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Patch Cords and Why you Need Them

Patch Cords and Why you Need Them

Devices of different types, such as a switch connected to a computer, or switch to router are connected with patch cords. A patch cord (sometimes patch cable or patch cord) is an electrical or optical cable, used to connect (“patch-in”) one electronic or optical device to another for signal routing.

Patch cables and patch cords are flexible cables that are terminated at both ends with a plug and used to interconnect circuits. These male/male cables and cords are used with patch panels, groups of ports that connect lines between communications and electronic devices. Patch cords are usually produced in many different colors so as to be easily distinguishable, and are relatively short, perhaps no longer than two meters.

There are many types of patch cables and patch cords. Choices include Cat 3, Cat 5, Cat 6, coaxial, triaxial and twisted pair and even more commonly known products such as microphone cables and headphone extension cables.

Patch cords are often made of coaxial cables, with a positive or “hot” signal carried through a shielded core, and the negative electrical ground or earthed return connection carried through a wire mesh surrounding the core. Each end of the cable is attached to a connector, so the cord may be plugged in. Types of connectors may vary widely, particularly with adapting cables. Patch cords can be as short as 3 inches or 8 cm, to connect stacked components, or route signals through a patch bay, or as much as twenty feet or 6 m or more in length for snake cables. As length increases, cables are usually thicker, and/or made with more shielding, to prevent signal loss and the introduction of unwanted radio frequencies and hum (electromagnetic interference).

Patch cords may be:

• single-conductor wires using, for example, banana connectors

• coaxial cables using BNC connectors

• Ethernet Cat5, Cat5e, or Cat6 cables using “RJ-45″ connectors with TIA/EIA-568-A or TIA/EIA-568-B wiring

• Optical fiber cables

An infamous type of optical fiber cables that are labeled under patch cords are Fiber Optic Patch cords. These fiber optic patch cords are more and more used to transmit telecommunication signals than traditionally copper patch cords in the network. Compared with traditional copper patch cords, fiber optic patch cords features higher operation speed -up to 10 gigabit, broader bandwidth, which means it is with a larger capacity of carrying the signals, longer transmitting distance, better to the environment- no noise, no radios, and easier to maintain them.

Usually the fiber optic patch cord structure is like this: fiber glass in the center with cladding on it, this is called the “core”, around the core people put some other different materials to make the cables with different features, for example, more tension-resistant, waterproof, etc. the most outside layer which is called “jacket” of the cable usually is made of PVC, and there are different standards, for example, riser, plenum, ofnr, ofnp, etc. the most commonly used cables for making fiber patch cords are with 0.9mm outer diameter, or 3mm outer diameter, or 2mm outer diameter. 2mm outer diameter is the most commonly used in North America; they look smarter although they operate the same as 2mm and 0.9mm ones.

Typical types are simplex fiber optic patch cord and duplex fiber optic patch cord, a simplex patch cord means this patch cord is made of a single fiber cable, a duplex patch cord can be regarded as two simplex ones put side by side.

The Solar Power House Gets a Revolutionary Battery

The Solar Power House Gets a Revolutionary Battery

Solar power technology for residences has been with us for a while, but it has historically been prohibitively costly.  However, because of new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film chemistry and better manufacturing systems, costs have recently been dropping significantly.  Some solar panel production companies are announcing PV panels for under $2 a watt which is a four-hundred percent price reduction from the $8 it was only several years ago.

The convergence of these improvements with a remarkable new deep-storage battery technology has previously unimaginable implications for the solar power house and our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity production.

A revolutionary new cost-effective, deep-storage battery has arrived that is the result of 10 years of research and testing that’s small and safe enough to sit in your home and power it. It is likely to be the single most important new technology to date for the potential supply of sufficient solar power electricity produced in the home.  A company named Ceramatec is the developer on this breathtaking new battery technology.

The the core value of their huge battery technology breakthrough is that high density power storage (high levels) can now be accomplished safely at operating temperatures below 90 degrees C which allows for solid components instead of hot liquid.  This is an astonishing breakthrough because currently most energy-dense batteries are very large containers of very hot highly corrosive and toxic molten sodium – conditions very unsuitable for use in the home.

Ceramatec indicates its new generation of battery, about the size of a refrigerator, can store approximately 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy for 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over about 10 years of battery life.  With the batteries anticipated to sell for about $2,000, this calculates to below 3 cents a kilowatt hour battery cost over its life.  Traditional electricity from the grid usually costs around 8 cents per kilowatt hour, and typical deep-cycling lead/acid batteries typically only last for a few hundred cycles so they expire after only about a year.

