Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

December 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Our Blog contains many interesting posts that both entertain and educate. This week’s post features the top 5 posts of 2014 as deemed by you, our faithful readers.


The following posts are listed in order of popularity.




10 of the Worst Cabling Nightmares




802.11ac: What’s all the buzz about?


8 Reasons Why a 3D Printer Can Make Your Job Easier



Take Aim with L-com’s Yagi Antenna



Which NEMA Enclosure is best for your application?



The Advantages of Fiber Optics in Harsh Environments

December 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM


A few weeks ago we posted about ruggedized cabling and how important it is to use such cables in applications with harsher environments. As a follow up, today we’ll talk about several benefits of using fiber optic technology in harsh environment communication systems.


First of all, fiber is immune to EMI and RFI "noise" which is commonly encountered on a manufacturing floor or processing plant. This could be a huge factor when planning for a network set up.


Secondly, fiber can support very long distances before a repeater is necessary, covering thousands of kilometers either inside and/or outside of an industrial facility.


Fiber also offers higher bandwidth compared to copper cabling and can be used in voice, video and data applications. This is commonly seen with IP surveillance cameras and NVR's located throughout a facility.


Lastly, the cost of fiber continues to decline as many manufacturers (both domestic and foreign) can now produce high quality fiber cabling, connectors, and transceivers.

Amazing features and its inexpensive? We’ll take it!

So if you are considering changing over to fiber cables or are already in need of connectors, adapters and other communication components for harsh environments, look no further.


You can choose from a wide variety of L-com fiber optic cable assemblies for harsh environments that are industrial and military grade. There are multiple cable options, including Single mode and Multimode as well as special crush and impact resistant jacketed fiber cables.


In addition to cable assemblies, take a look at the couplers and adapters meant for harsh environments. The Mil ST line of connectors and couplers meet or exceed 100% of the requirements of the military specification MIL-C-83522.


These highly durable connectors and couplers are built to withstand extreme temperature change, shock, vibration and corrosion. They are ideal for military, aircraft, spacecraft, shipboard and land-based applications. An added bonus with these connectors is that they are available in either locking (ANX, ANY) or non-locking (DNX, DNY) variations and use a convenient screw boot that eliminates the need for a cumbersome boot tool.

The Ruggedized COTS ST Connectors and Couplers, which are designed to be a more economical counterpart to the MIL-C-83522 line, feature a non-optical disconnect with nickel-plated brass or stainless steel configurations.


Finally, have a look at the FOC-XPLC2-MM and FOC-XPLC2-SM Industrial LC Plugs. These plugs provide a robust fiber connection in virtually any harsh environment. In addition to offering IP66/IP67 protection, the cable to plug strain relief has been dramatically improved over standard fiber jumpers. The plug kits include duplex Single mode or Multimode LC fiber connectors, industrial plug housing, a specialized fiber bend relief boot and heavy duty strain relief crimp components.


What fiber optic networking products have you used in your harsh application? Share with us below.


How Tough is Your Cable?

November 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Let us give you a general reminder that says a lot in just a few words:


Not all cables are created equal.


Have you ever considered that your application or next networking project might require more than a standard cable, whether it be USB, Ethernet, HDMI or other interface?


Of course, in either scenario you want a cable that is built to last. That’s why armored cables are built to stand up to the harshest of environments.


Armored cables are commonly used in factory automation, manufacturing networks, chemical and petroleum processing networks, and in any Industrial communication or Industrial HMI and A/V application.


For example, complex chemical and oil refining facilities employ some of the most sophisticated process control systems found in any industry. Mass-scale process control delivers consistently high system output (both quantity and quality) while simultaneously minimizing labor input and safety issues.


These results can only be achieved through the deployment of complex network control systems (including ruggedized cabling) that must operate under harsh conditions. Multiple control and monitoring points must interconnect in environments that include corrosive liquids and gases, severe heat and cold, high pressure and more. 


If you take a closer look at the details of your environment, you might be surprised to find that at least one of these factors puts it into the “harsh environment” category.


L-com offers an extensive line of metal and plastic armored cable assemblies to address all types of these industrial and harsh environment connectivity applications.


Here are some common features you’ll find throughout our ruggedized cable selection:

  • Choose from either metal armor that provides 1,500 pounds per square inch crush resistance to  protect cables from damage, OR plastic tubing - that provides 800 PSI crush resistance.
  • Heavy duty metal and plastic coupling nuts ensure armored sleeves remain anchored
  • Cable shielding provides maximum protection against EMI/RFI
  • Specially jacketed cable for use in hot/cold/corrosive environments (some types)


And for a detailed layout of the “behind the scenes” of how these cables are constructed, below are some diagram tutorials. Have a look and give us a call if you have any questions!


