Sound over IP
It's not just for computers (or telephones) anymore... • January 12, 2022

While DataCom Inc. began life as an Interconnect Company – I.E. someone that installed voice and data cabling to be used for telephones, computers, faxes, modems, Point-of-Sales, cameras, etc., now we have prudently morphed into a Technology Company.  We still install the cabling infrastructure that is needed for these systems to work – in fact, we do it better than any of our nearest competitors, offering a lifetime warranty – but we also design, install, and service the “systems” that are involved to bring you access to all that is available in 21st century telecommunication, security, and informational systems.

Our latest endeavor is an IP-based Public Address/intercom sound system. To facilitate this, we’ve turned to Axis Networks. Our #1 supplier of high-end camera and video recording equipment and software, they are typically known as a leader in the security sector of technology.   Already acknowledged as setting the standard when it comes to cameras, this trend is being continued in the production of their IP sound equipment.

IP-based simply means that each device resides, and is powered using PoE, on your existing data network.  The speakers, microphones, and other terminals each contain both hardware and software to act alone or as part of a group.  Axis’ system is completely compatible with most SIP devices, so your favorite brand of device may easily be made a part of your new sound network.  Obviously the system interfaces with Axis cameras seamlessly.

Besides ease of use, the adaptability of this system is amazing.  Repetitive announcements are a breeze to program, add to, or change.  These announcements can be programmed to occur only during normal business hours, 24/7, or some other customized schedule.

Putting different speakers into a group for a one-time event is simple and fast.  Another aspect of the system residing on your network is the ease of troubleshooting in the future.  Instead of a faulty speaker or cabling disabling either a group of speakers, or possibly even the entire system, only the speaker in question will be affected; Fix the cabling, or replace the speaker and you’re back in business.  Each speaker contains its own amplifier, so there is no need to purchase – and pay the utility bill each month for – a high-wattage amplifier whose single failure means complete disabling of your entire intercom system.

It can be programmed to be used as an ad-hoc intrusion alarm system.  For instance: during published business hours, operation is normal.  However, outside of those times, if the self-contained microphone on a speaker in a certain area hears noise, the software in that speaker can send an alert to either your Axis alarm or the Axis App on your cell phone.  You’ll be logged in so it will only take a second for you to bring up the camera in the room where the noise was reported and see if it is a false alarm or not.  Another option is for a pre-recorded “greeting” to be played following this occurrence; “Stop, You have been detected in a restricted area.  The authorities have been notified!”

Speakers are offered in standard configurations as bull horns, wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted in both indoor and outdoor models.  Once the speakers are installed and connected to your switchgear, there are two ways of “running” the system; A stand-alone server, or an App.  While the App does a fine job, and would be more economical for smaller, simple paging applications, using a separate server affords you access to ALL of the functionality versus using only an App.

We are looking forward to offering the option of this fantastic system to all of our hospitality, educational, and industrial customers.

Wireless Tech status
What’s coming regarding wireless technology, and how fast will it get here? • January 04, 2022
Hmmm, how “fast” will it get here?  Are  you trying to say something with that question?  Here, let me help – No; it’s just a question about time – but I like the way you’re thinking.  Allow me to elaborate; What we have to remember is that Time is Relative!  Before proceeding please note that the numbers supplied in this blog are very general in nature.  In Stephen Hawking’s book  “A Brief History of Time” he writes:  “Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales”.*1  I like to think that equates somewhat to quoting numbers as well.
*1 A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-38016-3

7G and 8G have been on the fringes of internet conversation since before 2019.  Remember, that was before 5G was even euphemistically released.  I say euphemistically because I’m not certain that it has truly been released even yet.  Though something of a relatively-late-arrival  at the party, I remember the spotty coverage that was available when cellular telephones were first being introduced.  One relative of mine lived in an area that required them to carry a phone that required another device to house its transmitter.  Maybe you remember them by their slang name, “Bag” phone.  The transmitter of my relative’s had 5 watts of power!  (Today’s cellular device typically transmits at roughly 125mWatt (0.125 or 1/8 of a Watt).)  Also, while today’s cellular towers transmit at between 20-60W, towers of yesteryear peaked closer to their max of 100W for an omni-directional antenna.  The tower’s giant antenna as well as the larger space housing the facility means they can receive our cell’s lower power signal, and have room for much larger and much better receivers that can make use of this tiny signal.  So that’s how it worked originally, and somewhat now.

