Need a concrete floor kit for your communications relay rack?

If you’re installing a relay rack you should be installing a concrete floor kit with it, especially if your in a earthquake zone. Let’s go over what’s included in this type of kit.

Here’s a look at the bottom of your relay rack where the bolts get put through.

communcations, networking

You will need to use a hammer drill to fit the drop sleeves into that concrete.

As you can tell it’s very straight forward, you need just a little elbow grease to drop that sleeve with the hammer drill. For more information about this concrete floor kit and to order online visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com 

Need help cleaning that ugly hole?!

It seems like there’s always that sore spot in the network cabling infrastructure that get’s put into the “I’ll do it later” pile. Does this look familiar?

Cable through the wall

Get that eye sore out of your life and don’t let anyone know you don’t know how to properly cable. Get yourself a split sleeve by STI and make it look like this! SpecSeal Ready Split Sleeve kits easily install around existing cables. Each Ready Split Sleeve kit includes two preformed steel sleeve halves with rolled edges, steel escutcheon plates with intumescent gaskets, and a dosage of our SpecSeal SSP Firestop Putty. Ready Split Sleeve’s two-piece body and plates easily capture previously installed cables while tightly fastening to the penetrated barrier.

 

STI firestop split sleeve

Here’s a great look at the product from our YouTube channel.

Don’t forget, all data, video, communication, power, and control cabling shall be installed through sleeves wherever cables penetrate fire resistance rated barriers. In the case of existing cable installation, a split sleeve device with corresponding split escutcheon plates to facilitate installation around existing cables shall be used. Sleeves shall be sized to accommodate present cable bundle diameter as well as anticipated growth. Split sleeve kit provided with intumescent gaskets and non-hardening intumescent firestop putty. When irregularly shaped openings are encountered, the split sleeve device is UL tested and classified for this purpose. The split sleeve device is UL Classified and tested to the requirements of ASTM E 814 (ANSI/UL 1479).

To order online or for more information visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Let’s do a burn test on Counterfeit Category Cable

It seems like since around the early 2000s we’ve heard stories of low end cable manufactures cutting corners such as copper clad aluminum and pushing it as a 100% copper conductor and I’ll also never forget the phone call I received from a contractor yelling at me about how hundreds of his Cat5e jacks are failing (He bought the jacks from me, these ones) and after further inspection the cable he installed (Not bought from me) was actually a 26awg not a 24awg as stated by that cable manufacture and it caused all kinds of contact issues.

Now I have something new to reference bad cables with, the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association did a video demonstrating a burn test on counterfeit cables. This videos does a great job not only demonstrating what happens but also referencing standards from TIA and fire codes from the NFPA, let’s check out this video.

It’s interesting how the counterfeit cables do act like a fuse and the spread of the fire and smoke was amazing. Remember smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in fires. The video does talk about the UL holographic logo you should look for but that’s another thing I’ve already seen that’s also been counterfeited so you may want to look for that but also make sure you purchase your copper cable from a reputable manufacture and be-careful with the “House Brand” of cable.

Category 8 Testing Standard Approved?!

In October TIA established TIA-1152-A that covers Category 8 testing in the field and the standard has been in development since late 2013 and specifies Level 2G testing accuracy. Category 8 cabling specifications have also been established so manufactures can now start manufacturing components and systems, my only problem is where are all the Cat7 components and systems?

How is Category 8 different? It uses a frequency of 2000 MHz, and is limited to a 30 meter two connector channel. Cat5e through Cat6A uses a shielded or unshieled twisted-pair construction, Category 8 requires only a shielded full twisted pair 22awg.

Category 8 Cable shielded individual pairs

Category 8 S/FTP Copper Cable

 

Over the years Cat6A has been climbing in sales year after year but Cat7 has only been talked about from time to time and now there’s Category 8?! That 30 meter limit I think is going to be a problem that will slow the progress of this cabling system but I’ve been wrong before, just ask the wife.

A Floating Fiber Optic Network?

The United States Navy relies upon satellite and other communications systems to make sure ships, planes, and sailors can share information across the Seven Seas. In peacetime, those systems are a given. But what happens in wartime, when satillites are shot down and other forms of comms are jammed or otherwise disrupted?

That’s a very good question. The United States, NATO, and other key allies rely to a tremendous extent on satellite communications—which makes those satellites target No. 1 in a future war.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a solution: TUNA. TUNA stands for Tactical Underwater Network Architecture, a portable, temporary communications network made up of floating communications buoys linked by fiber optic cable.

Here’s how it would work. In the event of communications failure over a broad area, aircraft and ships would unload a series of TUNA buoys at sea. Each buoy consists of a radio frequency transmitter and power system. The buoys are connected by a “hair-thin, buoyant” fiber optic cable that can carry a tremendous amount of data and survive the harshness of the open ocean for at least thirty days—hopefully enough time to get primary communications restored.

Think of the system as laying a series of telephone poles across the surface of the ocean, a secure, hardwired system impossible to jam. While an adversary could theoretically tap the fiber optic lines and listen in, looking for a hair-thin wire in the middle of the Pacific Ocean would be even harder than looking for a needle in a haystack.

