Attend the 2007 BICSI Fall Conference
Educate. Motivate. Lead. Succeed.
In just six
weeks, the 2007 BICSI Fall Conference will begin in Las Vegas, Nevada.
September 10-13, 2007 are the dates to block off on your calendar as you head
out to experience an extraordinary opportunity to connect with your friends and
business contacts, and gain a better understanding of the Information Transport
Help a Child
would like to make a difference in a child’s life, you can stop by the BICSI
Cares booth at any time to make a contribution to the Angel Kiss Foundation.
BICSI Cares, Inc. is the charity arm of BICSI, which collects donations at each
BICSI conference and gives 100 percent of the contributions to a local
children’s charity. The Angel Kiss Foundation is dedicated to helping families
of children with cancer, providing immediate assistance and support for any
expense or need related to treatment. The BICSI Cares booth will be set up near
the attendee registration during the day and moved to an area near the
Exhibitor registration desk during the reception and exhibition times.
Credential Holders Lounge,( Rooms 204-205 on the south concourse) an exclusive
venue for all BICSI credential holders, provides a quiet comfortable atmosphere
for a little relaxation between sessions. Sponsored by ITS-Jobs.com, BICSI
Credential Holders Lounge is open from Monday through Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.-5
p.m., and from 7:30 a.m.-noon on Thursday.
Gather Your Golf Buddies
countless workshops and seminars planned to help educate you, the Fall
Conference promises to bring many networking opportunities as well. Start your
journey to the 2007 BICSI Fall Conference by gathering your golf buddies,
packing your clubs and teeing off at the inaugural Ray Gendron Memorial Charity
Golf Tournament being held on Monday, September 10, with an 8 a.m. start. A
BICSI Past President and founder of BICSI Cares, Ray Gendron once attended a
BICSI Conference and jokingly passed a hat around. It soon returned to him
filled with money. Because there was no way to know who gave what amount, Ray
did the honorable thing and decided to donate the money to a children’s
charity. That was the beginning of BICSI Cares. Now, the annual golf tournament
tradition at a BICSI Conference is being hosted in honor of Ray’s legacy at the
Siena Golf Club in Las Vegas.
Reminiscent of the values and artistic styles fashioned by some of golf's
greatest courses, this par-72 Championship Golf Course features gently rolling
fairways, unique bunkering designs, and also offers some of the most panoramic
views of the surrounding mountains and the flashy skyline of the Las Vegas
Strip. If you have any questions please email Zuesette Woods at email@example.com
BICSI Interactive Learning Network
is another venue for networking and opportunities to meet with the BICSI Board
of Directors and Senior Staff. BICSI Connect, the interactive learning network
(formerly known as BICSI Web-based Training), will debut at the booth, and you
can check out the demos or talk to the staff to learn more about this
additional educational venue. The BICSI Booth is located downstairs in the
Exhibit Hall, so make sure you stop by to meet the Board and the staff during
the evening receptions.
Receptions in the Exhibit Hall are the premier opportunity to network and make
new business contacts. State-of-the-art exhibits are provided by companies in
the ITS industry, looking to share their latest and greatest products and
services with you. During the Evening Receptions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,
hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided. On Tuesday morning, enjoy
complimentary continental breakfast while you browse the exhibits.
New BICSI Merchandise Line
clothing makes the perfect addition to any wardrobe! Stop by the BICSI Store in
the BICSI Community near the Attendee Registration Desk and purchase top
quality clothing, with great styles and colors to choose from. BICSI
accessories are also available.
today at www.bicsi.org to experience the
many educational and networking opportunities that are planned for you. You
will leave the 2007 Fall Conference more effective in your job, better
informed, and more valuable in the ITS marketplace.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Corning Announces Breakthrough Optical Fiber Technology
Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) announced the
development of a new optical fiber-based technology that solves an historic
technical challenge for telecommunications carriers installing
fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks.
Corning’s breakthrough is based on a
nanoStructures™ optical fiber design that allows the cabled fiber to be bent
around very tight corners with virtually no signal loss. These improved attributes will enable
telecommunications carriers to economically offer true high-speed Internet,
voice and HDTV services to virtually all commercial and residential (apartment
and condominium) buildings. Current
optical fiber installations lose signal strength and effectiveness when bent
around corners and routed through a building, making it difficult and expensive
to run fiber all the way to customers’ homes.
“This is a
game-changing technology for telecommunications applications,” said Peter F.
Volanakis, president and chief operating officer at Corning.
“We have developed an optical fiber cable that is as rugged as copper
cable but with all of the bandwidth benefits of fiber. By making fundamental changes in the way
light travels in the fiber, we were able to create a new optical fiber that is
over 100 times more bendable than standard fibers.” Corning’s
newest fiber technology achieves this while maintaining compatibility with
industry performance standards, existing manufacturing processes and
installation procedures. “So, customers
don’t have to sacrifice one benefit to get another,” he said.
more than 680 million apartment homes worldwide, including more than 25 million
in the United States. The high cost of installation and difficulty
in delivering fiber to the home made this market unappealing to most
providers. We have been working closely
with these carriers to create a solution that will make this more economically
viable for them and for their customers,” he said.
One of the
early proponents of this emerging technology was Verizon Communications
Inc. In February of this year, Corning and Verizon
commissioned a joint working team to solve the problems of multiple dwelling
unit installation using this new fiber solution. “Continued innovation in advanced
telecommunications networks is critical to the long-term success of Verizon and
our ability to provide our FiOS service on a mass scale in the United States,”
said Paul Lacouture, executive vice president of Engineering and Technology,
Verizon Telecom Group. “We are working closely
with Corning to solve the challenges of
providing fiber solutions to high-rise apartment complexes across the United States. This fiber technology will enable us to bring
faster Internet speeds, higher-quality high-definition content, and more interactive
capabilities than any other platform which exists today.”
first introduced low-loss optical fiber in the early 1970s. Optical fibers are waveguides that transmit
light within the fiber’s central region, or core. However, with standard single-mode fiber,
tight bends cause leakage of the light, resulting in signal loss or optical
power degradation. A bend or curve that
is too tight will result in total signal loss.
With Corning’s new nanoStructures design, the optical fiber maintains
its signal strength when bent or curved, with performance results 100 times
better than standard single-mode fibers.
The new fiber also enables simpler and more aesthetically pleasing
designs for the cable, hardware and equipment used in the deployment.
Corning will introduce a full suite of optical fiber, cable and
hardware and equipment solutions based on its nanoStructures technology
platform this fall at the Fiber-to-the-Home Conference in Orlando, Fla.,
Sept. 30 – Oct. 4. (www.corning.com)
Here to Stay Sustainable Design Is No Passing Phase
Sustainable development involves
… meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs,” was said at the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro in 1992, and subsequently adopted by the President’s Council on
Sustainable Development. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Handbook,
according to the College
of Design, states that
“sustainability refers to the ability of a society, ecosystem, or any such
ongoing system to continue functioning into the indefinite future.” Such
declarations imply sustainability is not limited to impacts on the natural environment
but on people and communities as well. “Sustainable design is design in which
built and artificial systems, human health, and natural ecosystems are
holistically considered and addressed, with the end goal of designing healthier
places to live and work that do little or no damage to the environment,” said
Max Zahniser, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited
professional and program manager for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC),
movement toward more ecologically sound design principles has been based partly
on the increased understanding that common development practice is not
sustainable. Some of the most important ecological issues impacted by common
design practices include global climate change, declining sources of
nonrenewable fuels, habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity, and toxic
design incorporates those features which minimize a building’s impact on the
environment and that are long-lasting,” said Brian Castelli, COO and executive
vice president for the Alliance to Save Energy
(ASE), Washington, D.C.
design means accounting for reusing and recycling materials; using safe and
nontoxic materials that don’t negatively affect indoor air quality; and
minimizing landfill impact, deforestation and degradation of the natural
environment. Sustainable design also means using architecture and technology to
better manage a building’s response to the environment and to better manage the
resources used to construct and orient it, said Mark LaLiberte, president of
Building Knowledge Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., and trainer for the National
Houses That Work educational series offered by the Energy and Environmental
Building Association, Bloomington, Minn.
Evolution of sustainable design
movement of the 1970s was an offshoot of the ’60s culture that was searching
for a clean, organic environment, according to Castelli. Then, in the 1990s,
the movement recognized an opportunity to promote global sustainability.
of more than a decade ago were an advancement of the community green concepts
of the 1960s and ’70s, but they had evolved to examine making state, country
and global infrastructures more sustainable,” Castelli said.
Gary Gerber, president of
design/build firm Sun Light & Power Co., Berkeley, Calif., and board member
of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), San
Francisco, agrees that the movements of the 1970s and 1990s were similar, and
today, society is rediscovering many of the concepts put forth then, such as
the use of solar hot water and the promotion of sustainable forestry practices.
we are a bit beyond the 1970s in terms of knowledge and sophistication,” Gerber
said. “Back then, the idea of resource conversation was more politically based,
while today there is more urgency concerning global resource depletion, as we
are actually running out of cheap oil.”
earlier sustainable design movements strived to make buildings more efficient
by using alternative resources, the architecture and design concepts at that
time were not particularly aesthetically pleasing to the average buyer,
“Since then, we have realized
that buildings can be designed to be aesthetic and still remarkably functional
in terms of resource use and energy conservation,” he said. Changes in
architectural concepts, along with new or advanced technologies, such as more
efficient photovoltaics and more efficient insulation techniques, have led to more
mainstream acceptance and demand for sustainable buildings.
current sustainable design movement is crossing party lines in a way it never
has,” Zahniser said. Rising oil and gasoline prices, a desire to reduce U.S. dependence
on foreign oil, the human health and productivity benefits, and the
availability of skilled practitioners that can deliver green buildings at
little or no premium over traditional construction all are bolstering the solid
business case for sustainable design.
current chapter of the green and green building movements has in common with
the previous incarnations is that they are value driven. The current
evolutionary state is more realistic than its predecessors and more aware of
other human systems, such as global economics, but the drivers still have
harmony with natural systems at its heart,” Zahniser said.
to Castelli, sustainable design has also gained new ground today because the
way buildings have been traditionally built has not actually been economically
sustainable design methods create ways to construct buildings differently than
before but with the same quality end-product with lower energy costs and
improved indoor air quality,” Castelli said.
Previously, businesses were not
necessarily attracted to the concept of sustainable design, perhaps believing
it was a phase and too expensive. However, according to Gerber, today’s
economic incentives are actually engaging businesses to use sustainable design
multinational companies are now adopting green practices and are seeing the
value of sustainability on their bottom line,” he said. Individuals and
companies are finally understanding that wasting resources equals wasting
money, allowing business and conservationists to no longer be at odds in their
philosophies concerning the environment.
Shaping your green business
that today’s sustainable design movement is no phase but that it has an
economic basis in necessity. Electrical contractors need to adjust to this fact
and shape their businesses to respond to the increasing demand for green,
sustainable buildings, homes and industrial and other facilities.
contractors need to examine the best energy-efficiency design practices being
used today,” Castelli said. In addition, they need to understand that homes,
buildings and facilities are more “wired” now, and they must have the technical
capabilities to respond to the demand for increased connectivity that is more
several areas where electrical contractors can have an impact in terms of
adjusting to the demand for sustainable buildings, according to Gerber.
contractors can incorporate photovoltaics into their businesses and get fully
trained in the art and practice of installing these systems,” he said. There is
a great amount of specialized knowledge involved in solar technology, and
electrical contractors can get photovoltaic design and installation
certification from the national North American Board of Certified Energy
Practitioners (NABCEP), Malta,
design is another area electrical contractors can explore to shape their green
contractors that are not already delivering design/build projects need to learn
the proper practices of lighting design and familiarize themselves with the
equipment required for the energy-efficient lighting, controls and
energy-management systems that are being specified so that they can develop the
technical skills to install and maintain them,” Gerber said.
agrees electrical contractors can do many things to respond to sustainable
design demands. They can, he said, be on the front edge of technology by
embracing changes and advancements, consult with planners and architects and
help determine the most efficient and innovative ways to reach sustainability
goals, and learn about and understand green programs such as LEED.
contractors need to become a solution partner in resolving design and
sustainability issues and add value above installing electrical systems,” he
According to Zahniser,
electrical distributors can position themselves in this market by gaining
sustainable design expertise, partnering capabilities and by actively
participating in the promotion of environmentally sound projects.
contractors positioning themselves for sustainable design will need to
understand and work with on-site generated energy systems, such as
photovoltaics and small-scale residential wind turbines, raised floor systems
that house electrical equipment and cabling as well as HVAC and data
infrastructure wiring, more efficient lighting fixtures, and daylight sensors
and other daylight harvesting technologies,” he said.
The future of sustainability
really just beginning to see the growth of the sustainable design movement,”
Castelli said. As energy costs and the demand for materials and resources
continue to increase, so will the need to grow or manufacture sustainable
materials closer to where they are being used to reduce the use of energy in
transportation and carbon footprints.
that businesses that are involved in sustainable design, including designers,
architects and electrical contractors, as well as producers of energy-efficient
appliances and insulation, are going to see a huge market explosion as
societies continue to realize the need,” Castelli said.
to Gerber, sustainable design will become mainstream in less than a decade.
sustainable practices that were considered fringe ideas 10 years ago, such as
LEED, are now becoming dominant in design practices,” he said.
design, he added, will be essential because our society no longer has a choice
and must conserve resources and behave in a way that secures a healthy global
LaLiberte predicts there will be real innovation in the near future in the
integration of wall systems and in streamlining construction processes through
prefabricating wall panels.
be less site work and more prefabrication,” he said. In addition, there will be
improvements in motor technology and lighting, and an increased mainstream
acceptance of photovoltaic, wind and other alternative energy sources.
Zahniser agreed that the use of
sustainable design practices will continue to increase, meaning energy
efficiency and other sustainability measures will become more commonplace.
positioning themselves as experts at working with these technologies at no
premium over traditionally designed and built projects are likely to have the
edge in this rapidly growing movement,” he said.
Focus: By Darlene Bremer
a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md., contributes frequently to ELECTRICAL
CONTRACTOR. She can be reached at 410.394.6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
Christine A. Klauck Joins the Fiber Connect Team
Manager of Technical & Sales Support
Leviton is pleased to announce that Christine A. Klauck has
joined the team at Fiber Connect, Inc., a Leviton Company, as the Manager of
Technical & Sales Support.
In this new role, Klauck will develop a technical team to
support Business Development Management’s field sales, as well as inside sales.
In addition to her role at Fiber Connect, Klauck currently
serves as BICSI Northeast Region Director, a position she has held for the past
four years. Klauck also chairs the BICSI Cares Committee, the charitable arm of
BICSI, raising money at each conference for children’s charities and offering
scholarships to members and their families who pursue higher education degrees
in the information transport industry.