Ceramatec’s new battery technology also has profound possibilities for the U.S. electrical grid which is an inefficient, aging approach to energy.  Taking a load off the grid through electricity production and storage at home would likely extend the system’s life and eliminate the expenditure of hundreds of billion dollars to make it “smart.”  Additionally, centralized management of the energy grid requires the use of computers, which brings on potential problems such as hackers and terrorists.  Also, large-scale energy generation from centralized power plants creates the possibility of regional grid blackouts created by a “point failure” on the grid.

The potential  with this new battery is to reduce pressure on the grid and move homeowners closer to greater energy independence. With small-scale solar electrical production and battery storage occuring at millions of individual residences the above problems should be severly reduced.

It’s hard to imagine anything more secure than generating power from the sun at your own solar power house, and having a safe, cost-effective way to store it.  It’s the optimum in security, and the optimum in control.”

Ceramatec says that they are close to moving from initial scale-up toward a commercial product, and this presents an enormous opportunity for home production of solar power electricity.

The Importance of Industrial Gears Accessories

The Importance of Industrial Gears Accessories

Accessory, as we all know is a subsidiary or additional device that adds to the value or functionality of the primary or main device. Similarly, gears accessories also include the devices or equipment which enhance the efficiency and scope of operation of the industrial gears, or rather, they are even more than that. These accessories, we can say are indispensable for the proper functioning and desired outcome, in case of the industrial gears. These gears and gear accessories work together as a complete assembly or a single unit to perform various industrial tasks. Some such accessories which hold great significance in the modern context can be named as gearboxes, gear-motors, axles, transfer-cases, winches, gear-couplings, and so. The selection of gear accessories is determined by the type of gear(s) in question. Some significant types of gears accessories are mentioned below:
1) Gearbox: It is a kind of metal casing inside which a series of gears is sealed. It is considered an essential item for the gear assembly. This equipment is also known as gear-head, gear-reducer, or speed-reducer. These boxes are available in a wide range of sizes, capacities, and speed ratios. The contemporary and advanced gearboxes are generally used for the purpose of increasing the torque, and at the same time for reducing the RPM of a prime mover output shaft. They primarily come in two types, i.e., automatic and manual.
2) Gear-Motor: This equipment provides a gear reduction system. The main benefit that this accessory provides is that by employing it, the driving shaft can be directly coupled to the driven shaft. Additional gearing is required for stepping down the motor speed. In some cases belts, pulleys, or chains are also used for this purpose. Although gear-motors are used in various applications like in case erectors, box taper, hot-melt glue pumps, conveyor drives, and so, but they found their most prevalent application in the industrial robots.
3) Axle: Axle is a metal shaft, usually fabricated from steel on which the locomotive wheels are mounted. Besides holding the wheels on the gauge, this equipment transfers the load from the axle-boxes to the wheels. Automobiles are usually equipped with the front or rear split axle. Each driven wheel is attached to an individual shaft, having differential and universal joints between the two shafts. It is this differential and split axle that permits the adjacent wheels to rotate at differential speeds when the vehicle is taking a turn.
4) Winch: Winch is basically a crank with a fixed handle for providing motion to a machine. Winches are used for converting the high-speed, low force input of the handle into low-speed, high torque output at the drum. This equipment makes use of totally unconventional kind of tooth forms that are entirely different from those generally used in automobile and power transmission applications. The winches turn thousands of times in their lifetime and they never got too heated to malfunction.
5) Gear-Coupling: It is a power transmission coupling that makes use of a hub with gear teeth on the outside diameter of the input shaft. This coupling is usually fabricated from metal and requires lubrication. It is very rigid torsionally, and can produce high torque through relatively small packages. These couplings can either be directly mounted on the shaft or can be fixed with the shaft with a setscrew, depending upon the nature and type of application. Gear-couplings are basically flexible and rigid.
Given above are few of the primary types of gear accessories that are used in various industries these days. There are a lot more types of accessories and other gearing equipment. For getting comprehensive and detailed information on various types of gears, gear accessories, drives, and materials, you should visit Gears Manufacturers Marketplace.

How to Choose a Transformer

How to Choose a Transformer

When choosing a transformer, there are two primary concerns: the load and the application. Several factors must be evaluated carefully while making the choice, to ensure that the needs of both primary concerns are met.

To use a clich?, it is typically a ‘no-brainer’ to choose smaller transformers. A unit with a kVA rating that is larger from the anticipated load can quickly be picked up. But if you are selecting a large unit for an electrical utility system, to be part of a large distribution network, you are typically making a much larger investment; thus the evaluation process is much more detailed and elaborate. With over 90 years of experience in this industry, Pacific Crest Transformers has put together a quick checklist to help you make your choice judiciously.

