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Issue: July 2005
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz

Limited Combustible Cable is no joke. It is a nightmare.

It looks like the only way LC cable will sell is if they make a law that you have to use it.

Well here we are, almost five years later, and what we have learned about LC cable is enough to scare your pants off. There have been no official testing of the toxicity of this cable and the MSDS for the main material is frightening. Face it this cable gives off gasses when it is heated and some of those gasses are classified the same as chemical warfare weapons.

On the other hand, LC cable is priced right out of the ballpark (usually, more than 100% higher than CMP), and darn near no one is buying the stuff. Most vendors have never sold it, quoted it, or even heard of it. This week, we did a little test to verify our suspicions.

4-19-2005: Telephone calls to the sales desk of various distributors, requesting 100,000 feet of CAT5e or CAT6 Limited Combustible plenum cable.

Accu-Tech: "I don't think I have quoted that stuff in more than a year. I don't have any idea of what it would cost and we don't stock it."

Rexel: "I have never heard of it. I'll have to make some phone calls to check on this. I'm sure we don't stock it."

Graybar: "We'll have to make some calls. I've never quoted it and it's not in stock locally. We'll have to check into it and we will call you back."

CSC: "What the heck is that? Don't you mean regular plenum? I've never quoted limited combustible and I've never even seen it. We'll get back to you."


Limited Combustible Cable" may be a very bad idea.

Start with a search using for "toxic teflon"

Results 1 - 10 of about 133,000 for toxic teflon.

Safety - Toxic Teflon Gases?
... about TOXIC TEFLON gases as a pulmonary agent (chemical warfare weapon), ...
Check the MSDS for Teflon® FEP: Perfluoroisobutylene (PFIB) is a toxic ...

Teflon FEP generates various gasses under heat decomposition
Read this cautionary letter for Code considerations on Safety

See progression of gasses at various temperature levels

See: Pulmonary Agents - PFIB from Teflon® FEP

United States Army
Military Research Institute of Chemical Defense
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

Visit for additional information and links to other resources.

It looks like the only way LC cable will sell is if they make a law that you have to use it.

But that's just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee
"Heard On The Street" column
Jacksonville, FL
(904) 645-9077

Suit Being Filed Against DuPont Over Teflon

A $5 billion class-action lawsuit is being filed against DuPont Co. saying the chemical giant long failed to warn consumers on the dangers of a Teflon chemical.

Two Florida law firms said Tuesday they were filing the suit in federal courts in eight states on behalf of 14 people who bought and used cookware with the non-stick Teflon. It is made using perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA, or C-8.

The plaintiffs want DuPont to spend $5 billion to replace the cookware, impose a Teflon warning label and create two funds to pay for medical monitoring and more scientific research, said Alan Kluger of Miami-based Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan & Berlin, P.L.

PFOA also is used in many other of the company's most popular products, such as auto fuel systems, firefighting foam, phone cables, computer chips and clothing.

"DuPont has known for over 20 years that the Teflon product and the PFOA chemical it contains causes cancer in laboratory animals," Kluger said. "I don't have to prove that it causes cancer. I only have to prove that DuPont lied in a massive attempt to continue selling their product."

DuPont spokesman Clif Webb said Tuesday the Wilmington, Del.-based company "will vigorously defend itself against the allegations raised in this lawsuit.

"Consumers using products sold under the Teflon brand are safe," Webb said. "Cookware coated with DuPont Teflon non-stick coatings does not contain PFOA. This has been verified by an independent peer reviewed study of consumer products announced in April of 2005."


The NFPA body voted to return the entire document to the committee. This means that the committee will be asked:

1) Should the deliberations on the ENTIRE document including all wire, cable and damper issues be scheduled for new public comments or new public proposals?

2) How should the committee address the request of NFPA Standards Council to have a single minimum for cable?

As the NFPA meeting was in Vegas, there was a lot of speculation about the Technical Committee on Air Conditioning and its future. Vegas money put the best bet with the committee being disbanded and the committee responsibilities being shuffled to other committees within NFPA. There was no official position presented as this is just conjecture.

The next step is for NFPA Standards Council to hear any appeals on the matter. It is expected that the CFRA will file an appeal to have the document issued as the committee developed.

The initial voting had our proposal to have Chapter 4 returned pass 80%-20% (about 240-60).

There were additional proposals adopted by the body that addressed definitions and they were officially adopted at 188-108.

Proposals on dampers were likewise approved by about the same 63% margin.

A motion was then made by Tom Dusza to return the entire document to committee; that measure passed by 12 votes and all prior actions were negated.


The NAED Education & Research Foundation has recently updated the Electrical Products Education Course (EPEC) program to include the 2005 National Electrical Code (NEC)®. In addition to the updated codes, the 2005 EPEC edition will include new photographs and a more user-friendly format. This latest version continues to improve on one of NAED's most effective product training programs.

Tailored specifically for the electrical industry by NAED, EPEC aids distribution businesses by outlining the application of each product sold and showing how products are interrelated within electrical systems. In addition, obtaining EPEC graduate recognition has become an industry-wide mark of distinction in training and service for all who complete the course.

"In this industry, experience and product knowledge are vital. It's important to know not just what a product is, but how it is used. EPEC really explains those details," said Marty Miller, who works in Inside Sales and Quotations for Crescent's branch in Appleton, Wis. "The program helped me get my feet wet, learn the lingo, and become better at my job. Completing the highest level can only help me advance further in my career."

"The feedback we get from employees who have taken the course is overwhelmingly positive," said Laura Neate, human resources manager with Rexel USA. "They find that they are more knowledgeable in their position and some have even been promoted because of their improved performance."

EPEC is a self-study program consisting of three levels with five modules each. The course covers:
· Bronze (Modules 1-5)-The first level provides an overview, introducing common terminology and describing key functions of products and how they interrelate in electrical systems.
· Silver (Modules 6-10)-The next level examines more complex residential, commercial, industrial and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) environments.
· Gold (Modules 11-15)-The final level introduces state-of-the-art products that distribute, control and utilize electrical power in modern commercial and industrial markets.

Hellermanntyton Introduces ShrinkTrakTM Heat Shrinkable Markers

HellermannTyton, an industry leader in the development of industrial identification products, announces the launch of ShrinkTrakTM, a ladder-style, heat shrinkable marker for wire, cable and other applications. ShrinkTrak is military specified, very flexible and made from heat shrinkable polyolefin tubing with a 3:1 shrink ratio. Slit edges permit a faster and easier insertion of wire and removal from ShrinkTrak's liner, while center slit options are available to eliminate hand cutting the markers. The marker's smooth, flat surface allows for consistent printing with less void and missing print.

HellermannTyton's unique packaging with a waxed core dispenser is designed for a quick and consistent feed to most thermal transfer printers. Anti-static coating on the ShrinkTrak liner reduces static charge build-up in printers resulting in reduced printer jams. ShrinkTrak saves time with its high performance design while meeting all military and UL-224 specifications.

HellermannTyton offers an entire identification system, including TagPrint Pro professional label creation software and thermal transfer printers and ribbons that create a permanent, solvent resistant print when ShrinkTrak markers are shrunk and applied. The seamless system is designed to achieve the greatest reliability and print quality. TagPrint Pro software is powerful, multi-functional and extremely easy to use with its "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) label creation. HellermannTyton also offers the TT320SM printer that prints smooth scalable graphics and highly defined characters at 300 dots per inch.

In addition to ShrinkTrak™ heat shrinkable markers, HellermannTyton manufactures other identification solutions to increase quality and lower costs. Thermal transfer, laser, ink jet and dot matrix labels, thermal transfer printers, the Spirit® 2100 portable printing system, preprinted and hand writable wire markers are a few industrial identification solutions available.

