The Unsung Hero of Rail Communication – Industrial Cable

The transportation industry, unlike several other critical industrial operations, has the unique position of directly engaging with its passengers and keeping them happy and safe. Any delays in a transportation system not only lead to lost revenue but also a trickle-down effect of annoyed commuters, who can choose to spend their transportation budget someplace else.

Having nightmares about train delays, safety issues or interrupted passenger services? Customers are easily annoyed by issues, like inaccurate travel information, missed connections or lack of Wi-Fi.

Unless you oversee the overall operations of a railway system or you’re in charge of specifying a new or upgraded application– the reliability of the railway communication network rests on your shoulders. No matter your function in building out a proper Ethernet network, it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing your attention on the “glossy” or more exciting components, like switches and routers. The duty those devices play can be exciting to discuss and debate – trust us, we get it!

Read full article

Additional Wireless Access Points: What It Means for Networks

Ordinarily users will bring up to three devices with them – a smartphone, tablet and laptop, for instance – that will all connect to your network the minute you walks through your doors. (The average U.S. consumer now has 3.64 devices.) These devices are continuously downloading updates, receiving emails and synching to cloud-based storage. According to Dell’Oro, the number of wireless LAN active users is currently outpacing wired LAN users.

This fact alone proves the point that bandwidth capacity requirements are escalating– and we have not touched on the devices that are connecting to enterprise networks as a result of Internet of Things (IoT). VoIP phones, IP surveillance cameras, lighting systems and building controls are all connecting to networks to transfer data, receive data and adjust performance in real time.

Read full article

HDBaseT: Let’s talk Convergence

There has been talk about convergence in the cabling world; some driven by new technology and market overlapping. Today’s system integrator has the ability to install a system that covers phones, computers, security, audio/video and also low-voltage power.

There are two types of convergence that we often discuss: technology and infrastructure.

Technology convergence uses a single network system, such as Ethernet, to support multiple devices. All of these devices share the same cable and active equipment. An example, you can now plug your desk phone and computer into the same telecom switch. Ethernet networks can support just about every aspect of communication, voice, data, security, building control and even AV applications. This is not the convergence we are talking about.   

Infrastructure convergence uses the same cable to support multiple systems. All sorts of devices connect to their own system using a common cabling system. The biggest type of communication cabling being used today is Ethenet category cable. While the entire system shares the same cable, the devices don’t speak the same language; therefore, they cannot communicate with each other. This system offers customers a universal, low cost-cabling system. But is it really the best solution for each application?

This article examines one version of this type of convergence: the use of category cabling for HDBaseT signals.

read full article

Cabinet Load: Why It Matters and Why It’s Changing

For better use of floor space and decreased operating costs, the goal it have more active gear inside cabinets and enclosures. As a result, they’re getting wider, deeper and taller. In the past, most enclosures offered 42 RUs or 45 RUs of space. Today, many cabinets offer 48 RUs of space – and can offer as many as 52 RUs (or more).

But as cabinets grow in size, they also get heavier. If cabinets get too heavy, the floor may not be able to support the load; the cabinets may also be very difficult to move.

It’s becoming crucial to analyze load ratings (load capacities) when selecting cabinets. Here are the load ratings you need to know:

  • Static load rating: How much weight a cabinet can hold when racks are loaded in the data center
  • Dynamic load rating: How much weight a cabinet can accommodate when shipped fully loaded (important to note with services like Data Center Ready becoming more popular)
  • Rolling load rating: How much weight a cabinet can tolerate as it is moved/rolled across the floor

Read full article

Why PoE Demands Cat 6A Cable

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is ideal for supplying a variety of networking, AV and computing devices without the need for an outlet or adapter. It also reduces the amount of building material required to power and connect a device to a network by allowing a single cable to provide both services.

No longer confined solely to VoIP phones and security cameras, powered devices are increasingly calling for PoE connections; and these devices are requiring higher power levels. Wireless access points, digital signage, videoconferencing systems and laptops all require an increasing amount of power running through their cables. In fact, a new PoE standard, IEEE 802.3bt, supports up to 100 W of power per cable.

However, higher power levels running through a cable can cause performance issues by making the cable hotter; and when the cable gets hotter, insertion loss increases. This increases the chance of a business experiencing productivity-draining downtime and may also damage the cable itself.

The type of cabling selected can make a major difference in terms of how heat inside the cable is managed, as well as how it impacts performance. Category 5e and Category 6 cable can be used to support PoE devices, but Category 6A is preferable for a number of reasons.

Read full article