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Issue: December 2003
By: Frank Bisbee


In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz'.

Happy Holidays and goodbye (and good riddance) to 2003. The year ahead offers real business improvement. The headlines report " Productivity Surges at Fastest Rate Since 1983".

The productivity of America's workers soared by the largest amount in 20 years last quarter. The economic recovery may be taking hold and businesses may soon be stepping up hiring and production. When you consider how many cabling projects have been held in abeyance and for how long they have been postponed, we could have a real surge in the cabling business during 2004. Wouldn't that be nice?

Plan ahead. Get the resources to stay up to date and maximize your competitive edge. There are some outstanding publications available to fill your library, keep you current, and educate your staff.

We recommend:

The Electrical Distributor

Electrical Contractor

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

Network Cabling (formerly Structured Cabling)

Cabling Systems

Outside Plant


EC & M (Electrical Design, Construction & Maintenance)

Also make sure you visit for all the news on the National Electric Code. Sign up for his newsletter, it's free.

And if you want to understand your customers better, add these to your subscription list:

Building Operating Management

Buildings Magazine

As the economy struggles from neutral into forward gear, we suggest you consider membership in the following organizations:

BICSI - this is a MUST

NECA - National Assoc of Electrical Contractors

ACUTA - Assoc of Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education

BOMA* Building Owners & Managers Association International

NAIOP* National Assoc of Industrial and Office Properties

* These commercial real estate organizations control more than 15 billion square feet of office space in the U.S.A. The tenant turnover offers continual business opportunities for the contractor.

If you have filled your Christmas stocking with the above listed values, you will be better prepared to capture the opportunities that will develop in 2004.

Go forth and be profitable. Once again, Happy Holidays from your friends at

Frank Bisbee

Graybar Earns "Best Service Company" Honor From Selling Power Magazine
Magazine Ranks Graybar Among 50 Best Companies To Sell For in U.S.

Graybar, a national supply chain powerhouse and North America's leading distributor of electrical, telecommunications, and networking products and services, has been honored by Selling Power as one of the magazine's "50 Best Companies To Sell For."

Graybar also has been recognized in the magazine's November/December 2003 issue as one of the "Best Service" companies to sell for among the largest sales forces in the United States, focusing on three key categories: Compensation, training and career mobility.

"These honors salute our steadfast commitment to hiring and retaining the best employees in our industry," said Graybar Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Reynolds Jr. "We work to our customers' advantage day-in and day-out, and provide efficient, cost-effective solutions that go far beyond just delivering products at competitive prices." Furthering its customer commitment, the company recently unveiled a new brand strategy that reflects an increased focus companywide on offering supply chain logistics and service solutions for its customers across the United States.

"Our new brand strategy better reflects our business today," Reynolds said. "Despite the tough economy over the past two years, we've grown into a supply chain powerhouse offering a wide range of electrical, telecom, and networking products and services that are designed to lower costs, enhance efficiencies, and allow customers to focus on their core businesses."
The new brand strategy is the latest example of how Graybar continues to evolve to better compete and serve its customers. The company has enhanced its technology leadership, using leading-edge information technology and logistics capabilities to raise the bar on performance and value for its customers and suppliers.

Specifically, Graybar has invested $90 million in information technology infrastructure to improve services to its customers and suppliers. The company-wide IT project began in early 2002, and the first Graybar district went "live" on the new IT system in early 2003. In addition, the company has completed a zone warehouse strategy that improves its ability to provide back-up inventory and hard-to-find items to customers within 24 hours.

St. Louis-based Graybar specializes in project and supply chain management services and is the leading distributor for thousands of manufacturers of components and equipment for the electrical, telecommunications, networking, manufacturing, commercial and utilities industries.

This is the third consecutive year Graybar has received Selling Power's "Best Service Company" honors, and is among several awards Graybar has recently received, including:

InfoWorld 100, outstanding technology leadership for Graybar's recently deployed enterprise resource planning system (November 2003)

For the 2nd consecutive year, Graybar was ranked among "America's Most Admired Companies" by Fortune magazine (February 2003)

#401 on the Fortune 500 ranking of America's largest companies (2003)
#35 on Forbes' list of top U.S. private companies (2003)
#1 on Electrical Wholesaling magazine's "Top 200" list of electrical distributors (2003)
#3 on Business Week's 2002 ranking of private info-tech companies in the U.S.

About Graybar

Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, telecommunications and networking products, and an expert provider of related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of 250 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, serving as the vital link to hundreds of thousands of customers. For more information, visit

NECA Chapter Fights Unsafe Wiring Practices

Developers of a 37-story building in Fort Worth must use standard commercial wiring practices, a city board ruled on November 13. After listening to testimony of the National Electrical Contractors Association's (NECA) North Texas chapter and other organizations the Construction and Fire Prevention Board denied an exception to city building codes to allow Type NM cable for interior wiring of high-rise apartments and condominiums.

Fort Worth codes prohibit the use of NM cable in buildings over four stories. Taller structures must use more fire-proof wiring methods such as conductors installed in conduit. The Tower's developers requested a variance on the grounds that using NM cable within residential units would save about $150,000, a small portion of the luxury project's overall electrical cost. The appeals board rejected the request 8-0.