Armored D-Subminiature Cable Assemblies



Armored USB Cable Assemblies



Armored HDMI Cable Assemblies



Armored DVI Cable Assemblies



And last but not least: Armored Ethernet Assemblies



All of L-com’s armored cable assemblies are available off the shelf for same day shipping with no minimum order quantities.


HyperLink Wireless: To Serve and Protect

November 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM



Homeland security and public safety are both dependent on highly reliable, highly secure communications networks.


Tools and procedures such as video surveillance, "on the scene" networks where police and other responders can share and transfer data, and atmospheric monitoring are crucial to safety and security operations. 


For this reason, the FCC allocated 50 MHz of spectrum from 4940 MHz to 4990 MHz (WLAN channels 20–26),called the Public Safety Spectrum, for use by public safety entities in the United States. Within this spectrum space there are two non-overlapping channels allocated, both with a width of 20 MHz


For those who don’t already know, an FCC license is REQUIRED in order to interact with the public safety spectrum.


As the FCC designated, communications within the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety band must support the protection of health, life, or property. Within these guidelines, some intended applications of the frequency include wireless local area networks (WLANs), mobile data, video security, VoIP, and more.  Multipoint and temporary (< 1 year) point-to-point links such as these are primary uses of the band.


Since the 4.9 GHz band has such limited uses, it can be difficult to find a full range of connectivity products to support high-performance and highly reliable 4.9 GHz network applications.


High quality RF amplifiers and antennas that are capable of operating on the 4.9GHz spectrum are hard to come by. 


At L-com, we guarantee that our  Hyperlink wireless products will prove reliable when serving and protecting the people.



Products such as the 2.4 GHz to 5.8 GHz 8 dBi Ultra-Wideband Log Periodic Antenna (shown above) are designed with features that address every public safety application:


·         Ultra Wide Band design

·         2.3 to 6.5 GHZ continuous coverage

·         Ideal for use with multiband access points and routers

·         Superior performance

·         Compact size, low profile and easy to mount, 9 inch coax lead included


The 3 Watt 4.9 GHz Indoor Amplifier for US Homeland Security is compatible with OFDM radios as well as radios using Direct Sequence or Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum modulation.


The HyperAmp® HA4903I series improves range and reliability by placing up to full transmit power as well as 12 dB of low-noise receive gain directly at the antenna where it is most effective. It also features an all-metal weather-proof enclosure machined from a single billet of aluminum, making it suitable for demanding commercial and military applications.


L-com’s broad offering of 4.9 GHz connectivity products enables our customers to build and operate high performance 4.9 GHz networks. L-com’s products are weather-proof, ruggedized, and designed with high-reliability features such as current-sensing circuits which provide remote amplifier diagnostic LEDs to aid in monitoring and troubleshooting. 



HDMI 2.0: Enhancing Your A/V Experience

October 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM


When you sit down to watch Sunday night football this weekend, consider this:


Next generation TV's and displays are requiring higher and higher resolution and frame rates for enhanced user experience. Every time we turn around, the view from the TV, or camera, or video screen looks better and better.


How is it that HD is so clear, it’s as if we have cleats laced on our feet, our pads crunching and crackling against the opponent’s offensive line…


Well, to address this higher resolution demand, High Definition Multimedia Interface technology from the HDMI Forum released its latest interface version, HDMI 2.0.


HDMI 2.0 uses 2160p and up to 60fps which allows for full-resolution 4K 3D, coupled with higher frame rate 2D content, to support applications such as PC based video games and home videos. These benchmarks also meet the requirements of more bandwidth for those next gen TV's.


One of the most important features of HDMI 2.0 is the increase in the size of the "conduit" between the transmitting source (such as a Blu-ray player) to the TV or display. This allows for higher frame rates at higher resolutions compared to the previous standard, HDMI 1.4.


To sum it up, the important features and advantages of HDMI 2.0 include:


-4K@50/60, (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution
-Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience
-Up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity
-Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen
-Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (up to 4)
-Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio
-Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
-CEC extensions provides expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point

Another detail to consider is that HDMI 2.0 devices DO NOT require new cabling or connectors. HDMI 2.0 devices will use HDMI version 1.4 cabling and connectors.


L-com manufactures an expansive selection of HDMI 1.4/2.0 Cable assemblies. From consumer grade to armored industrial HDMI cables, we offer one of the widest off the shelf selections available anywhere. As an HDMI adopter, all of L-com's HDMI cables are tested and approved per the HDMI Forums standards.


Click here to view all of our HDMI cable assemblies!


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