Klauck’s career spans more than twenty years in the
Information Transport Industry. Prior to joining Fiber Connect, Klauck, an
RCDD/NTS Specialist, spent 12 years at the Siemon Company in corporate
training, technical support and marketing departments. Klauck also worked for more than 11 years at
IBM Corporation in design and project management of telecommunications
structured cabling systems for residential, Fortune 500 and “Big Four”
A Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
representative since 1995, and member of Construction Specification Institute
(CSI), Klauck holds a BS.ed from Keene State College and an engineering
drafting certificate from Westchester Community College.
For more information on Leviton or Fiber Connect, log on to www.leviton.com, or www.fiber-connect.com.
The New Heart Of The Home
No longer the domain of luxury
dwellings, interest is growing for lighting controls that stand alone or
integrate into whole-house automation systems for greater convenience and
Few areas of electrical contracting have changed at a rate greater than
residential lighting controls. Residential product offerings have grown
exponentially as social and political agendas continue to shape energy
supplies—as more middle-income homeowners take control over lighting.
Manufacturers are accommodating current needs and charting the course of
lighting convergence on future technological advancements.
and wireless lighting controls have been around for more than a decade. Today,
industry experts say they are entering a new era in convenience, efficiency and
commodity that will allow homeowners to dramatically transform a room or an
entire house with light while reducing energy consumption and costs.
for homeowners and contractors
the global energy debate aside, there are two distinct customers in the
residential market with a need for dynamic product from a manufacturing
standpoint, according to Jason Sherrill, product manager of structured wiring,
wireless technologies and energy protection at Cooper Wiring Devices.
“Homeowners are looking for more safety,
security, comfort, convenience, style, control and possibilities. Installers
are looking for more sales, options, reliability, control and an innovative
technology platform,” Sherrill said.
Residential lighting controls are no longer a
tool exclusively for wealthy homeowners.
The Lighting Controls Association (LSA)
reports while automated lighting control offers utility for larger rooms with
multiple light fixtures and types, it can be a realistic option for new or
existing homes as small as 2,000 square feet.
“Lighting may be stand-alone [or] whole
house, offer room and/or house control, and be tied into the security system
(about 30 percent of new homes), a home theater system (about 8 percent of new
homes), or a complete home automation system,” said LSA’s Craig DiLouie.
Such technological advancements, said Brad
Wills, Square D director of installation systems and control, are driving
electrical contractors into more low-voltage work.
“It’s expanding their scope beyond pure
electrical work to include lighting control, A/V, security and HVAC control. As
a result, contractors are either going to work more closely with low-voltage
contractors for installations, or they are going to have to make the decision
to enter those areas themselves,” Wills said.
Although advanced integrated entertainment
controllers are growing faster than lighting controls over the next five years,
lighting controls are still big business, said Bill Ablondi, research analyst
with Parks Associates.
“Total lighting controls this year will be
about $180 million for the hardware, the intelligence and basic controls, with
the market growing to $350 million in 2012,” Ablondi said.
The lighting control industry is continually
moving toward total integration with entertainment controllers and other home
automation/intelligent building systems as the emphasis for user-friendly
expandable systems with remote access grows in the face of stricter energy
regulations and maintenance efficiency.
“While manufacturers have been providing
residential lighting controls for quite some time, recent federal mandates on
energy-efficient lighting controls are driving the development of the latest
technologies, which involve ‘greener’ controls protocols, requiring less energy
consumption and producing less waste,” said Bryan Matthews, public relations
manager for Lightolier Controls.
Lighting controls are being watched closely
and are landing on several major energy agendas, including the 2005 federal
Energy Policy Act, the Title 24 Energy Code in California and continued pressure to adopt
similar measures in neighboring states, as well as the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating
and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
to Grant Sullivan, product marketing manager, Leviton Home Automation Products,
previous automated home control and home lighting products fell into two
distinct levels. “Either they were high-priced, hard-wired or proprietary wireless
systems, or they were low-priced consumer products dominated by marketing hype
and less-than-reliable performance,” he said.
The latest lighting control advancements are
not only elevating controls to a commodity level, but there are new categories
of products being developed, which places new responsibilities on electrical
contractors, said Mike Piraino, lighting controls market development manager at
Pass & Seymour/Legrand.
“The toughest job an electrical contractor
has right now is learning about all the new systems and devices. No one
manufacturer can offer the best solution in every application. So, the
contractor quite often has the tough job of sorting through the different
products and figuring out the best way to go,” Piraino said.
Sherrill added that another factor driving technological developments in
residential lighting is interoperability (plug-and-play). Cooper Wiring Devices
plans to introduce ASPIRE RF, a wireless lighting control device later this year.
“With interoperability, electrical
contractors can move forward with an open protocol that allows them to bring a
scalable and interoperable system to the end-user with a package of options
from various manufacturers under one universal umbrella for ease of
installation and use,” Sherrill said.
Residential vacancy or occupancy sensors
developed for California Title 24 mandates, such as Cooper’s 01-400R, require
users to turn on a light upon entering the room, but the sensor automatically
turns it off once motion is no longer detected, a feature that can’t be
overridden. However, at this time, the mandate only applies in single and
multiple dwellings in California.
occupancy sensing and daylight harvesting are becoming major players in energy
“Being able to distinguish when energy is
truly needed and at what level, allows the homeowner to properly control the
amount of energy consumed in the home,” Lightolier’s Matthews said.
Lightolier’s occupancy sensor (at left)
doesn’t rely on conventional motion detection to determine occupancy.
IntelliSight has a significantly expanded detection range of 4,000 square feet,
which product developers say directly correlates to energy savings.
homeowners are increasingly committed to saving energy and to doing their part
on a personal level to conserve,” said Don J. Buehner, LiteTouch president and
Daylight harvesting is now benefiting
homeowners through the LiteTouch DayLight Harvesting keypad. Daylight
harvesting technology allows for artificial lighting in a room to be
supplemented by natural light coming through windows.
As natural light is “harvested” and measured
by an ambient light sensor, the LiteTouch keypad automatically dims the light fixtures,
so the natural and artificial light work in concert to maintain the desired
lighting level in the room.
& Seymour/ Legrand’s LightSense is a new entry in RF whole-home mastering
controls for lighting, fan speed and small appliances. LightSense has matching
wired devices for a consistent appearance for system and non-system controls.
“For new construction or for retrofitting
existing homes, LightSense makes it easy to add a little or a lot of light
control to the home, and because it uses radios to send and receive commands,
there is a minimum of special wiring,” Piraino said.
completely new category of lighting controls is growing out of distributed
lighting control topology recently introduced by Square D. As explained by
Square D’s Wills, when employing a distributed topology, an electrical
contractor doesn’t have to be as exacting in the design phase because
functionality is built into each input and output device itself, eliminating
the need for a centralized controller.
“Communications wiring between input and
output devices is typically made in a free topology arrangement that does not
depend on daisy chain loops or radial feeds,” Wills said.
developers at Leviton Manufacturing point out that wireless devices such as
Vizia RF, also part of the Z-Wave partnership, have experienced the most
dramatic changes in recent years due to the implementation of advanced digital
circuitry allowing enhanced features with tactile dimmers and switches.
“In previous decades, a typical home had only
a few dimmers, such as a dining room or a master bedroom. With new wireless
lighting systems, dimmers are installed in many more places throughout a
home—enough, in fact, to create an energy-saving home control network,” said
Leviton’s Sullivan, who adds that wireless provides retrofit opportunities in
older homes as easily as in new construction.
of these wireless options, especially for wallbox products, are creating
whole-house lighting control. For the residential market, Lutron’s AuroRa whole-house
lighting system requires no new wiring and no programming.
According to Mike Cunningham, Lutron
marketing communications director, “Homeowners are increasingly interested in
security features, such as the ability to create light pathways inside and
outside the home, the use of handheld and car-visor remotes so that people
don’t have to walk into a dark home, setting up a flashing distress signal for
a porch light or front-door light so that emergency workers can find your home
quickly, and the ability to integrate with home-security systems.”
Another key trend is the need to provide
lighting controls that are tailored to individual needs and tasks. Added
Cunningham, “As the population ages, more people need brighter lighting for
such tasks as reading and cooking. But they still want to be able to set lower
light levels for other activities, such as dining, watching television and
entertaining guests. Dimmers allow people to use more light when they need it,
less light when they prefer it, all while saving energy.”
from Progress Lighting is the P83-26ICATDM, the industry’s first dimmable
compact fluorescent recessed fixture, which works with a standard incandescent
dimmer. Dimming down to a 15 percent light output, the recessed fixture meets
California Title 24 requirements as well as all state standards for airtight
recessed fixtures. “[It] captures the energy savings of high efficacy 26W twin
triple tube compact fluorescent lamps,” said Craig Wright, product manager.
bottom line, according to Wills, is a continued emphasis on research and
development for manufacturers and more homework for contractors because future
users will demand more sophisticated lighting designs in their homes.
“The industry is going to have to balance
with demands for more energy efficiency. State governments are going to demand
homes use less energy, but homeowners are going to want multiple layers of
lighting, which is going to add more energy consumption. The lighting control
industry is going to be caught in the middle, and as an extension, so will
electrical contractors,” Wills said. EC
By Debbie McClung
MCCLUNG, owner of Woodland
Communications, is a construction writer from Iowa. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
CCI Lab Receives MSHA Approval for Burn Test
Cable Inc. (CCI) recently announced that its quality lab in Waukegan, Illinois,
received approval from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to
conduct the burn test on products such as power, control and communication
earn this accreditation, the lab was required to satisfy strict requirements
for testing the flame resistance of electric cables, title 30 CFR § 7.407, for
products such as power and control cables; and flame resistance testing of
signaling cables, title 30 CFR § 7.408,
for products such as low-voltage, coax and communication cables. The process initiated several months ago when
CCI built a burn booth in its lab, then worked with MSHA officials for
inspection and approval of the flame resistance test procedure, as well as
approval of the individuals who conduct the test.
are a limited number of facilities that are approved to conduct this
testing. For CCI, the in-house testing
significantly improves our time to market, making us more effective and
efficient in product design and development,” said Howard Caccia, CCI’s vice
president, engineering. “The investment
in our lab is just one more example of CCI’s commitment to the market to do
everything necessary to serve the customer’s needs.”
Coleman Cable Inc.
Cable, Inc. (CCI) is a leading manufacturer and innovator of electrical and
electronic wire and cable products for the security, sound, telecommunications,
electrical, commercial, industrial, and automotive industries. With extensive
design and production capabilities and a long-standing dedication to customer
service, Coleman Cable, Inc. is the preferred choice of cable and wire users
throughout the United States.
The company is located at 1530
Shields Drive, Waukegan, IL 60085. For more information, visit: www.colemancable.com
MRV Communications, Inc.
leading publications are saying about MRV:
device connectivity continues to be the main focus of MRV's LX solution, but
with the LX-4016T we could set a remote serial management environment that
included power management and serial device control, as well as support for
environmental monitoring and a video camera system."
Computing, Remote Administration Within Reach, April 16, 2007
coupled with power management and a solid UPS system, the 4000T can be an
invaluable shield against being out of touch in a crisis."
Computing News, Test Drive,
May 7, 2007
high-end hosting customers want to have insight into their servers and how they
are behaving, and now they have the technological savvy to do this,"
Whittaker said. "When we give them remote access to their equipment they
feel more in control and tell us that this is an important benefit."
and Equipment Magazine, Out-of-Band Management Network Helps Magnet Networks Go
National, April 2007
4000T Series provides industry leading serial connectivity, power management
and physical infrastructure solutions. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
800-338-5316 to learn more about how these solutions can increase security,
lower risk and improve service levels! www.mrv.com
Examining Twisted-pair Options For 10-Gigabit Ethernet
is marketing manager for Fluke Networks’ certification tools
(www.flukenetworks.com). He holds a Master’s degree in electrical engineering
from the University of Louvain in Louvain, Belgium and an MBA from Seattle University.
companies are planning to install networks with the ability to transmit
10-Gbit/sec Ethernet to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth and
improved response times. The need for higher bandwidth first manifests itself
in the backbone cabling or in data centers. The Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers (IEEE; www.ieee.org) completed and approved a new
chapter in the Ethernet standard (802.3) to enable 10-Gbit/sec Ethernet transmission
over twisted-pair copper cabling. This implementation, called 10GBase-T is
specified in a standard that supports both unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) and
screened or fully shielded twisted-pair (STP) cabling systems. Shielded cabling
systems are entering center stage in the promotional battles for market share.
The question whether to select, specify, and install unshielded versus shielded
has consequently become the topic of the day.
article explains the transmission-performance requirements for the twisted-pair
cabling system defined in the 10GBase-T standard. It will furthermore discuss
the following questions: Is the familiar UTP cabling no longer a viable choice?
And has shielded cabling become the new solution for high-speed applications
the 10-Gbit/sec data rate, each wire pair in the twisted-pair cabling must be
able to transmit 800 million symbols per second (data rate of 800 Mega Baud). A
“symbol” is a voltage level; a new symbol must be transmitted every 1.25
nanoseconds (or 1¼ billionth of a second). In order to support this very high
rate of signal transmission, the cabling performance parameters are specified
up to 500 MHz. In comparison, the Category 6 cabling standard defines the
transmission performance of the cabling over the frequency range from 1 through
standards characterize the performance of twisted-pair data cabling using a
signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) analysis. This method defines 1) the minimum
required signal strength (or the maximum signal loss allowed) over the
frequency range of interest—in this case over the range 1 through 500 MHz, and
2) a number of noise parameters or disturbances that cannot exceed established
values over the same frequency range. The specified noise parameters are
related to crosstalk between wire pairs in the cable and signal reflection on
each wire pair measured by the return loss parameter.
the very high frequency range required for 10GBase-T, the crosstalk
requirements must be expanded to include not only the crosstalk that happens
between wire pairs within each cabling link, but also to include the crosstalk
that is induced from wire pairs in adjacent cabling links. The latter is called
alien crosstalk. The performance of each individual cabling link is certified
by the “in-channel” tests, while the alien crosstalk performance or the
coupling between wire pairs in adjacent links is to be certified by the
“between-channel” test parameters.
