The Anatomy of a Spiral Strip Coax Cable

November 14, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Thinking about using spiral strip coax cables in your application? Not really sure what they are or if you need them? Lucky for you, class is in session and this week’s lesson is:The Anatomy of a Spiral Strip Coax Cable. Read on to be enlightened.


Spiral strip coax cable assemblies are a rugged and versatile flexible cabling option that offers flexibility without compromising performance. They deliver performance characteristics very similar to semi-rigid coax, making them a perfect alternative to semi-rigid cables. The unique shielding structure provides a low attenuation, cost effective option compared to semi-rigid cables. Also, the use of a strip/round braid shield results in low transfer impedance levels.


Spiral strip coax cables feature a solid center conductor, PTFE dielectric and a silver-plated copper braid outer shield over a silver-plated copper spiral strip inner shield. This multi-layer shield construction provides excellent insertion and shielding performance while providing increased flexibility.


Spiral strip cables are ideal when you’re working with RF test, lab and automated test equipment applications that need coaxial cables with exceptional shielding performance, flexibility and frequency support up to 18 GHz.


Be sure to check out our line of in-stock Spiral strip coax cable assemblies


Get to Know GPS Antennas

October 31, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Not sure if you need a GPS antenna? Wondering the best way to use a GPS antenna? These specialized antennas are made to receive and amplify radio signals transmitted on specific frequencies by GPS satellites. Those signals are then converted to an electronic signal for use by a GPS receiver. The output of the GPS antenna is fed into the receiver which can calculate the position. Here, we’ll take a closer look at GPS antennas, their uses and applications.


First, let’s get a better idea of reasons why you might need a GPS antenna. For example, in a vehicle, if a GPS receiver will not be near a window, a GPS antenna might be necessary to ensure you don’t lose signal. Also, in canyons, when surrounded by tall buildings, under cover of a lot of trees or any time view of the sky is obstructed, an external GPS antenna can be a huge help. They can also help avoid loss of signal in a moving vehicles and aid in generally maintaining the best satellite signal.


There are three different types of GPS antennas:


·        Active GPS antennas include a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) to compensate for signal loss that happens with all cables. Power from the GPS receiver is required, and provided by an external antenna jack in order to power the LNA which, in turn, can drain the receiver’s batteries faster.


·        Passive GPS antennas don’t include LNAs and thus don’t require power. However, because they’re not powered, one meter is usually the maximum cable length for the pigtail.


·        Reradiating GPS antennas are made up of two separate antennas. The transmitting, reradiating, antenna is near the GPS receiver while the receiving antenna is outside the building or vehicle. The two antennas are connected by a coaxial cable and powered by either an AC adapter or a 12 volt vehicle supply. This type of GPS antenna is necessary if there isn’t an external antenna jack on your GPS system.


Applications that are ideal for GPS antennas include ground mapping, survey, construction, agriculture, mining, and permanent and temporary reference stations. Of course, GPS antennas are an immense asset for aircraft. And with today’s developments in transportation technology, GPS antennas are a must for unmanned vehicles.


Now that you know the ins & outs of GPS antennas, be sure to check out our high-performance GPS Antennas that are in-stock and available for immediate delivery.


An Inside (and Outside) Look at Fiber Active Optical Cables

September 5, 2019 at 8:00 AM


We’ve talked about Active Optical Cables (AOC) and their ability to use the same electrical inputs as traditional cables, but with optical fibers between the connectors. They deliver faster speeds and distance performance compared to copper cables while maintaining compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. We’ve delved into their use in the realm of USB and the benefits they bring. Now, we’re going to take a closer look at fiber AOCs and all they have to offer.


AOCs are opto-electronic devices used in place of standard fiber optic transceivers due to ease of deployment and lower cost compared to using individual transceivers with separable fiber optic cable assemblies.  The basic concept of a fiber AOC is to embed active optical transceivers into the assembly, as opposed to using separate pluggable fiber optical transceivers and standard, connectorized fiber cables.


Mainly invented to replace copper cabling in data centers and high performance computing applications, AOCs and their list of benefits can make older technologies seem obsolete. They have longer reach, higher bandwidth handling capabilities and provide secure, reliable transmissions. AOCs also limit EMI/RFI and provide low bit-error rates. Plus, AOC assemblies are smaller and lighter than copper cables, making the datacenter physically easier to manage.


