2019 NECA Showstopper Winners

By Jeff Griffin | Jan 15, 2020
2019 Show Stoppers




Innovative connectors, powerful cordless tools and wire raceways—the 2019 NECA Showstopper judges evaluated a broad range of entries. In the end, they selected 25 products as 2019 Showstoppers. Sponsored by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine, the Showstopper showcase is a popular feature of the annual NECA convention and trade show. Anonymous judges, experienced and active in the electrical industry, carefully evaluated entries to select winners. To be eligible, products or services must have been exhibited at the 2019 NECA show, introduced to the market during the previous 12 months and be currently available for purchase. Winners are listed alphabetically. Product descriptions are based on information provided by the organization submitting the entry.


The one-piece design of the DBI-SALA strut anchor is simple, lightweight and compact for easy installation in a single step. It provides an overhead fall-arrest anchor point on strut material and a visual indicator showing the anchorage is installed correctly. Anchorage connectors are critical components used in fall protection and must be attached securely to the personal fall protection system at the anchorage point. These anchorage connectors can be fixed, mobile, permanent or portable.


The new Steel City RPT8 series recessed poke-through floor box provides five gangs in a round floor box that fits into an 8-inch diameter hole. The five gangs can be data communications or power. Contractors like the core-drilled design of this floor box because it eliminates errors that can result in costly mistakes when jackhammers are involved or when making repairs with poured concrete. The center compartment is rated for wiring devices to 50 amps.


The seventh-generation 34 motor tester uses patented, proven technology, providing instant answers about a motor’s health. It looks beyond vibratory, temperature and ultrasound test methods to take patented dynamic stator and rotor signatures. Tests take less than 3 minutes and can detect faults at their earliest stages before motor failure. Tests can be performed from more than 1,000 feet away.


Contractors often must locate the position of buried utilities or confirm locations of previously marked pipe or cable. Amprobe’s UAT-620 underground utility locator kit can pinpoint depths of buried utilities to 20 feet and detect their presence to depths of 100 feet. The kit’s components include transmitter, receiver, test leads, batteries and additional fuses that are stored in a protective duffel bag. The transmitter can be safely connected directly to an energized line up to 600 volts in a CAT IV environment.


This T-box for suspended ceiling grids is a cost-effective method of mounting a fan or fixture. It can be positioned on the grid at the cross of the T-rails or on the straight away. Boxes install easily by cutting around the ceiling tile and lowering the box into place on the grid where it is held securely in place. For use on premium/reveal edge ceiling tiles, the box height adjusts by removing the tabs with pliers. It’s UL-listed and available in two sizes.


Patented Mighty-Seal EMT duplex transition connectors and couplings easily connect two JMC/TECK cables to a knockout or transition from rigid or EMT conduit in exposed locations. The 695-DC2 is good for rooftop and parking garage installations. The 4195-DC provides a transition solution between rigid and JMC in public infrastructure installations and stadiums. The 5195-DC makes it easy to transition between EMT and JMC for solar applications.


The 6,000-lb. cable puller is mounted on four flat-free tires for easy maneuverability. The equipment’s patent-pending design allows fast, one-person set up. All puller components are mounted on the carriage, which eliminates the need for time-consuming assembly and disassembly between pulls. A heavy-duty, two-speed motor provides a rated pulling force up to 6,000 lbs. Reach is 8 feet when fully extended.


Metalux RBG Ribbon LED recessed slot luminaires are elegant, 4-inch aperture fixture options for architects, engineers, contractors and designers. Available in three fixed lengths, they can be recessed, surface- or suspension-mounted and strategically placed throughout a space. Fixtures have three selectable lumen levels and color temperatures. Applications include open and traditional offices, classrooms, coves, corridors and retail stores.


This digital torpedo level provides accurate readings that are easy to read on the oversize display. The self-calibrating level has six measuring display modes, including slope level and angle finder and an inspect mode that allows users to zero out the level, which is ideal when bending conduit. A best-in-class magnet holds the level firmly in place. The tool’s battery provides 60-plus hours of runtime.


Electricians can visually identify and find the source of many common issues in electrical systems with the TG267 thermal camera. This infrared guided measurement tool has a temperature range of –13°F to 716°F (–25°C to 380°C) and provides context to help accurately target potential faults, troubleshoot repairs and record images to monitor maintenance history and document problems that have been resolved.


Test equipment provider Fluke Corp. has introduced a new line of 11 insulated hand tools that include basic electrician tools. Manufactured from state-of-the-art German steel, all are rated at 1,000V and are individually tested to more than 10,000V. Each has multilayer insulation and an ergonomic design. They are compliant with globally recognized safety standards established by European regulatory agencies to ensure greatest safety when working in live environments.


The new Smart-Way floor raceway is an on-floor wire management system for offices, conference rooms, collaborative work environments or anywhere wire management is needed. Smart-Way is only 0.6-inches high and installs quickly and easily on top of any flooring. Raceway compartments provide ample space for power, communications and A/V connectivity with capacity to hold 14 12 AWG power conductors, nine Cat 5E or 5 Cat 6A data cables.