How can you
be assured that the installed cabling system will support 10GBase-T
transmission? Industry standards define the test parameters as well as the
measurement methodology to assure compliance of installed cabling systems. This
testing procedure is called cabling certification.
has been the organization to develop, expand, and maintain the “Ethernet”
standards, in its 802.3 set of specifications. IEEE project 802.3an developed
and defined the system to transmit 10-GbE over twisted-pair cabling. This
project encompasses all aspects of the network implementation including the
minimum capability of the cabling link between a transmitting device and a
receiving device. The IEEE is focused on the transmission performance of the
end-to-end cabling link independent of the number of connections or other
cabling installation issues. The IEEE 802.3an development has been completed
and was approved by it standards board in June 2006.
industry is undertaking two sets of activities.
for cabling compliance with the transmission requirements of 10GBase-T
cabling standard that delivers better transmission performance than Category 6,
called Augmented Category 6 (Category 6A) or Augmented Class E (abbreviated
Class EA by the International Organization for Standardization
North American market, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA;
www.tiaonline.org) is the leading standards body for data communications
cabling. The ISO develops, publishes, and maintains standards for the worldwide
market. Both standards bodies are involved with the two activities mentioned
Cabling guidelines for compliance
with 10GBase-T. The
TIA published a document titled Telecommunications Systems Bulletin 155 (TIA
TSB-155), which contains the guidelines and performance criteria by which any
cabling system can be evaluated for compliance with the cabling transmission
requirements for 10GBase-T. The guidelines in TSB-155 address the in-channel
performance (test parameters that define the performance of an individual
cabling link over the frequency range from 1 through 500 MHz) and the
between-channel performance (signal coupling between adjacent links commonly
referred to as alien crosstalk). The ISO is in the process of creating a
Technical Report (TR 24750) that serves the same purpose, and intends to
provide the same guidance as the TIA TSB-155 document. Note that these
guidelines do not suppose a specific Category or Class of cabling, but it will
be very difficult to meet the performance established by TSB-155 (TR 24750) for
any cabling lower than Category 6 or Class E.
New cabling standards. Both TIA and ISO are developing a
new cabling type called Augmented Category 6 (Category 6A) or Augmented Class E
(Class EA). This new cabling will offer better performance than
Category 6 or Class E cabling. The performance of the in-channel parameters as
well as the between-channel parameters will be defined up to 500 MHz. Note that
the standards activities that define the Augmented cabling systems are not yet
complete, even though many manufacturers offer Category 6A (Class EA)
solutions in the market. The TIA development is further along than the ISO
development, and will be published as Addendum 10 to the TIA standard 568-B.2
(TIA-568-B.2-10). This TIA document is, at the time of this writing, in Draft
important reason for the new cabling systems is the fact that Category 6
cabling may not satisfy the between-channel performance (alien crosstalk
performance), especially for longer links. TSB-155 states that Category 6
“should” perform satisfactorily for links up to 37 meters long; it may well
work up to 55 meters, and it may need some mitigation if you want to run
10GBase-T over Category 6 links longer than 55 meters.
real-world installation, the alien crosstalk performance of installed Category
6 cabling depends on many factors. The best advice we can give: Test alien
crosstalk performance of installed Category 6 cabling before deploying
10GBase-T. If the links pass the requirements specified in TSB-155, they are
ready to support 10GBase-T. One design goal for the Category 6A system states
that it shall satisfy the alien crosstalk performance for 10GBase-T for a full
100-meter horizontal channel.
cabling installation should be treated as a long-term investment. The
electronic devices are typically replaced several times within the lifespan of
the cabling system. Replacing a cabling system is also a much more disruptive
and costly project than exchanging network devices like switches and routers.
You should, therefore, consider the best cabling system for the time horizon of
this investment. In a new data center design, this decision should definitely
favor a Category 6A cabling system.
mentioned earlier, shielded cabling types are getting much attention in the
Category 6A market today. The standards do not favor UTP over STP construction.
Instead, as was explained earlier, the standards set performance limits for the
in-channel transmission capability as well as for the between-channel
capability. We have witnessed the testing of many UTP cabling installations
that fully meet the requirements spelled out in the proposed Category 6A
standard. The shielding in the screened cable types offer better
electromagnetic interference (EMI) performance and diminishes the signal
coupling between wire pairs in adjacent cabling links. A shielded cabling
installation, if properly installed, should offer better margins for the alien
an interesting question: Do cabling systems with very good margins (15 dB or
more) perform better in everyday network operations than cabling with merely
good (say 5 dB) margins? We believe the answer is, “No.” The distinction is not
noticeable. It is true that a reasonable margin of a few dB above the minimum
requirements protects network traffic from spurious and random EMI events that
undoubtedly occur. Also, remember that the dB scale is not a linear scale. For
example, a worst-case alien crosstalk margin of 6 dB means that at the
worst-performing frequency, the measured alien crosstalk signal is half of the
allowable signal level for alien crosstalk.
selection process between unshielded and a variety of screened and shielded
cabling options, UTP remains the more economical system. Installation
contractors in the North American market are very familiar with unshielded
cable types. Category 6A UTP may, however, bring a few new challenges. Many of
the Category 6A UTP implementations have bigger outside diameters, and the
density in patch panels has decreased. The increased outside diameter (OD)
creates a greater distance between wire pairs in adjacent links, thereby
reducing the between-channel signal coupling. A bigger OD for the cabling does,
however, affect the fill rate in ducts and pathways. An increase in the OD of
0.1 inch, from 0.25 inch to 0.35 inch, represents in increase in fill volume of
21%. It also affects the ease of handling and bending of cable bundles. If you
select a UTP Category 6A cable with an increased outside diameter, pathway
layout, duct sizes, and cable suspension should be designed to accommodate the
OD parameter of the cable.
near-end crosstalk (NEXT) is very susceptible to the performance of the cabling
near ends of the link, most noticeably in patch cords, patch panels, and the
wire management in the racks. To alleviate or mitigate alien crosstalk problems
in UTP installations, the Category 6A patch panels support less density and
trade off that density for alien crosstalk performance by allowing more space
between jacks in the panel. Alien NEXT for UTP cabling can also be improved by
adjusting the practices of bundling in the wire management of the racks.
Allowing more free flow between the cables and placing wraps or hook-and-loop
ties a few feet apart, rather than a few inches apart, will help. Also, smaller
bundles are more manageable and will require less time to conduct the alien
important to note that there are several different varieties of shielded
cabling, and that a series of new acronyms has emerged to describe the
different cable types. In the most common construction type, the wire pairs are
fully covered with a metal foil. This construction used to be called FTP
(foiled twisted-pair) or ScTP (screened twisted-pair) but is now often referred
to as F/UTP (foiled/unshielded twisted-pair) or S/UTP (screened/unshielded
twisted-pair). An alternate construction provides a foil around each individual
wire pair. And the Category 7 cable construction provides a foil around each
wire pair, then a foil around the four foil-screened wire pairs and lastly, a
braided screen woven of thin wire around that outside foil. This cable
construction is also called SSTP (shielded screened twisted-pair). The
flexibility and manageability of SSTP is much less than that of UTP.
screen or shielding is effective in preventing high-frequency signal
interference between wire pairs in adjacent cables. Good cable balance offers
great immunity from interference caused by lower-frequency signals. In order to
obtain these benefits from screens, installers must follow a number of very
important installation practices. The key concerns are 1) the shield must fully
surround the wire pairs in the cable from end to end, and 2) provide proper
grounding of the shield.
It is fully
important that the shield is kept intact over the entire length of the cable
and that the shield fully surrounds the cable and connecting hardware. If the
shield is, for example, formed into a pigtail over the last inch of the cable,
it will reduce the protection against EMI and alien crosstalk. Furthermore, we
must avoid splitting the shield at sharp bends in the cable. The shield is
typically a ribbon of aluminum foil that is wrapped around the cable. If the
cable is bent at too sharp of a radius, the shield may separate, thereby
reducing the effectiveness of the shield and its ability to protect against
must be grounded on both ends of the link. It is often said that a shield is
90% effective when it is grounded at one end of the link. Such a shield
continues to protect the wire pairs against many external high-frequency
disturbances, but an open-ended shield may allow resonances at certain
frequencies. A resonance creates the chance that the signals couple into the
data wire pairs, creating a significant alien crosstalk disturbance at those
individual frequencies. Field certification may record very low margins for
alien crosstalk at those frequencies.
shield should be terminated to ground at both ends, it is critical that the
ground potential at both ends is approximately the same to avoid any
ground-loop currents. The TIA-607 standard on grounding and bonding allows a
maximum difference in ground potential of 1 Vrms (Volt root mean square)
between the two ends. This rule requires that the telecommunications system is
grounded throughout in compliance with the TIA-607 standard and that the
electrical system in the building is correctly grounded and fully complies with
rules spelled out in the National
Electrical Code and other codes enforced by local jurisdictions. In the
field, you can verify that the ground potential meets the difference
requirement before you connect the other end. Connect the shield at one end,
then measure the alternating-current voltage between the shield and the ground
connection at the other end using a digital voltmeter that covers a bandwidth
of 100 kHz or better.
performance in or near the patch panels plays a significant role in maintaining
the effectiveness and protection delivered by a shielded cable. Installation
workmanship and experience play a big role in the quality of the installed
system. Field certification verifies that the desired quality has been
cabling may also require additional testing in Power over Ethernet (PoE)
applications because the shielding tends to retain heat within the cable, which
increases return loss and reduces cable life. The proposed 802.3at standard,
which increases the maximum PoE power from 13 watts to 30 watts, makes this
issue more critical. 802.3at will set maximum temperature limits for unshielded
cabling but does not yet address shielded cabling. Because PoE is not often
used within data centers, the use of shielded cabling in the data center
sidesteps this potential problem. If PoE is run over shielded cabling, the
cable should be tested periodically for return loss to assess whether or not
any thermal damage may have occurred.
10GBase-T standard includes requirements for cabling; the TIA TSB-155 and ISO
TR 24750 documents incorporate these requirements. The new cabling standards
under development—Category 6A and Class EA—aim to deliver a
future-ready cabling system that supports the full 100-meter channel
requirements for 10GBase-T. These new standards also aim to support possible
future developments. We can predict that alien crosstalk performance is going
to be part of any future high-speed network application. Because of the
emphasis on alien crosstalk, screened/shielded cabling types are gaining
attention in the market. Properly installed shielding enhances EMI performance
in general and alien crosstalk performance in particular.
testing has always been an important part of cabling deployment. This becomes a
very important step if you are interested in deploying 10GBase-T over installed
twisted-pair cabling. The certification of new Augmented cabling systems, whether
constructed with unshielded or shielded components, delivers the assurance that
the cable system is ready to support 10GBase-T and beyond. In-channel testing
should be performed on 100% of the links, and alien crosstalk testing should be
performed on a selected number of disturbed cables in the cabling installation.
with full permission of CI&M Magazine – July issue 2007
Project Honored With ACUTA’S Top Award
The University of Notre Dame has
won this year’s Institutional Excellence in Communications Technology Award,
presented by ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals
in Higher Education.
Notre Dame was honored with
ACUTA’s highest institutional award for its comprehensive communications
infrastructure and business process upgrade, a project known as “Transforming
Communications.” The initiative was based on a mobile communications model
designed to be continually adjustable to the changing demands of the university
In the Transforming
Communications project, Notre Dame installed a multi-carrier cellular
distributed antenna system to provide enhanced cellular communications across
its South Bend, Indiana, campus. It also added 500 new Wi-Fi
access points in 27 residence halls, nearly doubling its number of campus
In addition, the university
removed 3,364 traditional land lines in student housing areas and redirected
its financial focus toward newer IT priorities of students. Finally, Notre Dame
introduced cable TV services in all its residential spaces.
The project involved
collaboration with students, faculty, and administrators and maintained
sensitivity to the historical architecture on the campus. As Notre Dame
President John I. Jenkins noted, the Transforming Communications initiative
“enables the university to achieve new ways of conducting our business and,
more importantly, provide new ways to inform our students and enhance the
quality of their educational and residential experience here at Notre Dame.”
“What Notre Dame has accomplished
with its Transforming Communications project is an outstanding example of the
innovation and technological progress we are seeing on ACUTA member campuses,”
said Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “This project reflects very well
the ACUTA mission of supporting our members in leveraging communications
technology so they can help their institutions achieve their missions.”
Earning Institutional Excellence
honorable mentions were the University
of Idaho and the University of Cincinnati.
The University of Idaho implemented an intensive two-year project to
bring high bandwidth to the campus in Moscow, in
rural northwest Idaho.
The project gave the university access to a high-capacity computing network and
increased its ability to participate in national and international research and
collaboration. At the University
of Cincinnati, the UC
Mobile project brought significant improvement in cellular coverage, integrated
the campus voice-data infrastructure with the mobile operator’s network, and
brought public Wi-Fi to the campus.
ACUTA, which is meeting here this
week for its 36th annual conference, is the only national association dedicated
to serving the needs of higher education communications technology
professionals, representing some 2,000 individuals at 770 institutions.
The Institutional Excellence in
Communications Technology Awards are sponsored by PAETEC.
ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals
in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association
serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher
education communications technology professionals in contributing to the
achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents
nearly 2000 individuals at some 770 institutions of higher education, with
members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S.
institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all
categories of communications technology vendors serving the
college/university market. For more information, visit www.acuta.org
or call 859-278-3338
Learning The Lingo
The Green Building Revolution brings A New Way Of Doing Things
LEED Green Building
Rating System… California Title 24… ASHRAE 90.1...
Not only is the building industry learning a new vocabulary, but the
green revolution is creating a complete new set of expectations, standards,
regulations, codes, and, in short, a new way of doing things for electrical
contractors. The environmental shift is upon us because the energy
consumed by buildings in the United
States is staggering. According to the Office of the
Federal Environmental Executive, buildings account for 37 percent
of primary energy use and 68 percent of all electricity use. They demand 60
percent of non-food/fuel raw materials use, generating 136 million tons of
construction and demolition debris per year. That translates into 40 percent of
nonindustrial solid waste and 31 percent of mercury in municipal solid waste.
Buildings use 36 billion gallons of water per day, which is 12 percent of
potable water, and in many urban systems, they create 20 percent loss of
potable water due to leakage. They also produce 35 percent of all carbon
dioxide emissions and 49 percent of all sulphur dioxide emissions.
If green building trends have
not yet affected your part of the industry and the way you do business, then
they will soon. Insiders in the green building industry are loudly proclaiming
to anyone willing to listen that their way of doing business is the wave of the
future. Those who are willing to do green business early on will qualify for
and will win business on the front end of this revolution; contractors who drag
their feet will not get the job. Insiders further boldly claim the perpetual
naysayers who refuse to ever comply will not survive the green transition.
Those are pretty strong words to
a trade that proudly wears its conservative, established way of doing things as
a badge of honor. But the green proponents back up their claims by pointing
out, among other things, that many communities around the country, including
some large cities such as San Francisco; Boston; Seattle; Scottsdale, Ariz.;
and Washington, D.C., now require some or all of their new public buildings to
be green by some codified standard.
And, it is
not just governments that are going green; private corporations are weighing in
as well. For example, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Cos. announced in October 2006
that it is the first and only insurance to offer specific coverage for green
commercial buildings and to address the unique risks associated with
sustainable building practices. And, Bank of America announced in March 2007 a
$20 billion initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable
business activity to address global climate change.
standards will get tighter and tighter in coming years for both new buildings
and renovations,” said William D. Browning, partner of Terrapin Bright Green
LLC, senior fellow of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and recipient of the 2004
U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership Award. “That represents
tremendous opportunity for electrical contractors.”
topic in building green is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) Green Building Rating System. It is a nationally accepted benchmark for
the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
LEED is defined, operated and managed by the members of the nonprofit USGBC,
which is a community of more than 8,500 building industry organizations.
