Systems

 

 

Integrated electrical and low-voltage systems of all types—inside and outside a building—encompass the range of work that electrical contractors do. The articles in this section highlight different types of work, from security, fire and life safety, to traditional electrical power and distribution, to lighting, cabling and more. 

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A good fire alarm system design becomes a function of how well you understand fire-protection principles as well as the requirements of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC).

For several recent columns, I have been writing about splicing optical fibers. Last month, I covered managing fibers inside the splice trays and closures. But there is even more to know about splice closures.


The evolution of intelligent building system technology has triggered shifting roles for contractors and integrators, and the choices they make in their own specializations over the coming years can mean the difference between winning contracts and keeping customers or becoming less relevant.

Demand for wiring and cabling is expected to grow in the months and years ahead. Low-voltage applications for light-emitting diode (LED) technology and fiber optic cabling within the power-generation and telecommunications industries will help drive this market.

More on Systems

 
Simplifying the Process

Virtual private LAN service (VPLS) connects local area networks (LANs) over the Internet and makes each private LAN act like a single Ethernet LAN. This is a seamless way to keep remote and branch locations connected-something practical in today's global marketplace.


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Designing for Building Integration

Interest in integrated building systems (IBS) is stronger than ever. These systems not only improve the overall performance of a facility, but the performance of the workers as well.


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Measuring Up

Imagine what would happen if you were working on a construction project and had to make a measurement. You used your tape measure and got a length based on the markings on the tape. A member of your crew showed up with a laser ranger and made his measurement.


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In the Zone

It is not a new cabling and wiring installation technique, but it has certainly come of age. Zone cabling is a little like the old multiplexed circuits of the early high-end burglar alarm systems (think New York jewelry stores) with a much more modern twist.


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Producing Effective Terminations

Some years back, fiber optic connector manufacturers started offering connectors that terminated fiber quickly without using adhesives or requiring polishing. The manufacturer glued a short stub fiber into the connector ferrule and polished it perfectly in the factory.


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To Host or Not to Host

It is a well-known fact that with popularity comes both praise and criticism—voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is no exception. Whether or not to host VoIP is a question contractors need to start asking, because the decision may help close a deal or directly affect an installation.


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The ITS-Trained Worker

How important are information transport systems skills for the data-communications contractor? Being a professional data-communications (or low-voltage) contractor includes many components.


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