Mundorf Joins Berk-Tek to Manage Strategic Accounts

Copper and fiber optic cabling technology and solutions leader Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company, announces the appointment of Matt Mundorf to Strategic Account Manager.

In this role, Mundorf will be responsible for sales to several large National Integrators. He will work with Berk-Tek's sales force and with distributors to cover existing accounts and developing new accounts. He will work out of the company headquarters and UTP manufacturing facility in New Holland, PA.

Mundorf brings extensive industry sales experience to this position. He previously worked for Berk-Tek's inside sales department, from 1994 until 1998. He then joined data communications manufacturers' representative, Cody and Associates in Pittsburgh, PA.

"We are very excited to welcome Matt back to Berk-Tek," said Kris Lindley, Director Strategic Accounts at Berk-Tek. "His previous experience at Berk-Tek brought him the knowledge of Berk-Tek products and the people. Combined with the understanding of the sales chain for structured cabling from his years in outside sales with a rep firm, Matt will offer a tremendous value to Berk-Tek and our customers."

Fluke Networks CableIQ's Qualification Tester

New From Fluke Networks
Introducing the first cabling bandwidth tester for network technicians - CableIQ Fluke Networks designed CableIQ™ Qualification Tester- an easy-to-use cable troubleshooting and bandwidth qualification tester specifically for network technicians. It has all the power techs need to see whether a cable is qualified to support 10/100, VoIP or Gigabit Ethernet speeds and quickly solve network connectivity problems in one intuitive, handheld tool.

See the bandwidth of any cabling link
Whether you're upgrading to Gig, deploying VoIP or troubleshooting cabling faults, you want to make sure that the existing cabling can support the bandwidth requirements of your network. CableIQ gives you detailed information on the bandwidth capabilities of network cabling. It can tell you if a cabling link can support 10/100, VoIP, or Gigabit Ethernet. And if it can't support the required bandwidth, CableIQ's advanced diagnostics indicate why, e.g. a connection fault at 7 ft. Knowing your cabling's bandwidth capabilities allows you to troubleshoot cabling faults in half the time and helps ensure seamless upgrades to higher network speeds.

Troubleshoot network connectivity problems
CableIQ's powerful troubleshooting capability and intuitive interface enables frontline technicians to identify and troubleshoot a wider range of infrastructure problems. Is the port active? Are the duplex settings matched? Is the cable connected to a PC, phone or switch? Is it a network problem or a cable problem? Can the cable support the required network bandwidth? CableIQ is the only tool that can answer all these questions before trouble tickets are escalated to the next level.

NECA Leads Coalition to Prohibit Internet Reverse Auctions In Federal Construction

NECA and several construction organizations including the Associated General Contractors (AGC) recently formed an alliance to work with legislators in order to prohibit the use of Internet reverse auctions on federal construction projects and prevent federal agencies from treating construction as a commercial commodity. The coalition has already taken steps to resolve this issue by adding supporting legislative language to a budget bill the House of Representatives approved last week with a 390-to-39 vote.

NECA and the AGC combined their efforts to assure certain language is added to a House-Senate conference that may be passed later this summer by the 2006 Department of Defense funding measure (HR 1815). Currently, it instructs federal agency heads to "make maximum use of commercially available Internet purchasing services (including reverse auctions) to produce commercial items." The NECA-led coalition has convinced the House Government Reform Committee, chaired by Representative Tom Davis (R-VA), to include an important qualifier in the definition of commercial items: "not including construction-related services."

Legislators quickly agreed with the alliance, as the problems with Internet reverse auctions are clear. Reverse auction bidding is a procurement method whereby the customer requests that construction contractors submit their bids online via computer with the opportunity to change their bid repeatedly throughout the process, until a certain deadline. The only information given to the bidding contractors during this process is that a lower number has been submitted, thereby encouraging contractors to undercut their competitors dramatically. Noted in an AGC white paper endorsed by the Associated Specialty Contractors, an organization in which NECA is an active participant, reverse auctions rarely provide benefits comparable to currently recognized selection procedures for construction contractors, do not guarantee the lowest price, encourage imprudent bidding, denigrate relationships, place undue emphasis on price versus value, and disaffirm federal procurement laws and certain state laws.

NECA and its allies are currently working to gain a more explicit prohibition of Internet reverse auctions in the Senate's version of the Department of Defense spending measure and will continue working on the issue as it is passed along to the House-Senate Conference. Following success there, NECA will press federal regulators to adopt the rule and persuade state and local policymakers, as well as private-sector purchasers that Internet reverse auctions should not be a part of the procurement of construction-related services.

To view NECA's position paper on the topic of Internet reverse auctions, and other issues:

Copper Development Association is Latest NEIS Industry Partner

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has agreed to develop a new National Electrical Installation Standard (NEIS)™ covering electrical applications that use copper wiring. The New York-based trade association of copper producers and fabricators will become the ninth industry partner in the National Electrical Contractor Association's high-profile technical standards program.

Standard for Copper Wiring Applications, will cover a wide range of subjects, such as proper installation techniques for copper building wire, use of oversized conductors to minimize voltage drop, proper handling of wire bundles, termination techniques for copper conductors, use of larger neutrals to improve power quality in installations characterized by high harmonic currents, and how to improve reliability and energy efficiency through the use of high-efficiency motors and transformers wound with copper magnet wire. Currently under development, the standard is expected to be published during 2006.

"CDA is pleased and excited to be part of the NECA/NEIS team," said David Brender, CDA's national program manager for electrical markets. "This standard will be an important and helpful tool for the industry."

"We're very happy about this new partnership with CDA," commented Brooke Stauffer, executive director for standards and safety at NECA. "They're the experts at developing practical educational materials about copper applications. And working cooperatively with groups like them helps insure that users see our National Electrical Installation Standards as true industry standards."

NECA has previously developed joint National Electrical Installation Standards with BICSI (telecommunications installers), Electrical Generating Systems Association (EGSA), Fiber Optic Association (FOA), Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), National Armored Cable Manufacturers Association (NACMA), Steel Tube Institute (STI), and the Transformer Association (TA)

General Cable Closing Two Plants, Cutting 200 Jobs

General Cable Corp. (BGC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , a maker of wires for communications, on Wednesday said it would close two plants and cut 200 jobs to combat sluggish demand for copper telephone exchange and fiber optic cables.

The company will close a Bonham, Texas, plant that employs about 170 workers and makes copper telephone exchange cables. A fiber optic military and premise cable plant in Dayville, Connecticut, will also be closed. That facility has about 30 employees.

New Research Published on the Global Technology Trends for the Physical Layer of the Enterprise

SYSTIMAX® Solutions, the worldwide leader in structured connectivity solutions and services for organizations, has announced the results of a global research study conducted among 2,165 information technology (IT) professionals. The new SYSTIMAX Solutions(TM) research report, entitled Meeting the Network Connectivity Challenge, includes responses from IT professionals from 48 countries and shows the important role of connectivity within the network. The fact that high performance cabling is now widely recognized as a good investment is illustrated by the finding that, in addition to 56 percent of respondents who would install Category 6 cabling, 16 percent would opt for the new Augmented Category 6 (Category 6A) cabling. This suggests rapid acceptance of UTP cabling able to support 10 Gb/s even though the standards for this type of cabling are still in development.

"The research findings show that managers worldwide are willing to adopt new cabling technology at an early stage to ensure they have the bandwidth they need," commented Fiona Nolan, Global Marketing Director of SYSTIMAX Solutions. "Even though development of the new 10 Gb/s Augmented Category 6 standard has just started, one sixth of the network managers who responded indicated that they are ready to install 10 Gb/s copper cabling now."

"IT professionals have learned by experience with existing networks that they must have the best connectivity to realize the full potential of network- intensive applications," Nolan continued. "As Gigabit desktop connections become the norm and 10 Gb/s is seen as the coming standard, managers now view high quality cabling as an excellent investment rather than just a necessary cost."