Electrical and fire safety groups opposed expanding the use of NM cable to taller buildings. In addition to NECA's North Texas chapter, the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers (IBEW) and the Fort Worth Fire Fighters Association testified against the proposal.

"If you or I were buying one of those high-rise apartments, we would want it wired in the safest way," said T.A. Huston of Lone Star Electric, a NECA-member company. .

Ideas that really work: at the recent NECA annual conference and exposition, we saw many new products. The Work-n-Wagon is a great tool for onsite cabling project management. This wagon (cart/drafting table/cable box or reel caddy) is fantastic! I don't know how many times we could have used a product like this on cable installation projects. We checked the width to ensure we could use it to clear all standard doorways. It fits. Every contractor (electrical or datacom) should add this to their tool chest.

Elder Designs, Inc. of Arapaho, OK has added a new addition to its popular line of wagons for transporting wire and materials for electrical contractors.

Owner and Chief Designer, Doyle Elder, who has 25 year of electrical experience, is especially proud of this new offering, the Work-n-Wagon, since it combines several useful functions.

It can be a mobile print table with shelves for material storage, and a bottom rack for conduit storage. It can also be used as a portable workbench to pre-fab parts, assemble fixtures and other project components.

Feel free to contact Doyle to learn more about the Work-n-Wagon or other Elder Design products, or to provide input into new products you’d like to see.

BOMA SEMINAR - The Big Disconnect: Who's Responsible for Abandoned Cabling in Your Building?

Building Code Update: Abandoned Cabling

Recent changes to the National Electric Code now prohibit abandoned cables and wires in risers and plenums. What do you do about abandoned cables? Who pays for their removal? Failure to remove prohibited wires can render buildings out of compliance and jeopardize insurance policies.

This program will address these issues:

· Learn which wires must be removed and which ones can be tagged to remain

· Who pays for the removal of abandoned cabling

· Implications for existing tenant leases

· Structuring new leases to assure tenant responsibility for wiring in their suites—including paying for removal

· Licensing agreements with telecommunications providers

Seminar Leaders

Frank Bisbee, President, Communication Planning Corporation, Jacksonville, FL

Nelson Migdal, Esq., Holland & Knight Law Firm, Washington, DC

Tomi Sue Beecham - Senior Property Manager AVR Realty Co. (San Antonio, TX)
Chair of BOMA International Codes & Standards Committee

Thursday, December 11, 2003
02:00 PM - 04:00 PM Eastern
01:00 PM - 03:00 PM Central
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM - 01:00 PM Pacific
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Alaska
09:00 AM - 11:00 AM Hawaii

How to Register

By phone: Call 1-800-775-7654

· All registrations must be prepaid in US dollars.
· Deadline for registrations is three (3) business days prior to seminar date.
· Credit card statements will show KRM Telephone Seminars as payee.
· No refunds for cancellations made within three (3) business days of seminar date.


Call BOMA's Education Hotline at (202) 326-6331 or email

TIA Fiber Optics LAN Section Launches New Web Site

The Fiber Optics LAN Section (FOLS) of TIA ( ) recently launched a new Web site at The site is designed to serve as a resource to network planners and others seeking information about the benefits of using optical fiber in LANs and applications such as storage area networks, data centers, industrial applications, central offices, building security systems and fiber in the home. The FOLS Web site features information about optical fiber technology, a host of application profiles, information on fiber-related standards, answers to frequently asked questions about the use of fiber in customer-owned networks and the group's exclusive interactive cost models.

Leviton’s New Wireless Remote Control Components For Decora Home Controls

Leviton expands the performance of its DHC offering with the introduction of 3 new wireless remote control options. Generally for indoor use, Leviton’s new HCCUR Universal Remote Control provides ON/OFF and DIM/BRIGHT control (including ALL ON/ALL OFF) of DHC Receivers via RF (radio-frequency) signals sent to a DHC Transceiver, even through walls and ceilings, so users can control almost any light or appliance in their home. The versatile HCCUR will also work as a controller for audio and video equipment, including TV’s, VCR’s, cable boxes, satellite receivers, DVD and CD players, and more. Set up of this convenient all-in-one unit is quick and easy. It has an effective transmission range of 100 feet.

Leviton expands DHC control capability even further with its sleek new HCCKR Key Chain Remote Controller. This handy compact remote control transmitter is conveniently designed to fit on a key chain and is to be used outdoors. The HCCKR can turn lights or appliances ON and OFF via RF (radio-frequency) signals, through walls and ceilings, when pointed in the direction of the transceiver. It can control two DHC-controlled loads with an effective transmission range of 75 feet. A typical application for this unit is the control of home lights from a vehicle when entering one’s driveway. Leviton’s third new offering, the HCPRF Plug-In Transceiver, functions as a receiver that accepts ON/OFF, DIM/BRIGHT and ALL ON/ALL OFF RF (radio frequency ) commands from the DHC Universal Remote Control and ON/OFF signals from the Key Chain Remote Controller, as well. The HCPRF works with all DHC Receivers by retransmitting those signals throughout a home’s existing electrical wiring. The Transceiver also incorporates a built-in outlet suitable for ON/OFF switching of incandescent lamps rated up to 300W. The lamp can be controlled remotely or locally via the programming button on its face, which is also used to change the HCPRF’s address if desired. The unit also features Leviton’s exclusive Intellisense™

Technology that compensates for noise on home AC power lines to ensure optimum system performance and reliability. Built-in 2-Way signaling capability permits local status of an attached lamp to show on all 2-Way capable Controllers.


