Hangin' Tough - Armored Cables

October 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When your cables need serious protection and the ability to stand up to the toughest conditions, an armored jacket might be the perfect solution. Armored cables are cables with a metal or plastic covering that provides a layer of protection that is much stronger than any traditional type of cable jacket. This suit of armor makes the cables extra tough and durable, now let’s take a look at just how tough they are.

 

The rugged characteristics of armored cables make them ideal for outdoor, industrial and military applications where these features are of the upmost importance. This includes factory automation, manufacturing and chemical and petroleum processing networks.

 

One of the biggest advantages of armored cables is there crush resistance rating. L-com’s metal armored cables offer a crush resistance of up to 1,500 PSI

which makes them well suited for just about any military or industrial application. Additionally these cables feature stainless steel armor that stands up to corrosion often found in extreme environments.

 

Plastic armor, although not as rugged as metal armor, offers an extra level of crush and abrasion resistance

when compared to non-armored cable jackets. L-com’s plastic armored cables feature a crush resistance of up 800PSI.

 

Even with all that armor, these cables are still capable of high speed transmission rates. Plus, they are offered in multiple varieties to suit a wide range of applications, including armored Ethernet, armored USB, armored HDMI, armored D-sub and armored DVI cable assemblies.

 

No doubt, armored cables are tough enough to withstand the abuse that might be faced in harsh environments and rugged conditions, and if you don’t believe us, watch this.

 

411 on M12 Connectors

May 17, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Since their introduction in 1985, M12 connectors have grown to become the go-to interconnect system for industrial automation. These rugged connectors provide reliable connections in the harshest environments and have revolutionized the world of industrial automation connectivity.

 

M12 connectors are circular connectors that have a 12-mm locking thread and often boast IP ratings for protection against liquids and solids. They are ideal for connecting sensors, actuators, as well as industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus devices, mostly in industrial automation applications and in corrosive environments.

 

Prior to the inception of the M12 connector, engineers had to hard wire or repeatedly replace connectors that couldn’t endure in harsh conditions. Initially released with 3 and 4-pin models, the original M12 connector had a smaller current than its predecessor, the RK30, but still provided the protection of an IP67 rating. The 4-pin M12 connector allowed a single system to include more advanced sensors and actuators. Today, these rugged connectors are available with 3, 4, 5, 8 and 12-pin configurations with additional locking styles continuously being developed, such as bayonet and push-pull.

 

In addition to factory automation, M12 connectors and M12 cable assemblies are used in measurement and control, communications, transportation, robotics, agriculture and alternative energy applications. Choosing the correct pin count depends on the specific application. Three and 4-pin models are needed for sensors and in power applications. Ethernet and PROFINET require 4 and 8 pins. DeviceNet and CANbus mostly use 4 and 5-pin connectors. Twelve-pin models are typically specified for various signal applications.

 

Along with different pin counts, M12 connectors have multiple styles of key coding to prevent improper mating.  Here are the most common coding types and what they’re used for:

 

·       A-coded: sensors, DC power and 1 Gigabit Ethernet

·       B-coded: PROFIBUS

·       C-coded: AC power

·       D-coded: 100 Mbit Ethernet

·       X-coded: 10 Gigabit Ethernet

·       S-coded: AC power (will be replacing C-coded power parts)

·       T-coded: DC power (will be replacing A-coded power parts)

 

The most popular types of M12 coding are A, B, D and X.  The A, B and D-coded connectors are some of the first M12 connectors and have been on the market the longest. X-coded connectors are rising in demand for high-speed industrial Ethernet and will ultimately take the place of A and D-coded parts in Ethernet applications. The newest code designs being developed are K-coded for AC power and L-coded for PROFINET DC power.

 

Engineers’ Choice

June 15, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Our engineers are the hub of innovative ideas that drive our company and we depend on them to have their fingers on the pulse of the industry. So we tapped into our engineering resources to ask what technology we should be blogging about this week. The technology of choice: M12 cables. Here is an inside look at M12 cables, what they are, what they’re good for and why our engineer’s chose them.

 

RJ45 plug connectors are the most widely used connection technology for Ethernet systems, but for Ethernet networks deployed in harsh outdoor or industrial environments, M12 plug connectors are often better suited for many applications. Here are some of the reasons why we think M12 connectors are an attractive option.