At the other end of the connectivity performance scale, findings suggest that Category 5e cabling is heading for obsolescence with only 17 percent of respondents selecting this option for a new installation.

The research confirms industry expectations that the migration to 10 Gb/s is likely to begin in the data center and move on to desktop connections. Forty five percent of respondents expect to have 10 Gigabit Ethernet in their data center horizontal (server connections) within two years. Ten percent have already implemented it in their backbone (switch-to-switch connections) and a further 54 percent anticipate they will do so within two years.

Outside the data center, most respondents expect to be running primarily 1 Gb/s (53 percent) or 10 Gb/s (30 percent) over their horizontal cabling within five years. In the same timeframe, 61 percent expect to be running 10 Gb/s and 26 percent expect to need 40 Gb/s in network backbones.

In the three years since the last SYSTIMAX Solutions report on the global status and direction of LAN connectivity, there has been rapid growth in acceptance of laser optimized multimode fiber as an alternative to traditional multimode and singlemode fiber. The latest findings show that 28 percent of respondents would install it now compared with only four percent who had done so at the time of a similar SYSTIMAX Solutions survey in 2002.

The research also shows that wireless networking is now widely adopted with 78 percent of respondents either using it now or intending to use it in new installations. Eighty-one percent of respondents see wireless technology as an overlay or extension to their cabling infrastructure compared with just 14 percent who see it as a replacement for a cabling infrastructure.

While the need for high performance connectivity is widely accepted, the research also found that IT professionals generally lack awareness of advanced cable management solutions and their benefits. Although technical performance and the total life cycle cost of solutions were top priorities most often mentioned by respondents, half of them had not considered using intelligent patching to help manage their networks.

Clearly education about and the subsequent deployment of intelligent infrastructure management could help IT professionals achieve their performance objectives while improving flexibility, deployment of services and management of moves, adds and changes in the network. The SYSTIMAX Solutions Survey shows that past education on the benefits of deployment of high performance cabling is well understood, as shown by the acceptance of new technologies, such as Category 6A, even prior to the publication of standards.

Research Methodology

IT professionals in 48 countries were invited to participate in the survey via a Web portal during March and April 2005. Contributors to the research could view the questions in any of 13 languages. The 2,165 IT and network managers who completed questionnaires were a representative sample of SYSTIMAX Solutions and non-SYSTIMAX Solutions customers.

The respondents came from organizations with between 50 and 10,000+ network users in sectors ranging from Education to Finance, and Government to Media.

Fluke Networks Solutions At SUPERCOMM Help Carriers Hold On To Customers And Dollars

NetDSL Solution Quickly Qualifies Copper Plant for Beat-the-Competition Triple Play Services; Predictive Maintenance Solutions Save Money and Prevent Unnecessary Technician Dispatches

Telecom carriers can field "Triple Play" services faster and save significant operating expenses if they use network analysis and management solutions from Fluke Networks, displayed at the SUPERCOMM trade show, Booth 54000, June 6-9.

Using the theme "Next Generation Networks Start Here--Network SuperVision Solutions to Build, Manage and Maintain your Network," Fluke Networks showed carriers how to efficiently test, condition and manage networks, from central office up to and inside the customer premise.

The faster and more efficiently carriers can test and qualify loop facilities for high-bandwidth ADSL2+ and VDSL services, the sooner they can counter broadband competition from coaxial cable, satellite and wireless technologies.

Fluke Networks delivers a comprehensive suite of Network SuperVision solutions that enable service providers to cost-effectively test, condition and qualify their copper loop facilities and offer their customers bundled Triple Play voice, video and data services.

At SUPERCOMM, Fluke Networks exhibited the NetDSL Bulk VDSL Qualification System, a fast and easy-to-use bulk pair verification and qualification system for next generation services. NetDSL provides quick, accurate service level qualification on both working and spare pairs so service providers can target new customers for high-speed service, reduce customer acquisition costs and generate revenue faster.

With more customers demanding end-to-end service, providers are sending techs beyond the end of the "last mile" loop to set up and repair home and small business networks. Fluke Networks will display a variety of tools to help telecom technicians handle these tasks with speed and precision.

Fluke Networks will also show TroubleEvaluator, a customer care management system with integrated line testing and direct switch provisioning. The system enables entry-level agents and seasoned network administrators to rapidly resolve customer troubles, letting the customer care center handle more calls faster, with fewer dispatches and call backs.

Even as they roll out Triple Play services, service providers remain extremely cost conscious. Fluke Networks solutions on display help service providers meet the sometimes-conflicting goals of increasing service quality while controlling costs.

The Fluke Networks EXP System is a single- and double-ended platform for loop testing and technician management. The EXP System streamlines workflows, improves technician productivity, cuts equipment costs, automates the testing process and captures test data for inclusion in job tickets. Techs can complete extensive tests in two to five minutes with no central office personnel involved, while guaranteeing service delivery is right the first time.

The Fluke Networks 990DSL CopperProtm is a handheld multifunction outside plant test set that replaces up to sixteen traditional test sets and performs both POTS and high frequency testing and qualification for services like ADSL, HDSL, HDSL2, T1, E1 and DDS. Used with the Terminatortm device, the 990DSL CopperPro performs terminated transmission testing single handedly.

Also displayed was the Fluke Networks Model 105A Remote Test Unit (RTU), a central office test unit capable of testing all subscriber lines switched by a central office, and the Model 107A/F RTU, a satellite test head for testing copper lines served by remote switches, digital loop carrier systems and digital subscriber line access multiplexers.

SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH™ Plus and G2 System of Fiber Connectivity Solutions

SYSTIMAX Solutions™ the worldwide leader in structured connectivity solutions and services for organizations, announced the introduction of its new SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH™ Plus and G2 System of fiber connectivity solutions, which assist both end-users and installers by offering either factory or field termination options. SYSTIMAX Solutions' long heritage in fiber cables, connectors and panels has spanned the last forty years and today's announcement further highlights the commitment SYSTIMAX Solutions has to the enterprise fiber market.

The new solutions will simplify design, configuration and ordering of fiber apparatus. They were designed through in-depth consultations with both installers and end-users to ensure usability, practicality and flexibility. The new G2 System, which is supplied either in factory or field-terminated options, offers a high-density, modular fiber connectivity solution that allows installers to connect system components together simply and quickly.

SYSTIMAX Solutions believes the InstaPATCH Plus Solution is particularly important for organizations' data centers that have space and deployment constraints for the fiber solutions needed to connect servers and switches. The new system components can reduce on-site installation time by over 90% and provide data centers with a smooth migration path from serial to parallel optical transmission technologies as they are added in the future.

These fiber connectivity solutions will be available in all SYSTIMAX fiber solutions, including laser optimized multimode and zero water peak singlemode options supporting

speeds up to and beyond 10 Gb/s. They also form an integral part of the SYSTIMAX LazrSPEED® and TeraSPEED™ end-to-end fiber solutions.

"Information Technology (IT) managers are required to deliver services cost effectively while being faced with an increasing number of users, sites and applications, often in less space," says Chin Choi-Feng, Product Manager, Fiber-Optic Apparatus, SYSTIMAX Solutions. "We believe the new InstaPATCH Plus and G2 Systems allow a greater design flexibility, higher density and higher performance while reducing the installation time and cost of ownership. The new solutions allow field termination, fiber splicing as well as factory-terminated products, giving customers a greater degree of flexibility when designing and installing fiber optic infrastructures."

Choi-Feng continued, "As connectivity providers, we also have to be futurists if we are to provide our clients with products that will adapt to future advances in technology. We believe the new fiber components, like all of our product offerings, fulfill this expectation."

