The Full Spectrum of Wireless Communications Protocols and Standards

March 1, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

The IoT is the driving force behind most wireless technology today. Everything including cars, smart homes, businesses and cities will be connected by the IoT. Plus, an estimated 300 million smartphones are slated to have artificial neural network (ANN) learning capabilities that would enable functions such as navigation, speech recognition and augmented reality.

 

With all the wireless technology rolling out and market demand for wireless communications applications continuing to grow, the development of different wireless technologies is also exploding to meet that demand. In fact, there are so many new technologies emerging that some directly compete with one another and frequencies overlap.

 

Many protocols are in accordance with IEEE 802.11 standards. The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee (LMSC) develops the most widely known wired and wireless standards, which encompasses local and metropolitan area networks. The fundamental IEEE standard of 802.11.n had of a minimum of 31 amendments through 2016, with more in the process. These cover everything from Ethernet, wireless LAN, virtual LAN, wireless hot spots, bridging and more.

 

Other IEEE standards include:

 

-    IEEE 802.15.4 for Simplified Personal Wireless and Industrial Short-Range Links

-    IEEE 802.15 Wireless PAN

-    IEEE 802.16 Broadband Wireless (WiMAX)

-    IEEE 802.22 for Wireless Regional Area Network (WRAN), with base station range to 60 miles

-    IEEE 802.23 for Emergency Service Communications

 

802.11 wireless technology began when the FCC released the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands for unlicensed use. The ISM bands were then established in 1974 by the International telecommunication Union (ITU).

 

These are the frequency allocations as determined by the ITU:

 

Min. Freq.

Max. Freq

Type

Availability

Licensed Users

6.765 MHz

6.795 MHz

A

Local Acceptance

Fixed & Mobile Service

13.553 MHz

13.567 MHz

B

Worldwide

Fixed & Mobile Service except Aeronautical

26.957 MHz

27.283 MHz

B

Worldwide

Fixed & Mobile Service except Aeronautical & CB

40.66 MHz

40.7 MHz

B

Worldwide

Fixed, Mobile & Earth Exploration/Satellite Service

433.05 MHz

434.79 MHz

A

Europe

Amateur & Radiolocation Service

902 MHz

928 MHz B

B

Americas

Fixed, Mobile & Radiolocation Service

2.4 GHz

2.5 GHz

B

Worldwide

Fixed, Mobile, Radiolocation, Amateur & Amateur Satellite Service

5.725 GHz

5.875 GHz

B

Worldwide

Fixed-Satellite, Radiolocation, Mobile, Amateur & Amateur Satellite Service

24 GHz

24.25 GHz

B

Worldwide

Amateur, Amateur Satellite, Radiolocation & Earth Exploration Satellite

61 GHz

61.5 GHz

A

Local Acceptance

Fixed, Inter-satellite, Mobile & Radiolocation

122 GHz

123 GHz

A

Local Acceptance

Earth Exploration Satellite, Inter-Satellite, Space Research

244 GHz

246 GHz

A

Local Acceptance

Radiolocation, Radio Astronomy, Amateur & Satellite Service

 

In addition to IEEE standards, other technologies have broken away from IEEE and made the move to special trade organizations and even changed their names. Plus, there is a slew of short range communications standards vying for dominance, including ANT+, Bluetooth, FirstNet and ZigBee. No matter what your wireless communication application is, rest assured that there are plenty of standards and protocols to refer to when designing your wireless network.

 

The Low Down on Low-Loss Coax Cables for Wireless Applications

August 17, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

It may seem counterintuitive that a wireless network would need cables, but it’s true. The components of a wireless network, such as access points, amplifiers and antennas, all need cables to communicate with one another. Antenna cables introduces signal loss in the antenna system for both the transmitter and receiver. In order to reduce this signal loss, you need to either minimize the cable length, if you can, and use only low-loss or ultra-low-loss coax cable s in order to connect access points and amps to antennas.

 

Coaxial cable is one of the oldest signal cabling types and is still used today because it is robust and very good at carrying a signals over long distances. The term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing a geometric axis. The term "low-loss" refers to the cable's relative low-attenuation (loss) over distance. The general rule is that the thicker the cable is, the less loss of signal there will be over the length of the cable.

 

RG-style cables were the original standard for coaxial cable, but the signal in these cables degrades over longer distances. This isn’t an issue when covering short distances, but in a wireless application it is critical to maintain the signal strength throughout the cable and until it is sent out through the antenna. Thus, low-loss coaxial cable was created offering lower attenuation and better shielding, a much better solution for wireless systems than RG-style cables. Low-loss coaxial cables also use solid center conductors which provide lower attenuation than the stranded conductors found in some types of RG-style coax cables.