LEED is a
voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for all building types,
including both new construction and existing buildings. It provides certain
prerequisites and performance benchmarks—or “credits”—that projects can earn
within a variety of design or construction phase categories. Projects are then
awarded Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum LEED certification, depending on
the number of credits they achieve.
are lots of project credits that do not directly impact the work of a project’s
electrical contractors, plenty of the credits do. For example, there are six
sets of credits common to several of the rating systems, and five of them have
obvious electrical elements: Sustainable Sites (which includes exterior
lighting), Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor
Environmental Quality, and Innovation & Design Process. The sixth set of
credits is for Water Efficiency.
of LEED—and the importance of ECs understanding it—is demonstrated: There were
948 projects were registered with LEED in October 2003. There were more than
2,100 registered by September 2005, and there are currently more than 7,000
registered LEED projects. Now, 56 cities and 23 federal agencies have adopted
LEED standards for buildings. It is not a matter of if ECs see LEED, but when.
California Title 24
discussion of energy-efficient building standards can go far without bringing
up Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, known as the California
Building Standards Code or just “Title 24.” Part 6 of that code is the
California Energy Code (CEC), which contains energy conservation standards of
the California Energy Commission.
consider Title 24 to be the strictest energy code in the country, few expect
all of its ideas to stay locked up in the Golden State.
As it always has in so many other ways, California
likely will set trends in the energy-efficiency codes in the coming years.
its energy usage, it is not surprising that California is setting the pace for
energy-efficient standards. The state uses 265,000 gigawatt hours of energy
each year, with peak demand growing annually at about 2.4 percent, roughly the
equivalent of three new 500-megawatt power plants. The 2005 code changes were
adopted in response to California’s
2000–2003 electricity crisis in order to reduce energy costs and consumption,
increase the reliability of energy delivery and contribute to an improved
economic condition for the state.
stricter efficiency standards also help avoid rolling blackouts, reduce peak
demand and avoid the need to build new generating capacity. California estimates that its efficiency
standards will save $43 billion by 2013, all achievable through commercially
Nogleberg, president of Placer Electric (which has offices in Citrus Heights
and Truckee, Calif.), said the 2005 changes to the Title 24 energy code have
made the company’s day-to-day work noticeably different.
ways, it is like it has always been, where our crews acquire the materials that
have specified on a job and install them as called for. What’s different is
that many of the devices that we install have changed,” Nogleberg said.
Title 24 updates significantly increase the requirement for new
energy-efficient technologies in buildings’ lighting, requiring high-efficacy
luminaries, manual-on/automatic-off sensors, and dimmers, especially in
residential lighting. The updates emphasize energy-efficiency measures that
save energy during peak periods of power generation, such as hot summer days
when air conditioners are running. The requirements were based on how much
energy a technology can save as well as the technology’s reliability,
availability and cost-effectiveness.
difference,” Nogleberg said, “comes when we are working in the design phase on
a design/build project.” Such work calls for knowing the efficiency standards
and designing accordingly. “And daylighting is now a big part of California buildings, as
well.” Daylighting is the practice of placing windows, or other transparent
media, and reflective surfaces so that, during the day, natural light provides
effective internal illumination.
“In some ways, we’re coming full
circle,” Nogleberg said. “There was a time that energy efficiency and natural
lighting were a part of every building everywhere. Then we abandoned a lot of
that way of building when we got the technology for easy, cheap power and
manmade light. But now things have changed again, and we’re having to
rediscover those lost methods of energy efficiency.”
of how you feel about Title 24, it applies only in California. Outside the Golden State,
ECs often face the requirements of the third set of codes affecting the green
building industry commonly called ASHRAE 90.1. They come from the American
Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE
(or, more formally, “ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for
Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”) provides minimum requirements
for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential
buildings. Since being developed in response to the energy crisis in the 1970s,
ASHRAE 90.1 now is a standard for building design and construction throughout
the United States.
fact that ASHRAE is a society for heating, refrigerating and air conditioning
engineers, several aspects of the current version of ASHRAE 90.1 are of
significance to electrical contractors. It provides minimum requirements for
the building envelope and systems and equipment for multiple disciplines,
including electrical power, lighting, heating, ventilating, air conditioning,
service water heating and energy management.
of an electrical requirement is a 2004 ASHRAE 90.1 revision that cuts approved
lighting power densities by about 25 percent compared to previous standards. As
technology for energy-efficient lighting has continued to advance, approved
lighting power densities have been lowered gradually to reflect the improving
capabilities of lighting and lighting controls.
ASHRAE 90.1 electrical standards include requirements for lighting controls
(including occupancy sensors and timers), task lighting power densities, and
exterior lighting for parking areas, walkways, plazas, building entries,
canopies, façade lighting and outdoor sales areas.
contractors are sitting at the front end of the green building revolution. The
International Code Council Green Building White Paper states, “Even though
green building continues to gain significant momentum, it is still very much in
its infancy.” Coupled with the fact that when done properly, green does not
cost more, it is certain that ECs will face green projects soon, if not
already. In the paraphrased words of William Browning, “A good team can bring a
project into a Silver LEED rating with no increase in first costs.”
Green—it’s here to stay. EC
MUNYAN is a freelance writer in the Kansas City, Kan.,
area, specializing in business writing and telecommunications. He can be
reached at www.russwrites.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
New BuildingGreen Website Offers Easier Access To Authoritative Green Building Information
BuildingGreen, Inc., publishers of the most
authoritative, independent information for the green building industry,
launched its new website, BuildingGreen.com, on July 30th, 2007. The
new website design provides architects, designers, building owners,
contractors, and other green building professionals with greater power to find,
use, and share the information they need, whether it be product reviews or news
articles on the latest in green building.
“With the dramatic growth in the green building
industry, professionals need clear, objective, and well presented information
on green design and building, and with this new release our website serves that
need better than ever,” said BuildingGreen, Inc. president Alex Wilson.
BuildingGreen.com is the membership-based website
from BuildingGreen, Inc., publishers of the GreenSpec
product directory and Environmental
Building News. The website’s new look better represents the depth and
quality of the information on green products and strategies. Members can find
the information they need using the new, more powerful, navigation. Members can
also read current news from the green building industry, email product listings
and articles to clients and colleagues, and use enhanced search capabilities to
make the vast collection of information more accessible.
“Our goal with this new website is to provide
industry professionals with better access to more information,” said Wilson. “This new design
raises the bar on the presentation of in-depth green design information.” For
example, feature articles digging deeply into a single topic, for which
BuildingGreen is known in the industry, now have a embedded tables of contents
so that readers can find important sections and graphics at a glance.
Information available on BuildingGreen.com includes recent articles and
archives from Environmental Building News,
an annotated directory of the best green building publications, green product
listings that make up the GreenSpec
product directory, a calendar of green events, and a database of high
performance green projects.
“Unlike other websites in the construction and design
sector, BuildingGreen.com carries no outside advertising,” said Wilson, “making our
website easier to use, and ensuring that we are not pressured to compromise our
independent judgment of green building products and strategies.”
Membership in BuildingGreen.com costs $199 per year
for individuals, with discounts available for AIA members, IIDA members, ASID
members, and bulk purchases. BuildingGreen also offers special rates for
whole-organization access for companies and educational institutions, and a
special introductory rate tailored for individuals using the website to conduct
For more information on BuildingGreen.com or other resources produced by BuildingGreen,
Inc., visit www.BuildingGreen.com;
e-mail Info@BuildingGreen.com ; or call 800-861-0954 (outside the U.S. and Canada, call 802-257-7300).
Inc. has provided the building industry with quality information on sustainable
design and construction since its founding in 1985. Publications include Environmental Building News; the GreenSpec® Directory; the residential
product directory Green Building Products;
and the integrated, online BuildingGreen
Coaxial Cable Maker Bulks Up With Acquisition Of Wireless Firm
about a marathon. Coaxial-cable maker CommScope has come a long way since 1953,
when it started out in telephone cables under a different name.
By the time it spun off
from General Instrument (now part of Motorola (NYSE:MOT
- News)) a decade ago, it had
become a leader in coaxial TV connections for the "last mile," or
final link, to the customer.
- News) doubled its size three
years ago when it bought Avaya's (NYSE:AV - News) Connectivity Solutions
unit. That gave it a leading role in cables for business enterprises as well.
Now CommScope is about
to enter a new and bigger chapter in its life. It will buy wireless
connectivity specialist Andrew (NasdaqGS:ANDW - News), a firm with more than $2
billion in revenue last year, compared with CommScope's $1.6 billion.
The $2.6 billion deal
was announced June 27, about a year after Andrew spurned a lower buyout offer.
It should close by the end of the year.
CommScope will pay $15
each for Andrew's shares, up from last summer's $9.50 bid. Despite the higher
price, analysts are gushing over the deal.
"It gives them
significantly more penetration into the wireless space, where they had a
relatively minor presence in the past," said Eric Buck of Brean Murray
Carret. "It's going to be extremely positive for Comm-Scope. Virtually
every wireless carrier is buying Andrew's products on a worldwide basis."
Andrew is the dominant
player in connecting antennas and radios on wireless systems. It also sells
gear for wireless towers.
After further study,
Buck raised his forecasts. He wrote to clients that his "initial
enthusiasm was too conservative."
His new model has the
combined company's total sales growing 60% to $6.04 billion by 2011.
Simon Leopold of Morgan
Keegan & Co. says he expects CommScope to raise its full-year forecast when
it reports second-quarter results July 30.
available for comment. But the firm already raised its second-quarter forecast
when it unveiled the Andrew deal.
The high end of the
sales range stayed at $510 million, but the low end rose to $500 million from
$490 million. The firm pushed up its operating margin view by half a percentage
point, to the 15% to 16% range.
But CommScope didn't
change its full-year forecast: $1.84 billion to $1.89 billion in revenue and
margin of 13.5% to 14.5%.
Management expects the
Andrew merger to save $50 million to $60 million before tax in the first year,
and another $40 million the second year.
synergies (from the merger) can lead to meaningful accretion for 2008
earnings," said Leopold. He raised his forecast also, based on 26%
Most Wall Street
analysts aren't factoring all the possible synergies in their views, however.
In a poll by Thomson Financial, they see 2008 profit rising only 9% over 2007.
That contrasts to an expected 59% jump this year over last, to $2.68 a share.
Some of the trouble
comes from volatile prices of raw materials, such as copper and plastics. But
analysts say CommScope has kept that from eating too much into profits.
disciplined about adjusting prices," Leopold said. "But it's always
The expected slowdown in
profit growth, at least initially, has more to do with merger-related debt
costs and Andrew's lower operating margins.
But CommScope plans to
improve Andrew's margins over time. Execs have said they would look at selling
some divisions within a year after the buyout closes. Analysts were left to
guess which ones.
Buck wrote in a note
that the sale of Andrew's base station subsystems line could draw $500 million
or more in cash. That unit doesn't fit neatly into CommScope's business plan,
Leopold says that
selling Andrew's money-losing satellite communications unit would also help
three core market segments are growing in double digits even without Andrew on
cycles are going on in each of their customer markets, and they are benefiting
from those trends," Leopold said.
First-quarter sales in
the largest unit -- enterprise -- rose 16.7% over the prior year to $200.9
million. Broadband, which includes cable TV, jumped 17.6% to $148 million.
CommScope cited cable
operators' growing investments in their networks to support the "triple
play" of video, data and voice services.
The smallest unit, the
wireless and wireline carrier business, saw the greatest jump -- 59.2% to $87
million. Analysts tie much of that rise to large metal field cabinets AT&T
(NYSE:T - News)
bought for its major fiber-to-curb upgrade program, called Lightspeed. The
cabinets hold telecom gear.
Some say the Lightspeed
project is slowing down, however.
Buck says CommScope will
likely try to boost the cabinets business by selling the products to Andrew's
customers. Other cross-selling opportunities are likely, analysts say.
The Data Center Paradox
Jarrod J.S. Siket
While the vision of high-speed
communications utilizing the newest IP applications and services is appealing
to end-users, IT administrators have the task of bringing it to life while
maintaining control of corporate resources. To realize this vision, IT
professionals are building high-speed networks and data centers based on
standard packet technologies, such as Ethernet and IP, to provide a universal
infrastructure for the rapid deployment of software-based applications and
administrators have identified three primary components of achieving this goal:
building a network capable of delivering the bandwidth necessary to meet the
stringent performance requirements of new IP applications and services;
deploying a series of network and security appliances that provide necessary
flow visibility to adhere to internal corporate compliance, acceptable usage
policies and external government regulations; and enabling or supporting
intranet and Internet security to protect both corporate and individual user
relatively short time, enterprise networks have moved from 100-Mbps to 1-Gbps
backbones. Just as quickly, many are beginning the move to 10 Gbps, with
designs for the next generation of Ethernet promising between 40 Gbps to 100
Gbps. The exponential increase in network performance is occurring with the
expectation of providing the bandwidth required to support a rapidly expanding
list of IP applications and services with stringent performance requirements.
and IP have been established as the Level 2 and Level 3 protocols for
next-generation networks. In addition to providing the necessary bandwidth,
when combined, they create a universal infrastructure that enables IT
administrators and users of the network to almost instantaneously begin
deploying and using new IP applications and services.
high-speed network infrastructure removes congestion and provides enough room
for application expansion, but history has shown that users will find many ways
to consume it. In addition, such networks may expose the enterprise to millions
of packets per second, making guarantees of the performance of applications
difficult, in addition to creating more difficulty in managing and controlling
the overall usage to protect against unacceptable use and threats.
IT organizations require visibility into the network to maintain sensible
levels of control. Outside the enterprise, attackers can intercept data to
steal or compromise information, or attack the enterprise with an arsenal of
worms, viruses, spam and other malware. Inside the enterprise, the IT staff
must ensure that the network is being used for the applications critical to the
business’ success while simultaneously addressing concerns from within in the
form of accidental or intentional leakage of confidential information.
