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Inscape Data Corporation - eNewsletter
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CoverStoryCOVER STORY

Outdoor PoE Switch is Ready to Deliver

The evolution of Power over Ethernet (PoE) continues to expand the functionality of Ethernet technology to outdoor PoE device market by supplying reliable DC power over the same twisted pair cables that currently carry Ethernet data.  PoE, modeled after the technology used by the telecommunications industry, offers quality outdoor power for demanding utility, physical security, and wireless infrastructure equipment as well as many low power Ethernet network devices, such as wireless smart meters and scientific monitoring stations.  Inscape Data Corporation is the first to deliver the patent protected weatherproof rugged multi-voltage PoE switch and the latest in weatherproof rugged multiport PoE powering and power management device.   

 

Benefits of Outdoor PoE

Power over Ethernet industry has facilitated the development of technology that allows a broad range of devices to supply or draw power over common Category 5 or 6 twisted pair cables and provides these advantages:

 

Eliminates the need to run dedicated A/C power wires to each outdoor power device.

Permits most efficient and convenient installation and maximizes outdoor mounting  real-estate regardless of where AC outlets are located.

Allows for use of UPS backup to one powering device, the outdoor PoE switch, to guarantee power to the network appliance even during a main power failure.

Permits remote monitoring and control of devices over wireless or wired network.

 

Challenges and Opportunities

The industry is still offering vast amount of pre-standard and passive PoE devices due to the power limitation driven by the past PoE standards.  Before the availability of multi-voltage PoE technology, the system integrators used smorgasbord of PoE injectors, switches, and power supplies to interconnect outdoor PoE enabled devices to meet application needs.  PoE solutions are designed to simplify and increase reliable deployment not to complicate and introduce multiple points of failure.  A common integration result using bits and pieces of powering components is shown in Figure 1.  Can we guess what may go wrong with this wireless IP video 'box'?

Figure 1
Figure1
  

Needless to say, for mission critical outdoor applications, it further complicates the powering requirement needed to support the demand of the application.

 

Another key consideration for outdoor deployments are costly surge-protection unit installed alongside it, to prevent direct or nearby lightning strikes from damaging or destroying both the PoE power device and their network switch. Individual professional surge and lightning protection units can cost up to $500 or more.  An upgrade to an industrial switch alone can cost over $500.

 

Because of this expense, a high percentage of outdoor PoE installations, especially in the professional market, do not implement surge protection. Unfortunately, nearby lightning strikes are much more common than most people think, and strike as far as a mile away can induce a voltage level that can damage outdoor devices. Without lightning protection, surges also can move quickly along the Ethernet cable to damage expensive network components.

 

By incorporating surge protection directly into the PoE switch, it reduces surge-protection costs and installation cost by reducing time to deployment.

 

First Generation Outdoor PoE Switch

In late 2009, Inscape Data corporation offered first of its kind, LinkPowerTM LPS1000 five port adjustable all weather PoE switch.  Since its offering, many industry segments have benefited from all in one outdoor power center to uniquely power multi-vendor PoE devices from a single outdoor PoE switch.  The per-port remote power control feature lowered maintenance and support cost while improving reliability and uptime.

 

The telecom and internet service provider market capitalized the use of LPS1000 for its ability to safely power multiple base stations and wireless backhauls.  Due to the voltage demands of backhauls, it varies dramatically compare to base stations and access points.  Backhaul products draws more power, have higher processing requirements, and demands more throughputs compared to base stations.  The 30 watts power forwarding capability of the first generation outdoor PoE switches was historic in delivering power beyond the 15.4 watts of the IEEE 802.3af PoE standard and supported the power hungry wireless backhauls well. 

 

The outdoor physical security market also benefited from the tight integration of PoE video, access control, and wireless IP video bridges.  Many pre IEEE 802.3at standard high power devices was able to take immediate advantage of the 30 watts power forwarding capability to drive the pan tilt zoom cameras and many high power access control equipment.

 

Second Generation Outdoor PoE switch

In second quarter of 2010, Inscape Data Corporation offered the next generation PoE switches with smaller foot print, intelligent power management, and AC power control.  The LinkPowerTM LPS600, LPS700, and LPS800 series product offers unique targeted applications for high reliability environments where high equipment uptime is required.
LPS600/700/800 Series & LPS1000
LPS

 

The smaller foot print accommodates up to two PoE ports for back to back PoE or network device applications.   The lack of outdoor remote control AC ports availability in the industry highlights the LPS 600, LPS700, and LPS800 offering.  The ability to forward 150 watts of AC power to any AC power device is critical.  Being able to remote control the attached AC device automatically based on preset condition is another highlight of the next generation Link Power LPS products to accommodate the diverse outdoor network device market.