Technical specifications on both products can be found by visiting

The InstaPATCH and G2 product ranges are available globally through SYSTIMAX Solutions' network of BusinessPartners.


TED Magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) won both National and Regional Excellence Awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editor's 27th Annual Awards Competition. The national contest receives more than 2000 entries each year. The national awards banquet was held as part of the ASBPE National Editorial Conference in Cleveland on June 21, 2005. Regional winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Chicago on June 15.

TED received a National Award in the category, Feature Series, for its coverage of the Lighting Task Force (June, July, August and October 2004). The four-part series, written by Lee Chichester, Craig DeLouie and Bethany Sullivan, offers ways the industry can work together to improve the lighting market. The articles feature insights from designers, distributors, reps and CEOs.

TED received a Regional Award in the category, Case History, for A Plan for the Worst (December 2004), a disaster recovery article written by Darlene Bremmer. In late September 2004, an F2 category tornado hit the headquarters building of United Electric Supply in Wilmington, Del. In the article, Bremmer describes how cool heads and a well-prepared disaster recovery plan kept employees safe and the distributorship running.

For more than 20 years, the ASBPE Awards Competition has honored trade publication editors and graphic designers for their hard work and commitment to excellence. The most competitive competition in the business press, the ASBPE judging panel consists of experienced business editors, designers, consultants and academicians .

TED Magazine is the primary source of information for the electrical distribution channel across North America. With more than 33,000 qualified subscribers, the publication is dedicated to best practices for the electrical supply chain. In addition to its print edition, TED Magazine produces up-to-the minute news at . The magazine's award-winning editorial content and design is led by Editor Michael Martin, Managing Editor Misty Byers and Art Director Randi Vincent. .

Preformed Line Products Announces Quarterly Dividend

The Board of Directors of Preformed Line Products on Wednesday, June 8, 2005 declared a regular quarterly dividend in the amount of $.20 per share on the Company's common shares, payable July 28, 2005 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 1, 2005.

NIST to Release Draft Report and Recommendations from Its Investigation of the World Trade Center Towers Collapses

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will brief the media and the public on June 23, 2005, in New York City on the draft recommendations from its building and fire safety investigation of the collapses of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The recommendations seek improvements in the way people design, construct, maintain and use buildings to increase both structural integrity and building, occupant and emergency responder safety. They will be released, along with the complete WTC towers investigation report, for a six-week public comment period.

The towers report consists of 43 individual documents (15 of which were released in April) and some 10,000 pages. A separate draft report on the collapse of WTC 7 (a 47-story building that fell after the WTC towers) will be released for public comment at a later date.

The press briefing will be satellite broadcast and Webcast. Downlink information for the satellite broadcast and a Web address for viewing the Webcast will be posted on both the NIST ( and WTC ( Web sites no later than noon Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, June 22. The public briefing will not be broadcast.

When: Thursday, June 23, 2005 (Times are EDT)

Press Briefing 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Public Briefing 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

A question-and-answer period will immediately follow both briefings. A limited availability for press interviews with WTC Lead Investigator Shyam Sunder is planned after the media Q&As are completed in the morning.

Where: The Marriott New York Financial Center Hotel, Grand Ballroom, Third Floor, 85 West St., New York, N.Y.

Sign-In: Media planning to attend the briefing should register by Tuesday, June 21, 2005, at 5 p.m. EDT (time extended from that listed in previous advisory), by calling (301) 975-2762 or by sending an e-mail to

For security reasons, all media-including production crew members-must have proper credentials (a news media badge with photo or a photo ID with a business card) to enter the briefing room.

Mike Holt July 2005 CEU Seminar It is that Time Again

This is it! It's your final chance to sign up for the last of Mike's 2 day Continuing Education seminars in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. For this important event, Mike will cover in detail, Business Management, Workplace Safety, and Workers' Compensation. Also, those attending this high-energy program will participate in an in-depth examination of the most important changes for the 2005 NEC. Nearly 5,000 changes in the Code were proposed for the NEC, and over 250 of them are critical for your success. You can't afford to be "in the dark" because many of these changes will significantly alter the cost of business! Join Mike and explore the 2005 NEC Code and its effect on you and the electrical industry.

Fulfill your continuing education requirements by attending this seminar, or simply register to better yourself and further your own education.

Ft. Lauderdale: July 15th & 16th
Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hotel, 1825 Griffin Rd. Dania, FL

Call to reserve your hotel room today, and be sure to let them know it's for the Mike Holt Seminar so you'll receive the discounted rate.

The cost of the seminar is only $295.

If you need any information, contact me directly at 954.720.1999.

Business Management, Workplace Safety, and Workers' Compensation
& 2005 Code Changes 2 Day Seminar - July, Ft. Lauderdale

Business Management - 5 Hours CEU

July 15 & 16, 2005 Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hotel - Dania, FL

This important session covers the following business subjects:

Purpose of an electrical contractor

Why many contractors are unsuccessful
How management controls the job cost
How to become competitive
How to estimate accurately
How to apply overhead
Understanding break-even cost
How to price the job
Workplace Safety - 1 Hour CEU
Workers' Compensation - 1 Hour CEU

Electrical Hazards
Attending to electrical accident victims
Electrical accidents and hazard prevention
Changes to the NEC 2005 - 7 Hours CEU

July 16, 2005 - Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hotel in Dania, FL

This important session covers the following:

Part 1 - NEC Articles 90 through 230
Part 1 - (8 AM - 10 AM)

General Installation Requirements - 110
Grounded (neutral) Conductor - 200
Branch Circuits - 210
Feeders - 215
Services - 230
Part 2 (10 AM - 12 Noon)

Overcurrent Protection - 240
Grounding* - 250
Surge and TVSS Protection - 280 and 285
Part 3 (1 PM - 3 PM)

Wiring Methods - 300
Boxes - 312 and 314
Cables - 320 through 340
Raceways - 342 through 362
Cable Trays - 392
Disconnects - 404
Receptacles - 406
Fixtures - 410
Motors - 430
Transformers - 450
Product Code: FTLA75
Price: $295.00 each

Scope Subsidiary Agrees to Sell Warehouse Property in Omaha, NE

CommScope, Inc. ,a world leader in cable and connectivity solutions, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing, Inc. (CSMI), has entered into an agreement to sell real estate consisting of an approximate 410,000-square foot vacant warehouse and approximately 42 acres at the CSMI manufacturing facility in Omaha, NE. The sales price for the building and land is $10,500,000.

Closing is expected to take approximately six to eight months and is subject to customary closing conditions including appropriate subdivision approval by local government officials.

"We believe we are effectively executing our plan to reduce cost and improve operations," said Richard Dall'Asen, President of CSMI. "This real estate sale is part of our ongoing effort to enhance our competitive position."

CommScope is a world leader in the design and manufacture of "last mile" cable and connectivity solutions for communication networks. Through our SYSTIMAX® Solutions and Uniprise(TM) brands we are the global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise applications. We are 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.

Electrical Contractor Magazine Brings Us "The Real Deal"

In spite of the continuing downturn and overall slow pace of advertising investment in many trade publications, and particularly in the traditional electrical, cabling, and security magazines, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine continues to buck the trend. 2004 was the best results year in the 66-year history of the magazine. That pattern continues through the first 7 months of 2005 with significant increases in both ad pages and revenue.

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine continues to lead, define the totality of, and uncover new paradigms for changes in the electrical contracting market through its continuing major investment in market exclusive and ground breaking market research activities. For over 40 years, the magazine has produced the only "Profile" of the electrical contractor market, replete with levels of activity, demographics, specific areas of involvement and much more. But, it doesn't stop there. Additional recent studies cover the importance of such market activities as Involvement in Design Build (46% of all contractor revenue), Specification & installation of Lighting Fixtures and Controls (They're actively involved in both).