A host of
organizations rely on a host of network appliances to provide network access
and control, visibility into the network communication flows, and protection
from internal and external threats. These network appliances are often deployed
in enterprise data centers and at the LAN-WAN boundary, performing many
functions, including intrusion detection (IDS), intrusion prevention (IPS),
unified threat management (UTM), network access control (NAC) and a host of
antigen devices for spam, virus and other malware. These network appliances
provide a new level of compliance by verifying user access rights and
interrogating communications within, to and from the enterprise.
network appliances are deployed in-line, with virtually no impact on network
performance when deployed in 10/100 and underutilized Gigabit Ethernet
networks. As the networks have evolved to line-rate, multigigabit and
10-Gigabit Ethernet speeds, however, their presence in-line for all
communication flows creates a bottleneck for network performance.
the appliances hosting the applications have failed to keep pace with
improvements in network performance. Their network I/O, memory and CPU
utilization all are under strain at these new performance levels. As a result,
these network appliances are rated for use by some amount of aggregate
bandwidth, or a number of users, sessions and flows. When any of these are
exceeded, the appliance becomes a bottleneck that can only be relieved by the
addition of another network appliance.
performance at the expense of compliance is just as unacceptable as compliance
at the expense of performance, IT organizations have adopted a practice of
stacking appliances. This design constraint, coupled with the sheer number of
types of network appliances, has led to an explosion in the enterprise data
center. This has created numerous problems, including the number of physical
devices located in the network, the capital costs associated with them, the
maintenance costs and their operation costs (power consumption, rack space,
dimension with which the enterprise IT organization struggles is end-to-end
security. Secure IP communications are required–in some cases, inside the LAN,
and in almost all cases, outside of it. Client-based encryption tactics through
methods like secure sockets layer (SSL), are the most-common implementation.
These security methods provide end-to-end encrypted sessions, protecting both
corporate and personal user information.
security solutions, however, have the adverse effect of introducing new
problems for network operators. SSL encryption makes data useless to potential
interceptors while also making it difficult for network operators to verify
that the encrypted information complies with corporate and government regulatory
policies. Without examining the contents of SSL communications, network
operators leave open the possibility for information to be leaked or malware to
communications expected to become encrypted each year, network operators face
two extremes: blocking SSL communications entirely, or allowing SSL
communications and greatly reducing the effectiveness of their network
appliances that are unable to examine the encrypted flows. In other cases,
network operators allow encrypted communications, but only through SSL proxies
that permit the IT organization to examine the content before entering or
exiting the enterprise. These proxies provide the opportunity to examine the
contents of network traffic with their network appliances, yet still offer
encryption prior to leaving the enterprise. They do so, however, by creating a
server network bottleneck.
A new class
of network and security appliances provides solutions for performance,
visibility and control, as well as security in a single system. They are the
bridge between the high-speed network and the multicore, multithreaded,
virtualized appliances that host the network and security applications. These
devices offer line-rate network throughput, application and protocol
acceleration, deep-packet inspection and flow analysis for both plain text and
encrypted communication streams.
appliances also serve as host systems for the many network and security
applications that enterprises consider staples of their Ethernet and IP
infrastructures, such as IDS, IPS, UTM and NAC. In addition to serving as
application hosts, they have the ability to transparently intercept encrypted
communications and provide the hosted applications with all requisite flows for
analysis. The ability to provide the network and security applications with
both plain-text and encrypted communications extends the usability of those
appliances, ensuring that the applications will be able to reliably perform as
combination of line-rate throughput, deep-packet inspection, flow analysis and
application acceleration allows a single network and security appliance to
scale to line-rate network performance for a larger number of users, sessions
and flows. This extends the usability of a single appliance up to 15 times. IT
organizations are able to vertically consolidate the data center by not
requiring stacks of redundant appliances that exist due to their inability to
appliances also offer virtualization of both the network I/O and host system,
enabling the integration of additional network and security appliances into an
even smaller number of systems. The combination of performance, control and
security allows enterprise IT managers to reinvent their data center by solving
long-standing problems, while simultaneously reducing capital and operational
Jarrod Siket is vice
president of marketing at Netronome Systems, Cranberry Township, Pa. For more information:
Young Minds Conserving Energy
Team of teachers at Grand
School in Bellmore,
N.Y., recently brought energy
conservation, leadership and activism into its classroom and students’ lives.
The teachers have been educating the students about the value of saving energy,
and through the students, they became focused on getting parents to change out
incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent units (CFLs).
group used an Internet initiative as both a resource and a way to track the
results of their efforts. Sean Krieg, the team’s science teacher, created his
“Team Dakota” group on onebillionbulbs.com. With 89 members, the team has changed 223
bulbs to CFLs.
of the instructors on the team teaches one subject area to the same group of
approximately 120 eighth grade students and has incorporated energy
conservation into his or her specific subject area. For example, in math class,
the students calculated the energy savings that would occur if every household in
the United States
swapped out an incandescent bulb for a compact fluorescent. Meanwhile, in their
English class, the students have been doing energy conservation-related reading
and writing projects.
students are really getting into it, and some have made spectacular changes in
their households,” Krieg said.
team who began the Bellmore initiative also
has an expanded vision for the future. They would like to mobilize other eighth
grade teachers and students across New
York state to change light bulbs to promote energy
Reprinted with full permission of
Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical
2008 National Electrical Code Approved
2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) was
approved in June at the annual meeting of the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) in Boston.
Significant revisions to the 2008 NEC
include the following:
circuit interrupters (AFCIs) will now be required for most branch circuits in
newly constructed dwellings.
Ø All receptacles
installed in dwellings must be tamper-resistant type, starting in 2011.
circuit interrupters (GFCI) requirements were expanded to cover more outlets in
Ø Definitions of
“neutral conductor” and “neutral point” were added to Article 100.
and terminology relating to “grounding” and “bonding” were revised throughout
requirements for selective coordination of overcurrent protection were added to
Article 700 “Emergency Systems” and Article 701 “Legally-Required Standby
Four new articles were added:
• Article 355 Reinforced
Thermosetting Resin Conduit: Type RTRC
• Article 522, Control
Systems for Permanent Amusement Attractions
• Article 626, Electrified Truck
• Article 708, Critical Operations
Power Systems (COPS)
780, Closed-Loop and Programmed Power Distribution, was deleted. It covered a special
cabling system for “smart houses” that was subsequently rendered obsolete by
Internet-based control and communications schemes.
nonmetallic conduit (Type RNC) was renamed “PVC Conduit,” a designation that
conforms to common field practice.
Revision of the NEC and other NFPA standards is a
three-step process. Change proposals are submitted and considered by the 20
Code-Making Panels (CMPs) responsible for different articles (short chapters)
of the NEC. Next, public comments are
submitted to the CMPs. Last, a new edition of the Code is approved at an annual meeting of the entire association.
are a number of appeals on the floor of the NFPA annual meeting, requesting
last-minute revisions of the NEC.
NFPA adopted new procedures this year to streamline this process. At the annual
meeting, 38 amending motions were presented, only eight of which were approved.
The 2008 National Electrical Code
will be published in September. This allows time for training and study before
jurisdictions began adopting the NEC
for regulatory enforcement in January 2008, using it in their contractor
licensing exams, etc.
information on important changes and updates in the 2008 NEC, see “Significant Changes to the NEC 2008” on page 48. EC
Reprinted with full permission of
Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical
Product Dumping, Labor Dumping – It's All The Same
have heard of product dumping and its negative effects, what about labor
dumping?” questions James Carlini.
Carlini’s Comments, MidwestBusiness.com’s
oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man’s
view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and
visions of “pseudo” experts.
strict federal laws about product dumping in the United States and many companies
use those laws to protect and guard their markets. Many industries have used
them ranging from the steel industry to the car industry and not surprisingly,
the high tech industries.
product dumping can destabilize the competitive structure of world industries
and are protected against, in the form of anti-dumping laws and tariffs, labor
dumping in highly skilled areas can ravage the economic stability of what was
thought to be solid middle-class jobs in the United States.
EMPLOYMENT WITH HOLLOW SALARIES
really in a boom economy if thousands of highly skilled, graduate-degreed
people in various disciplines, not just IT, are losing their jobs and having to
take on jobs at one-third to one-half the pay? (If they are lucky)
That is the
critical question that goes unanswered by all the great East Coast economists
and talking-heads on the national business TV channels as well as the West
Coast high-tech visionaries who are maybe too far removed from the realities of
is not being addressed as a lot of U.S. talent is sitting on the sidelines as a
result of foreign labor dumping You can see the economic results if you look
hard and take some time to talk with people who have gone from six-figure jobs
to jobs that pay $30,000 to $40,000 since 2001. I always thought this was just
a Midwest phenomenon but feedback to previous articles
on this subject, prove otherwise.
to feedback by Dr. Gene Nelson
immigration is very relevant to this controversy as government statistics
indicate that 41 percent of illegal aliens are visa overstayers. Most of the
people in this category work in high skill fields. Using the estimate of 20
illegal aliens, that means 8.2 million high skill jobs are filled by illegal
of “These are all jobs Americans do not want” starts to sound pretty lame after
seeing this statistic. The ones bleating that mantra have vested interest for
protecting labor dumping. Any who try to deny this fact have a vested interest
in wanting cheap labor.
state deficits that are skyrocketing because state legislatures are still
spending money like its 1999.
will become like Pennsylvania
and have to layoff thousands in order to try to keep afloat. Pennsylvania is looking to lay off 24,000
people. State workers are furious but that’s what happens when the people
paying the salaries are underemployed.
times do I have to point out that if you have thousands of people in your state
that take a 50 % to 66% cut in pay, the payroll taxes that your state reaps
drop dramatically and something has to give. Unemployment might be 4.5% but
that statistic does not reflect huge salary and benefit cuts when people take
lesser jobs. You can’t buy a $300,000 house or condo working at Starbucks or
Home Depot. You also pay a lot less in taxes which means government workers
will be looking at pay reductions as well.
contributes to housing foreclosures, lower new car sales and a lot of other
economic indicators that many do not see in a tight inter-relationship.
company believes its products are being edged out of the market by predatory
practices, it runs to the Federal Trade Commission and lobbies Congress to
protect their markets as well as their profits. That includes the
pharmaceutical industry, the car industry, the steel industry, agricultural
products and even the high tech sectors. When it comes to labor, that outrage
does not seem to exist.
DUMPING IS DETERMINED IN THE U.S.
This is an
excerpt from an article
that gives a clear overview of product dumping. It is important to understand
this principle as most people responding to a previous article don’t know about
the mechanisms that are in place to protect companies which should also be in
place to protect labor.
Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)
together start the investigation process of a dumping case.
Harbert (1998), lists the steps in starting an antidumping case as (Harbert,
1998, p. 7):
1. U.S. company submits a petition to the
International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, alleging that
a foreign company is dumping its product in the U.S.
2. If the
Commerce Department determines that sufficient evidence exists, it will proceed
with an investigation.
3. The ITC
then may start its own investigation to determine whether there is injury to
any domestic companies.
4. If the
ITC finds there has been material injury to a U.S.
company, the Commerce Department will determine whether the product in question
is being sold in the U.S.
at "less than fair value," or at a lower price than that sold in the
home market or a third country market.
5. If the
Department issues a preliminary finding that sufficient evidence of such
pricing practices exists, it will direct the U.S. Customs Service to suspend
the importation of the product, or require U.S. importers of the product to
post a deposit. This bond must be paid to the U.S. government in the event that a
final determination finds that the product is being sold at less than fair
6. The ITC,
at this point, must determine if there is any actual material damage to U.S. companies
caused by the alleged dumped imports.
7. If the
ITC determines that the dumping has caused injury to a U.S.
manufacturer, the products then are subjected to "antidumping duties"
equal to the amount of the determined margin.
however, the ITC finds that there is insufficient evidence, the case is
Commerce Department makes their final decision the case can go in several
directions. First, if dumping has been found to occur, the foreign business can
appeal the decision made by the Commerce Department. This causes the case to go
longer, and will cause both businesses more money.
this can benefit the foreign business because the Commerce Department and the
ITC may stumble upon information that they have not see or information that
they misinterpreted the first time.
of the case may also benefit the foreign business because of the high cost it
takes to start an antidumping case the second time. This is beneficial to the
foreign business because they may be able to afford the cost of another case.
the other hand, the American business may not be able to afford an appeal by
the foreign business. This same process can also happen in reverse if the
Commerce Departments final decision is that dumping has not occurred.
readers pointed out that besides the unions, where are the professional
engineering associations and other guilds that want everyone to join but in the
most critical time that they could be effective with a strong voice, their
silence is deafening. That seems to speak volumes of their focus on
self-survival, instead of being the outspoken spokespeople for the industry
professionals that they collect dues from.
companies that support increasing work visas have used the product dumping laws
their profits. Both AOL and Microsoft want protection, yet like the idea of
cheap labor. .
ABOUT THE GREAT UNIVERSITIES?
long-time reader, who himself has some sterling academic credentials, posed
these questions while reading my draft:
they in this debate? Or, is it possible that they have too many vested
interests to take up this issue for the American students that they are always
supposedly so concerned about educating for the "jobs of the future"?
Are they too entwined with business interests that have the need for low-cost
labor, wherever it comes from? Are they too interested in keeping a low profile
so they don't lose all the foreign students who come here on temporary visas
and then end up staying permanently? Every time there is an academic brought up
on some issue, we hear the cries for academic freedom and that is typically the
fence they hide behind to say and do as they please. Well, since they have
academic freedom how about using it to address this issue? Or are there too
many competing interests that keep them silent?
degrees from Northwestern, the University
of Chicago, University of Illinois
and other supposedly top-ranked schools don’t seem to command high money and
employment as much as they advertise. I have talked to graduates of these
schools who have lost good jobs in the last five or six years and have yet to
find anything that comes close to what they were making.
foreign degree better? What are the costs of getting a Masters degree from
Northwestern or University
of Chicago versus a
degree overseas? What are the returns?
what I have gotten in feedback, are some companies concerned that they would be
paying too much for someone from the U of C or Northwestern so they hire
someone from a foreign school? When did we commoditize talent?
about the student who has an Executive Masters degree from Northwestern
University not getting the job because he did not have a PMP certificate? When
did a PMP (Project Management Professional) certificate overshadow an Executive
Masters degree from any school for that matter? Or is it something else?
Was that a
real HR concern or was that a way of disqualifying a good candidate so that the
company could hire a non-citizen as mentioned as a practice in a previous articles?
Should the recommendation be to highly skilled people to go a get a certificate
instead of your Masters degree if you want to get hired?
feedback from people interviewing for jobs, that is the case. Something is
wrong and more people better rise up to question what has happened in the last
several years. Or, accept the fact that higher education is absolutely no
guarantee for better-paying jobs and that labor dumping is acceptable.
Underemployment must be addressed or many more will see job and pay erosion.
Technology Invitational golf outing will be held on Sept. 15, 2007 at South
Hills Country Club in Racine County,
Check out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com.
Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.
He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be
reached at email@example.com or
Click here for
Carlini’s full biography.
Copyright 2007 Ji
Abandoned Cable Removal A Dogged Challenge For Building Owners And Occupants
for everyone involved, ignoring it won’t make it go away.
