Easy Answers to Your Top 5 Wireless FAQs

August 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

 

If you know L-com, you know that we listen to our customers.


Over the years we have published many informative FAQs to help you get your job done. In this week’s post we have compiled our top 5 wireless FAQs to help you better understand different aspects of wireless networking, including antenna selection and operation, choosing the right WiFi amplifier for your network and more.


You’ll find that some of these FAQs are associated specifically with L-com’s products, while others are simply general knowledge that you can use and share!


 

What is a Distributed Antenna System (DAS)?

 

Often times a DAS uses RF directional couplers and/or wireless amplifiers to split and amplify a wireless signal from the source out to distributed antennas. A DAS can be designed for indoors or outdoors. This FAQ explains how a DAS system can be configured for both types of deployments. 

 

 

What is Antenna Polarity?

 

It’s simple. Click above to find out!

 

 

How do I choose the right WiFi amplifier?

 

When deciding which WiFi Amplifier to buy, there are several important options to consider: PoE, Frequency, Automatic Power Control (APC) and more. Take a look at our breakdown. 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I use a HyperLink brand Antenna?

 

Here we share some common WiFi antenna design considerations that explain which HyperLink brand antenna to use for specific wireless applications, including point-to-point and point-to-multi-point architectures.

 

Not sure which antenna is best for your application? Read on. 

 

 

Common Wireless Connectivity Terms

 

Test your knowledge of commonly used wireless terms, or refer to this extensive list when faced with a new project. Entries include Direct Sequence (DS), Effective Radiated Power (ERP), Attenuation, Wind Loading, Signal-To-Noise Ratio (SNR) and much more. 

 

How to Extend the Range of Your Wireless Signal

September 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

 

 

One of the most common questions we are asked is: "How do I extend my WiFi signal?" Whether you need extension for an indoor or outdoor application, here are your options:

 

Use a higher gain antenna: By using a higher gain antenna you can extend your wireless signal range, though one thing to consider when using a higher gain antenna is potential loss of vertical signal coverage. Typically when you increase the gain on an antenna the RF gain pattern becomes more focused and produces a narrower horizontal beam. Read more about this phenomenon of higher gain causing less vertical signal coverage.

 

Add a WiFi amplifier: By adding a WiFi amplifier you can boost your wireless signal. We suggest trying one of our WiFi booster kits that are available for purchase by anyone in the United States without the need for a special FCC license. These kits offer easy set up and strong signal extension and coverage capabilities. Additionally we offer RF amplifiers for export, military and FCC licensed users supporting frequencies ranging from 900 MHz to 5.8 GHz.

 

Upgrade from 802.11b/g to 802.11n: If you are currently using 802.11b or 802.11g access points and wireless adapters, consider upgrading to the latest IEEE standard, 802.11n. 802.11n offers better range and speed than 802.11b and 802.11g standards products.

 

Use a higher power Access Point: A typical WiFi router or Access Point provides about 30mW of transmit power. By upgrading to a higher power access point or router you can boost your wireless signal resulting in extended coverage.

 

As with any wireless installation, Line of Sight and the Fresnel Zone must be considered along with other factors such as multipath interference. These phenomena and your physical environment (obstacles, obstructions etc.) all affect your signal strength and range.

 

WiFi Antennas WiFi Amplifiers WiFi Access Points
WiFi Antennas WiFi Amplifiers WiFi Access Points

 

By using one or a combination of these aforementioned upgrades and additions you can provide greater wireless signal coverage. Good luck!

 

How to Install Wireless Amplifiers

July 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

 Setting up a WiFi Booster for an Indoor Wireless System

 

An Assortment of WiFi Amplifiers

If you do not work with wireless components every day, the prospect of adding a new component to boost the power of your signal may seem daunting. While we always recommend you have a professional install communications equipment to ensure it is done correctly, this brief tutorial will give you the basic steps to set up a simple WiFi booster. If it helps, you can also take a look at the video in this post or visit our complete tutorial here.

 

 

 

If you have a WLAN setup that requires a stronger signal, a simple WiFi booster may do the trick. Due to FCC regulations, if you are doing this installation in the United States, you need FCC approval to buy the amplifier. If you don't need an amplifier with power over 1 Watt, you can purchase an FCC certified amplifier kit which requires no special operator's license. Either way, most setups follow this simple procedure.

 

Diagram of an RF amplifier setup

On the amplifier, you will typically see two coaxial cable jacks, one labeled "Antenna" and the other labeled "Radio". There should also be a power jack (usually a DC jack requiring an external power adapter), which is where the amplifier gets the power to repeat the signal.

 

Using low-loss coaxial cable, simply connect the antenna to the antenna jack on the amplifier, and the radio (or access point or router, etc) to the radio jack. Then, after the two sides are hooked up, attach the power adapter and plug it in. Most amplifiers have LED lights to indicate activity, which helps you to see if it is working.

 

It's that easy!

 

Quick note: L-com has a huge selection of top-quality wireless RF amplifiers for the 2.4 GHz WiFi band and 5.8 GHz WiFi band, as well as 900 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 4.9 GHz frequencies. These ampifiers feature HyperLink's® Active Power Control (APC), which automatically maintains a constant output power regardless of the length of the attached cables. Aside from the indoor wireless amplifiers, L-com also carries HyperLink® brand outdoor wireless amplifiers for all-weather operation.
 

How To Amplify Wireless Signals without an FCC Operators License

May 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM

 

Example of a Wireless Amplifier Setup for a Laptop

Do you need a wireless amplifier but can't get one?

 

That's because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Part 15 regulations dictate the use of RF power amplifiers in the United States. Individual RF power amplifiers are not offered for general sale within the United States and must be part of a wireless system previously certified by the FCC.

 

Customers in the US that are inquiring about purchasing individual amplifiers must first be prequalified to see if they meet certain requirements. Those who qualify are typically Federal Government agencies, Department of Defense (DOD) and FCC licensed operators. This is obviously not ideal for the typical home or commercial business user.

 

So how can you get one?

 

L-com carries FCC-certified amplifier kits. These kits are complete 2.4 GHz wireless systems that feature a wireless USB adapter, rubber duck antenna and amplifier. Since FCC ID numbers have been granted to these kits, prequalification is not required in order for them to be sold.

 

L-com carries three types of FCC-certified WiFi boosters: standard, economy grade, and PoE compliant. Available with amplifiers ranging from 100 mW to 1 Watt, they provide exactly the boost your signal needs.

 

Click here for a helpful video on how to setup a laptop WiFi booster kit:

 

Wireless Amplifier Video

 
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