What's really significant about these and other recent research studies is the now provable fact that the Electrical Contractor has morphed from being primarily involved in the installation of these markets, into a major SPECIFICATION INFLUENCE for a whole range of sophisticated, highly inter-related and connected building control systems. This is a set of studies that should be of great interest to anyone involved in these market areas. Publisher John Maisel has announced two new, highly significant studies that are about to be released. The first study covers the electrical contractor involvement in all phases of Electrical Contractor maintenance. This is a never before studied area, and promises to offer significant market information to manufacturers and suppliers. The other really big news is the almost final completion of the first ever major study of Electrical Contractor involvement in design, specification and installation of virtually every phase of Security, Life Safety, Integrated Building Systems/Controls and the Communication Cabling systems that enable those systems, cutting across all phases of both Commercial and Residential facilities. Maisel, says early returns show for the first time just how the Electrical Contractor is totally involved in every phase of these strategic and growing markets. Again, there are significant marketing implications for anyone working in the low voltage/building integration markets. For further information, please contact John at:

We are pleased to bring this information to this market. There are several major paradigm shifts occurring in our market. Central to these changes is the absolute (and now provable) emergence of the Electrical Contractor as a key specifier.

This fact alone should offer new market/marketing opportunities to our manufacturer/supplier customers. Because, the simple (again provable) fact is, that there is currently no traditional security magazine recognizing, addressing, much less reaching the Electrical Contractor. The same scenario is true among the Cabling books. Not one of them reaches the Electrical Contractor in other than low, single digit percentages. That means that there is a huge elephant sitting on the conference room table of virtually every customer in these markets, and nobody seems to be paying attention to it...except ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine. The quest is to get recognition of that "thing" on the table and convince marketplace that they can significantly grow their sales, share, and profits by talking with a bunch of people called electrical contractors.

HCM Introduces Indoor/Outdoor Plenum-Rated Fiber Optic Cables

Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) is now manufacturing singlemode and multimode indoor/outdoor plenum-rated fiber optic cable.

The new cables permit building owners to connect buildings with fiber optic cables that can run directly between the telecommunication rooms of the buildings being linked. By eliminating the need to terminate the fiber optic cables in the entrance facility of the buildings, as required with standard outside plant fiber optic cable, you reduce termination costs, decrease entrance facility space requirements, and keep termination points in a protected environment by placing them in the telecommunication rooms. Also, if a more robust indoor cable solution is required, the cables can be installed in plenum spaces without the use of costly plenum innerduct.

"The addition of this product to our existing product line allows us to meet all of the fiber optic cable needs of our customers. This product not only reduces installation costs, it is also engineered and constructed with durability and long-life in mind," said Steven Kenney, Marketing Manager for HCM.

The indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables are tight buffered with a 900-micron buffer and can accept connectors without a breakout kit typically required for loose-tube style outdoor fiber optic cables. Six to twelve fiber counts are currently available in this plenum design. Optical fiber options include 8.3-micron singlemode and both 62.5 and 50-micron multimode.

Plenum I/0 Fiber   Singlemode 8.3   Multimode 62.5   Multimode 50

Real-time VoIP diagnostics, call-by-call Quality of Service tracking now part of Fluke Networks' OptiView Link Analyzer and Protocol Expert

Fluke Networks announced today that real-time VoIP diagnostics, including call-by-call Quality of Service tracking, are now part of its OptiViewtm Link Analyzer and Protocol Expert network monitoring and analysis solution. Network managers can now see all levels of VoIP activity on their network, from very broad-based call volume and call quality to individual call channel details. This allows real-time identification, isolation and repair of call quality issues.

"Voice over IP is one of the most mission critical applications being deployed by corporations around the globe," says Robert Finlay, Fluke Networks Product Manager. "Yet many IT managers can't check to see if their existing infrastructure will support VoIP, and even fewer have a plan for managing VoIP once it's deployed. Without useful monitoring and troubleshooting solutions like the new versions of OptiView Link Analyzer and OptiView Protocol Expert, call quality may cause nothing but user complaints and frustration."

The VoIP analysis features in OptiView Link Analyzer provide a real-time view of call volume and Quality of Service (QoS) for instantaneous identification of trends leading to call degradation. This enables troubleshooting before end users are impacted. Additionally, this information can be used to track down misconfigurations in network infrastructure. The real-time capabilities provide IT professionals with continuous vision of VoIP call quality in dynamic, changing network environments.

The VoIP capabilities in Protocol Expert and Link Analyzer make it easy to view VoIP traffic in aggregate, by call or in detail by channel. While other protocol analyzers provide only VoIP decodes, OptiView Protocol Expert tracks packets on a call-by-call basis while measuring important characteristics, such as jitter, dropped packets, setup and latency. This, combined with an intuitive user interface, makes it easy to access detailed information about call quality and convert these measurements into the most widely used metric for VoIP QoS, a Mean Opinion Score (MOS).

VoIP specific alarms trigger on dropped calls, setup failures, jitter, dropped packets and QoS metrics, alerting the network manager to VoIP issues before end users call a help desk. Support for SCCP, SIP, H.323 and MGCP signaling protocols ensures all call types can be tracked and analyzed. If the quality of calls is suspect, network administrators can play back both channels of a VoIP conversation encoded with the most common CODECs, including G.711, G.723.1 and G.729A/B.

OptiView Link Analyzer measures VoIP packets along the network, compared to other techniques which only report data generated at the end points, usually a phone or gateway. Using these live VoIP measurements, Link Analyzer lets IT staff isolate systems or network segments that might be introducing quality degradation due to configuration, bandwidth or latency issues. This eliminates the need for active testing with synthetic traffic after a quality problem is reported, which adds troubleshooting steps and requires end-point deployments throughout the organization.

Price and delivery

OptiView Link Analyzer and Protocol Expert are available for immediate delivery through Fluke Networks' sales channels worldwide. OptiView Link Analyzer 7.0 has a suggested U.S. list price of $18,995. Protocol Expert 7.0 has a suggested U.S. list price of $3,195. Customers with a valid Network SuperVision Gold support contract can receive upgrade information by logging into the secure support portal at


For More Information, Visit Booth # 109

FCI-BURNDY®, a leading manufacturer and provider of connector solutions to the industrial, energy, application tooling and automotive industries, will showcase the BURNDYWeldTM exothermic product offering at this year's BICSI Fall Conference, from August 22-25 in Nashville, TN. The BURNDYWeld, along with HYGROUND™ and the Mechanical Grounding line, provides the utility, telecom and CM&R markets with a complete grounding solutions package.

"We've expanded our portfolio of grounding products to now include exothermic. We believe that adding the exothermic BURNDYWeld line to BURNDY's product mix allows us to satisfy those customers that prefer this grounding technique. With the addition of the BURNDYWeld, we now have a comprehensive offering to satisfy all methods of grounding", said Rick Robicheau, Product Manager for FCI-BURNDY products.

FCI-BURNDY's BURNDYWeld provides a simple, portable, efficient method of welding copper to copper and other various materials without the use of an external power source. The resulting connection is a fusion or molecular weld of virtually pure copper.

The HYGROUND Irreversible Compression Grounding System is a safe, cost-effective and time-efficient grounding method. HYGROUND is a complete system consisting of connectors for cross grid connections, taps, splices, cable to ground rod, ground plates, and terminations.

FCI-BURNDY'S Mechanical Grounding and Power Connectors, ideal for direct burial applications in earth or embedment in concrete, are made of high copper content alloys and use a nut and bolt design to provide the means for connecting copper cable. To ensure maximum performance under the most extreme environmental conditions, FCI-BURNDY uses only the finest high copper alloys.

