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.

 

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.

 

IP Ratings Guide

March 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

One commonly asked question we receive from our customers is “What is the difference between IP67 and IP68?

 

Let’s first take a look at how these ratings work. Ingress Protection (IP) numbers are used to define a products resistance to moisture and fine particulates.

 

The first number after IP (shown in the left hand column below) denotes a products protection against solid objects like dust and sand.  This number can range from 0, meaning no protection against dust and sand, to 6, meaning 100% protection against dust and sand.  

 

The second number after IP denotes the part's protection against liquids.  It ranges from 0 to 8, from protection against direct liquid sprays to protection against long periods of immersion under pressure.  


Our IP67 Fiber Optic Cables, shown above, ensure protection from moisture and dust with an operating Temp: -40 to +85 Celsius.  Our IP68 Ruggedized Ethernet cables, shown on the right, offer complete moisture, dust, oil and UV protection for applications used in military, outdoor or industrial settings. 

 

Take a look below for further details on each of the IP categories. 

 

 

First number (Protection against solid objects)

Definition

Second number (Protection 
against liquids)

Definition

0

No protection

0

No protection

1

Protected against solid objects over 50mm 
(e.g. accidental touch
 
by hands)

1

Protected against vertically falling drops of water

2

Protected against solid objects over 12mm 
(e.g. fingers)

2

Protected against direct sprays up to 15o from the vertical

3

Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm 
(e.g. tools and wires)

3

Protected against direct sprays up to 60o from the vertical

4

Protected against solid objects over 1mm 
(e.g. tools, wires
 
and small wires)

4

Protected against sprays from all directions - limited ingress permitted

5

Protected against dust - limited ingress 
(no harmful deposit)

5

Protected against low pressure jets if water from all directions - limited ingress permitted

6

Totally protected 
against dust

6

Protected against strong jets of water e.g. for use on ship decks - limited ingress permitted

 

 

7

Protected against the effects of temporary immersion between 15cm and 1m. Duration of test 30 minutes

 

 

8

Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

 

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