HDBaseT: How One Cable Does it All

October 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM

This folks - is another game changing technology that’s worth a good discussion.




       It’s convenient
       It simplifies multimedia device connectivity
       It lowers overall system costs (one cable)


So just what is HDBaseT and what does it do?


HDBaseT technology uses a 5Play™ feature that encompasses full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable, and various control signals through a single Cat5e or Cat6 LAN cable. This enables just one cable to replace multiple cables and connectors in a home entertainment or business environment-- thus optimizing for whole-home or whole-office distribution.


As Engadget stated-- until now this technology has been primarily geared towards professional installers and dedicated enthusiasts, but now focuses on user friendliness and lower cost, which could drive end user participation in whole-house media usage.


Unlike other HD technologies currently available, HDBaseT is the only technology that enables long-reach wired connectivity up to 100 meters for uncompressed full HD multimedia content and up to 100 watts of charging power via a single cable. Keep in mind that this does mean HDBaseT has its limits, including 100w DC maximum power, 100Mb/s Ethernet, and 10Gb/s uncompressed video.


All in all, HDBaseT was designed to support different types of media and controls. Within it, all HDMI 1.4 video and audio formats are supported. HDBaseT also enables and certifies RS232 and IR in addition to Ethernet. As it is still rather new and continually being tested and improved as time goes on, future generations of HDBaseT will likely include USB too. As for control functions, HDBaseT also allows vendors to send proprietary control signals when their equipment is on both ends.


One of the bigger conveniences of HDBaseT is that it utilizes existing Ethernet infrastructure without the need for changing connector or cabling requirements. As you can suspect, this greatly reduces installation costs and complexity. 


If you’re looking to incorporate this technology into your multimedia infrastructure, we manufacture plenty of products that support HDBaseT technology here at L-com. Take a look at our Cat5e and Cat6 LAN cables, adapters and couplers, and wall plates.


To see what a visualized home networking application layout using HDBaseT technology looks like, click here.


The Year of the WISP

October 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM


According to the Chinese calendar, 2014 is the year of the horse. This horse represents one in a 12 year cycle of animals that make up the Chinese zodiac, a tradition that is very important to Chinese culture - especially in older generations.


While maintaining our respect for Chinese culture, there is another tradition that was made – one that is closer to heart here in our industry.


2014 is considered the year of the WISP!


WISPs, or Wireless Internet Service Providers, are a growing facet of the wireless communications industry as wireless connectivity takes over our generation’s daily common practices. Because there’s been a lot of growth and maturity just in the past 18 months, there are many more WISPs that are growing their business faster than ever, and into new markets.


Luckily, this growth impacts our business too. So in celebration, we’re rounding out these last few months of the year with a bang and an exciting exhibit at the WISPApalooza 2014 conference.


At WISPApalooza, wireless broadband entrepreneurs and manufacturers from around the world join in on what is considered the most comprehensive conference for the broadband industry. 


WISPApalooza, held in Las Vegas from October 11th to October 17th, is a full week of intense training events, interactive educational sessions, and impressive exhibits. There will be 40 sessions covering marketing, technical, business and regulatory topics in addition to many other training events hosted by Ubiquiti, Cambium, Mikrotik, Freeside and more.


It's also considered an all-out amazing party, according to the Urban Dictionary, as the name "apalooza" suggests.  Can't forget the fun, of course!


L-com will have two large booths (booths 336 and 338) with a complete display of our latest MIMO technology dual polarity antennas. We will also be showcasing lightning protectors, access points, RF cable assemblies, NEMA enclosures, PoE products and - don't miss this one - L-com's ultra-rugged Ethernet cabling for outdoor usage: TRD8RGMT. This series of Ethernet cables is perfect for connecting Ethernet feeds to outdoor wireless transmission equipment. 


This year FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai will be the keynote speaker at the annual awards banquet. We are looking forward to hearing what he has to say since there have been many changes happening in the communications world of late.


Another highlight of the conference will be “Fiber Weekend” which starts off the week on Saturday and Sunday.


We hope to see you there for 7 exciting days of all things WISP!


Wireless Videos for Your WiFi Survival Kit

October 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

So we’ve mentioned this before. But it’s worth emphasizing.