• Use the HCCUR Universal Remote Control to manage an entire audio/video and lighting system for the ultimate home theater experience. Turn ON/OFF the TV, VCR, DVD, stereo: control dimming of lights, as well.

• The HCCUR Universal Remote Control is also designed to operate appliances such as the coffee maker and turn ON/OFF those "forgotten" lights in the basement all via RF (radio frequency) by sending the signal right through the walls and floors, so you don’t have to go downstairs.

• The universal design of the HCCUR Universal Remote Control is optimum for those with limited mobility/dexterity and is perfect for the elderly and physically challenged.

• The HCCKR Key Chain Remote Controller is an ideal device because of its compact size and easy portability. Turn ON/OFF your home’s entry/exterior, garage and driveway lighting as you approach. This gives you the added security of never having to enter a dark house again.

NECA, IBEW, OSHA, Major Contractors Hold Discussions On Improving Line Construction Safety

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), (Bethesda, MD), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the electric utility industry are working with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in high-voltage line construction. NECA-member line contractors and senior staff met with OSHA representatives in Washington, DC on November 13 to discuss formation of an industry-wide partnership aimed at improving safety.

Line contractor safety records have generally been improving for the last decade, as measured by incidents per thousand man-hours worked. However, recent increases in construction and repair work due to hurricanes and the East Coast blackout have nudged accident rates for line workers upward.

Understanding the Causes of Accidents:

Line construction is inherently hazardous, involving work around conductors and equipment operating at high voltages. But there was also general agreement at the meeting that a pervasive culture of risk-taking is partially to blame.

Improving worker skills and safety knowledge through selective retraining, possibly with testing and certification, were among the potential approaches discussed at the November 13 industry forum. Participants also considered the need to increase safety training of supervisory and management personnel.

"We need to successfully communicate the message that it isn't macho to take risks," a senior company official said.

Building a Structure:

The OSHA Transmission & Distribution Partnership will be modeled after three existing NECA-OSHA-IBEW regional partnership. In these cooperative alliances, employers pledge to improve compliance with major OSHA safety regulations on their work sites, in exchange for a reduced emphasis by the agency on minor violations of a technical nature. The partnership approach has proven successful at improving worker safety, both in electrical construction and other industries. It minimizes workplace disruption and delays, while allowing OSHA to use its limited inspection resources in the most effective way ¾ such as responding to complaints of serious safety violations.

A major task at the November 13 meeting was drafting a strategic partnership agreement that will define how the T&D partnership operates. The following organizations were represented, along with major line construction companies:

· National Electrical Contractors Association

· Edison Electric Institute

· International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers


This was the second open industry meeting to discuss formation of a T&D industry partnership to improve construction safety. The next meeting is scheduled for December 11, 2003 at OSHA headquarters in Washington, DC.

The National Electrical Contractors Association, founded in 1901, is the leading representative of a segment of the construction market comprised of over 70,000 electrical contracting firms. The industry employs over 650,000 electrical workers and produces an annual volume of over $95 billion. NECA includes 119 U.S. chapters in addition to others in countries around the world. The association sponsors the NECA Show, renowned as the industry's premiere event, which features cutting-edge technologies, highlights new trends, and provides courses to help contractors broaden their knowledge and skill. NECA is dedicated to enhancing the industry through continuing education, labor relations, current information and promotional activities. To learn more about the industry or NECA's services, please visit .

Recommendation: Subscribe today to the Cabling Standards UPDATE publication. This publication is packed with valuable information for electrical and datacom contractors. Manufacturers, distributors and industry watchers should definitely subscribe to Cabling Standards UPDATE. The following profile describes the publication format.

Cabling Standards UPDATE- New Format 12-1-2003
Cabling Standards UPDATE! November 30, 2003

1. Fiber Testing Made Easier with TSB 140
The Report on TIA’s TR 42.8 Committee who write the performance standards for Optical Fiber Cabling
What’s going on in the NFPA regarding fiber

The difference between NFPA 70 (the NEC®, National Electrical Code®) and NFPA 90A (the Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems)

New changes to the TSB (140) on Optical Fiber Field Test Certification Guidelines.

What happened to the TSB 136 on Fiber Connector Array Polarity.

And, when the updated fiber performance standard in the TIA-568 C series was planned for completion.
2. New Standards Coming Out As We Speak!
Update reports standards being set for the data center, for wireless communications and for optical fiber bandwidth.

3. What a “Webified” Data Center is and why it may be the design you want…

4. News that You Can Purchase the POE (Power over Ethernet) Standard Now!

With separate reports on IEEE 802, 802.3, the 10GBASE-T Study Group, IEEE 802.3ak (for 10 Gbps over coax cable), IEEE 802.3ah (for Ethernet in the First Mile), and IEEE 802.3af (for DTE Power via MDI or Power Over Ethernet).

