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HOTS 08/1997

Issue: August 1997

By: Frank Bisbee

Featured Story

It's OFFICIAL. CTW'98 ( Cabling The Workplace '98 ) will be held in Dallas, Texas. The proposed dates are in April and we will publish them next month as soon as the contracts for space are signed. Cindy Webb at Cabling Business Magazine will head up the group handling the Exposition and vendor/exhibitor coordination. With all the advancements in fiber connectors and higher performance copper cabling, this conference should be a real winner.

10-12 years ago, Personal Computer (PC) users could not imagine any practical need that would fill a 100 megabit hard drive. We all know what happened to our needs since then. Today, filling up a 4 Gigabit hard drive is common for a heavy graphics or database user. Networking and new applications have really turned up the heat on bandwidth. We are DEMANDING more bandwidth all the time.

Remee Products Corp has introduced the new RemPro-350 high performance cable. This product joins the pack of 100% FEP insulated cables that far exceed the EIA/TIA Cat 5 standards.

The 1997 IEEE Standards Products Catalog (Piscataway, NJ) provides the complete listing of standards publications and services that IEEE Standards offers. The catalog is organized into sections, including on-site seminars; books and other products on standards; reference manuals; mixed media; sets and packages, and collections.

Earlier this year, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA - Bethesda, MD) sponsored its 1997 Labor Relations Conference, to address improving labor-management cooperation. The battle cry was clear. It called for electrical contractors to capture the low-voltage cabling market. Charles "Bud" Fisher, executive assistant to international president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW - Washington, DC) said, "Telecommunications work will be the highest single source of employment in the next decade . . . If we don't secure the market now, we'll lose it and we'll never get it back."

Fisher believes the instrument that will sew up the telecommunications workforce for NECA and IBEW will be the District Sound and Communications Agreement, an apprenticeship training program designed to create a trained pool of union electrical workers. James E. Rowings, professor-in-charge of the construction engineering program at Iowa State University and co-author of The Electrical Contracting Foundation's publication, Electrical Contractor's Guide to Partnership, was quoted as saying, "Partnership is an opportunity, not a threat." He continued, " . . . partnering increases market opportunities and increases morale, especially when carried down to the shop level. It also improves everyone's competitiveness, which is necessary for long-term survival."

BICSI's growth continues at the forecasted rate and their new headquarters building nears completion. The 20,000 square foot facility and plot will also accommodate an additional 25,000 square foot expansion. A couple of million here, and a couple of million there . . . pretty soon, you're talking big bucks.

Distributor Anicom, Inc. (Rosemont, IL) has purchased Carolina Cable & Connector, Inc. (Raleigh, NC) for approximately $3.6 million in cash and stock. This is the eighth acquisition made by Anicom in the last two years.

Thomas & Betts Corp.(Memphis, TN), a connector and component manufacturer, recently announced their plans to complete acquisition of Taylor Wiring Duct (Newburyport, MA), a supplier of wiring duct and accessories to the industrial original-equipment-manufacturer market, from Gould-Shawmut.

Alcatel Telecom plans to open a new branch of its research division in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, TX. Company officials say the action reinforces the importance of the link between Alcatel Network Systems, which is headquartered in the area, and Alcatel's telecommunications business. The Richardson center will form part of Alcatel Telecom's international network of almost 700 researchers working in such areas as software, optical communications, radio communications, networking, and fundamental technology.

Superior Modular Products (Swannanoa, NC) has a good "White Paper" (available on request) on testing and how to implement true future-proof technology. Check 'em out at:

A recent article in another publication said that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the PUC (Public Utility Commission) would not allow next-door neighbors to connect their PCs by cable in a LAN without a franchise to provide service between properties. THIS IS A GROSS DISTORTION OF THE REGULATIONS. Intercoms, cordless phones, low-wattage walkie-talkies and a host of other communications devices are not covered by these regulations when they are not used as a service provided for a fee. However, in some communities, if you run the sprinklers in your yard on the wrong day, the water police will get you.

If you own a DSP-100 Digital CableMeter (Fluke Corp. , Everett, WA), there is a Windows-based CableManager software available which organizes cable test data in a computer database. You can download to a PC for storing, editing, printing, and archiving. The software can search, sort, organize and create customized reports for about $250.

Reports from across the market indicate that cabling sales for fiber optic and copper-based high performance products continue to increase. The slump noted some months ago is definitely over.

R. Coffee Colvin, vice president and corporate secretary for Birmingham Realty Co. (Birmingham, AL) was sworn in as secretary and treasurer of the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA - Washington, DC). Colvin has served as president, vice president, treasurer and board member for his local BOMA chapter, as well as president, vice president, and treasurer for BOMA's southern region. Both BOMA and NAIOP organizations are looking at cabling the structure as the first big step towards "smart building technology".

Yes, we agree! Arlyn S. Powell, Jr., chief editor at Cabling Installation & Maintenance publication, wrote an editorial in the MAY 1997 issue noting that the EIA/TIA standards game had become so expensive that only the "fat cat" manufacturers could play. Thank goodness for the new Levels Program by Anixter.

Moving on up . . . there are some stars rising in Prestolite Wire Corporation's constellation. Mr. Bill Mills, formerly PWC's Southern Region Manager, was recently promoted to Director of Sales - Eastern U.S. Region. Reporting to Mr. Mills in his new position is David Burton, the Northeastern Regional Manager, and Gary Spizzirri (formerly Southeastern Regional Manager), the new Southern Regional Manager. The new Midwest Regional Manager is Scott Fencik while Mr. H. Ray Brookings is Prestolite Wire's new Director of Sales - Western U.S. Region. Reporting to Mr. Brookings will be PWC's Western Regional Manager, Tom McAllister and Chris Roth, their Rocky Mountain Regional Manager.


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