 

IP67 or IP68-rated – An IP67 rating means the cable is completely protected from dust and temporary immersion between 12 cm and 1m. A rating of IP68 means the cable is totally protected from dust and long periods of immersion under pressure. Both of these ratings are crucial for cables used in harsh industrial environments.

 

Compact Design – Even though M12 connectors are made to withstand rugged conditions, they still maintain a compact design which is perfect for saving space in often crowded enclosures and cabinets.

 

Reliable Connection – Despite their small size, M12 connectors are very sturdy and deliver a reliable connection even when exposed to shock or vibration.

 

Two Pin Configurations – M12 Ethernet connectors are offered in both 4-pin and 8-pin configurations. Four-pin M12 connectors with D-coding are perfectly suited for fast Ethernet transmission. Eight-pin M12 connectors are usually A-coded and can deliver higher transmission rates such as Gigabit Ethernet. L-com also offers 8-pin, X-coded M12 cables that support Category 6a applications and are rated for 10Gbps speeds.

 

POE – M12 cables and connectors can be used for Power over Ethernet applications. The four-pin connectors can be used for type-1 transmission where supply, voltage and data are transmitted together. Eight-pin configurations can deliver type-2 power with the two spare wire pairs being used to transmit the supply voltage separately.

 

Our complete line of M12 Ethernet cables include X-code, A-code and D-code versions that are IP67/68/69K-rated, high-flex, shielded and resistant to oil, weld splatter, and damaging UV rays.

 

Check out our complete selection of M12 cable assemblies.

 

IP Ratings for Dummy’s

April 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Don’t know an IP rating from an IP address? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. First, IP ratings have absolutely nothing to do with IP addresses. In this case, IP stands for ingress protection. Ingress protection (IP) ratings are used to measure a product’s level of protection against liquids and solids - qualities that can be very important for expensive communications equipment, especially when exposed to harsh environments.

 

An IP rating consists of two digits, each with its own meaning. The first number in the rating represents protection from solid objects and particulates such as dust and sand. These numbers range from 0 to 6. A rating of 0 means there is no protection and a 6 means the product is 100% protected.

 

The second digit in the rating signifies how well the part is protected from liquids. These numbers range from 0 to 8 with levels of protection varying from no protection to fully protected even when completely submerged and under pressure.

 

A variety of IP-rated communication system components are available to support a wide range of applications where standard products will not work.  These include IP67 and IP68 cable assemblies, couplers and adapters. Waterproof varieties also include USB, Ethernet, video and fiber optic products designed for unforgiving industrial environments.

 

Here is an example and a chart to illustrate exactly how IP ratings work:

  

 

 

To view all of our IP-rated products for use in extreme conditions, click here.

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Shielded Ethernet Cables

August 18, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Shielded Ethernet cables are widely used, so you may know what they are. You may even be familiar with some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them. But if you want to dig a little deeper into the world of shielded Ethernet cables, here are 5 things you need to know.

 

1. A single-shielded Ethernet cable has the lightest available shield but still weighs 12% more on average than an unshielded cable. A double-shielded Ethernet cable weighs as much as 30% more than the unshielded version. This additional weight may not be a big deal if you are only running a few shorter cables, but if your network is using dozens or hundreds of shielded cables, the combined weight could be enough to damage a rack, cable ladder or other cable management infrastructure. 

 

2. Double-shielded cables  have both a foil and braid shield and can better protect data from EMI/RFI and alien crosstalk (AXT). This protection results in higher transmission speeds and fewer data transmission errors.

 

 

3. High-flex industrial cables are shielded and built for continuous or high-flex applications, and also employ special jacket materials to solve common industrial Ethernet problems. They are designed for environments where ordinary patch cables fail. These cables will not breakdown when exposed to oil based lubricants, making them ideal for robotic control systems on the factory floor.

 

4. Shielded IP67-rated and IP68-rated Ethernet cables use a hood around the male connector that can screw onto the barrel of a female jack for protection against moisture and dust. Shielding the cables and connectors ensures better performance and higher data transmission rates.  IP67 and IP68-rated cables are also protected from liquid immersion, giving them another layer of protection.

 

5. Shielded Ethernet cables provide maximum performance even in high EMI/RFI environments.   Category 6 shielded cables are designed to handle today's hi-speed Gigabit Ethernet applications. Category 6a cable assemblies offer true 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds at frequencies up to 500 MHz, making them ideal for high speed computing applications often found in data centers. Both Cat6 and Cat6a shielded cables are designed to outperform with super speeds and shielding protecting your data from interference.

 

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