McLaughlin is chief editor of Cabling
Installation & Maintenance.
about a half-decade, the National
Electrical Code has included language requiring the removal of cable from
building pathways when that cable is not in current use or tagged for future
use. The NEC defines this type of
cable as “abandoned,” and mandates its removal, though not its method of
past five years, this and other cabling-trade publications have chronicled the
development and modification of abandoned-cable removal requirements. More
recently, trade publications focused on the profession of real-estate
management have turned their attention to the topic as well, and with good
reason. The glut of abandoned cables inside commercial office buildings today
exists, at least in part, because of the transient nature of occupancy in such
buildings. Traditionally, when a tenant moves out of a building, it would leave
the cabling in place—sometimes several generations of it (e.g. Category 3, 5,
5e for some long-term teants). And most often, a new tenant would install a new
structured cabling system rather than relying on the used cabling left by the
previous occupant. That practice was great for the business of those
organizations that manufacture, design, or install structured cabling systems.
It was not so great, however, for the building pathways’ fuel loads—which led
to the removal requirements.
As the past
few years have shown, the entire situation has not been glorious for the owners
of commercial buildings either. They essentially were left on the hook for the
cost of removing years’, and in some cases decades’, worth of abandoned cable.
The Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA International;
www.boma.org) is a trade association that provides education and advocacy for
property owners and managers, covering all types of buildings. The organization
has adopted a position on the existence, and removal, of abandoned cable.
BOMA’s position paper directly, “Building owners, managers, tenants, and
service providers need to work cooperatively to ensure that all parties
understand their responsibilities to comply with the National Electrical Code
provisions on removing or tagging unused cabling in buildings.”
providing some background information on the NEC provisions addressing abandoned cable—and noting that while the
NEC itself is not law, many
jurisdictions in the United States adopt the document by reference into local
codes—BOMA requests specific action from its members.
directly from the position paper: “BOMA International recommends that building
owners and managers survey their buildings to identify unused cable. If such
wires exist, members should identify the wiring by its rating (riser rated
“CMR,” plenum rated “CMP”) and its use (communications, alarm, security, etc.).
The NEC 2002 and 2005 include
language that allows some cabling to be retained if it is tagged for future use
as long as it meets the permitted use criteria specified for cable
installations (i.e., minimum of “CMR” and/or “CMP”). Any cable that does not
meet the permitted use specifications should be removed.
leases should clearly state that tenants must remove any cabling that is
abandoned during the term of their tenancy, and/or your license agreements
should require service providers to remove all wires upon the termination of
the contract. We recommend that you review your leases and license agreements
to ascertain exactly who was responsible for the installation and/or abandoning
of the cabling and whether you have recourse to recover any of the funds needed
to remove the wire. Next, make any amendments necessary if you are not already
protected by these agreements.”
penultimate sentence of BOMA’s action request reaches directly into the
business operations of installers and users in the cabling industry; BOMA
members likely have been, currently are, and will continue to be looking for
those who put the cable there in the first place. Requests for comment from
BOMA leadership and spokespeople were not answered.
pointed out to its membership, abandoned cable is a code issue within those
jurisdictions that have adopted the 2002 or 2005 NEC. As such, it is subject to enforcement by the local authority
having jurisdiction (AHJ). For more than a decade, Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine has covered the
ongoing challenges and frustrations inherent in AHJ code enforcement with
respect to firestopping. One point that has been made several times on that
topic is, enforcement varies widely from one AHJ to another. Though this author
did not get an on-the-record comment concerning enforcement of abandoned-cable
removal, some commented anonymously that it is subject to challenges very
similar to those concerning firestopping.
potential reason for such unpredictable enforcement could be the
sometimes-confounding wording within the NEC
in which abandoned cable is referenced. The 2002 NEC includes seven separate sections that mandate the cable’s
removal, and an accompanying seven individual sections that define the term
sections of NEC 2002 that contain the
definitions are: 640.2, 725.2, 760.2, 770.2, 800.2, 820.2, and 830.2. The seven
sections with the removal language are: 640.3, 725.3, 760.3, 770.3, 800.52,
820.3, and 830. The requirements for removal are worded essentially the same,
as follows: “The accessible portion of abandoned [application for which cables
are used, or cable type] cables shall not be permitted to remain.”
code-based requirements to remove abandoned cables are not going away. How
quickly those abandoned cables themselves are going away appears to depend on
the tenacity of building owners/managers, along with the enforcement procedures
of the local AHJ.
with full permission of CI & M Magazine– July issue 2007
Abandoned Cable Headaches Begin Early
Editor’s note: This month we bring you a slice of
“Best of Ask Donna” from years past. This column originally ran all the way
back in February 2003. So why did we take it out of mothballs now? The first
question-and-answer volley provides complementary information to another
article running in this issue (see pp. 25 and 26). When reading, please note
that the portions of the NEC discussed herein look essentially the same in the
2005 edition as they do in the 2002 edition.
Then Donna finishes up with a question about the
potential danger of laying unshielded twisted-pair cables too neatly. It struck
me as an eerie foreshadowing of what the industry has been dealing with for the
past couple years. I hope you enjoy this month’s “Best of Ask Donna” and, even
more importantly, find it useful. –Ed.
have a quick question. Could I get the exact wording of what the National
Electrical Code 2002 states concerning abandoned cables in the plenum?
A: The question may be quick, but the
answer certainly is not. Let’s begin with the definitions of abandoned cable.
In NEC 2002 there are seven definitions for abandoned cable. Ironically,
none are in Article 100, the section on definitions (yet).
Audio Signal Processing, Amplification, and Reproduction Equipment, Section
640.2 defines “Abandoned Audio Distribution Cable” as “installed audio
distribution cable that is not terminated at equipment and not identified for
future use with a tag.”
Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Remote-Control, Signaling, and Power-Limited
Circuits, Section 725.2 defines “Abandoned Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC Cable” as
“installed Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC cable that is not terminated at equipment
and not identified for future use with a tag.”
Fire Alarm Systems, Section 760.2 defines “Abandoned Fire Alarm Cable” as
“Installed fire alarm cable that is not terminated at equipment other than a
connector and not identified for future use with a tag.”
Optical Fiber Cables and Raceways, Section 770.2 defines “Abandoned Optical
Fiber Cable” as “Installed optical fiber cable that is not terminated at
equipment other than a connector and not identified for future use with a tag.”
Communications Circuits, Section 800.2 defines “Abandoned Communications Cable”
as “Installed communications cable that is not terminated at both ends at a
connector or other equipment and not identified for future use with a tag.”
Community Antenna Television and Radio Distribution Systems, Section 820.2
defines “Abandoned Coaxial Cable” as “Installed coaxial cable that is not
terminated at equipment other than a coaxial connector and not identified for
future use with a tag.”
Network-Powered Broadband Communications Systems, Section 830.2 defines
“Abandoned Network-Powered Broadband Communications Cable” as “Installed
network-powered broadband communications cable that is not terminated at
equipment other than a connector and not identified for future use with a tag.”
So what is
this telling us? Notice the common thread, “and not identified for future use
with a tag.” Any cable addressed in these specific articles that is “tagged for
future use” is not abandoned cable.
cases, having a connector terminated at one end (audio distribution cable;
Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC Cable) or both ends (communications cable) of the
cable means that it is not abandoned cable.
other cases, having the cable connected to equipment that is not a connector
(fire alarm cable; optical fiber cable; coaxial cable; network-powered
broadband communications cable) means that it is not an abandoned cable.
In NEC speak, a “connector” is “equipment,” and that is why the
“equipment other than a connector” verbiage is used.
Sections [640.3(A); 725.3(B); 760.3(A); 770.3(A); 800.52(B); 820.3; 830(A)]
only address the “accessible portion” of an abandoned cable as “not be
permitted to remain.” Article 100 defines “Accessible (as applied to wiring
methods)” as “Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building
structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of
the building.” … So this is not a surgical removal in a finished space. But if
the entire area of the building is undergoing demolition for remodeling, then
all of the cable should be accessible and removed.
there is Article 645—the one that did not bother to uniquely define “abandoned
cable,” which is only concerned with abandoned cable that is not contained in
metal raceway. So metal raceways full of dead cable under raised floors in data
centers are not a concern?
specifically about plenum spaces, but the same text applies to plenum, riser,
and hollow spaces in the building. If it is “abandoned” and “accessible,” take
definitions for almost the same term is a lot, even for the NFPA. So for NEC
2005 the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Codes and
Standards Committee is proposing to delete the current seven to add a new
definition to Article 100, which would read: “Abandoned Cable. Installed cable
that is not terminated at both ends at equipment and not identified for future
use with a tag.” But so far the other “stakeholders,” who carefully crafted the
various definitions in their respective Articles, are not supportive of this
It is going
to be an interesting couple of years.
Q: I was
reviewing the discussion on the BICSI Public Forum about laying cables parallel
to each other in a fixed physical relationship. I noticed that one comment said
that the European norm addresses it to some degree. Do you know if any of the U.S. standards
have intentions to address it? I have a client in New Jersey, with a large data center, that
is asking me for input. At present they are laying large bundles of cables into
cable trays and they want the cables combed as they are installed. I told them
I would check and let them know.
Bobby Ashton, Jr., RCDD/LAN
South Windsor, CT
A: Intentions, yes. At the TIA TR-42.1
February 2002 meeting, a presentation (TR 42.1-2002-013) was made, which
referenced a list of contributions, previously submitted to either the TR-42.7
Telecommunications Copper Cabling Subcommittee or the Cable Working Group,
dating from 1997 through 2002. Each of these contributions had addressed some
negative effect on the transmission performance of category UTP cabling caused
by bundling or other similar cabling installation practices.
suggested that based on these contributions, a Study Group be formed to develop
information on the expected variance in transmission performance of cables that
are installed in close proximity.
further proposed that once the work was completed and validated, it would be
drafted as a matrix, and published as an informative Annex to TIA/EIA-568B.1.
The matrix would include alien NEXT and FEXT for Category 5e and Category 6
cables that are tie-wrapped at specified intervals, cables installed in a tray
with 50% fill, cables installed in a conduit with 40% fill, and cables
suspended on J-hooks.
But so far
no draft matrix has been distributed from the Study Group.
we will have to continue to scare our clients suffering from “overneatness
tendencies” using threats of the dreaded “alien crosstalk.” You are welcome to
use the following. It has worked for me in the past.
systems and network hardware are designed to handle predictable noise, like NEXT
and FEXT, which comes from within the same cable. This is why when you remove
the sheath from a twisted-pair cable, each of the pairs is twisted at a
UTP cables of the same construction are neatly dressed and packed, you are inviting
trouble. You are creating a quasi field-manufactured hybrid cable, because the
twists are the same in each of the neighboring cables. This creates
unpredictable noise between neighboring cables; the noise is called alien
crosstalk. And the neater the cables are laid, and the closer you pack them
together, the more likely you are to experience the problem.
example, consider a 1000Base-T scenario using seven UTP cables neatly laid and
packed. You will have all four pairs in each of the six disturbers, and one
victim cable simultaneously, bidirectionally active. That means that there are
now twenty-four active pairs producing alien crosstalk, six of which are exact
matches to each of the four pairs inside the victim cable. No wonder they call
it “alien”—looks like an all-out invasion.
network hardware must not only contend with the predictable noise—NEXT and FEXT
from within the cable—but also with unpredictable noise from its six sets of
disturber neighbors as well. Does neatness really count this much?
If the UTP
cables are randomly laid and the pathway is not overfilled, then “alien
crosstalk” should be one less network anomaly you have to address.
about testing? While your network can certainly suffer from the effects,
measuring alien crosstalk is not something you want to attempt in the field.
Most measurement models that I have seen use seven cables—six disturbers and
one victim cable. That would mean seven sets of field test instruments in use
at the same time to test one cable link. And there are currently no pass/fail
limits proposed or set.
loosen up and avoid the problem.
Public Forum is a great tool where you can post messages or documents, on
telecommunications premises cabling issues. If you would like to participate in
the BICSI Public Forum online, see www.bicsi.org
and click “Forums.”
with full permission of CI & M – July issue 2007 www.cable-install.com
Oklahoma Telephone Cooperative Deploys Digital Ad Insertion With ETI’S Videodirect
Telephone Cooperative (www.ptci.com) of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, has implemented VideoDirect 6000
with ad insertion support for digital tier channels from Enhanced
Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a ETI Software (ETI). ETI is a leading provider of
automated, flow-through service activation and ad insertion systems.
Telephone Cooperative has been providing high-quality telecommunication
services to the region for more than 50 years, including telephone, Internet,
long distance, security, business systems, wireless and digital television.
Pioneer’s service area covers 76 exchanges, 10,900 square miles, and serves
more than 50,000 subscribers in 30 Oklahoma
counties. Pioneer is one of the largest telephone cooperatives in the United States.
VideoDirect 6000, Pioneer inserts local advertising spots during the national
programming of the largest digital cable TV networks in the country. National
networks such as CNN, MSNBC, ESPN and The Weather Channel allow the insertion
of two or three minutes of locally produced material for each hour of
programming. Additionally, Pioneer uses VideoDirect to run locally produced
content and insert self-promotions for the services it offers to subscribers.
advent of digital television, the number of channels has grown exponentially as
have the opportunities to insert local advertising during national broadcasts,”
says Scott Ulsaker, Director of Video Services, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative.
“ETI’s VideoDirect provides a powerful platform that enables us to run local
content on major networks while providing powerful billing and tracking
VideoDirect 6000 platform works in conjunction with networks deploying either
analog or digital program insertion or a combination of both. It uses the same
architecture for local or network endpoint applications, using its own host
server or standard Video-on-Demand Servers for ad storage and streaming.
Interfaces between ETI’s ad server and the Video Splicer are SCTE compliant.
the platform is pre-integrated to traffic and billing software to manage customer
accounts, schedule ad spots and generate bills.
television presents both challenges and opportunities for regional providers
such as Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, including the potential to generate
additional ad revenue through ad insertion,” says Peter M. Pifer, President and
CEO, ETI. “ETI’s VideoDirect 6000 provides a powerful platform to take
advantage of this opportunity with easy integration into existing
The Truth About Fiber Optics
Things you don’t—and do—need to
Fiber optics iS not a new
technology, having been available for communications for more than two decades
now, but fiber still seems to have the “rocket science” aura. (In the interest
of full disclosure, I once was a rocket scientist. I trained as a physicist and
astronomer in the 1960s, pioneered the use of computers to analyze astronomical
data and did simultaneous observations with NASA on rocket flights.)
Unfortunately, some people—including instructors teaching installers—seem to
feel fiber optics needs special treatment, and do not provide the simple skills
development that is more appropriate.
