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. 

Brady BMP21-Plus label printer

Making labels on the job site can be a time-consuming task for integrated systems contractors, but it can pay big dividends in the long run.


In the last issue, I wrote about the practice of splicing two fibers with a fusion-­splicing machine. This month, I discuss some secrets that experienced splicers have learned—often the hard way.


Figure 1: Notching caused by semiconductor-controlled rectifier switching during commutation period

Maybe it is because they are rarely seen by the human eye or because the proliferation of surge protector strips makes everyone feel immune, but transients still exist and can wreak havoc with electrical equipment.

With cities and utilities worldwide upgrading to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting for streets and outdoor areas, owners and installers wonder when they 
will build in the controls for smart-city applications.

More on Systems

 
Digital Tools On The Go

If you’re going to do a job right, you need the right tools. Today, the definition of tool goes beyond wire crimpers and multimeters. It now includes smartphones and the apps that make them crucial to a contractor’s success. The following are some of the apps that contractors could consider using.



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Spin Doctors

Last month, we looked into positive, negative and zero-sequence components, also known as symmetrical components, with virtually no math involved.


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Life Safety Maintenance Should Not Be Deferred


It is a sign of tight budgets when facility directors at most K–12 and higher education institutions receive mandates to defer maintenance on their existing building inventory to allow for budget dollar application elsewhere.


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Redefining Intrusion Detection

Motion sensors are now a mainstay of intrusion detection, but, back in the day, traditional devices were obtrusive, prone to false triggering and difficult to program.


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Gains In The Security Sector

Never before in the electronic security industry has change been so profound. As hardware and boxes moved onto the network, they have morphed into intelligent, connected products.


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Put Down The Pencil

Contractors that are still putting estimates together using pencil and paper are not only wasting time and money, but they also are losing business. Contractors who think they can’t afford estimating software are just plain wrong.


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At The Plug

Plug loads, according to a pilot study performed by New York-based green technology company ThinkEco Inc., make up the fastest growing end-use of electricity in the commercial sector. As the amount of electricity used by plug loads grows, it becomes increasingly important to manage it.


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