Every week we strive to bring you useful and free technical support resources. Hint: check out one of our most popular blog posts called Wireless Tech Tips You Can’t Live without.


Because whether you are designing, deploying, or upgrading a wireless network, it’s helpful to have more technical resources in addition to good ‘ole directions. Tools that we can visualize with, follow along with, and re-create are stellar.


This is why we also make sure to create informative video tutorials for some of our best selling products and common networking questions.


So without further ado, here’s a list of some of our wireless videos that are a must for every WiFi survival tool kit:



How to setup an indoor WiFi booster  



How to setup an outdoor WiFi booster




How to setup a laptop WiFi booster kit




How To Assemble and Install A HyperLink Grid Antenna 



Are there any other tutorials you’d like to see made into a video? Let us know in the comment section below!


How USB is Shaping the Future of Machine Vision

September 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Here at L-com we are a member of the AIA (Automated Imaging Association) trade group, the world's largest machine vision trade group. As a member we feel that it is our duty to give you some insight on how advances in USB 3.0 technology are affecting the growth of machine vision.


First of all-- for those who don’t already know, machine vision is defined as the methods and technology used to provide imaging-based automatic inspection and analysis.


Machine vision systems use cameras and image processing software to perform inspections, similar to how human inspectors on assembly lines visually inspect the quality of the products. Examples of applications where this takes place include automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance in industry.


Machine vision inspection plays an important role in achieving 100% quality control in manufacturing. This reduces costs and ensures a high level of customer satisfaction. However, one of the main challenges designers face in machine vision today is market demand for HD imaging and the need for greater bandwidth based on increasing sensor resolution and frame rate.


Current systems are forced to compromise between image quality and compression. Higher levels of compression limit the accuracy and performance of machine vision systems.


But have no fear; this is where USB 3.0 comes to the rescue.

With USB 3.0, designers now have additional bandwidth at their disposal. USB 3.0 is fast -- with a 5 Gbps data rate, which is a 10x increase over USB 2.0 (480 Mbps). The increased bandwidth substantially reduces the time required for transferring large amounts of data or video.


As the EE Times stated it, designers can more readily increase image resolution and frame rate with greater bandwidth while still preserving image quality. Without the need for compression, designers can also reduce the amount of memory required in systems.  This translates to a lower BOM, smaller PCB, and reduced power consumption.


L-com offers a large variety of USB cables, and our cables are manufactured per the mechanical requirements of the USB 3.0 Vision standard. In addition to supporting the machine vision camera market, the screw mount hardware required for USB 3.0 Vision cables is beneficial in many other applications where standard USB connectors can become dislodged due to jostling, vibration, or other factors.


Have a look at our USB 3.0 selection here!


How Line of Sight (LoS) Can Affect Your Wireless Installation

September 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Though the term Line of Sight seems self explanatory, there’s actually more than meets the eye when it comes to LoS and installing a wireless network.


As you might already know, Line of Sight is the path between two antennas. One of the first questions you’ll want to ask yourself when designing an outdoor wireless network is what is between point A (antenna 1) and point B (antenna 2)?


These details are important since Line of Sight does not only apply to a straight line. Wireless signals being sent from point A to point B can and will, most likely, run into to some obstacles that will alter the path they take.


When light waves or radio signals get diffracted or bent due to solid objects near their path, it’s an electromagnetic phenomenon referred to as The Fresnel Zone (referenced in the diagram below). The radio waves reflecting off the objects may arrive out of phase with the signals that traveled directly to the receiving antenna, thus reducing the power of the received signal.


It is important to also note that the line of site broadens with wavelength, which means that for low frequency, high wavelength signals, you need to have a larger Fresnel radius free of obstructions.  





As you can see, there are three main categories of Line of Sight to use as guidelines:

1.       Full Line of Sight (LOS), where no obstacles reside between the two antennas.

2.       Near Line of Sight (nLOS) which includes partial obstructions, such as tree tops between the two antennas.

3.        Non Line of Sight (NLOS), where full obstructions exist between the two antennas.


By determining the specific line of sight conditions in the WiFi network area, you can then determine the correct type of wireless system to install.


For example, most WiFi systems typically run on the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies. Both of these frequencies are very dependent on a clear line of sight to obtain good performance, so clear LoS is very important.


View L-com’s comprehensive WiFi antenna offering



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