As part of my role working with
The Fiber Optic Association (FOA), I review curriculum from many training
schools seeking FOA approval, and I see some programs that include materials
irrelevant to most technicians and installers. Within the FOA, we can call on
some of the best trainers in the business, and we have created standards for
training technicians for fiber optic network design, installation, testing and
troubleshooting. These are posted on the FOA Web site at www.thefoa.org/instructors/class-reqs.htm. This group of experts strongly disagrees with the
rocket science approach.
example, many fiber optic courses cover classical optics before ever talking
about fiber optics itself; some taking a full day to explain how refraction of
light makes lenses work or how reflection occurs at material boundaries. Some
instructors feel obligated to tell you all about lasers, LEDs and
photodetectors and how to design transmitters, receivers and data links. By
noontime, most techs in these courses are tuned-out (or snoring away) because
they don’t see the relevance of the materials or figure it’s way over their
Training programs for
technicians should instead focus on fiber optic basics, jargon, components,
hardware and their installation. Practical information, directly related to
their work, is what techs need and want. Most programs would be better if
theory was replaced with cable handling. Too many courses focus on termination
and splicing, but never get into cable pulling and preparation. It is
impossible to be successful as an installer without fully understanding cables.
You need to
know how to identify all types of cables. Premises cables usually are tight
buffer simplex, zipcord, distribution or breakout, each of which has particular
applications and requirements for pulling and stripping. Outside plant cables
are generally loose tube, but may have single or ribbon fibers, dry or gel
water blocking and even metallic armor. A good training course will introduce
the student to all these cable types, ensuring they will not be surprised by
what they find in the field.
considered normal to teach termination and splicing, but even that needs to be
flexible, depending on the students. Outside plant techs work mainly with
single-mode fiber and never attach connectors directly to the fiber; instead
they splice preterminated pigtails onto the fibers. Premises installers
practically never splice fibers, but they install a lot of connectors directly
on the fiber, mostly using adhesive/polish or prepolished/splice methods. Certainly,
every tech needs to know about all termination processes, but a fiber optic
course should specialize so the OSP techs get more splicing practice and the
premises techs learn to polish better.
I used to
believe that premises techs did not need OTDR training, but now OTDR
manufacturers are pushing their use in premises networks. Unfortunately, the
limitations of OTDRs in premises applications can cause extreme problems for
those who are not aware of their limitations. So schools (and my Electrical ContraCtor columns) now must provide that
essential information to every tech.
everything you don’t need to know deals with training. For example, you don’t
always need instruments that read loss to two or three decimal places. OTDR
manufacturers persist in providing readouts of loss to 0.001 dB, about 50 times
the uncertainty of the measurement. Power meters and loss test sets usually
read to 0.01 dB, but the uncertainty of multimode premises cable plant loss
measurement is generally worse than 0.25 dB. Readings to 0.1 dB resolution is usually
plenty, and your training needs to make sure you know why.
are cabling standards. The truth about standards is most were never written for
installers and end-users. They really are written for component manufacturers
as “mutually agreed upon specifications for product development.” Often, it’s
not worth paying a small fortune to get a copy and spending the time trying to
translate them into comprehensible English. They were written for the
manufacturers, and every one of them will gladly give you a copy of their
translation of the standards, usually in the back of their catalog. EC
HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the president of The
Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.jimhayes.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
Cool Tools For Fiber
Growing demand for broadband
services offering the fastest possible speeds continues to drive deployment of
fiber optic cable to enterprise customers of major telecommunications carriers
and to a growing number of “private” fiber systems serving educational
institutions, government complexes, commercial clients in areas not accessible
to conventional networks, and even whole communities.
Electrical contractors with datacom capabilities are actively competing
for work to make such fiber installations. Indeed, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR’s “2006 Profile of the
Electrical Contractor” found that approximately 70 percent of respondents are
involved in “communications systems and connectivity” work and that their
interest in datacom and telecommunications training for the coming year is
higher than in the previous 12 months.
Contractors with datacom experience recognize fiber projects require
specialized skills and tools.
optics has come a long way since the time when it had a ‘mystic’ quality known
for difficulty of making installations and for high costs,” said Mario Rossi,
Leviton senior product manager for fiber systems. “The technology has been
improving quickly. And as high-performance networks require more stringent
parameters, the industry releases new tools to keep pace with them.”
Good-quality tools used to terminate fiber optics are very versatile and
can be used throughout virtually all fiber types, Rossi added.
“As examples,” he said, “a good-quality cleaver that guarantees less
than 1-degree cleave angle can be used for single-mode and multimode fibers.
Newer fusion splice machines are handheld and have internal software that
allows for splicing different types of fibers.”
Rossi added that today’s products provide tools required to make
different types of terminations and do them easier and at less cost than in the
Basic fiber connection tools include the following:
Jacket strippers to remove the
outer jacket on simplex and duplex fiber cables
cutters to cut and trim the Kevlar strength member directly beneath the jacket
strippers for removing acrylate coating from bare glass fiber
Bare fiber cleaner
swabs treated with an approved cleaning agent such as 99 percent isopropyl
Scribes to score
cable to fracture cleanly, leaving flat ends
Cleavers to measure
distance from the end of the coating to the point where the break will be made
and scribes the glass so that it fractures at an angle of less than 3 degrees
Polishing tools, including a
fixture to hold the connector perpendicular to polishing pad and film,
polishing film to provide a consistent and uniform finish to the end face of
the connector, and polishing pad
Crimp tools for use with
some types of connectors
Optical and video
inspection microscope for
inspecting end face polish of fiber
Visual faultfinders use a laser
to locate breaks and faulty splices.
Basic connection methods include adhesive, mechanical, prepolished and
pigtail. A fusion splicing machine is needed to connect the fiber being
terminated to a fiber pigtail preassembled to a connector.
“Tools required depends on the style of connector being installed,” said
Donald Stone, fiber optic design engineer, Kitco Fiber Optics. “There are epoxy
connectors, preloaded adhesive connectors, anaerobic connectors (no oven
required), and prepolished connectors. New ‘non-polish’ termination methods
that are factory polished thus reducing the time it takes to complete the
connector installation. Some techniques involve simply fusion splicing on
‘pigtails,’ thus eliminating the connector termination methods altogether.”
Anaerobic adhesives now are available in nonhazardous materials that
allow easier transportation by air.
“There are always new strip tools, crimp tools and polishing pucks being
developed that are universal to handle a variety of cable and connector types,”
Stone added. “There are strip tools that will work with 3 mm and 2 mm jacketed
cable types as well as being able to strip the various optical glass coatings.
Crimp tools now have hex, round and a combination of both in one crimp die.
Universal polishing pucks can now accommodate most of the 2.5 mm ceramic
Inspection equipment, Stone added, is always improving, with newer inspection
equipment going away from direct viewing with hand-held microscopes to small
portable viewing on an LCD monitor using a microscope probe.
Jim McCandless, Ripley Co. fiber optic engineer, said outdoor cables
require a rotary cable stripper or cable slitter to remove the heavy-duty outer
outer jacket is removed,” he said, “the hard inner tubes can be cut back with
wire strippers, or opened with a buffer tube slitter, exposing the fibers.
These fibers typically have 250-micron buffer coatings, which can be removed
with a single-hole stripper sized to strip to 125 micron clad fiber. Some tools
also allow for mid-span access of hard buffer tubes and access the individual
strands of fiber. Kevlar shears are used to cut the Kevlar-strength members,
which protect the fiber inside of the outer jacket.”
McCandless said that the market always is looking for tools that perform
multiple operations rather than multiple tools for performing each function.
However, because fiber tools tend to require a high level of precision,
combining these functions can prove to be difficult when the goal is to produce
a quality tool that does not have the potential to damage the fiber.
Handy Phelper, Greenlee Textron national sales manager for fiber optic
equipment, observes that basic manual techniques for optical fiber termination
have not changed, and no significant new tools have been added to product
“However, there are several new automated machines for mass connector
termination at a much higher cost. Also being [that] each tool has a specific
purpose, there is not a trend towards multipurpose fiber tools,” he added.
Phelper said several types of cleavers are available to cleave the end
of a fiber to a 90-degree end face.
“[The cleavers] can accomplish this with simple sapphire or diamond
scribes or ‘stapler’ type and precision mechanical cleavers,” he said. “The
type of connector will determine the crimping pliers required as well as if the
connector is ‘dry’ or ‘wet.’ Dry connectorization is simply crimping the
connector on the end of the fiber. The wet process requires epoxy and an oven
Dan Payerle, datacom product manager for Ideal Industries, said that
while techniques and tools for fiber installations are much the same as they
have been, there has been more development into types of terminations that are
taking some of the labor and time out of the installation process.
“Many tools and connectors are almost proprietary to their various
manufacturers,” Payerle said. “However, our approach is to offer tools for
fiber optic terminations that are generic and applicable to most standard types
With experience, fiber installers develop preferences for tools with
characteristics that best fit the needs of their work.
the various dimensions of cables an installer will come across, the best
jacket/buffer stripper is one that can accommodate all types of cables in a
single tool,” said Payerle. “Most of these types of tools include at least two
stripping points, one for the 3 mm outer jacket and another that removes the
900µ buffer and 250µ coating in a single pass. Some tools will include separate
stripping points for the 900µ and 250µ which is somewhat more convenient for
installers who routinely handle outside plant cable that does not have the 900µ
Payerle added that plastic discs are fine for low-volume work but do
wear and can wear unevenly if the installer does not rotate the disc during its
“Plastic polishing discs typically have wear indicators so the installer
can monitor it and discard if the disc is becoming uneven,” he explained.
“Stainless discs have a much longer service life and resist uneven wear much
better than plastic discs.”
A significant recent development is the way fiber terminations are
“It is estimated that 85 percent of all fiber failures are due to
contaminated end faces, making it imperative to inspect and, if necessary, to
clean end faces every time they are mated,” said Harley Lang, Fluke Networks
product marketing manager. “An inspection microscope is necessary to confirm
that the end face is polished and centered, and that it is not over-polished,
under-polished, scratched or chipped. An inspection microscope is also
essential for checking that the end face is clean of dust, dirt and human
contaminants such as oil from a fingerprint.”
The video microscope is a fairly recent addition to the fiber
installer’s tool kit and offers two key advantages over a manual, optical
inspection microscope,” Lang said.
“First,” he explained, “the video camera does not contact the fiber end
face. This eliminates the possibility of cross-contamination from the scope to
the fiber. Second, the video camera does not transmit potentially harmful light
rays from the fiber to the installer’s eye, as can happen with an optical
scope. This means the installer can inspect active network links without
risking eye damage.”
Sources providing information for this report agree that training is
essential for fiber optic network installers, and Greenlee’s Phelper emphasized
that most project owners will not do business with company’s whose installers
are not certified.
Kitco’s Stone said there are several levels of fiber optic training
offered in the commercial industry with the most common training for “Certified
Fiber Optic Installer” (CFOI) and “Certified Fiber Optic Technician” (CFOT). A
recognized organization for fiber optic certification is the Electronics
Technician Association (ETA). Certified training is provided by many other
organizations, including The Fiber Optic Association and from manufacturers of
fiber installation tools. EC
By Jeff Griffin
GRIFFIN, a construction and
tools writer from Oklahoma City,
can be reached at 405.748.5256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
Tips for using your cell phone in your car or truck 2007
These tips could save
your life and maybe someone else too!
AAA's first tip: Don't
use a cellular phone while driving. But if you must:
- Familiarize yourself with the
features of your cell phone before you get behind the wheel.
- Use the cell phone only when
absolutely necessary. Limit casual conversations to times when you're not
trying to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- Plan your conversation in
advance, and keep it short - especially in hazardous conditions such as bad
weather or heavy traffic.
- Let the person you're speaking
with know you are in a vehicle.
- Do not engage in emotional
conversations while trying to drive. Pull off the road to a safe spot
before continuing this type of conversation.
- Do not combine distracting
activities such as talking on your cell phone while driving, eating and
tending to a child.
- Use message-taking functions
and return calls when you are stopped at a safe location.
- Ask a passenger in the car to
place the call for you and, if possible, speak in your place.
- Secure your phone in the car so
that it doesn't become a projectile in a crash.
Tips for Managing Distractions
- Recognize driving requires your
full attention. If you find your mind wandering, remind yourself to stay
focused on the road.
- Before you get behind the
wheel, familiarize yourself with the features of your vehicle's equipment.
- Preset radio stations and
- Secure items that may move
around when the car is in motion.
- Avoid smoking, eating, drinking
and reading while driving.
- Pull safely off the road and
out of traffic to deal with children.
- Do your personal grooming at
home - not in the car.
- Review maps before hitting the
- Monitor traffic conditions
before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from
- Ask a passenger to help you
with activities that may be distracting.
What about hands-free phones? They're not risk-free.
Why are hand-held cell
phones at the heart of the debate?
Hand-held cell phones
are readily visible to other drivers. When people chance upon a distracted
driver and notice a cell phone, they naturally blame the phone. Most drivers
are frustrated when they see inconsiderate, inattentive drivers talking on cell
phones. However, it's more difficult to determine if a distracted driver is
talking to a passenger, tuning a radio or eating.
What about hands-free
Hands-free phones are
not risk-free. Studies show that hands-free cellular phones distract drivers
the same as hand-held phones. Why? Because it's the conversation that
distracts the driver - not the device.
What do recent studies
Studies show that
intellectual activities distract drivers. Such activities impair their ability
to drive safely and retain control of the vehicle. In one study, drivers were
given simple concentration exercises to perform while driving. None required
drivers to remove their eyes from the road. However, performing the exercises
significantly diminished the drivers' ability to drive. Specific changes in
driving behavior included tunnel vision, decreased road scanning and decreased
use of rear-view mirrors. Drivers also reduced their speed when performing the
Will banning hand-held
cell phones improve safety?
Not according to
current research. A study funded by the AAA Foundation
for Traffic Safety about the effect of cell phone use on driver
attention found that the distraction of using a hands-free cell phone and tuning
a radio is similar. Regarding the question of banning specific devices such as
hand-held cell phones, two facts are clear:
- Banning hand-held
phones, but allowing hands-free phones, is likely to have little or
no effect on safety. No studies show hands-free phones offer safety advantages over
hand-held phones. The distracting factor is the conversation - no the
device itself. And no one can legislate when and what drivers think.
- Banning hands-free phones won't
address the larger issue. Banning hands-free phones will not affect other
distracters in the car, which are equally as distracting as cell phones.
IS TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE
NEMA Launches Electroindustry Blog: NEMACurrents
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has launched NEMACurrents,
the only blog focusing on the electrical industry.
of this daily blog is to provide virtually instantaneous commentary on and
discussion of issues that affect the electrical industry. NEMACurrents includes
posts from subject matter experts about legislation affecting the industry,
energy efficiency, anti-counterfeiting, environmental design, electrical safety,
the skilled workforce shortage, and much more.
always been on the cutting edge, providing both its members and the public with
up-to-the-minute information. With this industry-specific blog, we’re taking a
new step toward achieving that mission,” said NEMA President and CEO, Evan
count on NEMACurrents to be insightful, informative and entertaining,” Gaddis
adds. “The issues we address are important—we want to make the world a more
environmentally friendly, more energy efficient, and safer place to live, and
we invite readers to jump in with their opinions about these critical issues.”
emerging as the next step in electronic communication, and offer more
spontaneity than do other communication vehicles. And unlike traditional Web
sites, blogs offer their readers the opportunity to participate in almost
real-time discussions about topics of interest to them.