5. “What it Means”

A brand new Glossary of terms and acronyms for you to check out.

6. “Latest News On the Web”

Our regular up-to-the-minute industry hot links as of this week, provided by Joe Salimando on page 9.

We welcome you as our subscriber…


Marilyn Michelson
Business Communication Services
Publisher, Cabling Standards UPDATE
Associate Publisher, Joe Salimando
505-1 So. State Hwy. 49, #242
Jackson, CA 95642
209-295-3975, Fax: 209-295-3974

Dow Wire and Cable - New Halogen-Free Flame Retardant (HFFR) jacketing compounds provides excellent performance at competitive prices

Proprietary polyolefin processes and catalyst technologies from Dow Wire & Cable Compounds serve as the basis for new HFFR compounds. These compounds provide significant benefits when compared to traditional FR compounds for your FTTX applications as well as for general-purpose FR jacketing or insulation requirements, including your FTTX fiber optics and telecommunications needs. New materials and formulations technologies from Dow Wire & Cable Compounds are creating a toolbox that enables successful development of cost-effective solutions for a wide range of FR wire and cable application targets. First among the new generation of advanced polyolefin-based compounds are DFDA-1643 NT EXP2 and DFDA-1643 BK EXP2, both of which possess a unique balance of properties, including high tear strength, excellent tensile properties, advantaged rheological characteristics, and unmatched value. Applications include:

General purpose FR jacketing & insulation
Rider cable
Industrial cable
Communications cable

These properties are achieved while maintaining a high level of flame retardance and flexibility, good low temperature properties, and dielectric properties that are better than those observed in conventional materials based on ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), with significant cost advantages for you

Tollgrade Multi-Layered Broadband Network free poster

Tollgrade Communications, Inc. a provider of telecommunications test and management solutions has developed a full-color poster that can help service providers visualize the virtual service layer of the evolving broadband network. The poster serves as a handy reference guide to areas that need to be evaluated in order to locate and troubleshoot problems that impact service levels. The attractive poster features a simplified depiction of the broadband network architecture, from the public Internet to the customer premise. It highlights service layers, including applications, transport, network datalink and physical, while indicating how Tollgrade’s new Digitest ® EDGE ™ Broadband Test Head helps service providers evaluate performance levels within these layers.

The mulit-layered Broadband Network poser is free and can be ordered use this link

BICSI Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM) now available

The 5th edition of the BICSI LAN design manual the Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM) is now available. This latest release of the NDRM continues the BICSI tradition of providing comprehensive, standards-based, and vendor neutral descriptions, methods, and practice for the design of local area networks. First published in 1995, the manual is updated every two years to provide the most current information in this rapidly evolving field. The NDRM is the basis for BICSI’s Registered Communications Distribution Designer/Local Area Network Specialist (RCDD/LAN Specialist) designation. You can call BICSI 800-242-7405 You can pickup a copy at the BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, Florida (January 12-15 2004). BICSI wishes you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.

Panduit Ultimate ID™ System Standardizes Network Labeling

PANDUIT Corp. introduces the new Ultimate ID Network Labeling System, a full line of TIA/EIA-606-A standard compliant products. The Ultimate ID System includes faceplates, surface mount boxes, patch panels, marker ties, labels for desktop printers and the PANDUIT PanAcea™ LS7 Hand-Held Thermal Transfer Printer.

Designed to assist in compliance with the labeling requirements of the new TIA/EIA-606-A administration standard, the system components hold universally sized printed labels and are supplied with flush label covers. In addition, all of the labels have the same compact height to enhance the appearance of the installation. Labels are positioned adjacent to, centered and parallel to the module they are identifying.

Use of the PanAcea LS7 Hand-Held Printer and one Ultimate ID cassette, which contains both the ribbon and the label stock, will produce every label required for components of the Ultimate ID Network Labeling System.

High Level Data Center Puts Contractor to the Test
By Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD

A Level 9 designation is used to describe the most comprehensive list of mechanical requirements found in an above ground data center in the US. A Level 10 may be the highest, but it meets the same stringent mechanical requirements and is actually built underground. Recently a Level 9 private network located in the U.S. was completed. This “higher than standard” center is contained in 33,000 square feet of 30-inch raised floor with a power distribution box located every 25 feet. For mechanical protection there are total redundant fail-over electrical switches, dual air handlers and chiller systems. For back up, there are diesel generators, which automatically power these critical units. In addition, there are over 1,000 batteries on site.

AcunaComm, a national provider of Internet and telecom solutions (, faced the cabling challenge to assure 100% networking uptime for this Level 9 data center, as well as planning for future growth. In doing so, they provided the most comprehensive structured cabling system and continue to provide on-going support with comprehensive cable certification testing and documentation.

“We were looking for a multi-year fiber optic backbone strategy and we wanted to put in the most capacity that was available for current and future requirements per customer requirements,” states Marc Howell, Director of Operations at AcunaComm. All data is connected through a total redundant OC48 line on separate incoming and outgoing rings. The facility contains 100 miles of fiber optic backbone infrastructure, which consists of multiple 24-strands of the new 10 Gb/s, 50-micron multimode fiber optic cable. Both fiber and copper is used to connect the main distribution frames to the intermediate distribution racks to the devices. Most of the connections from the distribution frame connect a switch to a device configuration for distributed service, but it can also be a device to device connection (mainframe to mainframe) or switch to switch or switch to device.

