Inscape Data Corporation
The Leader in Wireless & IP Video Systems


2009 Spring Edition

The bi-monthly eNewsletter is an online publication from Inscape Data Corporation. It covers the most up-to-date business information about Inscape Data's products. In this bi-monthly eNewsletter, you will find valuable information, such as new product release news, application notes, technology update, success stories, and help desk.

Introducing Next Generation High Performance Outdoor Dual Band Radios

Inscape Data Corporation, the leader in wireless and IP video systems announced the successful release of the AirEther dual-band wireless point-to-multipoint system, the AirEtherTM SB54 access point and AirEtherTM SC54 wireless client.  The rugged cost effective new system offer premium features at a great competitive price point.
The all-in-one approach of Inscape Data systems tackles the most demanding wireless applications.  Product offering include and not limited to:
  • Dual band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wireless Band Operation
  • 500mW Peak Transmit Power for Longer Rang
  • Proprietary IEEE 802.11 Range Extension Algorithm to Reach up to 50km*
  • Subscriber Up and Downstream Bandwidth Control
  • Access point with bridge, and repeater functionality built-in
  • Integrated 12dBi 2.4GHz patch antenna
  • Internal and External Antenna Selection
  • Rugged Weatherproof Design
  • Power over Ethernet
  • Secure Wireless Transmission
Inscape Data continues its tradition with the next generation wireless product to meet the high demand environment of IP video security, wireless networking, and wireless internet service industry.  With equipment maintenance cost high on the list of company expenses, the AirEther SB54 and SC54 are easy to install and future proof.  When used with the Inscape Data LPS1000 Outdoor Adjustable Voltage PoE and commercial PoE injectors, PIS200, PIS200, and PES100, the SB54 and SC54 products provides rugged reliable wireless interconnectivity of mission critical IP video surveillance and networking functionality.

Feb Issue

The AirEther SB54 access point / bridge / repeater and SC54 wireless client are the newest offering of our dual-band wireless portfolio.  Inscape Data is excited to deliver this unprecedented point-to-multipoint wireless system to the market.
For more information regarding the new AirEther SB54, AirEther SC54, or outdoor rugged IP based products from Inscape Data Corporation please visit us at or contact an Inscape Data channel partner today.

Outdoor Risk and Equipment Protection

The proper use of surge suppressors, lightening arrestors, and weatherproof enclosures are critical protection measures for all outdoor wireless and IP video devices.  Inscape Data Corporation offers a complete line of cost effective Power over Ethernet (PoE), Surge Suppressors, Lightening Arrestors, weather proof products (IP67/68).  Many outdoor products such as wireless broadband radios to IP digital video cameras are often times surged unprotected.  Outdoor Ethernet based equipment suffering surge related damages add up to significant maintenance and camera replacement cost, due in part, to premature equipment mortality from water damage, lightning and/or electrical surges. 

While it is difficult to quantify lightning losses or water damage, industry experts estimate many millions of dollars worth of damages and losses occur each year.  Safeguarding your outdoor Ethernet based equipment with proper surge protection devices and by following industry standard grounding practice, will help to ensure years of trouble free operation. Inscape Data encourages you to review and learn the outdoor surge protection, grounding techniques, and weather proof compliance, so your investment and equipment will be properly protected over the life time of the installation.


Lightning, the most dangerous and most frequently encountered weather hazard experienced each year is one of the most common causes to outdoor digital surveillance equipment.  Cloud to ground lightning can destroy digital equipment by direct or indirect ways.  There is no direct lightning strike protection of equipment but only diversion through lightning rods and insurance claims. 

Direct lightning strikes incinerate equipment in contact beyond repairable means and the aftermath resembles that of a charred barbeque platter.  Direct strike to equipment is preventable and is more obvious to detect than indirect lightning strikes.


Indirect lightning strikes are common when the lightning current branch off to obstacles as it traverse its way to earth ground while destroying everything on its way.  Common obstacles are antennas, power lines, telephone lines, water tower, tree, water, pipes, or aquifers to name a few. 