As the third generation (3G) and newer generations came into being, additional, improved, towers were constructed.  As the purchasing of cellular devices began to proliferate, so too did the sheer number of towers and antenna farms.  The country, except for certain areas, were, for the most part, covered after 4G was released.  Possibly cooler heads at the cellular companies should have prevailed though as I cannot believe that the people making the decision to construct new towers, were unaware that 5G was near to being released – AND – that for complete implementation of this new technology, new 5G switchgear in the control rooms had to be retrofitted into ALL of these antenna farms.  I’m sure there was a certain amount of stockpile of 4G equipment already purchased just sitting waiting to be installed.  This represents a huge outlay of cash already spent.  This is where my disbelief of 5G ever being fully released comes into play.

I’ve read where the providers decided to “push” 5G technology across 4G hardware.  Yes, it works, but do we really get the full experience that 5G provides?  Probably not, but it is enough of an improvement over 4G that us consumers just don’t seem to care.

Now possibly those decision makers did learn.  Possibly, knowing that 6G is getting closer and closer to release, they've "hedged" their bet somewhat.  Maybe they learned from past mistakes.  This is all conjecture of course, but they’ve probably run out of 4G switches.  While they have been installing the newer 5G switches into all of the newly constructed control rooms, they're not stock-piling them.  After all, as coverage is improved, there's less need of new antenna farms that would require this equipment.  They pulled off a feat by pushing 5G across 4G switches, why not push 6G across 5G?  Makes fiscal sense.  4G was the first truly “fast” connection.  Obviously 5G improves on that, and 6G will take it even further.  And while 5G definitely carries many innovative technologies encompassed within its system the speed at which it operates is a main component of these being able to function.  6G promises to improve these even further.
Now when it comes to innovation, 7and 8G is where its at!  Like 5 and 6G, higher speeds will be mandatory with 7 and 8G; but they already exist, even if in only experimental forms.  NASA uses their own network called ESnet, short for Energy Science Network, a set of private pipes that has demonstrated cross-country data transfers of 91 gigabits per second.*2

“With the terahertz spectrum now open for use, we’ll be normalized to ultra-fast speeds by the time R&D for 7G and 8G rolls around. We suspect we’ll start to see a shift away from an emphasis on faster internet speeds and towards the other emerging capabilities of later generations. This may include: 
Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things: Both of these have emerged as the defining elements of 5G and beyond.
Coverage: With 6G, we’ve begun to see discussions about comprehensive coverage, or coverage in novel environments such as undersea and in space.” *3  

That last paragraph gives me pause as I am both thrilled and scared to death by what it might mean.

Now, how fast will it get here?  Well believe it or not there is a sort of time-table to this stuff.  Maybe its driven by the aforementioned need for the providers to recoup their R&D already spent as well as get the full usefulness and life out of the 5G equipment that has been purchased and installed.  By that schedule, we’re looking at 2030’s release of 6G and 7G will be no earlier than 2040.  Of course the schedulers are using 2020’s technology and data to prophesy when these “should” be available.  What that speculates is that if there is some monumental breakthrough, some amazing discovery or step forward in physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, etc., it may shorten the interval until we witness these amazing technologies being available to the public.

Having said that, I leave you with this bit of trivial knowledge.  How come times seems to go faster as we age?  I know that as I was getting our Christmas tree out at the beginning of this past December, it seemed like just a very short time ago that I was putting it away.  And yet I remember as a child it seemed as though an eternity passed between the holiday seasons.  What gives?  The way it was explained to me - and it seems plausible so I’ll relay it - is that, to a child born on Christmas day, the time between their birth and the next Christmas is their entire lifetime.  Consequently the period between that day and the next Christmas day - ½ of their total lifetime - seems to them like forever; and so on and so on as they (we) get older.  Not that it has anything to do with Christmas, but that the interval of one year shrinks in signicance when compared with the sum total of time you have experienced.  While I can imagine prehistoric times, or the Old West in days gone by, the only time period I can directly relate to is my own personal time here on this planet.  So, for me, it will only be 2/17th’s of my life by the time 2030 rolls around.  I’m betting it flies by!

Researching 6, 7, and 8G is not an everyday occurrence for any of us here at DataCom Inc.  What is an everyday occurrence is staff and management striving to stay on top of the technological marvels that we are experiencing.  The speed at which what we install is progressing is astounding.   I don’t know the physical toll that a completely wireless society will perpetuate upon our bodies, and that isn’t for me to decide.  What I do know is that Datacom Inc. has a mission goal of staying on the cusp of technological improvements and expansion.  Training of our tech's remains at the forefront of our daily plan of action while management remains vigilant for emerging tech to make what we do better, faster, or sometimes – and only if the quality remains – cheaper.

Stop by or schedule an appointment with our designer to see what we can do for you!

11757 Market Street • North Lima, OH 44452
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