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Intercoax: IPIFY

by Benchmark

The popularity of various security systems in the past has resulted in a variety of legacy infrastructure in the field. While much of this will be designed for use with obsolete technologies (such as coaxial cable) or peripheral systems (as is often the case with spare UTP runs), there is still an opportunity to repurpose it for modern solutions with the use of appropriate converters. One such solution is the IPIFY range from Intercoax.

Significant deployments of security systems, and especially video surveillance solutions, in recent years has meant that many sites are well catered for in terms of legacy infrastructure. For many integrators, this can be an issue.

The dramatic shift away from the limitations of coaxial-based systems means that much of the legacy cabling is obsolete. While this would tend to lead many to simply ignore it and start again, the reality is that coaxial cable is bulky, and because of its characteristics there is an individual cable for every device. That equates to a lot of unused cable blocking up conduit and cable runs.

Many integrators will pursue a policy of ‘rip and replace’, but this can squeeze margins on a contract. Not only is removing obsolete cable labour-intensive, but replacing it with new infrastructure adds significant costs. Where a site’s topology is complex, this can increase the need for additional IT hardware such as repeaters and comms cabinets. At times, the replacement of legacy cabling can tip a contract from being profitable to one which simply is not lucrative. However, there is an alternative approach.

Repurposing legacy infrastructure is not a new idea. The reality is that networks used to be built using coaxial cable and UTP, so the cabling is p to the job. Admittedly, it isn’t were you’d start if you were building a new network, but when the infrastructure is in place and can be repurposed for a fraction of the cost of a ‘rip and replace’ operation, it makes sense to use it.

There are a few benefits to repurposing. First, cables will often be run to parts of the site where security devices need to placed, such as entrances and exits, perimeters, remote buildings or storage areas, etc..
Second, the cost of cabinets and peripheral devices can be reduced, as many convertors are capable of covering longer ranges than the standard 100 metres of Ethernet.

Finally, it allows the system to enjoy all the benefits of network connectivity without having a significant impact on the corporate network.

To deliver a simpler transition, Intercoax offers its IPIFY range of conversion and extension devices.

A full selection

Intercoax offers the IPIFY range of devices which includes more than 50 products. The range is made up of Ethernet over Coax (EoC) devices, including a comprehensive Long Range Ethernet (LRE) offering. This allows transmission of IP-based data over any copper cabling, up to a distance of 2,400 metres. The links can include PoE, with power budgets o up to 60W, for any IP end device (IP camera, door controller, video codec, VoIP telephone, IoT device, etc.).

The IPIFY product range consists of four product groups, allowing integrators to select the right devices from the range. The product categories are One Packs (point-to-point single units made up of a transmitter and receiver bundle with power supply), Multi-Base (devices with multiple ports, in 4, 8 and 16 port variants, and the ability to support PoE up to 60W per port), Multi-Pro (the same options as the Multi-Port products, but using a Layer 2 managed switch) and Expansions (extenders for multi-port devices in both managed and unmanaged variants).

All IPIFY products are supplied preconfigured, and so deliver a true plug-and-play experience. The manufacturer makes use of colour-coding to identify connections, but it’s not necessary as the devices are very straightforward.

The IPIFY products meet the new global ETSI standard (TS 105 176) on IEEE 1901. They are fully interoperable.

Delivering up to 270Mbps data throughput, the units have a maximum quoted transmission distance of 2.4 kilometres for Ethernet connectivity (obviously dependent upon the quality of the cable). If PoE is required, the maximum range is 1.2 kilometres (dependent upon the required power).

The devices are invisible to the network, and essentially connected system elements will perform as if a standard LAN connection is in place.

Because the IPIFY range are invisible and technology agnostic, it means they can be used to support a wide range of network nodes, alongside security devices. Ideal for cameras, door controllers, illuminators, codecs, detection devices and other security edge peripherals, they can equally be used to allow expansion of telephony systems, environmental control elements, process management, monitors, printers are a variety of other IT and IoT devices.

This allows integrators and installers offering smart solutions to deliver added value benefits to offer the customer a cost-effective expansion of existing network capabilities, again without placing an additional load on the corporate network.

In summary

As already stated, repurposing infrastructure is not a new idea, but what Intercoax has added with its IPIFY range is a simple and flexible option covering most requirements when designing and implementing a solution.

Support for PoE, PoE+ and PoE++ further reduces costs, making the option one which helps to increase return on investment for the customer, while reducing the labour-intensive need to ‘rip and replace’ legacy infrastructure on many sites.