AOCs are ideal for short-range, multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. These assemblies support a range of protocols including Ethernet, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel. They can be used rack-to-rack, on optical backplanes, for storage, hubs, routers, servers, switches and more.


With all of these benefits, AOC assemblies might seem too good to be true, but they’re real and we’ve got an extensive line available with same-day shipping, check them out here.


DisplayPort 2.0 - Just the Facts

August 22, 2019 at 8:00 AM


HDMI might be the most popular connection standard for TVs and monitors, but DisplayPort comes in a close second place. This high quality alternative is similar to HDMI in many ways including smaller connectors, digital video, audio/video on one cable, high definition video, 3D capabilities, etc. It has most of the same features of HDMI, plus some capabilities that are important for the high-graphic demands of business applications. And now, DisplayPort is getting an upgrade to DisplayPort 2.0! Let’s look at the facts.


DisplayPort 2.0 is slated to launch next year with products incorporating the technology hitting the market in late 2020. This new iteration takes the connection standard into the next generation with triple the bandwidth compared to DisplayPort 1.4a. DisplayPort 2.0 will deliver faster refresh rates and be able to single stream higher resolution formats like 10K and 16K at 60Hz at up to 30 bits per pixel with HDR. For smaller formats, it will also be capable of multiple displays at higher resolutions including two 8K at 120 Hz with 30 bpp and HDR, or two 4K displays at 144 Hz at 24 bpp with no compression.


In addition to bandwidth and high-resolution upgrades, DisplayPort 2.0 has some other improvements including Panel Replay which reduces power requirements while enhancing how a display is refreshed. Display Stream Compression (DSC) will be standard and allows for extremely high refresh rates and high-resolution. Plus, a multi-stream transport feature will make for easier daisy chain displays.


When it comes to the connectors, DisplayPort 2.0 will be backwards compatible with previous versions. It can be used in “DP Alt Mode” using specific USB-C connectors, allowing for one cable to provide high-speed video & data with optimal performance. The physical interface layer of Thunderbolt 3 is also utilized in this new standard, which will be especially appealing with a merger between Thunderbolt 3 & USB 4 in the works.


When it comes to connectivity, HDMI might be the most widely recognized medium, but DisplayPort 2.0 is coming in hot with lots of features that make it a very attractive option. And luckily, L-com has a full line of DisplayPort cables for all of your needs.


Future-Proofing with Cat6a

August 8, 2019 at 8:00 AM


There is no telling what technological breakthroughs await us in the future. But one thing no one wants, is to have to re-cable an entire network because the existing cabling can’t meet the speed and bandwidth needed to support future technology. Re-cabling consumes time, money and a lot of resources. So what is one to do to future-proof their cabling? For many, Cat6a is the answer.


Cat6a cables are high-tech cables with advanced performance standards for twisted pair cable systems that offer features surpassing other category cables. They offer more power, faster speeds, tighter twists, further distances, better shielding and greater assurance that they’ll be able to keep up with today’s technology and future advancements. Cat6a cables are able to support upcoming advances in technologies such as Power over Ethernet (PoE), bandwidth-intensive applications and data transfers up to 10 Gbps. With 23-gauge twisted pair, they can transmit those 10 Gbps speeds over distances of up to 100m. Cat6a cables also feature shielding to control interference and crosstalk, which improves performance and increases operational bandwidth. While the extra shielding might add bulk to the cabling, the benefits of Cat6a far outweigh the increased costs that go along with a heavier cable.


In addition to PoE, there is a long list of technology coming to market that will continue to increase the need for speed and power. For example, next generation Wave 2 Wi-Fi devices will require 4 Gbps speeds in the near future. Enterprise businesses upgrading to this technology will be able to count on Cat6a to provide the speeds needed. HDBaseT is another emerging technology that would require Cat6a capabilities to transmit full, high definition video, audio and data files over 100 meters. Plus, Cat6a cables can manage the data load needed to support IP convergence, which is beneficial to enterprise networking applications.


Overall, Cat6a might cost a bit more than Cat5e or Cat6, but investing in Cat6a now and its ability to keep up with the changing demands of new technology will save money in the long run. Check out our extensive selection of Cat6a cable assemblies.


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