Top Questions

There are three major questions that influence your choice:

  • Does the chosen unit have enough capacity to handle the expected load, as well as a certain amount of overload?
  • Can the capacity of the unit be augmented to keep up with possible increase in load?
  • What is the life expectancy of the unit? What are the initial, installation, operational, and maintenance costs?

Evaluation Factors

The cost and capacity of the transformer typically relate to a set of evaluation factors:

1. Application of the Unit

Transformer requirements clearly change based on the application.

For example: in the steel industry, a large amount of uninterrupted power is required for the functioning of metallurgical and other processes. Thus, load losses should be minimized – which means a particular type of transformer construction that minimizes copper losses is better suited. In wind energy applications, output power varies a great extent at different instances; transformers used here should be able to withstand surges without failure. In smelting, power transformers that can supply constant, correct energy are vital; in the automotive industry, good short-term overload capacity is a necessary attribute. Textile industries, using motors of various voltage specifications, will need intermittent or tap-changing transformers; the horticulture industry requires high-performance units that suit variable loading applications with accurate voltage.

These examples serve to underline that type of load (amplitude, duration, and the extent of non-linear and linear loads) and placement are key considerations. If standard parameters do not serve your specific application, then working with a manufacturer that can customize the operating characteristics, size and other attributes to your needs will be necessary. Pacific Crest regularly builds custom transformers for unique applications.

2. Insulation Type (Liquid-Filled or Dry Type)

While there is still debate on the relative advantages of the available types of transformers, there are some performance characteristics that have been accepted:

  • Liquid-filled transformers are more efficient, have greater overload capability and longer life expectancy.
  • Liquid-filled units are better at reducing hot-spot coil temperatures, but have higher risk of flammability than dry types.
  • Unlike dry type units, liquid-filled transformers sometimes require containment troughs to guard against fluid leaks.

Dry type units are usually used for lower ratings (the changeover point being 500kVA to 2.5MVA). Placement is also a crucial consideration here; will the unit be indoors serving an office building/apartment, or outdoors serving an industrial load? Higher-capacity transformers, used outdoors, are almost always liquid-filled; lower capacity, indoor units are typically dry types. Dry types typically come in enclosures with louvers, or sealed; varnish, vacuum pressure impregnated (VPI) varnish, epoxy resin or cast resin are the different types of insulation used.

3. Choice of Winding Material

Transformers use copper or aluminum for windings, with aluminum-wound units typically being more cost-effective. Copper-wound transformers, however, are smaller – copper is a better conductor – and copper contributes to greater mechanical strength of the coil. It is important to work with a manufacturer that has the capability and experience to work with either material to suit your specific requirement.

Read more on how to choose a transformer

Encompix Made2manage 2007 User Conference Set for Orlando

Encompix Made2manage 2007 User Conference Set for Orlando

Taking place October 10-13, 2007 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, FL, Made2Manage Systems’ premier customer conference will be the ideal venue for all customers to advance their skill set and enhance their proficiency level.

This event will bring together all Made2Manage Systems’ business units and customers at one location. After general sessions, each business unit will have its own track to focus on industry issues and new product features and services.

Through Custom-Designed Educational Workshops, Hands-On Practice Sessions, Interactive User Group Meetings, Hot Topic Roundtable Discussions, and One-on-One Consulting, every element of the event will better equip clients to utilize the ERP or CRM solution and revolutionize the way business is handled today. And for the first time, users from every Made2Manage business unit will gather together in one locale, providing Unlimited Networking Opportunities with fellow users, industry peers and product experts.

Encompix (www.encompix.com) a business unit of Made2Manage Systems, has filled the manufacturing software requirements of engineer-to-order companies since 1992. The company name reflects a commitment to developing business application solutions that encompass the complex areas of project-based and job-based manufacturing. Encompix provides ETO manufacturers with a competitive advantage by improving bottom line results.

About Made2Manage Systems Inc.

With more than 2,150 customers worldwide, Made2Manage Systems Inc. has a 20-year track record of delivering enterprise resource planning software and a broad range of services that meet the unique market specifications of more than 30 manufacturing sectors, including industrial and commercial machinery, fabricated metals, rubber and plastics, electronics, analytical and measuring equipment, furniture and fixtures, durable goods, and metals, wire and cable. Made2Manage Systems’ sustained leadership position in the ERP marketplace is built on a commitment to fostering productive, long-lasting customer relationships, developing a quality product line based on unique industry specifications, and providing excellence in customer support and professional services.