 

A major advantage of integrated rugged outdoor PoE switch is more apparent the more complicated or mission critical the application gets.  The ability to remotely manage the connected PoE and AC devices automatically increases uptime and dramatically lowers maintenance cost during the lifetime of the deployment.  For mission critical wireless infrastructure deployments, link availability of 99.99% is common.  In situations where environmental factors deliver unexpected force beyond the outdoor digital device's capability to absorb the blow, lock-up or "freeze" can occur.  In these common outdoor situations, soft reset by internal watchdog timers or added reliability subsystem will not restore the system.  Only a hard power cycle may remedy the situation.  For mission critical applications a 10 second down time versus 10 hour down time dramatically influence the numbers of significant digits after the 99.9%. for availability.

 

Going Forward

There are already many wireless bridges, point to point high capacity network backhauls, PTZ cameras, access control systems and other power devices that consume up to 30 watts, and a growing array of other systems need 45 watts and higher, including IP cameras that feature a heater or access control systems that include a controller, a reader and multiple door locks. The main concern is the availability of the PSE solution. The next generation of high-power PoE outdoor switches solves the power-sourcing challenge, remote power management capabilities, battery backup solutions, and enhanced outdoor environmental protection.

 

With the ratification of the IEEE802.3at standard in September 2009, Power over Ethernet is ready to deliver 30 to 60 watts of safe power over a single Ethernet cable to a broad range of wireless and security products, including wireless backhaul, access points, access control systems, PTZ cameras, outdoor cameras and even full outdoor solutions that include a heater.  With improvement in power supply efficiency and lowering cost of IEEE 802.3at IC chip components, the next generation wireless, physical security, and outdoor network appliance industry will support IEEE 802.3at standards. 

 

Outdoor single and multi-voltage PoE switches are available now and bridges the power and voltage gap of prior, current, and future outdoor PoE power device market.  For more information on about Inscape Data outdoor single or multi-voltage PoE powering solutions, please visit our LinkPower LPS PoE website at www.inscapedata.com/lps.htm , youtube video or contact an Inscape Data sales representative (sales@inscapedata.com).


HelpDeskHELP DESK

Tips on AirEtherTM SB54 series Wireless Bridge Configuration

The AirEther SB54 series equipment is a multifunctional wireless base station.  It can be used as an Access Point, Point to Multipoint transparent bridge, wireless client device, or wireless repeater.  I will cover tips, pros, and cons of each wireless bridge methods.

 

AP and AP ClientBridge Setup

The most common and effective bridge configuration is to setup one SB54 in AP mode and another one in AP client mode.  Using these modes, the SB54 follows the IEEE standards for wireless authentication and makes it very easy to setup a link.  Additional SB54 specific configuration to enable network layer 2 transparency, in other words, allow MAC addresses to pass transparently across the wireless bridge, is to enable "4-address header' feature.  The 4-address header feature is considered proprietary and will only work with Inscape Data SB54 units interconnecting with another SB54 unit.  This method is limited to star topology where all communication from the AP clients has to flow through the AP.   The pros and cons of this implementation are the following:

 

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to setup like WIFI connections
  • Advance encryption availability like AES and WPA2
  • More than 1 to 8 point to multipoint bridge links
  • Does not allow for back to back wireless connections
  • Site Survey May Pickup the AP Signal
  • Limited to star topology

 

Bridge and Multibridge Setup

Wireless bridge mode is a more proprietary means to enable the transparent interconnection of Access Points wirelessly.  Connection between two SB54 series units is established by using each other's Mac Address.  Since wireless bridging is proprietary, a minimum of 1 pair of SB54 series units is required.  A maximum multipoint bridge connection is limited to 8 links due to higher CPU processing requirements.

 

However, do to the propriety of the multibridge function, a more flexible topology is allowed compared to the AP and AP client method.  Daisy chain and cellular topology is easily implemented using less SB54 than the AP and AP client method.  One SB54 may interconnect with more than one SB54 to create a 3 hop network link.  The same 3 hop network link will require 5 SB54 in AP and AP client mode.  The flexibility to bridge or 'repeat' wireless network links do come at a cost.  Due to the processing demand, advanced encryptions like WPA2 and AES is not available.  The pros and cons of this implementation are the following:

 

Pros

Cons

  • Require less SB54 units for multi-hop bridged networks
  • Easily repeat wireless signal
  • Proprietary, not "seen" by standard WIFI site surveys
  • Harder to setup requiring MAC address of each SB54
  • Advance encryption like AES and WPA2 is NOT available
  • Limited to 8 multi-point bridge links

 

Since early 2009 the offering of SB54, majority of Inscape Data customers utilize the SB54 using the AP and AP client method for applications in IP video and enterprise wireless network bridge.  The AP and AP client method is easier to deploy, more secure, and offers layer 2 transparency as do with multibridge methods.  One caveat to keep in mind is when daisy chaining a wireless bridge system beyond 2 hops will degrade network performance significantly.  The better alternative to preserve performance, lower latency, and retain throughput is to create multiple hop bridge network using dedicated pair for each hop.