NEMACurrents at www.nemacurrents.org
or access it from the NEMA website: www.nema.org.
NEMA is the
trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded
in 1926 and headquartered near Washington,
D.C., its approximately 450
member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and
distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in
utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and
residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold
worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA
also has offices in Beijing, São
Paulo, and Mexico City.
NECA’s Handprints All Over 2008 Code
The 2008 edition of the National
Electrical Code (NEC) was approved last
month at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) World
Safety Conference & Exposition in Boston.
As with all the NFPA-published editions of the most widely adopted code in the
world that came before it, the National Electrical Contractors Association
(NECA) had a hand in its development—dozens of hands, in fact.
The NFPA has been the Code’s
sponsor since 1911. And, ever since, NECA contractors have played a leading
role in keeping it up to date.
NFPA also publishes 10 other electrical standards, and
NECA and our member-contractors are involved in the development of most of them
as well. But, arguably, none of them bear the hallmarks of NECA participation
to the extent of the National Electrical
To keep up with current products and construction
methods, the NEC is revised every
three years. The revision process itself takes nearly two years to complete.
The Code deals with so many topics
that no single technical committee would have the expertise—or time—to write or
revise the entire document.
Instead, the NEC
traditionally has been maintained by 19 different Code-Making Panels (CMP).
Panel members are chosen for their technical expertise in particular areas. For
example, CMP-2 writes rules for branch circuits and feeders, CMP-5 is
responsible for grounding, and so on. Reflecting how the NEC keeps up with the times, a temporary 20th CMP was added for the
2008 edition to write a new Article 585 on “Critical Operations Power Systems,”
which applies to electrical systems that must keep critical operations going in
the event of a natural disaster, terrorist attack or other emergency that
causes a power outage.
Without compensation or recognition outside of the
electrical industry, participants in the never-ending NEC revision process spend a lot of time in meetings and handling
correspondence to fine-tune proposed changes—and to submit a few of their own.
Of course, you don’t have to be a NECA member or even a
panelist to propose a revision to the NEC.
If you perceive a problem with an existing provision, or if you simply have an
idea for improving some aspect of the Code,
NFPA wants to hear from you. Check your current 2005 Code book for details and deadlines.
For the 2008 edition, the NEC Technical Correlating Committee received 3,688 change proposals
and 2,349 comments during the revision cycle. According to the NFPA Journal,
“The sheer number of proposals and comments is a healthy indicator that the NEC is widely used and a constantly
Agreed. But I think NECA’s substantial involvement in the
process says something, too—and not just that ours is the single most
influential group in Code
The most important point is that it is developed under
consensus procedures that allow broad public review and participation by the
very people whose work it governs. The fact that so many electrical contractors
contribute to the Code as impartial
experts—with no axes to grind and no products to sell through their
participation—ensures the NEC
continues to fulfill its mission. That is, first and foremost, the practical
safeguarding of persons and property against the hazards rising from the uses
I thank my NECA colleagues for their involvement in the
process. I also encourage all knowledgeable electrical contractors to help
bring the Code home by interacting
with the local governmental body responsible for its local adoption and
After all, it’s your Code,
too! NECA is just pleased to have had an opportunity to help make it as
accurate and useful as possible.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
Figuring in Tools and Equipment
heard twice as many opinions. Sometimes it’s a specific dollar amount entry or
a small percentage value; sometimes nothing at all. No matter what it is or how
it is done, one thing is certain: Tools and equipment are hard job costs and
should not be omitted from any estimate.
“I’ve already paid for that equipment; I don’t need to include any cost for it
on this job.”
reality: Even though your company owns its tools and equipment outright, they
still cost the company money to use and maintain—especially equipment such as
forklifts, scissor lifts and trucks.
equipment also are expensive to replace when they get stolen, and it is
expensive to insure them. Perhaps you should include money for ‘insurance
premiums’ in your bid? This way, when one of your new trucks gets a dent or a
broken window, you might not hesitate to get it fixed and report the loss to
your insurance company.
going to buy tools in the near or distant future. How are you going to pay for
them? If you carry a small amount in every bid for “future tools,” as you win
projects, you will bring in money for these future expenditures.
supply your electricians with cordless drills, screwdrivers, pliers, dikes,
tool belts or other miscellaneous tools? These may not seem like much, but if
you contribute $100 per man for a 10-man crew, that’s $1,000.
boxes and other storage containers are required, does your company have enough
to spare another two or three for the project you are bidding today? If you win
this contract, will you be able to supply the project without borrowing from
Peter to pay Paul?
which types of tools and equipment (and how many pieces) your project is going
to need is important. The obvious ones get used on every job: ladders, job
boxes, drills, etc. For these, simply adding that 1 or 2 percent of your total
labor costs to cover them might be sufficient (notice I said “might” be).
prebid meeting with your tool manager(s) would be recommended for any bid.
Discuss which tools you think will be needed, approximately when and for how
long. Discuss the status of your current contracts and which tools they will
require and when. Hopefully, you will be able to assess whether you need to
carry more money for purchasing and renting certain tools and equipment.
labor to the job. Additional labor is required to mobilize, organize,
coordinate, set up and operate all of the tools and equipment. At the end of
each day, ladders need to be locked up (did you carry money for locks and
chains?), lifts have to be parked and plugged in, job boxes and trailers
secured. Generators need to be set up and connected, filled with gas, started
and tested. How did you figure for this in your bid? What is it based on?
(Speaking of gasoline, have you accounted for how expensive it has become?)
tools and pieces of equipment require a deeper look. Generators, lifts, boom
trucks, benders, pullers and trenching equipment all require additional labor
to set up, operate and tear down. If you can, segregate the actual labor time
involved for each of these pieces of equipment. Then you need to decide if the
labor units you carried in your estimate cover the additional setup, operation
and tear-down of these tools.
example, if a generator is required for 30 days, and it takes one hour each day
to check the gas level, start and test it, that’s 30 hours. If your labor rate
is $50 per hour, that is $1,500. Or if you have 50 different feeder pulls and
it takes an hour to set up the puller, that’s 50 hours. Add another half-hour
to tear it down and put it away—we’re up to 75 hours (75 × $50 = $3,750). Now
we’re talking some serious money. Do you want it covered in your bid or taken
out of your profit?
“How will I
win the bid if I carry all this money for tools?” you may ask. Too often I hear
hesitancy on bid day because the contractor is afraid of adding too much and
losing the bid. So, what are they thinking here? “I’m going to bid the job for
less than I know it will cost. If I win, then I’ll just have to build it
you figure tools and equipment get covered in your overhead percentage? OK, at
least you are thinking about it. But is your overhead percentage correctly
covering everything? If you are carrying 15 percent on each bid, how much of
this is allocated to your tools and equipment?
smartest action is to examine, study and decide whether the material costs and
labor units you carry for your pipe, wire and other materials actually cover
the additional labor needed for the tools and equipment required to install
If you are
losing projects because you carried an additional 1, 2 or even 5 percent for
tools and equipment in your bid, then something else is to blame. Of course,
just because you lost a bid doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Perhaps your
competition did. Maybe they didn’t think about the costs of tools and
Reprinted with full
permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July issue 2007 www.Electrical Contractor Magazine.com
CommScope Ad IPcelerate Join T Make VoIP Safer CommScope
CommScope, Inc. (NYSE:CTV) a global
leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, today announced
the results of a collaborative venture with IPcelerate, a provider of advanced
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) products and technologies.
The two companies have developed a
new security/public safety application for the SYSTIMAX(r) iPatch(r) Real-Time
Infrastructure Management System.
Joining efforts as Cisco technology
partners, the two companies integrated their systems to create an emergency
notification system for a large Dallas-based corporation.
To comply with federal guidelines,
the new design must provide the exact physical location of any emergency phone
call from within its network - not a simple task when working with VoIP phones
that can be easily transferred from office to office. Traditionally, locating a
call from a VoIP phone meant relying on a database that was perhaps out of date
or incorrect due to manual updates. The new solution, provided through the
collaborative partnership, provides the physical location of the phone call as
displayed on the telephone set used by a company's security personnel.
"Working with our technology
partners is always an exciting experience, and often our partnerships lead to
the development of great solutions," said Mark Peterson, senior vice
president, global marketing, of CommScope Enterprise Division. "In this case, we implemented qualities
from both systems to create a new feature for the client that integrates
seamlessly with Cisco's software and telephone sets. We look forward to
demonstrating the results of our collaboration for other Cisco technology
partners and customers," said Peterson.
The new system utilizes IPcelerate's
software, IPsession, which complements Cisco Call Manager and uses MAC address
along with other identifiers to recognize the specific VoIP phones connected to
the network. In addition, the system utilizes the SYSTIMAX iPatch Real-Time Infrastructure
Management System, which is used to document and maintain, in real-time, all
physical layer connectivity information, including the physical location of
networked devices within that network. This allows security personnel to
determine which device is making the call and exactly where in the building
that device is connected, enabling security officers to respond more quickly in
an emergency situation.
The integrated solution has been
successfully implemented and tested.
According to Peterson, security
personnel were impressed during the testing phases when an employee
inadvertently dialed 911 and the phone promptly displayed the physical location
of the call.
"We're very pleased that the
new system works so well for the client," said Valerie Corniello, vice
president of sales for IPcelerate. "Working with another technology
partner to raise the safety level for our customers is a truly rewarding
experience. We're excited to demonstrate these capabilities at Cisco
Networkers at Cisco Live! will be
held July 22-26 in Anaheim,
Calif. The conference is the
premier event in the industry and brings together Cisco customers from across
all business segments and industries as they present visionary technology
directions, new products and best practices.
CommScope (NYSE:CTV - www.commscope.com)
is a world leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks.
Through its SYSTIMAX(r) Solutions and
Uniprise(TM) brands, CommScope is the
global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise
applications. It is also the world's largest manufacturer of coaxial cable for
Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) applications.
Backed by strong research and
development, CommScope combines technical expertise and proprietary technology
with global manufacturing capability to provide customers with high-performance
wired or wireless cabling solutions.
This press release includes
forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to
management, management's beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions
concerning future events.
Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are
subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the
actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. For a more detailed description of the
factors that could cause such a difference, please see CommScope's filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend,
and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Visit CommScope at http://www.commscope.com
IPcelerate, Inc. is a Dallas-based
VoIP technology company that provides an applications framework and products
for companies adopting Voice-over-IP.
IPcelerate's Network IP Applications
(NIPA(TM)) Framework has become the foundation for embedded VoIP products and
solutions found in the smallest emerging businesses to the largest enterprise
organizations. IPcelerate technologies
include situational awareness applications with embedded alerting, interactive
broadcast applications, recording/archival/sharing solutions for voice and
video sessions, and video surveillance for emergency response. IPcelerate's products and solutions are
designed to accelerate the Return-on-Investment (ROI) from a VOIP
installation. Companies across all
market segments use IPcelerate technologies to enhance personnel safety,
improve employee productivity, increase asset protection, improve supply chain
management and increase situational awareness.
For more information, please visit our website at www.ipcelerate.com.
ACUTA Installs Dr. Walt Magnussen Of Texas A&M As Its New President For 2007-2008
Dr. Walt Magnussen, the
telecommunications director at Texas
is the new president of ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology
Professionals in Higher Education.
Magnussen takes office at the
close of the 36th annual ACUTA Conference here this week. At the conference,
representatives of hundreds of U.S.
and Canadian higher education institutions are meeting to explore and discuss
communications strategies that can best fulfill their organizations’ missions.
ACUTA is the only national
association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education communications
technology professionals, representing some 2,000 individuals at 770
Leading ACUTA for 2007-2008,
Magnussen is joined by these other newly elected officers: Corinne Hoch of
Columbia University, president-elect; Riny Ledgerwood of San Diego State
University, elected to a second term as secretary/treasurer; Randal Hayes of
the University of Northern Iowa, re-elected as a director at large; and Sandy
Roberts of Wellesley College, newly elected as a director at large.
Other current ,members of the
Board of Directors are Carmine Piscopo of Providence College, immediate past
president, and Dr. James S. Cross of Longwood University, Harvey “Buck”
Buchanan of Florida State University, and Diane McNamara of Union College, all
directors at large.
Magnussen, a member of ACUTA
since 1993, has served on a number of committees and boards for the
organization, and is a frequent speaker at ACUTA events.
“As the communications
networks on college and university campuses become both more critical and more
complex, ACUTA must maintain its role of supporting its members in achieving
their institutions’ strategic missions,” Magnussen said. “With our focus on
technology and on networking and information sharing by members, we can remain
a vital resource for members. That is my one of my goals as president.”
ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals
in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association
serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher
education communications technology professionals in contributing to the
achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents
nearly 2000 individuals at some 770 institutions of higher education, with
members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S.
institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all
categories of communications technology vendors serving the
college/university market. For more information, visit www. acuta.org or call
Check Out What’s New For Cabling Business Magazine’s September 2007 Issue!
of hot new products, timely industry columns and of course, the latest
technology news you’ve come to expect every month!
The Cabling Arena: A
Play-by-Play Cabling Infrastructure Installation
By Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD
Quad Play can Make or Break MSOs:
Steps to Prepare
By Bill Bondy
Ethernet Services Testing
By Patrick Riley
The Value of Installer
By Jay Meyers, RCDD
Annual TIA Standards Review
By Lee Badman
How to Increase an Installer's
By Harley B. Lang III, RCDD
- The Leadership Link By New Commons
Reel Time By Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company
- Testing the Experts By Fluke Networks
- Engineering and Design Professionals
- Latest Published TIA Standards
Fiber, Outside Plant, Quad-play Services, Cabinet retrofit solutions,
Testers, Fiber Optic Connectors, Cable Ties, Ethernet switch product lines,
Broadband, Wireless, Ethernet Services, Web site launches, industry catalog
offerings and much, much more!
readers can log on to the magazine Web site at www.cablingbusiness.com and download the latest issue online! Be sure
not to miss out!
NAED Announces Name, Format Changes To Annual Meeting
Renamed National Electrical Leadership Summit
Will Focus on Strategic Issues, Trends
As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, the National Association of
Electrical Distributors is rolling out a new name and a new format for its
Starting with the May 2008 meeting in San
Francisco, the Annual Meeting will be called the NAED
National Electrical Leadership Summit. The program will focus more on
strategic leadership issues and emerging trends. In addition, the new schedule
features general sessions on both Sunday and Monday, with each presenting
nationally acclaimed keynote speakers. The 2008 Summit also will serve as the grand finale
for NAED's Centennial Celebration, with headliner entertainment and a gala
2008 NAED National Electrical Leadership Summit Schedule Highlights: