Rated IP67 Bulkhead Shielded Panel Mount Couplers with Dust Cap

·       Heated 14x12x6 Enclosures

 

Getting a copy of our Wired & Wireless Product Guide is easy, simply fill out our online product guide request form and we will mail it to you straight away. You can also view this year’s catalog as a flip book or download pages from the product guide as PDFs.

 

411 on HDMI 2.1

January 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

HDMI is one of the most widely recognized technologies used in video display applications today. It is used on newer HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, computers and many other video display devices. Able to stream both video and audio at the same time, the simple plug and play interface is easy to use, offers high definition video, crystal clear auido, and now HDMI is about to get even better!

 

HDMI recently released its newest specification, HDMI 2.1, and it is slated to take video to the next level.

 

Here is the 411 on HDMI 2.1:

 

·       Supports a range of higher video resolutions and faster refresh rates, including 8K 60Hz and 4K 120Hz for a captivating viewing expereince and smooth fast-action detail

 

·       Dynamic HDR displays every monent of a video at its ideal level of depth, detail, brightness, contrast and wider color gamuts, even when being viewed frame-by frame

 

·       48G cable for increased bandwidth up to 48Gbps for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 to support features including HDR and 8K video

 

·       Backward compatible with earlier HDMI versions

 

·       eARC provides support for advanced audio formats such as object-based audio. It also allows for advanced audio signal control abilities including device auto-detect.

 

·       Game Mode VRR includes variable refresh rate, which permits a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the same time it is rendered. This provides gameplay with better detail and more fluidity, it also reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing.

 

As with all HDMI desginated products, thorough testing must be done to garner the HDMI 2.1 seal of approval. In regards to earlier HDMI specifications, HDMI 2.1 will superceded 2.0b and will continue to refernce and rely upon the 1.4b specification. HDMI 2.0 adopters will automatically have access to the HDMI 2.1 specification, HDMI 1.4b adopters will not have access. HDMI 1.4b products will continue to be tested to the 1.4b requirements. HDMI 2.1 compliance test specifications were published last year. The timeline for beginning compliance testing for HDMI 2.1 will be decided by each individual authorized testing center. 

 

To read more about the HDMI standards, check out this blog post.

 

Antennas & the IoT

January 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

With all the excitement surrounding the development of the IoT, there is one important part that can’t be overlooked – the antenna. Antennas are integral to implementation of the IoT. Connecting all of the physical objects that make up the IoT requires antennas transmitting a massive amount of data. Thus, without antennas, there would be no IoT.

 

As IoT use increases, so does the demand for more antennas that meet the needs of IoT applications and meet the expectations of users. Thus, antenna manufacturers and designers have had a voice in the development of IoT devices and are meeting the call for antennas that are up to the task.

 

Here are some of the ideal traits for antennas designed for IoT applications:

 

Small Form Factor – One of the biggest trends in IoT antennas is smaller form factors. As IoT devices are being implemented in more industries, manufacturers are looking to shrink device footprint. And as devices get smaller, so must the antennas. These small form factor antennas include embedded antennas, PCB antennas and chip antennas.

 
High-Performance – Designers have been working to deliver small antennas without sacrificing performance capabilities because demand for speed and capacity is also growing. Even if the device is the size of a coin, its antenna still needs to meet high-performance standards.
 
Cost-Effective – Adding antennas onto all of these devices can be costly. As device demand increases, manufacturers have begun looking for antennas that will be economic to use on the devices. 
 
Beyond being small, powerful and cost-effective, there are some other areas of antenna technology that are emerging with the development of the IoT. These include:
 
Two antennas – While two antennas will not be necessary for MIMO communications with lower category LTE devices, two antennas will be needed for Cat4 and above in order to meet requirements for higher speed and throughput systems. LTE cellular networks will also continue to use two cellular antennas to fully achieve high-speed performance.
 
MU-MIMO – Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) has breathed new life into Wi-Fi by allowing multiple devices to communicate with the access point at the same time. This has made a significant improvement to wireless network throughput and impacted dense, high-capacity networks.
 
Low-Power – Low-power technologies, such as ISM-band solutions, are being developed to provide longer battery life for devices and allow long-range communications at a low-bit rate. Plus, smartphone technologies such as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) are being adapted to be utilized in IoT applications.
 

Our Best-Selling Product of 2017

January 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

To start off this year, we would like to take a moment to present the award for the best-selling product of 2017.  With so many high-performing, quality products in the running, the competition was fierce. But after all the votes (sales) were tallied, there was one clear winner.

 

And the winner is……(drumroll).…. the ECF504-SC5E coupler!

 

If you’re not familiar with this year’s best-selling product, here is what you’ve been missing:

 

The ECF504-SC5E is a Cat5e, RJ45, shielded, 8x8, panel-mount-style coupler that is ideal for telecom, LAN, voice/data and IDF/MDF applications. It is a part of L-com's ECF panel-mount RJ45 coupler line that combines an innovative design with a competitive price. With a solid, die-cast, metal mounting frame, these unique RJ45 couplers allow panel mounting with virtually any panel thickness.

 

This unique coupler is very versatile and was used in a wide variety of applications and purchased by a varied group of customers including OEM’s who used the ECF504-SC5E in enclosure and panel products, IT professionals and network installers who used the ECF504-SC5E in data center applications, and a host of other customers who used the ECF504-SC5E in a variety of Ethernet cable pass through applications.

 

On behalf of the ECF504-SC5E, we would like to thank all the customers who helped this product win the 2017 best seller award. Without your support, and purchases, none of this would be possible. (cue music).

 

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