Fiber to Surpass Copper in the Structured Cabling Systems Market by 2008

There is good news ahead for the structured cabling sector, according to a report issued today by Frank Murawski, president of FTM Consulting Inc.

His report on the state of the market concludes that renewed growth will be driven by the need for network congestion relief in those networks experiencing bottlenecks such as the data centre.

"The need for higher speeds will primarily include Gigabit Ethernet speeds in excess of 1 Gbps," Murawski said. "This will require fiber cabling, as copper cabling will not provide the performance required. Our analysis indicates that copper UTP cabling will under perform for speeds in excess of 1 Gbps over longer distances.

"We project a major shift in the market by 2008, when, for the first time, fiber cabling shipments exceed copper UTP cabling shipments.

"Copper has always dominated the market. Fiber cabling is expected to become the dominant cabling media for structured cabling system applications, such as data centers, campus and Fiber-to-the-Zone (FTTZ). In addition, fiber cabling will continue to be the dominant cabling used in riser cabling subsystems."

According to this study, fiber cabling shipments are forecast to grow from US$1.2 billion in 2005, at a growth rate of 26.3%, to US$4 billion by 2010. The highest growth application is expected to be data centres.

DYMO Industrial Launches Heat Shrinkable Tubing for Wire and Cable

DYMO Corporation, a worldwide leader in the development of industrial identification solutions, announces new heat shrinkable tubing designed to work in their award winning RhinoPRO range of printers. RhinoPRO Heat Shrinkable Tubing is perfect for wire and cable identification, insulation and strain relief. The tubing is made from industrial grade flame retardant Polyolefin, and has a 3:1 shrink ratio. It meets stringent performance requirements of the military, and remains legible when exposed to harsh solvents, fuels, oil and UV. The tubing is offered in easy-to-use cassettes, available in four widths (1/4", 3/8", ½", and ¾") and two colors (white and yellow).

"When we set out to develop the new Heat Shrinkable Tubes, our goal was to offer consumers the highest performing tubes at an affordable price", said Doug Waldal, Global Director of the DYMO Industrial Business Unit. "RhinoPRO label printers are the most affordable portable solution for printing heat shrinkable tubes on demand. RhinoPRO tubes and printers are simply the best in its class. No other tool offers users the chance to quickly, easily and economically create high performance heat shrinkable tubes wherever or whenever they are needed".

"RhinoPRO products, including the new heat shrinkable tubes, offer consumers high performance identification solutions that are affordable and easy-to-use. For distribution partners, RhinoPRO provides the opportunity to offer consumers best of class products having exceptional value", said Ernie Racenet, Global Director of the DYMO Industrial Business Unit. Distributors who are interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity should contact DYMO Industrial for additional details.

The new Heat Shrink Tube Cassettes have a retail price ranging from $24.99 - $30.99, and are available now through your local distributor. For more information please visit

Fluke Networks Announces that the JackRapid Punchdown Tool for SYSTIMAX

Fluke Networks announces that the JackRapid punchdown tool now supports the SYSTIMAX/Uniprise cabling system. The termination tool, which is now offered by Fluke Networks as part of its acquisition involving Harris Tools and Test Sets, lets technicians install jacks up to 8 times faster than before. Users can now terminate and trim all eight wires in a jack at once with one easy squeeze.

"JackRapid has proven immensely popular with cable installers since its introduction with support for Leviton jacks," said Karin Engstrom, VDV Marketing Manager, Fluke Networks. "Now with support for the SYSTIMAX and Uniprise jacks, we've proven that JackRapid is future-proof. We will continue to develop blade heads for the additional manufacturers' jacks and bring the JackRapid solution to more installers."

In an installation of 1000 jacks, a standard single-wire punchdown tool may require 29 labor hours at an average project cost of approximately $1445 USD. The same installation job utilizing JackRapid may require only 10 hours at an average project cost of approximately $500 USD. Compared to the traditional single-wire punchdown tools, JackRapid can cut installation time by 2/3.

In addition to cost savings, the easy-to-use JackRapid ensures consistency of high-quality terminations. Once the jack is properly dressed, the tool helps technicians seat all eight wires with one easy squeeze. JackRapid has a built-in blade that cuts off the excess wire after it is seated in the connector, eliminating the need for a secondary trim step with a pair of snips.

JackRapid's patented design offers an easy-to-hold handle and an interchangeable, built-in bed that helps hold the jack in place. After the trigger is pulled completely, the wires will be seated and cut for a solid termination. Other benefits include its wall-friendly design to accommodate close-to-wall installations.

JackRapid increases accuracy and reliability. Fewer reworks are needed, which increases client confidence and further time savings for the installer. JackRapid is also safer, reducing the risk that technicians will punch into the palms of their hands or through drywall when terminating jacks. The tool also reduces hand fatigue, as one squeeze terminates all pairs instead of requiring eight individual punches.

Price and Delivery

The JackRapid with capability for SYSTIMAX MPS100E (Cat 5e), C5 (Cat 5), M1BH (Cat 3) and Uniprise UNJ600 (Cat 6), UNJ500 (Cat 5e), UNJ300 (Cat 3) is available for immediate delivery through Fluke Networks' sales channels worldwide and has a suggested U.S. list price of $72. Interchangeable blade heads for either SYSTIMAX/Uniprise jacks or Leviton jacks (41106, 41108 Cat3/5, 5G108 Cat 5e) are also available separately, with a suggested U.S. list price of $53 each.

AFCOM Secures Computer Associates CTO Yogesh Gupta as Keynote Speaker

Fall '05 Data Center World™ in Chicago (October 9-12, 2005)
Industry's Premier Educational Event Now Open for Registration

AFCOM, the leading association for data center professionals, brings the Fall '05 Data Center World™ Conference and Expo to Chicago. Celebrating 25 years of data center excellence, Data Center World™ is recognized as the industry's premier educational program - consistently averaging upwards of 100 exhibitors and 900 attendees - providing training, solutions and unique networking opportunities to the data center community.

Keynote: Yogesh Gupta, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Computer Associates

"The Future of IT Management: Meeting Corporate Business Objectives"

Educational tracks will include:
· Standardization (New!)
· Best Practices
· Data Center Facilities
· Data Center Management

Special Events will include:
· "Ask the Experts" Open Forum (New!)
· Vision2Vision Peer Education Program
· Vision2Vision Panel Sessions
· Virtual Data Center Tours

WHEN: October 9-12, 2005

Hilton Chicago Hotel - 720 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL.
Reservations: 800-445-8667. [For special rates, mention: AFCOM

The educational agenda and high concentration of peers, end-users, CIOs, vendors and industry leaders presents an unparalleled opportunity to gather intelligence on critical challenges related to security and risk assessment, automation, data center infrastructure, configuration and facility management, performance auditing, disaster recovery, job scheduling, budgets and more.

To register, request a brochure, or secure additional information, please visit Early-bird registration fees available (deadline: before/on August 19, 2005)

CommScope Settles Patent Lawsuit Against Ortronics

CommScope Inc. has settled its patent infringement lawsuit against Ortronics Inc. The suit was related to CommScope's patent on electrical connectors that have improved crosstalk performance.

In telecommunications, crosstalk is the interference caused by a signal transfer from one wire to another. Crosstalk makes it difficult to hear only the intended signal.

As a result of the settlement, the further sale of certain Ortronics panels and outlets will be licensed under a royalty arrangement.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Ortronics, based in New London, Conn., makes structured cabling systems that support multimedia environments and emerging technologies.

The BICSI Information Transport Systems (ITS) Dictionary is new and improved!

The BICSI Information Transport Systems (ITS) Dictionary is new and improved! Now in its third edition, this updated quick reference guide includes more than 800 new, mission-critical terms, acronyms, abbreviations, symbols, codes and regulatory bodies used throughout the ITS industry, a collection featuring more than 4800 references.

