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. 

Many technicians new to the fire/life safety field perform fire alarm system installations. For these technicians, the code and the equipment they intend to install look ominous.


Microgrids are the hot new idea that’s been around forever. Thomas Edison’s first New York City power plants could be considered microgrids because those generating stations each acted independently from the others, serving their own “islands” of connected loads.

There has been discussion about unwanted alarms in the last few years. The fire service says this is “an industry problem,” but is it? What can be done to improve the reliability of fire alarm systems so people stop ignoring alarms when they activate?


Contractors often experience some confusion over the types of circuits required and permitted for fire alarm system installations. First, contractors need to recognize that they must install all circuits as required by chapters 12 and 23 of NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.


More on Systems

 
A Bright Future? BPL Today

According to what I hear, broadband over power lines (BPL) is either a winning or losing technology. It started as a winner because it was positioned as a cheaper alternative to provide high-speed, broadband Internet access to homes and businesses by using the existing power grid infrastructure.


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Is the Customer Always Right?

Most customers for fiber optic installation expect the installer to be more knowledgeable about and experienced with fiber optics than they are.


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'I Always Do Class A Work!'

“I always do class A work!” That was the answer I got when I asked the fire alarm system contractor whether or not he had wired the system in a Class A fashion.


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Great Heights

Project managers at Baker Electric knew in 2001 that powering Des Moines’ new world-class sports and entertainment campus would be a major event.


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Fiber Optimism

Those involved in fiber optics are incurable optimists. Market forecasts always show upward trends and promise that fiber is going to replace copper wire or rebuff wireless and whatever other alternative methods of communications are currently being hyped.


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Instant and Temporary Networks

On-demand networks are not new. Plug-and-play functionality has been a component of networking solutions for quite some time, because network access is a constant and ever-changing issue affecting most operations.


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A Protective Barrier

Optical fiber, like copper wire for communications, needs to be kept dry to maintain its performance. On wire, moisture causes high impedance and crosstalk. In fiber, it adds to the attenuation and may make fibers brittle and more susceptible to damage.


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