Testing Parameters More Stringent than Standards

With high-speed fiber and copper cabling, testing during installation and for on-going maintenance is key. During the initial installation, the team used DSP-4300 cable analyzers to certify every Category 6 cable and test every port. In addition to standard bi-directional copper tests, which include delay skew, attenuation, return loss, and near end crosstalk, they also tested for power sum crosstalk, both near and far end from both ends of the Category 6 cables and patch cords. By comparing all the pairs against each other, there were an additional 16 individual tests.

For fiber certification, they used the FTA420S Multimode Fiber Test Adapter with the DSP-4300, which uses an LED light source at 850 nm for the 50 micron fiber to measure loss and length up to 300 meters in loop back mode.

When the 10 Gb/s fiber optic cable was specified for the data center, there were no specific industry standards. After the team started installing the fiber, TIA-492AAAAC, which is a detailed specification for a graded-index 50/125µm multimode fiber for enhanced performance at 850 nm was approved. This new addendum to TIA/EIA 568-B.3-1 supports the transmission of 10 gigabits per second data rates up to 300 meters.

However, the team found that it did not address the difference between the link and channel so the customer established its own testing parameters. “The end-to-end link loss budget is 2.6 dB, but when taking into consideration the patch cord loss, we put an additional link loss limit of .8 dB. If the link is more than .8 dB loss, then it is not accepted,” explains Howell. “We could run a test on a link and even if it came through with a 1.7 dB, it will pass according to the industry parameters that are established, but we would not accept this at our customer site. Overall, we were 1.8 dB lower than the allowable standard of 2.6 loss budget.”

Document, Document, Document

After each test, the team documents the results and loads them into their own unique naming convention. “Blueprint first, documentation second, and then we pull a cable,” notes Howell. “No cable gets placed or moved until it is first documented and assigned a specific address. Every cable, every port, ever panel, every rack and every floor tile and zone has a unique line item address that is all documented on a computerized spreadsheet.”

“The beauty of this surgical-type procedure is inherent quality assurance,” adds Howell. “Someone years from now can pinpoint a specific panel and port through this precise procedure, allowing us to manage our ports very effectively now and in the future. All records that are stored in the spreadsheet are also pre-loaded into the testers,” he notes. “This process is not only faster, but it eliminates the human error that occurs when manually inputting cable records. Working at a Level 9 data center with 8,000 ports, the team has to be exceptionally detailed and accurate.”

Never ending story

Testing does not end with the installation, but is on going in the data center. “Due to the rigorous test demands of 10 Gigabit applications and the critical nature of this facility, we frequently turn to the OptiFiber™[Certifying OTDR] to perform a trace and identify anomalies before they become problems,” said Howell. “We like OptiFiber because it compliments the capabilities of our client’s existing line of cable testers, is just as simple to use, and shares a common test records database,” states Howell.

OTDRs provide a visual indication that the installation was done according to specifications and in a quality fashion. By analyzing the graphical ‘trace’ or by using an event table generated by OptiFiber, technicians can spot reflective events like a fiber break as well as non-reflected events like a tight bend.

We are passionate about nothing less than the best operational practices and procedures in this facility to maintain its world class standards,” said Howell. “To insure the cable plant is the best that it could be, we depend on consistent monitoring and detailed documentation. Because of the methodical steps we have taken and our pro-active procedures, we are assured that this data center is the most reliable today and the most prepared for growth tomorrow.”

Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, principle of Everett Communications, is a freelance writer for the cabling industry and can be reached at

Inspector Group Conducts NEIS Training

The International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) (Bethesda, MD) conducted its first training classes based on the National electrical Contractors Association's (NECA) National Electrical Installation Standards in Overland Park, Kansas on October 16-17, 2003. Instructor Phil Simmons put on five days of seminars for the Johnson County Contractor Licensing Board, covering 2002 National Electrical Code (NEC) changes and the following four NEIS standards:

· NECA 1, Good Workmanship
· NECA 101, Steel Conduits
· NECA 200, Temporary Power for Construction Sites
· NECA 305, Fire Alarms

National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) are the first quality and performance standards for electrical construction. They extend and supplement, the minimum, safety-based requirements of the NEC. NEIS training is a new direction for the inspectors' organization, which already conducts Code classes around the country.

IAEI education director Mike Johnston is excited about this expansion of the organization's historic role, and hopes to expand IAEI training offerings to include more NEIS courses for IAEI Sections, Divisions, and Chapters, as well as other clients.

It's always a challenge to provide authoritative programs that help people apply NEC requirements uniformly and consistently, clarifying those 'gray areas' in many of the rules," Johnson explained. "IAEI training works to help unify the understanding of what the Code really means by 'neat and workmanlike' installations. The NEIS publications have been welcomed by many, and are a great help in promoting this understanding."