You'll find the addition of new terminology and resources pulled from BICSI's Wireless Design Reference Manual (published after the dictionary's previous edition) and many of the symbols and glossary contents from BICSI's upcoming Electronic Safety and Security Design Reference Manual (coming January 2006).

Symbols and glossaries from BICSI's other highly acclaimed reference manuals are also included in the dictionary:

· Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM)
· Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM)
· Customer-Owned Outside Plant (CO-OSP) Design Manual
· Information Transport Systems Installation Manual (ITSIM)
· Residential Network Cabling Manual (RNCM)

Developed for our global audience, the BICSI ITS Dictionary is the ideal reference for anyone who conducts ITS design and installation worldwide. The dictionary contains the necessary supplemental information you will need to be successful in the field, in the office and in the classroom.

CABA is a Real Benefit Filled Organization

The CABA eBulletin is the official newsletter of the Continental Automated Buildings Association. It is distributed to over 20,000 industry and media contacts. Your subscription to the eBulletin is a direct membership benefit designed to provide you with the latest research, news and developments within the home and large building automation and integrated systems industries.

Interview with John Petze, President & CEO, Tridium, Inc.
Mr. Petze, interviewed by Ken Sinclair of, has over 20 years of experience in the facilities automation industry, having served in a variety of senior technical and management positions with manufacturers of automation hardware and software. He is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, an associate member of ASHRAE, a member of the Association of Energy Engineers and a Certified Energy Manager. He is a frequent speaker at industry trade events and has authored numerous technical papers and articles for industry publications.

Home Smart Home
Next month, a host of new wireless gadgets designed to help make buildings and homes "smart" will debut at the ZigBee Open House and Exposition in Chicago. Among them will be a so-called domestic awareness system that warns you if the stove is left on or if the basement starts flooding. Another lets you network your home entertainment system with environmental controls such as light dimmers or a thermostat. The point of such a setup: to automatically set just the right mood when you're watching DVDs or listening to music.

Unlocking The Chains That Bind A Building Automation System
Despite the promise of open protocols and interoperability, the majority of facility managers are still locked into a proprietary sole source vendor for building automation system (BAS) technology. Using a sole source vendor can be appealing, because it offers the simplicity of having one contact for everything a building needs- there's no need to stock surplus equipment or train staff on multiple systems. But sole sourcing also exposes the facility manager to the single vendor's fee structure.

NAED's 2005 Performance Analysis Report Shows Typical Profit Margins at Highest Level Since 1997; Sales Also On the Rise

The electrical distribution industry's financial performance levels continue to improve according to the recently released National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) 2005 PAR Highlights. This is the third consecutive year that the study has revealed financial growth among its members.

The Performance Analysis Report (PAR) is a benchmark for electrical distributor operations. Results profiled in the 2005 PAR Highlights are based on 2004 financial survey data of 166 participating NAED distributor members throughout the United States. Findings are broken down in two categories: "typical" and "high profit." Nearly all figures provided in the report are medians.

Signaling a continued upward trend for "typical" distributors was an increased net profit margin which grew from 1.3% in 2003 to 2.1% in 2004. While margins have increased during the last three years, this level was last achieved in 1997. Profit margins for "high profit" distributors increased from 3.5% in 2003 to 4.6% in 2004.

PAR Highlights includes a five-year trend analysis of key ratios to help distributors improve and grow their business. Additional data revealed increases in sales volume, return on net worth and inventory turnover. For example, sales growth for the "typical distributor" showed an increase of 16.5% compared to 2.3% in 2003 data.

Survey participants received 2005 PAR Highlights at no charge. Non-participating NAED members can purchase the report for $300. Additional copies cost $20

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution channel. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps distributors and manufacturers increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED's membership represents approximately 4,100 locations internationally.

NEMA Updates Two Portable Battery Standards

The ANSI C18 Committee recently published the latest versions of two standards, ANSI C18.1M, Part 1-2005, American National Standard for Portable Primary Cells and Batteries with Aqueous Electrolyte-General and Specifications, and ANSI C18.3M, Part 1-2005, American National Standard for Portable Lithium Primary Cells and Batteries-General and Specifications. NEMA serves as secretariat of the ANSI C18 Committee.

ANSI C18.1M, Part 1-2005, recognizes the changing landscape of battery-powered devices in the marketplace and has been revised to take into account new and emerging devices used by consumers. ANSI C18.3M, Part 1-2005, has additional performance tests and dimensions not in the previous edition.

ANSI C18.1M, Part 1-2005, may be purchased for $79.00 by clicking here; ANSI C18.3M, Part 1-2005, may be purchased for $66.00 by clicking here or by contacting Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), or (303) 397-2740 (fax).

The current format of the ANSI C18 series was first issued in 1999, but the standards-developing work of the C18 Committee can be traced back almost 80 years. In 1926, the Sectional Committee on Dry Cell Batteries, sponsored by the National Bureau of Standards, was authorized by the organization that would later become the American National Standards Institute. The Committee developed standards and published them in 1928, 1930, 1937, 1941, 1947, 1954, and 1959. The major concerns during the first decades of committee work were shelf life, electrolyte leakage, and discharge performance.

The committee began to issue a new series of standards in 1999, covering both primary batteries (those not designed to be charged electrically), secondary batteries (those designed to be recharged), and lithium and non-lithium electrochemical systems. The standards were completely reformatted and safety requirements were added as separate, stand-alone documents.

DSL in Today's Economy Equivalent to Vinyl-Topped Stagecoach

DSL on copper is like putting a vinyl top on a stagecoach. It's still a stagecoach in the age of space shuttles. Trying to repackage a copper-based solution with a new name and slogan just isn't working in today's ever-demanding society, writes adjunct Northwestern professor James Carlini.

Many people are sold on the idea that broadband capability can be attained by subscribing to DSL. They have bought off on the repackaging by phone companies of old copper as "the way to go for high-speed networks". I don't buy into it. You are being sold a bill of goods while other countries are providing a state-of-the-art fiber network. This network provides a platform to launch new services and capabilities that we will be studying in the next 24 to 36 months in order to "get up to speed" globally. It's laughable to hear people talk about moving up to a T-1 line (or its DSL equivalent) like they are moving from a car to the Starship Enterprise. It's more like saying: "I'm putting a vinyl top on my stagecoach." Warp Speed, Mr. Sulu.

Let's look at the history of network infrastructure.

DSL (digital subscriber line) is equivalent to a T-1 line (1.544 Mbps) in terms of download speed. Still, some DSL services are being sold at a fraction of that bandwidth. T-1 lines have been around since 1963. The speed was a standard on copper for more than 40 years. To put it into a layman's perspective, it was around before the first airing of the original Star Trek.

In reading definitions on Web sites from many sources, I can safely say that many people don't even know that fact. It's not a new thing. The speed 1.544 Mbps is an old Bell system standard that goes back before the eight-track tape was invented. DSL technology is a derivative of ADSL (asymmetrical digital subscriber loop), which has also been around for years.

Yes, it's asymmetrical and it's loop rather than line. Those defining the "a" as asynchronous are wrong. Subscriber loop is the term used in the old Bell system prior to 1984. Line came about because no one except those "in the know" knew what a "loop" was. The subscriber loop was the connection from the central office to the house or business location.

Any of you who tout that you're moving into the future by putting in a T-1 line at the office or a DSL line at the house should realize that that's no big deal. You can tell the people who just got into being a "network guru" by their excitement over what would be the equivalent of running around and announcing: "I just got my first calculator and I'm finally throwing away my slide rule."

Many 20-somethings are probably wondering what a slide rule is. Good. Now you know how lame it is to be excited over DSL and T-1s.

Fiber to the Office, Home Fiber-optic capability has been around for two decades. The SONET (synchronous optical network) standard has been implemented in many public and private networks for more than a decade.