Fiber optic cable, military installation

    Example of fiber optic cable used in underwater military applications.

Individual buoys will likely be powered by WEBS, or Wave Energy Buoy that Self-Deploys. WEBS generates electricity from wave energy and consists of two floats that sit on the surface of the water and are rotated by passing waves. Differential and rotary motion is transferred through gearboxes to electrical generators, providing power.

The TUNA system is entering its final phase of development and is using the Pentagon’s Link 16 as a test subject. Link 16 is a secure digital communications network used by U.S. forces for text, digital imagery and digital voice transmission and reception.

No word on when TUNA will be ready for duty, but it sounds like all of the major engineering milestones have already been achieved.

This was a cool read so I thought I’d share it with you. For the complete article visit Popular Mechanics.

What is the “ER” rating in Tray Cable?

The National Electric Code Sec. 336.10 (7) states that Tray Cables are not to extend more than 6 feet from the tray for a connection to a motor, electrical device or anything else your plugging it into. If you need to make a connection to something that is further than 50 feet it must be either armored, installed in a innerduct or raceway and that not only increases material cost but your labor cost goes up when you start running that cable in that conduit.

6 foot Limit

Many times equipment is a little further away and when that’s the case a Tray Cable with an ER rating may be perfect for your application. The ER rating allows you to extend that cable from the tray with no length restrictions. This will also eliminate that extra cost of metal clad armor, conduit or raceway. The cable does need to be secured every 6 feet.

Here’s an example of a TC-ER cable from our YouTube channel.

Since this cable has no length restrictions, the included direct burial rating, sunlight resistant jacket and extreme temperature rating should handle just about any installation location you throw at it.

If you need to install this cable in a tray, here’s a cool video that may help you with your installation.

For spec sheets, pricing and to order TC-ER cable visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Easiest way to cut drywall for those Electrical Boxes

When you need to cut some drywall for an outlet it’s an easy task with a drywall saw. If you need to cut 2 holes per room in a new building and you have 40 rooms to do, it can become a tedious task. If you’ve cut drywall only once or twice let’s take a look at how it’s done to refresh your memory.

As you can tell, cutting one or two holes every once in a while is probably not a big deal when using that drywall saw, but if you have a lot of rooms to do it’s a big chore. What you want to use is the labor saving Q-Bit, let’s check it out.

The Q-Bit is an instant labor saver and fits nearly all multi-tools, and quickly turns into the square saw blade you need. If you need to cut a 2 or 3 gang size hole you simply move the blade over. Save your time. For more information and to order the Q-Bit visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Firestop Fundamentals

Here’s a great video regarding the fundamentals of Firestopping, if your new to Firestopping you want to get off on the right foot before you just start slapping putty everywhere.

Obviously there’s a lot of different areas that will require Firestopping, so STI has many different products available for your specific installation. Here’s a great look at some of the many products by STI that we have in stock.

Firestop pad for electrical boxes.

EZ Path Smoke and Acoustical Pathway Device

Firestop Plug for Conduit Sleeves

These are just a few of the many STI Firestop products that we have available. For our complete offering of Firestop products, specification sheets and pricing visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

STI Firestop now in stock!

STI is an industry leader in developing innovative fire protection systems that help stop the spread of fire, smoke and toxic fumes. For over 25 years, our management team has worked hand in hand with the construction industry to create simple solutions to complex firestopping problems. Because our system designs are user-driven, they are easier to apply. The result is simply designed, outstanding fire protection systems which often result in lower installed costs.

STI products and systems offer innovative firestop solutions for all types of new construction and retrofit applications. Since firestopping is our only business, we concentrate all our resources on providing the highest quality, fully tested, innovative firestopping solutions.

For pricing and availability on Firestop Sleeves, EZ Path, Sealants, Collars, Pillows, Sausages, Pails and more visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

 

What is minimum bend radius?

Minimum bend radius is the smallest allowed radius the cable is allowed to be bent around. While cabling, these cables are bent in many different directions when going through conduits and when pulling around a sheave.

Cables are composed of different components and if bent too far you may put too much stress on those components to the point of damaging them. For example, a 6 strand indoor fiber optic cable if pulled too hard around a tight 90 may appear to be fine once the cable pull is finished. Unfortunately, what commonly happens is the stress around that 90 caused the individual strands to break under the jacket. To prevent this kind of damage, cable standards such as The National Electric Code (NEC) and the Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA) formed requirements for minimum bend radius.

How to Calculate Minimum Bend Radius.

 

bend-example

The figure above  shows a cable with an outer diameter of 2 inches being bent around a radius of 12 inches. The minimum bend radius is based on the diameter of the cable and the type of cable. The following formula is used.

Minimum Bend Radius = Cable Outer Diameter x Cable Multiplier

Cable multipliers are determined by industry standards and vary from cable to cable. When purchasing a cable, check the spec sheet, many manufactures have the minimum bend radius provided to you for each cable part number.

 

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