Instructor J. Philip Simmons is a well-known authority on both the NEC and NEIS. Formerly chief building official of Washington state, he served as IAEI executive director from 1990 to 1995. Simmons has written and edited a number of technical books, is a member of N.E. Code-Making Panel 5 (grounding), and is author of an NEIS on installation practices for AC and MC cables.

"While the NEC emphasizes safety aspects of electrical installations, the NEIS standards help fill in the gaps to establish what must be done to comply with those NEC rules," observes Simmons. "The seminar participants discovered what a challenge it is to define the terms 'neat and workmanlike,' and how important it is to have a series of publications that help set minimum standards. Electrical inspectors play a key role in interpreting this NEC requirement. The NEIS standards can assist with uniform interpretation and application of the Code."

"We're excited to be partnering with IAEI in the area of NEIS training," says Brooke Stauffer, NECA's executive director for standards and safety. "They're the most respected Code trainers anywhere. NECA and IAEI share many common concerns, and having them put on NEIS training classes for inspectors, engineers, and other users is really going to help spread the message about NECA's quality standards for electrical construction."

IAEI regards NEIS training as a way to help clarify and draw a more definitive picture of what is meant by Code compliance, and its direct relationship to workmanship, from the perspective of electrical inspectors," observed Michael Johnston.

Graybar Launches New Brand Strategy to Reflect Success Transition from America’s “MIDDLEMAN” To Vital Link in Today’s Supply Chain

Graybar, (St. Louis, MO) North America’s leading electrical, telecommunications and networking distributor, today unveiled a new brand strategy that reflects an increased focus companywide on offering supply chain logistics and service solutions for its customers across the United States.

The announcement also included the unveiling of a new Graybar brand mark -- its first major revision in 78 years -- to reflect its successful transition from a ‘pick, pack and ship’ company to one of America’s largest providers of managed distribution and supply chain services.

“Our new brand strategy better reflects our business today,” said Graybar Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Reynolds Jr. “We have evolved into a supply chain powerhouse offering a wide range of services that lower costs and allow customers to focus on their core businesses.”

The new brand initiative emphasizes Graybar’s unique ability to work to its customers’ advantage by providing efficient, cost-effective service and solutions that go beyond just delivering products, Reynolds said, adding that Graybar is one of the nation’s largest employee-owned companies.

“Our new brand mark includes two small interlocking links as part of the design, clearly reflecting our vital role in the supply chain and our unique ability to build relationships that work for our customers, our suppliers, and our employees,” said Richard Offenbacher, senior vice president, Comm/Data Business. “We have retained the strong font and the ‘Graybar blue’ to reflect our heritage. The new brand mark now provides a visual identity that better explains our complete value proposition.”

Graybar has dramatically expanded its capabilities in the past decade to better compete and to serve its customers. The company has enhanced its technology leadership, using leading-edge information technology and logistics capabilities to raise the bar on performance and value for its customers and suppliers. In addition, the company has completed a zone warehouse strategy that improves its ability to provide back-up inventory and hard-to-find items to customers within 24 hours. Reynolds explained that Graybar “has been bucking the trend” by using the economic downturn as a time to invest in its information technology infrastructure.

Key improvements include deployment of Graybar’s $90 million enterprise resource planning (ERP) program with IBM, SAP and Deloitte Consulting to help customers, suppliers, and employees

better manage inventory, orders and collections, while reducing costs throughout the supply chain. The new ERP system will link Graybar’s more than 250 branch, zone, and district facilities in the United States.

Additionally, Graybar -- ranked among America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine and America’s Top Private Companies by Forbes has - Expanded its product portfolio in the areas of security and industrial automation; Developed the industry’s leading third-party verification program, called VIP (Verified Independently for Performance); Implemented a frequent buyers program called “epoint” to reward electrical and comm./data customers’ loyalty; and, Increased its nearly $500 million in inventory nationwide by 10%.

Reynolds announced the new branding initiative and the new brand mark to the company’s 7,500 employees in an email before they met with company executives in their local facilities for a thorough briefing. Company executives also notified major customers and suppliers before announcing the change to the media at large.


Graybar was founded in 1869 by Elisha Gray, a professor at Oberlin College and a competitor to Alexander Graham Bell in the development of the telephone, and telegraph operator Enos M. Barton. They teamed up and bought an electrical shop in Cleveland to manufacture and sell electrical bells, batteries, telegraph keys, and other devices.

The company, known then as Gray & Barton, became the Western Electric Co. in 1872. Four years later, after Bell invented and began commercializing the telephone, phones were added to the company’s product line, and Western Electric became the manufacturing department of the Bell Telephone System.

As electricity was gaining broad acceptance and use in homes, offices and factories across America, Western Electric also operated a thriving electrical distribution business, furnishing its customers with cable, conduit, lighting, and non-telephone products made by other manufacturers.

But, after 56 years in business, “the growing complexity of these dual responsibilities – on one hand, to the Bell Telephone System, (and) on the other, to the general user of electrical supplies – now makes it advisable to separate the two functions,” stated a 1925 company bulletin. “Hence, the (Western Electric) Supply Department … becomes a distinct corporate organization. It takes the name of Graybar, derived from Gray and Barton; a new name, but (one) carrying with it a reputation 56 years old.”

