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



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 Protect Your Coax Equipment

July 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Coaxial lines have a wide range of uses- from video connections to wireless LANs- and are commonly used in both residential and commercial applications. Some of the advantages of coax are that it provides for ease of connection, low noise, and is easy to acquire and install.


But in just the blink of an eye, your expensive coax attached equipment or coax connected system could be hit by a powerful lightning strike that has the potential to ruin everything. 


That’s why the all-mighty engineering gurus came up with a device called a coax lightning protector


We’ve touched on this topic briefly in a previous post (Surge Protectors: Your Best Investment in Protecting Your Wireless Network) but today we will focus specifically on:


• Quarter Wave coaxial lightning and surge protectors

• Gas Discharge coaxial lightning and surge protectors

• Coax lightning protectors integrated into coax cable


 First, let’s find out- 



Why coax is vulnerable


In a coaxial cable an electrical impulse signal is transmitted along the cable length between the center conductor and the outer conductor. This makes coax an extremely effective conduit for lightning generated pulses. 


Therefore, lightning and power surges present a considerable threat to expensive electronic and networking equipment connected to coax cables.


Your options for Coaxial Lightning and Surge Protectors

Quarter Wave coaxial surge protectors are designed to pass the desired frequency while suppressing lightning surges, much like a signal filter. Lightning strike electrical surges, which operate at low frequencies, are diverted through the protector's short-circuit to the ground. 


Here at L-com, we offer HyperLink brand quarter wave suppressors. With a non-gas tube design, multi-strike capability and fast response time they are suitable for a wide range of applications. 


The lightning protector's housing also uses a ground lug, which allows for superior grounding. Both connector ports on these suppressors are equally protected, which provides equal protection no matter which way it is installed.


On the other hand, Gas Discharge coaxial protectors are a type of lightning arrestor which employs a replaceable gas discharge tube. This component actually contains a small amount of gas. The gas tube dumps extremely high amounts of surge energy directly to the ground of the protector. 


A circular brass contact inside the coaxial protector ensures the gas tube is firmly seated and provides a superior contact point for the gas tube. Most coaxial protectors are designed with only a thin pin that the gas tube sits on.


L-com’s HyperLink® coaxial lightning and surge arrestors are available for 0-3 GHz operation or 0-6 GHz operation.


Here's how it works: 




And your third option for protecting your coax connected equipment is our surge protector integrated coax cables


These protectors are high performance low loss 400-series cable assemblies that feature a N-Male connector to a N-Female Bulkhead in-line gas discharge tube lightning protector. Attached directly to the cable, the coaxial lightning protector features wide-band operation up to 5.8 GHz. This saves on insertion loss by having one less connector inline.


The cable assemblies feature L-com's CA-400 UV resistant polyethylene jacketed high performance flexible low loss coaxial cable. Attached directly to the cable is L-com's AL6-NF-14-9 5.8 GHz coaxial lightning protector. 


These assemblies also feature a replaceable gas tube element and multi-strike capability. Additionally, a ground lug and terminal is attached directly to the lightning protector housing, which provides superior grounding. 


If you’re looking for something that is not listed on the L-com website, custom lengths and connectors are also available.


Don’t hesitate- protect your valuable coax investment today!



How Secure is Your Datacenter?

May 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Let’s hope your data center isn’t this vulnerable.


If its security system is still in a diaper phase you could be in a lot of trouble, and most likely at risk of a security breach...


Why, you might ask, are we talking about babies and computers?


Because data centers are the nerve center of an organization. This means that security should be top priority, and your data center security should be as impenetrable as a fully grown, seven-foot bearded lumberjack.


And surely it’s not probable that a baby could hack into your data center, but the point is to assess who or what could interfere with the security of your data.


In a study done by the 2013 IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index that encompassed 3,700 clients across 130 countries, it was estimated that the average number of cyber attacks on a single organization over the course of a week is 1,400. That’s two hundred per day!


The 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) also examined another 50 organizations and found that a collective 63,000 “security incidents”  occurred as well as 1,367 actual data breaches.


One security breach that happened recently at Iowa State University left about 30,000 students exposed. And we all remember what happened at Target; it was the largest retail breach in U.S history. Yikes.



Check it once, check it twice



Next-generation data centers will require ever-evolving solutions to keep sensitive business and client information secure, and this is the reality that businesses will have to face as they grow and build upon their server infrastructure.


But it doesn’t have to be a huge daunting task. There are different levels of security we can all utilize in order for our datacenters to have a robust security system.


Here are 3 different levels of security with examples to help you prepare in securing your datacenter:


Physical security: locked entry-way doors with HID key access only, retina scan or fingerprint entry, locking IT closets, security cameras, motion sensors, etc.


Software security: firewall protection, data encryption, implementing VLANs, using IP routing and access control lists, web filtering and security, malware protection.


Employee security:  First assess, who should have access to what? Set permissions, clear sensitive information from desks, monitor entries and requests for important material, and check your wireless network security- do you have CPE’s (access points) in place with high levels of data encryption for transferring info wirelessly?


IT managers and facility operations can also schedule routine audits to help find any type of security infiltration.


At L-com we carry a variety of products and technologies that support security and could be helpful with your system implementation:


  • ·         IP cameras: These can be used in a variety of areas including data closets, server rooms, warehouses, hallways, etc.
  • ·         Fiber optic cable: Since fiber transfers data with light this makes it very hard to tap and steal data.
  • ·         Physical Layer Isolation: Isolate and protect data by placing a physical barrier between your computer or other device and the network cables that are attached to it.
  • ·         Ethernet Switches that use VLANS:  Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) can be used to isolated select users to specified servers, routers and other network devices limiting access to sensitive information.
  • ·         Middle Atlantic cabinets and our NEMA enclosures are lockable for rugged protection.


By assessing and maximizing your security systems you can find peace of mind that your critical information is secure and protected at all times, with zero threat of unauthorized access or infiltration.


None of us want to be hacked. We don’t want to go down in history like any of these guys (20 infamous hacker break-ins).


So take precaution. Review your current security systems and ask yourself, how secure is my data center?


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