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



Advantages of Fiber Cabling You May Not Have Considered

September 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM



First things first, we aren’t claiming that fiber is outright better than copper cabling.


We understand that as data and network design requirements vary, some applications may need copper cabling. In these cases, copper is likely the best choice and perfectly suited for that network or application.


What we ARE saying is that in other instances there may be advantages to using fiber in your application. 


When you consider the many elements that are involved in designing your network- such as cost, dependability, durability, resources, space, etc.- it will be helpful to know more about how using fiber can positively impact your network.


As with any technology related implementation, one might also want to consider the environmental impact that the network will have. Fiber has some environmental advantages that we will go over. 


So here they are, the facts about why fiber could be beneficial to your application!

1.       It generally requires less power


Overall, fiber uses less power to transmit at a longer distance.


Look at redundancy, for example. Copper backbones and Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDFs) could be converted to fiber optic direct from a centralized data center all the way to the desktop. When you eliminate the need for IDFs, you eliminate the need for all the extra space, cooling, cabling and power backup they require. This will generally mean less power consumption, especially at longer distances.


Copper also has limited run distances, so getting data from point A to point B can be an issue if the connection exceeds 100 meters, whereas fiber provides much further distance support.  


If you absolutely need copper, consider that higher quality copper cables result in less re-transmission of data and therefore less power consumption. Also, inexpensive and portable Wireless CPE units can be used remotely to provide a secondary communications link when fiber cannot be installed due to cost or physical barriers.


Note that fiber optic media converters can help transition your copper network to fiber optics if you choose a hybrid network design.



2.       Saves on Resources


Why? Fiber is lighter by nature of its composition. Therefore supporting structures can be less robust.


Also, since fiber runs all the way to the destination without a repeater for most networks, there is less need for intermediary network closets which saves on floor space and power consumption.  This also saves on HVAC needs too (which provides energy savings).

3.       Efficiency


Fiber cabling is as good as it gets for efficiency and security in network applications.  This is because it is free from threat of corrosion and is resistant to atmospheric conditions such as lightning or other electrical interference. Fiber is also resistant to environments where vibration and EMI/RFI interference might be present. And, fiber-optic cables don’t interfere with other devices.


Fiber proves its efficiency especially when you look at the use of materials over time for upgrading. Upgrades can be rather difficult with copper wire, though not with fiber because the real capacity of fiber is only partially utilized at today's network speeds. Cable and telephone providers often use fiber because it gives them greater reliability with the opportunity to offer new services, such as digital phone service and internet connections. 


With fiber cabling the signal also has a constrained loss rate, which means that very little signal is lost over rather long distances. Lastly, fiber is very hard to tap and steal data from since it transfers data with light.



4.       Saves on Waste


To put it into perspective, one fiber cable can do the work of TEN copper cables. That’s less material being used for manufacturing, thus less material ending up at the landfill.


As mentioned above, the reduced need for upgrading fiber networks also saves on waste as you are disposing of fewer cables over time.


All points considered, choosing the best connectivity media for your application is a balancing act. Armed with the facts you need about the implications of fiber technology, now you can consider what is most important to you and what best suits the requirements of your network.


4 New Antennas You Have to Know About

September 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM




For all of you wireless centric engineers, IT professionals, or network designers: are you caught up with the new wireless antenna technologies?


Perhaps you do have a general idea of what’s new. Or, maybe you just don’t have the time to look through a catalog or research new designs on the web.


Either way, it’s important to be up to date with new products and technologies in order to improve how wireless new technologies can better serve your applications.


In order to help save you time, we put together a roundup of what's new for wireless antennas. These products can be found right here at L-com.



120 Degree DAS Sectorial Antenna


First up: a new addition to the HyperLink DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) Series Sectorial Panel Antennas, the HG72712P-120.


These rugged all weather antennas are designed for years of reliable operation. They are largely known for helping wireless carriers to quickly increase capacity as well as deploy new spectrum in zoning challenged locations.


The HG72712P-120 features a single N-Female connector along with an internal combiner, which simplifies installation since only one coax cable is required to use the antenna. It also offers wide band operation so it supports many installation options and applications.



To put it simply, our 120 Degree DAS Sectorial antenna is streamlined and full feature and is a cost effective alternative to similar antennas that are available on the market.




DP Series Dual Polarity 2.4/5 GHz Flat Panel Antennas


Dual polarization and dual frequency. What more could you need?

These flat panel antennas combine vertical and horizontal polarization with high gain over a broadband frequency range in a single enclosure. We now offer two new models in this antenna family, the HG2458-10DP-6NF and HG2458-14DP-4NF.


Designed primarily for MIMO base station applications, the wide band design of these antennas has eliminated the need to purchase separate antennas for each frequency. They represent an innovative solution for many applications using the 2.4 GHz and the 4.9-5.8 GHz frequency bands. 


The HG2458-10DP-6NF and HG2458-14DP-4NF also feature a UV-resistant radome for all-weather operation.




Cross Polarized Flat Panel Antennas


Are you working in a polarization diversified system?


These antennas are fed via two N-Female ports, one for +45° polarized and one for -45° polarized signals, making them perfect for a variety of applications. They also double the wireless capacity for your network over the same channels due to their two independent antennas which are cross polarized.


Another great feature found with these all weather antennas is that they are lightweight yet durable. With a UV-stable, UL flame rated, white plastic radome these antennas can also be painted to match the room or building structure.


Lastly, you can select a cross polarized flat panel antenna with or without a tilt-and-swivel pole mount kit. These new antennas offer fantastic wireless capacity for a low price.




UR and MGUR Series Mini Mobile Omni directional Antennas


Okay, here are the last few products we’ll introduce in case you are still in search of the perfect antenna. We have added two new mini mobile NMO antennas to the HyperLink Wireless UR and MGUR series.


The first of the new series are the Dual Band 2.4/4.9-5.8 GHz Mini Mobile Mount antennas. The HG245803UR-NMOB and HG245803UR-NMOW are both compact 3 dBi Omni-directional antennas designed primarily for multipoint and mobile applications in the 2.4 and 4.9-5.8 GHz frequency bands. Measuring only 2.7 inches long, these antennas feature a standard TAD/NMO-type connection.

The second set of new products in this series is the 698-960/1710-2700 MHz Mini Mobile Mount DAS antennas. The HG72703UR-NMOB and HG72703UR-NMOW are 3 dBi Omni-directional antennas that have been specifically designed for use with DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems). They combine several different frequency bands to allow multi-user options. These compact antennas measure only 3.8 inches long and also feature a TAD/NMO type connection.

These antennas are also available as a kit with a magnetic mount, and are perfect for a variety of applications including industrial complexes, public transportation, service vehicles, mobile wireless applications, and more!



Hopefully this list will be of use to you next time you’re shopping for an antenna. Remember that you can always find exactly what you need with our Antenna Product Wizard!


Results Proven RJ45 Couplers

August 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Out of the thousands of wired and wireless products in our inventory, can you guess what our most popular product is?


It’s not an Ethernet cable, fiber cable, or even a WiFi antenna. 


Instead, our number one selling product is a small yet powerful piece of the networking puzzle:  the RJ45 coupler


Here are a few reasons why our RJ45 couplers are a favorite of our customers: 


• Panel mount and keystone styles provide flexibility for every application 

• Inline, right angle and offset form factors address unique design requirements

• Non-shielded and shielded (for high RFI/EMI applications) options off the shelf

• Category 3/5e/6/6a performance


RJ45 couplers from L-com are easy to install, built for high performance networking and are perfect for patch panel, wall plate and enclosure applications. 


For example, L-com's ECF panel-mount RJ45 Coupler line (shown above) combines innovative design with an affordable price. With a solid die-cast metal mounting frame, these unique RJ45 coupler kits allow panel mounting in virtually any panel thickness. 


L-com’s RJ45 couplers offer a reliable method to pass high-speed data communication through a chassis or rack panel and are designed to work with EIA/TIA 568A and B wiring. Our RJ45 couplers feature Category 3, 5e, 6 and 6a performance ratings (in both shielded and unshielded versions). RJ45 coupler kits include a snap-in coupler, mounting frame and 4-40 machine screws.


Here’s a rundown of some common applications where our RJ45 couplers are used:


• Premise wiring

• Telecommunications


• Ethernet

• Voice/Video/Data



Are RJ45 couplers an important network component in your application or job? Tell us how you use RJ45 couplers in the comment section below. 


For a downloadable 2D drawing that details our ECF panel mount flange design, click here!


It’s an IP world with the Internet of Things (IoT)

August 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM



In today’s age of such accelerated technology advancements, we practically have the world at our fingertips.


Emergency services respond at the push of a button, robots work for us in factories, apps on our phones connect us with others across the world…


And it’s about to get even easier.


As 2014 marches on, the buzz around the term “Internet of things” or “IoT” is ever increasing due to the fact that its impact on our society has the potential to be dramatic within a relatively short span of time.


By now most of you may have already heard of this phenomenon, but just what does this term really mean? And what are the implications to our wired and wireless engineering world?



An Ecosystem of Sorts


IoT is the idea that just about every imaginable device that can provide either a control or monitoring function will someday have an IP address for access to the Internet. CISCO Systems, Inc. calls it the “Internet of Everything,” or the networked connection of people, processes, data, and things.


Imagine objects in your home, car, at work, and all around you having an IP address to connect to the cloud—providing immediate access via just about any device (Smart Phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, etc.).


And IoT is not just limited to devices; it’s encroaching upon use with people and animals too! Livestock monitoring and tracking, medical devices for monitoring, and preventative medicine on humans are just some examples. The concept is to have multiple vertical sectors operating in one connected ecosystem.


A few other examples of startup “things” that are popping up around the IoT world include: an all-in-one touch screen WiFi router and smart home hub, WiFi enabled smart outlets and plugs that allow you to adjust settings via smart phone, sensor enhanced trash bins, and a bracelet that measures sun exposure.


According to Business Insider Intelligence, the IoT will account for 9 billion connections by 2018. In addition, BI Intelligence estimates that the IoT alone will surpass the PC, Tablet, and phone market combined by 2017.


So what are the ramifications?


IoT has the power to influence energy savings, cost savings, remote control and monitoring for business and home applications, and more. By using smarter and more efficient tracking, analysis, and monitoring some businesses will have an opportunity for cost savings (such as an insurance company saving money with collision avoidance navigation systems).



What about Our Business?


Lucky for us engineering minded folks, IoT applications will require both wired and wireless networking infrastructures to operate.


Every device- such as a pressure sensor, temperature sensor, or flow control valve- will have an IP address that is connected to the internet or to an Ethernet network. Thus, any necessary equipment for Ethernet IP networks will be required.


According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the most lucrative benefactors of this new movement will be the companies making chips that power these devices and those who are building the systems that will connect the chips (rather than the companies making the actual appliances).


Our products such as Ethernet switches and converters, WiFi antennas and RF amplifiers are some examples of the products needed to support IoT applications.  As a designer and manufacturer of wired and wireless networking products we are excited to see where this IoT evolution will take us!


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