Feather Weight FR coveralls offered exclusively from Cintas are classified ARC 2 and UL 2112 certified and are constructed of 5.3-ounce GlenGuard fabric for comfort and durability. The Carhartt coveralls made of GlenGuard fabric are lightweight, fade-resistant and moisture-wicking to keep wearers cool and comfortable. They are made using solution-dyed fibers that increase color retention and a proprietary Wickzz Moisture Management System to keep wearers cool and dry.


The PM 30 MG multiline green laser is well suited for electrical layout work. Three 360-degree, green horizontal and vertical lines increase the speed and accuracy of indoor layout jobs. The sturdy and easy-to- adjust magnetic bracket provides precision directional alignments, and the B12 battery ensures long run times and short charge times. Its green laser is four times more visible than red. The product has a 20-year warranty for repair or replacement of defective parts.


The Twisted ProFlex wire connector delivers the widest wire combination range with the highest voltage rating in the industry and provides dependable, everyday performance. A flexible skirt provides improved protection and adapts to tightly fit in electrical boxes with limited space. Its swept wing design with SureGrip overmold makes it comfortable to use and provides the leverage and torque needed to make fast connections.


The custom, patent-pending design of the Flex Wire Cart enables it to carry up to 10 2,500-foot spools of wire, 20 500-foot spools of wire or coils and up to eight wire packs. Bars can be placed to achieve maximized capacity and job site flexibility. Its compact design allows it to fit through doorways, but it also provides a stable footprint to assist in providing maximum payout. The cart is made in the United States of global components.


The new Flip-Blade insulated screwdriver is two drivers in one tool. The auto-eject mechanism works with a twist, quickly and easily flipping the No. 2 Phillips to the ¼-inch slotted end of the blade. The handle’s cushioned grip with bright orange coating provides protection from electric shock and is flame- and shock-resistant. Klein insulated tools exceed the ASTM F1505 standards for insulated tools and are clearly marked with the official 1,000V rating symbol.


Keep a metal tape measure in a Kwik-Draw holster, and it’s always available when needed. The wide, 4-by-5-inch pocket clips securely attach to a belt or tool bag and holds a universal tape measure or other small tools, pens and pencils. A stainless-steel locking cap keeps everything in place, and an improved, “kwik” release lock opens easily with the thumb release for access to contents. Kwik-Draw holster products are made in the United States.


The Fliptoggle anchor’s simple, effective tilting mechanism provides trouble-free installation and heavy-duty holding power in drywall, plaster, hollow concrete blocks and other wall materials. Available in 3/16- and 1/4-inch diameters, they are twice as strong as regular toggle bolts of the same sizes. They may be used with any screw length to 33/4 inches. If necessary, the fixture can be removed and reinstalled without requiring a new hole location.


ProLock electric extension cords have patented locking connectors that prevent accidental disconnects that could result in a disruptive loss of power causing costly delays in work. Standard extension cords can be plugged into the ProLock connector simply by inserting the male end into a ProLock connector and pushing together to lock in place. The pull strength is 80 lbs. Housing and collars are made of impact-resistant polycarbonate.


Managing and moving materials and tools with the new Packout dolly and mounting plate is easy because wheels roll easily with heavy loads. Compatible with Milwaukee’s Packout storage system, the mounting plate secures and stabilizes loads. Constructed of an impact-resistant polymer, the dolly has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. The mounting plate also is made of impact-resistant polymer with metal-reinforced mounting and tie-down points.


Patriot NextDay nipples for connecting conduit runs to main power supplies and equipment are available in standard and custom lengths. Patriot provides fast production of custom orders and overnight shipment of UL-listed and NSF-certified products. Custom lengths and custom packaging are among the company’s specialties. NextDay nipples are part of Patriot Industries’ extensive line of U.S.-made conduit, nipples, elbows and couplings.


This new Romex Boxjaw wire stripper is a patent-pending method to strip wire fast, efficiently and safely. The flat head’s design and large, curved cutting blade allows stripping wire flush against electrical boxes and hard-to-reach spaces rather than trying to use a conventional stripper or knife. By stripping and shearing at the same time, the tool saves time and labor. The handles are spring loaded. The Boxjaw stripper is made in the United States.


This new patent-pending four-way conduit and box support plate for horizontal or vertical installations eliminates the need for conduit clamps and can save more than an hour with less material per installation. It supports 4-by-4-, 41/2-, or 5-inch square outlets and 6-by-6 and 8-by-8 junction boxes. For vertical support, small tabs are bent to accommodate rods. For horizontal support, rods go through the center hole. Available in 18-gauge galvanized or stainless steel.


The BulletMole offers an effective, economical way to install conduit under sidewalks and driveways without the need for electricity, air or water. The sharp point of the head is manually driven forward and can penetrate soil, rock, roots and other obstacles. Tool design directs impact to the sharp point of the head and produces a hole larger than the shaft. Conduit is pushed or pulled through the hole. The system does not require tools to assemble or disassemble.

About The Author

GRIFFIN, a construction journalist from Oklahoma City, can be reached at [email protected].

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