Simplifying Your Life - Wireless Calculators

January 28, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Confused by conversions? Overwhelmed by Power Budget? Frazzled by the Fresnel Zone?

 

Site planning for a wireless network installation can be a daunting task.  There are multiple variables to consider and you must have a good understanding of the equipment required.

 

Lucky for you, we just simplified your life by adding a few more tools to your tool belt. L-com’s wireless calculators take the guess work out of planning a wireless network and make installation much easier. We offer five wireless calculators to help you, no matter what site planning challenges you’re facing. 

 

Power Budget Wireless Calculator

  • ·    Use this wireless calculator to determine your Power Budget
  • ·    The Power Budget is the total power being output from the wireless system in dBm

Free-Space Loss Wireless Calculator

  • ·    Free-space Loss is the loss of power over distance (assuming there is no Fresnel Effect and nothing in the way)
  • ·    This will give you a reasonable approximation of the actual loss over distance

Fresnel Zones Wireless Calculator

  • ·    Determine how high your antenna should be or how much more than Line-of-Sight (LOS)
  • ·     This calculator defines how much clearance you need and for longer links, greater than 3 Km or 2 miles, whether you may have a ground clearance problem

System Performance Wireless Calculator

  • ·    Can be used determine 3 different calculations:
    •   - Operating Margin
    •   - Maximum distance of margin operation
    •   - Required antenna power

Power Conversion Wireless Calculator

  • ·  Converts milliWatts to dBm and vice versa
 

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

 

 

Industrial Wireless Network Design: Finding the Right Frequency

June 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

 

 

Surely you will enjoy this informational write up if you consider yourself aligned with any of the following:

 

A- You’ll soon be involved in an industrial wireless network deployment.


B- You like to learn about wireless network systems.

 

Or, C- You’re a fan of our blog and REALLY like to read our stuff.

 

Oh stop, you’re making me blush. 

 

 

Where were we? 

 

Right. We’re here to talk about the fact that today’s industrial wireless networks utilize multiple frequency ranges to address different applications. 

 

Within just one industrial setting, you might find two or even three frequencies in play because of their unique characteristics.

 

For instance, just about every industrial installation requires security systems with cameras to protect against intruders and potential saboteurs. 

 

Today’s industrial camera networks typically utilize a specific type of camera, called IP cameras. These are sometimes wired using Cat5e/6 cabling, though often they are connected via wireless links (due to issues such as remote placement where cables cannot be easily run). 

 

These wireless IP camera networks require higher bandwidth to send video and/or audio communications to a central control office. Therefore, 2.4 GHz WiFi networks are often used. By implementing 802.11g or 802.11n systems, wireless speeds of 54 Mbps up to 150 Mbps can be realized. 

 

Here are a few products that can be used in a 2.4 GHz WiFi industrial network:

 

 

2.4 GHz Antennas          2.4 GHz Outdoor Access Point       2.4 GHz Amplifiers     2.4 GHz Filters/Splitters

 

 

2.4 GHz Antennas

2.4 GHz Outdoor CPE

2.4 GHz Amplifiers

2.4 GHz Filters/Splitters

 
 

In contrast, other facilities such as oil and chemical processing plants, wastewater treatment plants and manufacturing operations may have wireless communications systems that require relatively lower bandwidth communications.

 

This is because simpler tasks such as opening a valve or taking pressure and temperature readings from a tank require less bandwidth.

 

In this case, the 400 MHz and 900 MHz frequency bands are often used. When compared to 2.4 GHz and even 5.8 GHZ frequencies, the 900 MHZ ISM frequency band also supports longer, more reliable distance reach and penetration of obstructions (such as trees and leaves) when faced with Near Line of Sight (nLOS) and Non Line of Sight (NLOS) conditions. This is advantageous when connecting long distance, remote monitoring or process facilities is required.

 

Below are examples of 400 MHz and 900 MHz products that one might use in an industrial setting: 

 

 

400 MHz Antennas            900 MHz Antennas         900 MHz Amplifiers            900 MHz Splitters/Filters

 

 

400 MHz Antennas

900 MHz Antennas

900 MHz Amplifiers

900 MHz Splitters/Filters

 

In addition to the products we’ve already mentioned for use within industrial networks, L-com also carries lightning and surge protectors, low loss coaxial and category rated cabling, weatherproof NEMA enclosures and more to address industrial networking applications.


Did you find this tip helpful? Let us know in the comment section below. 


Take Aim with L-com’s Yagi Antenna

May 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

Have you ever seen a Yagi antenna at a target practice?

 

Certainly there are numerous ways to put a Yagi to good use, but this application really surprised us.

 

At Sniper’s Hide, an online community for serious tactical marksman, one member from Idaho put our Yagi to the test. He set up a long range target camera system with a 14dB gain Yagi antenna, and posted a how-to tutorial.

 

The target camera system included using the L-com 900 MHz 14 dBi Yagi Antenna with N Female Connector, along with a camera, wireless transmitter and antenna at the target end, a wireless receiver, and  antenna and TV on the shooters end.

 

It’s no surprise to us that our HyperGain High-Performance Yagi Antenna held up in the sniper’s rugged, long-range application.

 

Why? This series of Yagi antennas provides the user with anodized aluminum boom, solid elements, a 400 series low loss series coax pigtail, and rugged mounting hardware. This antenna also combines accurate gain with a wide beam-width, ideally suited for directional applications in the 900 MHz ISM and GSM bands.

 

To date, the farthest distance their team has recorded at target practice is 2,640 yards (1.5 miles) with no problems or signs of the signal losing strength. They were even confident that the set up with our Yagi would reach over 5 miles!

 

More on Sniper’s Hide: The Sniper’s Hide community was founded on the knowledge, science and the appreciation of the art involved in long range shooting. Sniper’s Hide’s mission is to uphold the traditions and professionalism of those who came before them, expanding on the science, and developing the art. Their members extend beyond Doctors, Lawyers, Police Officers, as well as past and present members of the Armed Forces. Monthly classes are held in Colorado, as well as the largest tactical precision rifle match in the United States. In 2013, 125 shooters participated in the Sniper’s Hide Cup.

  

(Photo courtesy of Sniper’s Hide)

 

What’s the most unique application you’ve seen that uses a Yagi antenna?  We want to know!

 

Why Use 802.3at PoE Technology?

April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

802.3at is the latest of the IEEE's Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards. Although it was released in 2009, it is still very relevant today.

 

Why? It offers up to 25-50 Watts of DC power to attached devices via a single Ethernet cable.

 

With the advent of 802.3at, a completely new class of devices could be powered directly via an Ethernet network interface. This PoE standard can be used with pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) IP cameras that require more power than stationary IP cameras, as well as other devices including dual radio WiFi access points, video phones, and laptops.

 

PoE enabled networking devices such as PoE IP Cameras, PoE Wireless Access Points and PoE IP Phones have become main stream in many networks because of the convenience of easy installation and great cost savings by not having to run AC power outlets.

Commonly referred to as PoE+ or PoE plus, 802.3at also has embedded intelligence via a newly defined data link layer (layer 2) protocol. The Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) allows the power source equipment to discover devices on the network and communicate with them to enable dynamic allocation of power levels.

 

PoE’s greatest benefit is that by utilizing its technology, both data and power can be sent to an Ethernet device via standard Cat5e/6 cabling. This means you do not need to install a power outlet at the device location and you can use readily available, relatively low cost Ethernet cabling.

If you’re looking to incorporate 802.3at technology into your application, here are a few products we suggest (all 802.3at compliant):

 

 

 

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