Unprotected digital equipments in contact with the lightning surge are sure to be in danger and have very low probability of survival.  It only takes micro-seconds after a surge to damage unprotected digital equipment.


Let's take a look at an example:  Consider lightning strike to a nearby street light, see Figure 1.  The voltage or electric potential is raised to hundreds of kilo-Volts.  In other words, the light pole becomes a charged battery with hundreds of kilovolts of electricity.  This electricity dissipates into its surrounding over time and raises the voltage levels of everything it is in contact with.  Unprotected outdoor digital equipment installed onto poles or into cabinets is now charged with thousands of volts of electricity. 

The damaging factor is not necessarily attributed to the highly charged digital equipment but the condition the equipment is connected to another device through a communication interface with less electric potential or charged voltage.  Since electric flow only occurs when there is an electric potential difference, the outdoor digital device then discharges these hundreds of kilovolts through the communication cable to the connected device.  If the connected device has low voltage surge tolerance, it will not survive the electric current transfer.  The voltage surge may still be strong and now ready to find its next victim.  Voltage surges can travel miles before it subsides.

Risk Analysis
A site Engineer responsible for the design of outdoor digital equipment deployment needs to consider the following two major risks to the installed components:
  1. Surge onto equipment contact points
  2. Elevated Ground Potential
For instance, if we consider an outdoor IP camera installed on a pole with intermediary electronics housed in a cabinet nearby, we can observe both risks are present.  Moving the electronic cabinet onto the pole may alleviate the "Elevated Ground Potential Risk", but "Surge onto equipment contact points" are still present.  In all cases, surge protection must be installed and is the key to address risk #1.
What most often is neglected for outdoor deployments are surge protection at all ends of every circuit on a site, not only the equipment power port.  The Ethernet port, one of the most sensitive digital ports for digital electronics, is not very tolerant of voltage surges and is easily damaged.  Other ports to consider for outdoor wireless IP based Video surveillance system are antenna, alarm, sensor ports, PTZ, and hybrid camera's coaxial video ports.
It is important to address ground potential of interconnected equipment.  Ground potential is essentially equipments electric potential referenced to ground.  For example, if the outdoor IP cameras are installed onto a light pole, then the outdoor IP camera is referenced to the light pole's ground potential.  If the outdoor IP camera is installed inside a utility cabinet sitting on the ground, then the IP camera is referenced to the utility cabinet's ground potential.  The key to successfully avoid surge related problems is to keep all interconnected equipment at the same ground potential.  In other words, when electrical surges are present on the equipment, it raises the potential of equipment all at once and dissipates it over time harmoniously.  Damages are likely to occur only if interconnected equipment is at different ground potential.  This is key to addressing Risk #2.

Solution to Outdoor Risk
Once we understand the potential risk to outdoor equipments, we can understand the measures taken to minimize equipment mortality rate.
There are many surge protection devices in the market.  Most of us are aware of surge protected power strips which protects our sensitive home electronics equipment.  Consumer surge protection devices differ from industrial surge protection device in the level of surge protection it provides.  Industrial surge protection devices are more sensitive and operate at much higher surge capacity than consumer surge protection equipment.  It is not recommended to use consumer surge protection for use with commercial or industrial application. 
Power and Protection Diagram

A surge protection device is a junction equipment device with a built-in voltage sensitive switch.   It increases and decreases impedance based on engineered voltage threshold.  If the voltage sensed is higher than the surge protection device is rated, it decreases impedance and provides an alternative path for the excess voltage to dissipate into.  It provides a safe conductive path for the excess voltage to travel and diverting it away from the sensitive digital electronics components or system.  The following photos are industrial surge protection devices for Ethernet and AntennaPorts from Inscape Data Corporation.
One may wonder why ground wires are shown as one of the four photos above.  The ground wire is the most important component of a commercial surge protection device.  It provides a conductive path for the harmful voltage to the Earth's ground.  Using a surge protection device without attaching the ground wire properly renders the surge protection device's effectiveness to none.  Always properly ground your outdoor digital equipment at all times.  Skipping this step may lead to serious consequences and many hundreds or thousands dollar of maintenance and service calls.