I suggested for the City of Chicago to go with a SONET network to connect police and fire stations back in 1993. The city started cutting over the network in 1995 when the 911 center was first opened. We also demanded fiber connections to two central offices from the 911 center. That shocked the phone company at the time. They didn't want to run fiber from the central office. On top of that, a non-carrier with a 176-mile private SONET network was unheard of in 1993.

The idea of having a real broadband connection with fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the premise (FTTP) isn't a decade away. It's here (well, maybe not in the U.S., but it is in Hong Kong and Japan). There are more than 1 million users connected with FTTH. In Europe, some countries are forecasting many FTTH connections by 2008. According to a Yankee Group study, Sweden is looking at more than 5 percent and Italy more than 2 percent for households with FTTH connections. Where are we? Are Politicians Listening to the 'Phoney Express'?

Should we be demanding this type of capability? Of course we should. Any politician running for office in the next election should know the major differences between a copper-based network infrastructure and a fiber-based network infrastructure. If they don't, they shouldn't even be put up to run.

What if a politician who's for horses and buggies would want to reserve one lane on the expressway for horses and carts? Think about that the next time you're stuck on the expressway in your car or SUV. Just think if there was one less lane to accommodate you because the horse-and-buggy politician was caving into the horse-and-buggy companies for restrictions to protect their products.

Other streets would also be strictly prohibited from entering because they would be exclusive to the horses and buggies. This is a great plan for progress, eh? Isn't that what we have in network infrastructures? Politicians who just rely on lobbyists to tell them what's good and bad? How many states have already adopted what's an equivalent to restricting any activities on lanes of a super highway to be dedicated to stagecoaches and other horse-drawn vehicles for the good of the people by passing broadband laws that restrict municipalities from developing fiber infrastructures?

The use of copper wires has been around since the stagecoach. Fiber has been around since the space shuttle. What do you feel is going to take you further and faster in the present and future global economy?

Carlinism: Trying to repackage a copper-based solution with a new name and slogan just isn't working.

James Carlini will be a guest on the upcoming cable show of Bruce Montgomery entitled "The Economics of Broadband," which will air on cable channel 21 in Chicago on July 16 at 11 a.m. and July 24 at 11 p.m.

Also, the eighth-annual Global Technology Invitational Golf Outing will be held on September 19 at the South Hills Country Club in Racine County, Wis. For more details, click here or call 773-370-1888.

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888. Click here for Carlini's full biography.

Health Screenings for Teflon to Start

By Brian Farkas, Associated Press Writer
Health Screenings Set to Start As Part of Settlement Over DuPont Chemical Used to Make Teflon

Tens of thousands of Ohio and West Virginia residents could be tested over the next year to determine if their health has been affected by drinking water containing a chemical used to make the nonstick substance Teflon.

DuPont Co. agreed in February to pay for the screenings to settle a class-action lawsuit. Teflon is one of the company's most popular products; the substance can be found in everything from cookware and clothing to car parts and flooring.

The tests will begin this month for residents who receive their drinking water from six public water districts, or from private wells within the districts, where concentrations of ammonium perfluorooctanoate, also known as PFOA and C8, have been found.

The water supplies are near DuPont's Washington Works plant, along the Ohio River near Parkersburg. About 80,000 residents live in the districts, and it's hoped at least 60,000 will participate in the screening.

"The more participants we have, the more valid the data is going to be," said Dr. Paul Brooks, who will oversee the collection process with retired hospital administrator Art Maher. Both were appointed by the Wood County Circuit Court.

Residents will receive $150 to answer a health questionnaire. If they agree to submit a blood sample, they will receive an additional $250. Residents will walk out of the collection centers with a check, Maher said.

Only residents who received the water for at least a year before December 3, 2004, are eligible.

Each blood sample will be subjected to 51 tests, including those that check for the presence of C8, organ function and cancer markers. The screenings will not test for HIV, drugs or sexually transmitted diseases.

DuPont agreed to the health screenings to settle a 2001 lawsuit filed by residents who alleged the company intentionally withheld and misrepresented information concerning the nature and extent of the human health threat posed by C8 in drinking water. About $70 million has been allocated for resident payments and lab work.

Though used since World War II, C8's long-term effects on humans are unknown.

A federal scientific review panel has said the chemical is "likely" to be carcinogenic to humans, but DuPont officials have disputed the draft report. The panel agreed earlier this week to revise the draft to better reflect opposing viewpoints before submitting it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by July 20.

The goal is to complete the collection process in one year and turn the information over to a court-appointed panel of three epidemiologists, Maher said.

Based on the findings, DuPont could be required to spend another $235 million to monitor the residents' health.

"If they don't find a link, that's the end of the thing," Brooks said. "If they do, it goes into another process with other scientists involved."

The settlement also called for DuPont to provide the six water utilities with new treatment equipment to reduce the chemical in water supplies at an estimated cost of $10 million.

In a separate matter, DuPont has set aside $15 million to settle EPA complaints that the company failed to report information over two decades about the potential environmental and human health risks of the chemical, although no agreement has been reached. In May, the company was served with a subpoena from a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., for documents related to the chemical.

C8 Health Project:

EPA's PFOA page:

Study Finds Hundreds of Toxic Chemicals in Newborn Babies

14 JULY 05 | Though scientists once thought that the womb largely protected developing babies, a new study of umbilical cord blood from newborns found an extensive array of industrial chemicals, pesticides and other pollutants. Ten newborns averaged 200 contaminants, and 209 pollutants had never before been detected in cord blood.
Investigation | Related News Clips | Reuters Story


Want to know more about how you can capture the business opportunities associated with integrated building systems? Mark your calendars for several key conferences and exhibitions.

AFCOM: April 17-21 Las Vegas

BICSI SPRING: May 2-5 Las Vegas

BOMA: June 23-28 Anaheim

REALCOMM: June 27-28 Anaheim, CA

CONNECT 2005: June 28 Anaheim ,

ACUTA: July 17 - 21 Gaylord Palms - Kissimmee, FL

NECA: September 18-20, 2005 New Orleans


April 5-7

April 6-7
SFBF: Ft.Lauderdale, FL

APRIL 13-17
BOMA Southern region conference. Memphis, Tenn

APRIL 17-22
Data Center World (DCW): Las Vegas, NV

April 20-22
Environ Design9

April 21-22
Broadband Wireless World: Las Vegas NV

May 1-6
Interop: Las Vegas, NV

May 2-5
2005 BICSI Spring Conference: Las Vegas NV

May 4-6
Green Design Solutions: Hospitals & Schools: Chicago, IL

May 4-6
13th National Conference on Building Commissioning: New York City, NY

May 10-11
Expocom: Toronto

May 16-21
Affordable Comfort 2005: Indianapolis, IN

May 17-19
VOIP: Beijing China

May 17-27
Sustainable Practices in Design and Construction: Maho Bay, St John U.S. V.I.

May 18
ACUTA Midwest Regional Workshop - "Strategic Tradeoffs in Campus Wireless Mobility": Chicago, IL - Hyatt Regency O'Hare

May 19-21
AIA National Convention & Design Expo: Las Vegas, NV

May 22-25
UTC Telecom: Long Beach CA

MAY 30-June 2
Broadband World Forum: Yokahama Japan

JUNE 1-3
Greening the Heartland 2005:Cost, Practice & Policy: Chicago, IL

June 6-8
IEC: Chicago, IL

June 6-10
NFPA: Las Vegas, NV

June 6-9
Supercomm: Chicago, IL

JUNE 20-23
Ecobuild America 2005: The Environmental Systems Techology Conference

June 25-28
The North American Commercial Real Estate Congress & The Office Building Show
BOMA: Anaheim, CA
Vicki Cummins 888-777-6956


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