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. 

At a small telecommunications facility, equipment mysteriously started self-destructing for no apparent reason. Laptops, routers, printers and cell phones were apparently just becoming nonfunctional.

After 15 years of rural living on a small farm in Southern California, my wife and I recently moved back into the city. Now, as we walk around our neighborhood, we are often reminded that we live in one of the smartest “smart cities” in the world: Santa Monica, Calif.

As new technology such as Amazon Alexa is linked to smart home devices, lamps are becoming more than simple lights that turn on when you flip a switch.  


What a year it has been for the physical security industry. In the residential market, new entrants applied competitive pressure greater than ever before.

More on Systems

 
Correlation Is Key

The problem always cited with optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) measurements, especially on multimode premises cable plants, is they generally do not agree with insertion loss measurements made with a light source and power meter.


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Test Mechanics

Having the right tools makes any job easier. As any electrician entering the field learns, he or she must have the right tools to perform electrical work efficiently. This same rule applies to installing a fire alarm system.


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New Horizons in Cabling and Integrated Building Systems

It’s the information transport systems or cabling that makes data, voice and video come to life. Throw it in and go is not an option. Everything must be planned and tailored to the application and that goes for the type of wire and cable deployed.


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Pitfalls to Avoid

In most fire alarm system installations, electrical contractors simply follow the specifications and drawings developed by an engineer.


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Planning Ahead

Recently, we received a phone call from a fiber optic instructor we know asking an unusual question. Can you run single-mode fiber to the desktop? Of course, we told him, why not?


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Don't Cut the Landline

It is no secret that voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) has had problems regarding emergency service. Users’ exact locations are not always known, causing 911 calls to be transferred to the incorrect dispatcher. Many users were unaware that when they dialed 911, it would not always work.


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Seeing (and Hearing) Is Believing

Over the last few years, there has been confusion over which laws or codes apply to the audible and visible notification appliances.


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