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Oct. 1, 2011
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and BICSI jointly developed and recently published through ANSI ...

Compiled by Patrick McLaughlin

NECA and BICSI publish telecom grounding and bonding standard

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and BICSI jointly developed and recently published through ANSI a telecommunications grounding and bonding standard, NECA-BICSI-607-2011 Standard for Telecommunications Bonding and Grounding Planning and Installation Methods for Commercial Buildings.

NECA says the new standard will help contractors and installers enhance the planning, specification and layout of an effective telecommunications bonding and grounding system. The standard also specifies installation requirements for components of the telecommunications bonding and grounding systems.

“Telecommunications and information technology changes rapidly, but grounding and bonding is always fundamental to any electrical installation,” said Mike Johnston, NECA executive director, standards and safety. “A well-designed system is essential to protect equipment and personnel from harm. Correct, Code-compliant grounding and bonding installations will help ensure the long-term performance and safety of the system.”

NECA also said the standard “provides exceptional value to designers and those writing construction specifications due to the built-in workmanship aspects covered in this performance standard. Construction owners, specifiers and contractors rely on NEIS [National Electrical Installation Standards] to clearly illustrate the workmanship standards and criteria for different types of electrical construction. NEIS are also referred to throughout the National Electrical Code.”

BICSI described the standard’s importance by stating, “An effective telecommunications bonding and grounding system can prevent injury and equipment damage. With the complexity of today’s infrastructure with little margin for outages, any system, including the grounding and bonding network, can be the weakest link.

“NECA/BICSI-607 specifies aspects of planning and installation of telecommunications bonding and grounding systems,” BICSI continued. “While this standard aligns with related standards, such as the NEC and ANSI/J-STD-607, additional requirements and information for components and connectors of these systems are also included. And as the best design can be undone by poor implementation, a majority of NECA/BICSI-607 details installation methods and practices to minimize potential system failure.”

NECA is selling the standard at a cost of $20 for NECA members and $40 for non-members. BICSI is offering the standard to its members for $20 and to non-members for $28.

Extension pole for high reach

Platinum Tools’ Xtender Pole speeds installation time and improves worker safety, its manufacturer says. It allows installers to hang ceiling wire, jack chain, hardware and threaded rod from the work floor.

The pole is powered by a 3/8- or 1/2-inch battery-operated or corded drill. Platinum Tools says the pole provides a safer way to reach areas that otherwise are dangerous or inaccessible to ladders, scaffolding or scissor lifts. The pole is made of aluminum, features a thin profile for accessing tight spaces, and is available in two adjustable-length models. The Xtender Pole-12 reaches up to 18-foot ceilings while Xtender Pole-18 reaches up to 24-foot ceilings.

It includes adapters specific for the wire-application being installed. The wire plug-in head hangs 12- or 9-gauge wire, while adapters work with 3/8- or 1/4-inch threaded rod up to 10 feet in length. The pole also includes a 1/4-inch hex head that transforms the pole into a long screwdriver and a twist-out element that prevents over-torquing, Platinum Tools says.

Cordless LED light brightens up dark closets

Cabling installers and technicians who often find themselves working in dark, underlit telecom rooms can benefit from a portable light source, and tool manufacturer Maxxeon believes it has a solution. The WorkStar 2000 is described by Maxxeon as “the third generation of cordless LED work lights” developed by the company since 2003. The company claims that WorkStar 2000 offers efficiency and reliability.

Spokesman John Schira said, “The WorkStar 2000 retains the multi-directional lighting head [of previous products], but thanks to new technology, light output has been vastly increased.” The user “simply suspends the light by its hook or its magnets and turns the LED light head to direct the light” where it is needed, Schira said. This leaves both the worker’s hands free to grapple with cabling. Schira added, “Features such as dual light level, integral magnets and retractable hook combine with the new, ergonomic design to make it the ideal work light in any shop.”

The light comes with a belt clip, a 12-volt charger, a 110-volt charger, and includes a connection in the base to allow mounting to a tripod. The light is rechargeable, Maxxeon says, with a run life of up to 10 hours. It includes an LED charge indicator. The WorkStar 2000 will be available beginning in October.

Sumitomo’s Quantum fusion splicer offers touch-screen monitor

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave’s recently introduced Quantum Type-Q101-CA Dual-Heater Core Alignment Fusion Splicer - the first in Sumitomo’s Quantum splicer product line - incorporates advancements that enable easier and faster functionality, expand memory storage, improve ruggedness and optimize splicing efficiencies, the company says. Sumitomo adds that the advancements incorporated into the splicer are based on results from qualitative user research and needs analyses.

The company emphasizes the splicer’s fully functional touch-screen interface, which makes navigating the splicer’s functions more intuitive, faster and easier than traditional keypad interfaces, Sumitomo notes. Quantum incorporates both the touch-screen and keypad interfaces so technicians can use the interface of their choice. The Quantum also has an SD port for “virtually unlimited data storage,” Sumitomo says, plus the capability to download and upload work-related splicing project data, training videos, audio and software.

With dimensions, in inches, of 4.72Wx6.06Dx4.96H and weighing 4.4 pounds, “The Quantum splicer is the industry’s smallest and lightest core-alignment fusion splicer that is easier to carry and work with in the many small, confined spaces characterizing the data center, enterprise network, FTTx and outside-plant work environments,” Sumitomo says. “Despite its small footprint and weight, the Quantum splicer boasts the industry’s largest 640x320 fiber view and longest electrode life, while complying with the most stringent shock, waterproof and dust-resistance requirements.”

Joshua Seawell, manager of Sumitomo Electric Lightwave’s lightwave network products division, said, “By listening to the customer, we have launched the most advanced, reliable and user-friendly splicer in the industry. We thank our customers for their valuable input, which is the foundation of our continued leadership in providing the best that fusion splicing technology has to offer.”

The Quantum Splicer also features a user-selectable fiber-placement system, lithium-ion battery, metal hood, and Sumitomo Electric’s standard dual-heater system. The heater system has been upgraded with a 20-second reduction in combined splice and heater cycle time. The splicer is also compatible with the Lynx2 CustomFit Splice-On Connectors.

Designer credits BIM with green-building success

AECOM Technology Corporation, which participated in the design of NASA’s award-winning and LEED Platinum-earning Ames Sustainability Base Building N232 in Moffett Field, CA, has said that a building information modeling (BIM) approach was key to the project’s success. BIM is the process of generating and managing building data during its life cycle and involves representing a design as objects. Cabling products are part of the picture. As Leviton notes on its website, “BIM ... offers three-dimensional, dynamic spatial models, and can incorporate detailed product information, quantities and properties. This added intelligence has huge potential for improving construction projects and ongoing facilities service.” Leviton and other cabling-product manufacturers offer libraries of BIM objects.

For the NASA project AECOM acted as landscape architect as well as architect and engineer of record. The company worked in partnership with William McDonough + Partners as design architect, and with Loisos + Ubbelohde as daylight and energy consultants. These organizations used a BIM approach along with Revit Architecture.

“The BIM process provided many advantages over traditional independent approaches -- disciplines are linked, coordination is increased, fewer errors occur, and so we were able to leverage the highest efficiency,” said June Grant, AECOM project manager.

“The result is the team was able to deliver a showcase design on time and under budget.”

Compiled by Patrick McLaughlin

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