In 1929, at the height of the Great Depression, Graybar was purchased by its own employees, and today, is among the largest employee-owned companies in North America.

In the November 2003 issue of Electrical Contractor Magazine (, there is a great article on page 40 which discusses partnering with your distributor. This is a clear explanation of the important relationship between the contractor and the distributor. Contractors who fail to capture the value of these distributor relationships, are missing out on a significant competitive tool.
We recommend a subscription to this magazine.

Corning Cable Systems introduces FREEDM One Cable for LAN applications

Corning Cable Systems has introduced a new member of the LANscape Solutions portfolio, the FREEDM One Cable, an indoor/outdoor cable designed for all Local Area Network applications and environments.

The FREEDM One Plenum-Rated Cable features a tight-buffered cable design suitable for all building and campus network cabling--outdoors in aerial and duct environments and indoors in plenum, riser, and general-purpose environments. The fully waterblocked dry-core cable with standard 900-micron buffered fiber lends itself to quick and easy direct termination with standard field-installable connectors, say company representatives. It also avoids the need for building entrance transition splices or rigid metallic conduit for routing through plenum-rated spaces.

By eliminating the cable transition splice point from outdoor to indoor, installers are able to use one FREEDM One Cable for the entire cable run. Also, the 900-micron buffered fibers eliminate the need for fan-out kits and related hardware when directly terminating the cable ends. These features decrease labor time during installation and remove the cost of purchasing fan-out kits, thus reducing total installation costs.

According to the company, the FREEDM One Plenum Cable is rugged, robust, and able to withstand the rigors of the outdoor environment, while also flexible and friendly to typical indoor cabling requirements. The cable is designed and qualified to the industry standard ICEA S-104-696, Optical Fiber Indoor/Outdoor Cable Specification, which includes stringent tensile, crush, impact, and operating temperature range requirements for outside plant cables. It is OFNP/FT-6 plenum-listed, UV-resistant and fully waterblocked.

FREEDM One Plenum Cable is available with all multimode and singlemode fiber types, including 10 Gigabit-capable, laser-optimized, 50-micron fiber in counts of six, 12, and 24. The new 50-micron fiber is part of Corning Cable Systems LANscape Xcelerate Plus Solutions.

KRONE cable allows for 10 Gigabit Ethernet over UTP

KRONE has demonstrated the first augmented Category 6 cable with the necessary characteristics to enable 10Gigabit/s Ethernet to be implemented over unshielded twisted pair to the full 100 meters required for structured cabling systems.

The announcement was made at the recent IEEE 10Gigabit/s Ethernet standard working group meeting.

The test results on KRONE's new cable were corroborated by one of the leading Ethernet electronics vendors involved in the development of 10Gigabit/s technology and the 10GBASE-T Ethernet standard.

"Our presentation to the IEEE today shows that KRONE has demonstrated its ability to produce a UTP cable that exceeds the requirements outline to run 10Gigabit/s Ethernet over a 100-meter, unshielded twisted-pair copper channel," said Bernie Hammond, senior project manager for KRONE as he presented the results. "Most industry experts had concluded that it would not be possible to overcome the technical combination of insertion loss and alien crosstalk, or interference from adjacent cables, with UTP cable - the most prolific type of enterprise networking cable in the world.

The new augmented Cat 6 UTP copper cable was designed and developed at KRONE's U.S. copper cable-manufacturing facility in Sidney, NE. The cable demonstrated 21Gigabit/s due to the improved alien crosstalk immunity and the reduced insertion loss - which is more than adequate for the 10Gigabit/s Ethernet implementations being considered by the IEEE standard working group…. And this cable is LEAD-FREE.

KRONE, which has offices in Centennial, CO, manufactures cable and connectivity solutions. For more information visit

In recent interviews with Senior Management at KRONE, we were impressed by KRONE's commitment to produce high quality, safe products at affordable prices. We cannot discuss the specifics of the processes, but you may rest assured this company is focused on QUALITY, PERFORMANCE and SAFETY.

NECA's "Toolbox Talks" Now Available On CD

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) (Bethesda, MD) has released a collection of 100 toolbox talks developed especially for the electrical contracting industry, in CD-ROM format. 100 Safety Training Talks for Electrical Construction Work covers workplace electrical hazards and other common construction safety risks. Subjects covered include:

· Arc Fault Hazards
· Confined Spaces
· Fiber Optic Safety
· Lockout/Tagout Procedures
· Temporary Power
· Common OSHA Violations to Avoid

Electrical construction firms use so-called "toolbox talks" for on-the-job safety briefings. Typically, a foreman or supervisor gathers electricians together at the beginning of each day (or each shift) to deliver a short, focused, lecture about some aspect of jobsite safety. This regular "continuing education" helps keep safety awareness fresh in workers' minds, thus reducing accidents and injury claims.

Each of the 100 safety talks on NECA's new CD provides the following:

· Outline of discussion leader's duties.
· Easy-to-deliver and easy-to-understand safety information.
· Review and discussion questions at the end of the lesson.
· Attendance form to record date of talk and names of those present.

ORDERING INFORMATION: 100 Safety Training Talks for Electrical Construction Work is priced at $149, with NECA-member and quantity discounts available. Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or and request Index No. 5059. Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). All orders must be prepaid by check or credit card.