Success1SUCCESS STORY 1

Texas Steel Pipe Manufacturer Goes Wireless with Industrial Wireless IP Video

Texas Steel PipeSince 1980, Security One Solutions (S.O.S.) has provided reliable security services to the communities in the state of Texas.  S.O.S works daily to help home owners and business' realize the safest possible environment through security integration by providing innovative solutions - from analysis, to installation, to maintenance and service after the sale.
 
In a recent 2010 project, S.O.S offered Inscape Data wireless IP video solutions to provide physical security video surveillance for a leading industrial assembly plant producing metal piping for the petroleum industry.

The Inscape Data wireless IP video cameras were installed to monitor the plant's production line, logistic entrance, and employee parking lots.  The monitoring allows the plant's management to ensure procedures were followed to increase employee safety, productivity, and improve quality control.
In the final stage of deployment 5 GHz wireless transmission frequencies were chosen to wirelessly network 9 Inscape Data outdoor NVC3026 pan tilt zoom IP camera.  5Ghz frequency provided the interference and latency free operation needed for the plant's heavily congested 2.4Ghz spectrum.  Inscape Data's dual band 2.4 or 5 GHz SB54 radio met the challenge by offering 25mbps of throughput to and from each camera to the Network Video Recorder (NVR) providing future-proof scalable IP video wireless connectivity.
 
Inscape Data NVM2000 12 channel NVR software enabled computer work station manages the whole system with its user-friendly interface for viewing live video on local/ remote sites and to record video for playback and exporting in case of any potential need for video evidence. To fulfill a high level of surveillance quality without any omissions, the included option of 6 smart detections and 10 event alarms, personnel and staff may react instantly when unusual events occur.  The NVM2000's intuitive interface enables users to define detection zones directly on the image by simple mouse drags. Any violations of off-limit boundaries will trigger alarms, alerting operators to take action, and the system can also trigger alarms when employees come near dangerous machinery, thus further ensuring their safety.
 
S.O.S. further offered offsite surveillance monitors in the company's president's office and owner's remote office in Chicago with minimal cost.  The president's office had an available CAT5 network port and owner's remote office in Chicago had an available DSL internet line to provide quick integration of true offsite live remote surveillance and video playback via NVM2000's remote live viewer software or Internet Explorer browser.
 
Due to the great success of the wireless physical video security deployment at the current steel plant, the owner & president of the steel plant gave the go ahead for S.O.S. to outfit their "J Port" plant with wireless IP video.  The owner & president of the steel plant are very excited S.O.S. was able to provide them with high quality cost effective wireless IP video solution once not possible without hardwiring and trenching.

Security One Solutions
Houston, Texas

Success2SUCCESS STORY 2

The Parlour, Largest Second Hand Shop in Moncton, Canada Updates Outdoor Digital Sign Wirelessly

ParlourSignThe Parlour, a quality second hand shop, first opened for business on May 1981 in the city of Moncton, Canada. The store prominently offered home electronics and had on display most current offerings in stereos, TVs, LPs, eight track, and cassette players. In keeping with the "high tech" image of the store, a computer department was established in 1998. Nearly 30 years later, The Parlour continued to retain its first class service and offering and is now known as the "second hand experts" providing value and quality product to the city of Moncton and the state of New Brunswick Canada.

In a recent effort to create more visibility for the business and promote current store offerings, The Parlour owner, Mr. Ron Whittaker seek to outdoor digital sign for the solution, but the 200 feet distance of concrete and cement between the building and the digital sign makes it challenging to update the digital sign information. Mr. Whittaker goes wireless to cost effectively bridge the outdoor sign to the sign controller computer inside his office.
 
With a preconfigured pair of Inscape Data Corporation's SB54 point to point wireless IP products, The Parlour was able to quickly and effectively link the digital sign to the main building wirelessly, allowing updates of new digital sign messages and information instantly.
 
"The preconfigured units worked flawlessly in 5 Gigahertz, where I was informed a previous 2.4 Gigahertz deployment was too susceptible to RF interference. The plug and play design of the SB54 makes the product easy to use and configure. My installer was able to install and link up to the sign within no time. I have been tackling the dilemma of updating my digital sign for the past two years and now can update the sign messages and store promotions directly from my office computer. We are very pleased with the performance of the Inscape Data SB54 system and would recommend the product to other businesses looking to update their digital signs wirelessly."


Ron Whittaker
President -The Parlour
www.theparlourmoncton.com
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Inscape Data Corporation
1620 Oakland Road, Suite D101
San Jose, California 95131
Phone 408-392-9800 | Fax 408-392-9812 | www.inscapedata.com
For sales inquiries, please email us at sales@inscapedata.com
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Inscape Data Corporation | 1620 Oakland Road, Suite D101 | San Jose | CA | 95131