The logistics to address surge for outdoor equipment's contact points and elevated ground potential are relatively easy but a very important item on an installer's checklist.  Taking the time to plan and address outdoor risks will lower maintenance cost and increase longevity of outdoor equipments.   The next few sections address common outdoor risk associated with each particular application.

Surge onto equipment contact points maybe addressed by using port specific surge arrestors and protectors.  In the CCTV world, the minimum recommendation is to add surge protection devices to the following ports:
  • 24VAC Power Line
  • Coaxial Video Cable Line
  • RS485 PTZ Line
  • Audio Line
IP Video
The big advantage of IP video cameras compared to analog CCTV system is the decrease in the number of concurrent cable interfaces to and from the video camera.  IP video systems typically use a single network cable to digitally transmit multiple video, audio, and telemetry information.  The minimum recommendation is to add surge protection devices to the following ports:
  • 12VDC or 24VAC Power Line
  • EthernetPort or RJ45 Line
  • Power over Ethernet Line
Wireless Data Communicationtech05
In the Wireless Data Communication world, the minimum recommendation is the following:
  • Antenna Ports
  • Power over Ethernet Line
  • Equipment Power Line
Ethernet Cables
Special mention about the type of Ethernet cables to use for outdoor deployment is crucial.  The Ethernet cable should be CAT5 or CAT5e, outdoor rated, and shielded.  The designation for these types of cables is the following: sFTP, FTP, or STP.  The use of unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable and/or unshielded RJ-45 jack outdoor is not recommended because of the increased electromagnetic noise level for outdoor deployments.  Using shielded CAT5 cable without shielded RJ-45 jack at the PoE side may cause more problems then not using it. The CAT V shield if ungrounded, acts as a magnet for static surges present in the environment.  Since the charges do not discharge properly through the conductive RJ45 jack, it couples with the internal data or power lines of the PoE cable.  The coupling of high voltages present on the data cables will damage the equipment directly interfacing it.
Since every component of outdoor digital equipment is crucial to the system as a whole, damage to one component may heavily cripple the effectiveness of the whole system.  Always use outdoor rated Ethernet cables for outdoor installations.

The criteria of success to address ground potential difference are placement location and effective grounding.  When possible, place interconnected equipment on the same mounting location referenced to the same ground potential.  Doing so simplifies installation efforts.  If the interconnecting equipment must reside at different location, one may address the grounding issues through careful planning.  The key is common potential ground reference.  How does one achieve this?  By understanding and properly ground all equipment to a common ground reference, the Earth Ground.