100 Safety Training Talks for Electrical Construction Work can also be purchased online. Visit and click on "Safety."

IDEAL offers tester trade up program

In the high-tech realm of datacom cable testing, you need the latest technology to stay on your game. IDEAL wants to do everything possible to help you do that. That’s why you can trade in your old CAT5/5e/6 tester and receive $500 cash back on the purchase of a new LANTEK 6 or $1000 cash back on the purchase of a new LANTEK 7.. Keeping up with the latest technology has never been so affordable.

ANIXTER recognizes safety issues and posts an important notification on their website.
This is another example of the contractor benefits of partnering with the distributor.

*California Health and Safety Code Section 25249.5 *

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, California Health and Safety Code Section 25249.5 (also known as "California Proposition 65") requires suppliers of certain products sold directly to retail consumers in the state of California to provide a warning notice regarding potentially hazardous ingredients.

Anixter has recently been notified by several suppliers that a small number of our wire and cable products might be subject to this notification requirement due to lead content in excess of 300 ppm (parts per million) in the "surface contact layer" of the product. The notification requirement only applies to products that will be "frequently handled" by California retail consumers. Frequently handled products are defined as items that are handled on a daily basis such as appliance power cords, microphone cables, etc.

Under California law, products sold to California retail consumers that incorporate these items might require a warning notice. An example of a suitable notice is shown below (the words in brackets are optional):


Handling certain plastic coated cords, cables, or accessories sold by us will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause [cancer, and] birth defects or other reproductive harm

Wash hands after handling

Below is a list of items that Anixter carries affected by this legislation. Additional information on Proposition 65 is available on the state of California's website at If you require additional information on these products or on possible lead-free alternatives, please contact your Anixter salesperson.

Remember there are high performance quality LEAD-FREE cables available from Anixter. We have confirmed that both Mohawk/CDT and KRONE manufacture LEAD-FREE cable products in CAT 5e and CAT 6. The best way to get the LEAD out is not to put it in!


Keeping hands free of heavy metal residue becomes even more important when you consider what workers' hands come in contact with - cigarettes, food, drinks, cosmetics... Simply washing with plain soap and water will not significantly reduce the spread of contamination or the danger of ingestion. Clean-All® is also an effective way to keep surfaces and laundry safe. Remove heavy metal residue and reduce the risk of toxic contamination with Clean-All Heavy Metals® Hand & Body Soap.

DO YOU KNOW? That lead is in 2nd place on the government's hazardous substance list? That lead is the worst and most widespread pollutant? That lead accumulates in the body and its effects can be catastrophic? That lead gets into the body when dust or fumes are inhaled or when ingested from contaminated hands, food, water, cigarettes & clothing?

To order & receive more information please contact:

407 Lincoln Road, Suite 4A
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Tel: 800/757-8141 • Fax: 305/695-8991

Mohawk/CDT Announces the Release of VersaLite(TM) Indoor/Outdoor Plenum Fiber Optic Cable

Mohawk/CDT (Leominster, MA)is proud to announce the release of a unique fiber optic cable for campus applications. VersaLite(TM) fiber optic cable is a fully water blocked cable to meet the demands of the outside plant while also having a plenum rating (OFNP) which meets the most stringent flame test requirement of the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Traditional fiber optic cable installations use a non-rated loose tube cable for the outside plant portion of a campus network. The NEC requires this cable to be terminated within fifty feet of the building entrance. It is then typically connected to a tight-buffered cable with the appropriate flame rating. Since the VersaLite cable is fully water blocked and UV-resistant, it can be installed in the outside plant portion of the network. This allows for an unspliced length of cable to go from the closet of one building to a closet in another building, eliminating the transition points in both buildings. While VersaLite cable costs more than traditional loose tube cable, the elimination of the transition points more than makes up the difference. The transition between the outside plant cable and the premises cable can be expensive not just in labor and materials, but also in terms of optical power.

With the current growth of gigabit and 10 gigabit backbones, the acceptable cable insertion loss continues to go down," states Mike Connaughton, RCDD, Fiber Optic Sales Manager, Mohawk/CDT. "By using the VersaLite cable, the loss contribution of the transition point is eliminated. This can result in a cable run with 1.5 dB of improved attenuation, which is 20% of the power budget of Gigabit Ethernet!"

In addition to the improved attenuation, VersaLite provides a cable that is completely "dry"-water blocked. Where traditional cables use gels to prevent water ingress, VersaLite uses a super absorbent polymer that is held in place throughout the length of the tubes. This is an important feature to maintain the water protection after the cable is handled during shipping and installation. It also is not a tight-buffered design, which gives the VersaLite product mechanical and environmental advantages

Adds Connaughton; "The VersaLite product is part of our Mini-Distribution product line which was originally developed to provide data center-type installations with a compact, flame retardant cable. This is a very versatile cable."



Winter Seminar
Jan 11 - 14
New Orleans, LA

International CES
Jan 08-11, 2004
Las Vegas, NV

BICSI Winter Conference
January 12 - 14
Orlando, FL

International Builder's Show
Jan 19-22, 2004
Las Vegas, NV


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