 

Low-loss coaxial cables are ideal for use in WLAN, Cellular, PCS, ISM and many other wireless communications applications. They are offered in multiple sizes with a three-digit “series” number designating the thickness of the cable and the low-loss properties. For example, 400-series low-loss coax is thicker and has less loss than 200-series, and 200-series is thicker and has less loss than 100-series. While the thicker cable will provide less loss, it will also be heavier and less flexible, though ultra-flex versions of the thicker series cables do offer more flexibility.

 

Here is a comparison chart for popular types of low-loss coaxial cables:

Video Blog - How to Assemble a Grid Antenna

March 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

High-performance grid antennas are perfect for point-to-point, point-to-multi-point and wireless bridge applications. L-com’s 2.4 GHz grid antennas can be used in 802.11b/g/n WLANs and feature a rugged design for long-term outdoor operation. Our 5.8 GHz grid antennas are ideal for long-range, highly directional 5.8 GHz ISM and UNII-band operations.

 

If a grid antenna sounds like something you need in your application  but you’re not sure how assemble one, we’re here to help with that too.  In six simple steps, we’ll have you from parts on the floor to high-gain antenna in the sky.

 

The process is easy, but first you should follow some safety precautions to make sure that no one will fall while working from heights, and that nothing will come in contact with power lines. All towers and masts must be securely grounded and lightning arrestors should be used on all coax cable connections.

 

Next, make sure you have all of the parts needed:

 

  • ·       Antenna feedhorn assembly
  • ·       Stainless steel U-bolts with nuts and washers
  • ·       Mast clamps
  • ·       Aluminum “L” bracket
  • ·       Machine screws with nuts and washers
  • ·       Antenna reflector grid section halves


Now, watch our video. In less than 4 ½ minutes, we’ll have you connected and ready to go.

 

 

For more tips and how-to videos, click here.

 

 

Video Blog: How to Set-Up A Wi-Fi Booster Kit

August 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM


Everyone could use a boost to their Wi-Fi connection. Fortunately, L-com has an entire family of wireless booster products designed to improve your wireless signal as well as amp up your operating range and performance. But how do you install a booster kit? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

 

Our instructional video walks you through the 6 simple steps to install our laptop Wi-Fi booster kit. This kit can be purchased by anyone in the United States and is FCC certified. With no special license required and such easy installation, anyone can use this Wi-Fi Booster kit. In less than 1.5 minutes we will show you exactly how easy it is to boost your wireless performance.

 

 

Our wireless booster/amplifier product lines include models that operate on 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, 4.9 GHz and 4G/LTE cellular frequency bands. They are ideal for applications such as 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, SCADA, RFID, Public Safety Service and Homeland Security. L-com’s Wi-Fi booster kits make it easy to take your wireless performance from ordinary to extraordinary.

 

Click this link for more of our tips and how-to videos.

 

NEMA Enclosures: Best Fit Guide

July 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

With so much relying on your network being fully functional, a NEMA enclosure is one of the best ways to safe-guard your valuable equipment. NEMA enclosures are ideal for wired and wireless networks to protect critical equipment from the elements, chemicals, physical contact, theft and damage. They are designed to endure all types of abuse and keep enclosed, sensitive electronics safe.

 

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) rates enclosures based on criteria that includes resistance to dust, moisture, water immersion and ice. The better the rating, the more the enclosure can withstand.

 

Here, we guide you through the most popular enclosure features to help find the best fit to protect your valuable equipment.


Industrial

Most enclosures are labeled as “industrial” because they are built to be rugged and protect against the elements and feature options such as heating and cooling. They are made for indoor and outdoor use in hot and cold environments.


Weatherproof

When your equipment is located outside or in an industrial setting, such as a factory or processing plant, a weatherproof NEMA enclosure provides the insurance you need. They protect against damage from environmental hazards such as water, dust, oil and corrosive chemicals like gasoline.


Non- Powered

These protective enclosures are perfect for wired and wireless communications equipment that do not require power. L-com’s non-powered enclosures feature fully gasketed lids to ensure optimal performance. Our non-powered enclosures are also available in a variety of rugged materials including Molded Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester (FRP) and VALOX 357U thermoplastic material.

 

Powered

For equipment that requires a power source, a powered NEMA enclosure will be your best bet. They share many of the same attributes as their non-powered counterparts but can be built with power outlets for various interfaces including 12V DC, 120V AC, 240V AC and POE. Some powered enclosures also include built-in lightning protection for an extra level of security.

 

Heating and Cooling

If your equipment will be exposed to cold temperatures, extreme heat or moisture, you may want a NEMA enclosure that provides cooling, heat or ventilation. For example, L-com offers an enclosure that is ideal for keeping equipment warm and functional in sub-zero temperatures as low as -30°F (-34°C). This particular model features a thermostat-controlled heating system that is powered by a Cat5 cable and is shielded by foam insulation and fiberglass.

 

NEMA enclosures provide plenty of options that can be mixed and matched to make sure your network equipment is protected. For more information on which options will be the best fit, or to have us design a custom enclosure for you, contact us today.

 

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