One may use the best and strongest surge protection device in the industry, but without proper grounding, the surge protection devices will not work optimally and in most cases will not work at all.  The following are proper grounding points from the United States National Electric Code (NEC) Sections 810-15s and 810-21 to be nearest accessible location to the following:
  • The building / structure grounding electrode
  • The grounded interior metal water piping system
  • The power service external enclosure
  • The metallic power service raceway
  • The service equipment enclosure
  • The ground electrode or 8 foot ground rod
A detail list of the NEC code on grounding is in the appendix of this article.  Please reference to it for more details.  It is highly recommended to follow the national electrical code for grounding to achieve the highest level of protection for your outdoor equipment.
More Tips
Here are more tips to increase the effectiveness of your grounding scheme and surge related items and to fight against lightning surges and minimize equipment damage.
  • When in doubt regarding grounding, drive your own rod and bond it to the house ground.
  • Keep cable runs as straight as possible.
  • Use a minimum of 16 AWG copper clad steel wire to ground the Antenna Mast and outdoor wireless system to the nearest common earth ground point.
  • Always run the outdoor PoE cable inside of the mounting pole when possible.  The mounting pole, if metal, will add insulation and pass the surge to ground.
  • Use PoE cable and RJ-45 jack that is rated for the following:
-Outdoor or direct burial
-Shielded (FTP, sFTP, STP)
  • Test for conductivity of the grounding system to ensure the installation is solid and electrically capable of grounding any ambient surge or static.
 Other Factors to Considertech08
Surges from natural occurrences happen more frequently during certain seasons than others.  Using industrial rated surge protection from Inscape Data Corporation ensures your equipment will be protected against outdoor surges all year round.  There are few key items the Inscape Data Corporation's surge protection device cannot address are:
  • ESD Damage Caused by Not Grounding Yourself During Installation
  • ESD Damage Caused by Dragging CAT 5 Cables Across Carpet
  • Direct Lightning Strikes to Outdoor Equipment
  • Damage Caused by Not Grounding Your Equipment and Surge Protection Device
Transient surges are everywhere and closest to you without your notice.  Always ground yourself and clear yourself of harmful static electricity before handling your equipment.  One may plan to install the best surge protection the industry has to offer but prematurely damage the device through means of ESD.
Final Note
Industrial surge protection devices installed on all lines to the equipments interface and cabinet will greatly minimize 99% of outdoor weather related surge damages and provide the following key benefits:
  • Protect equipments and investments
  • Increase the life time of equipments
  • Lower the probability of service call or operation failure
Outdoor surge protection is one of many consideration to keep your outdoor digital equipment operational for many years to come.  Using outdoor IP or Nema rated equipment is also an important factor in choosing your outdoor equipment. Please contact an Inscape Data product expert for more information on outdoor wireless broadband radio and IP camera surge protection.  A copy of this article with Appendix can be found on our website in the support section at

helpdeskHELP DESK
What is the difference between Radio's Repeater mode and WDS mode?

This question comes up often and the industry uses the term repeater very loosely.  Although conceptually all repeaters function the same, to repeat signals or extend a signals range, implementation maybe entirely different.
Inscape Data Corporation's outdoor wireless products offer repeater capability for wireless data access range extension.  By repeating the original wireless signal, new coverage areas can be served.  There are many ways to extend the wireless coverage area, we will cover three.
  • Setup new base station(s) to cover the new service area
  • Setup WDS repeater to cover the new service area
  • Setup 802.11 repeater to cover the new service area
Setup new base station(s) to cover the new service area
This is the most optimal method to extend wireless service to new areas.  By setting up new wireless base station and optimizing network bandwidth, you are ensuring your subscribers and users obtain the most out of the wireless broadband services.  Using combination of Inscape Data Corporation infrastructure Access point or Bridge equipment, the new wireless core infrastructure can be built.  This is the recommended method to extend wireless network coverage.

Setup WDS repeater to cover the new service area
WDS repeater is a proprietary feature built into many of Inscape Data's outdoor access points and is a great solution for short range wireless extensions of a service area not covered by the main access point.  Inscape Data's WDS implementation allows an access point to function as access point and bridge mode simultaneously.  This gives Inscape Data access point the capability to communicate with each other and 802.11 client stations simultaneously.  This provides a great low cost solution to extend hot spot access and non-mission critical applications.  The cost of using one radio to extend network coverage comes at the sacrifice of network bandwidth.  Each hop decreases network performance by 50% or more as wireless traffic are relayed to the main access point.  Due to increase in network latency in the WDS mode, high demand real-time applications are not recommend for this mode. This is a cost effective method to extend small wireless zone for WIFI access.

Setup 802.11 repeater to cover the new service area
802.11 repeaters is an extended mode of operation for Inscape Data outdoor wireless broadband access points.  802.11 repeating offer the flexibility to extend network access of compliant IEEE 802.11 access point.  The non proprietary nature of this method provides cross hardware platform repeating capability with internal capability to function as an 802.11 client station and access point simultaneously.  There are known issues using 802.11 repeater modes.  One primary issue is lower performance and possible compatibility issues due to slight variation of third party vendor AP design.  The 802.11 repeater mode is a single radio repeater therefore each hop decreases network performance by 50% or more as wireless traffic is relayed to the main access point.  This is a cost effective way to extend wireless coverage area of existing non-Inscape Data AP.


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