Day: March 14, 2019

Commercial Fire Alarms and Control Panels – What To Be Aware Of So You Do Not Get Burned

Before there were modern day fire alarm control panels and easy-to-use touch screen computer interfaces, the only defense against fire was for an individual to call for emergency response services. The first electric smoke detector was patented over 100 years ago, but was unable to be affordably mass produced until around 1970. Prior to then only large businesses were able to afford smoke detectors. Read more about (fire extinguisher maker.

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Up until fairly recently most fire alarm control systems were also prohibitively expensive for all but the largest companies. Fire control equipment is constantly evolving as are the fire codes. There are many considerations to be concerned with when dealing with fire control panels and fire suppression systems.

As advancements in electronics and computers were made the cost of fire alarms have leveled. Newer effective fire suppression chemicals have also increased the effectiveness of fire suppression systems. Depending upon the type and purpose of the building, specific types of fire suppression systems may be required for the intended purpose. For example, restaurants will require a different fire suppression system than a computerized data center.

Of all the varying types of suppression systems available on the market, the most commonly installed is a standard wet pipe system which is what most of the public has seen throughout retail shopping stores. Other systems can be dry pipe systems or strictly use a chemical suppression system designed for sensitive electronics or conditions where grease or other flammable liquids may be present.

Fire alarm panels and control systems have come a long way from the basic siren or bell system with which most adults may remember from elementary school. Today in addition to the traditional fire alarm systems, modern fire alarms, control panels and security systems have evolved into highly complex addressable computer panels and communication centers. Costs can easily exceed well beyond $20,000 for a fire control system in a university dormitory setting. The major obstruction to updating or upgrading these aging buildings is the growing budgetary limitations. The cost to retrofit many of these buildings is prohibitive. Much of the monies delegated to construction and infrastructure is tied up with new buildings and facilities. Schools may qualify for federal funding for the purpose of retrofitting and upgrading those structures which currently do not meet the minimum fire codes.

By Claudio Brannam March 14, 2019 Off

The Way of Wireless

Wireless is great, it allows me to connect my printer, PC tablet, set top box and of course use my mobile for voice and data. But if I need a proper connection, I will still connect to wired connection whenever possible. The trouble with Wi-Fi in my neighborhood is everybody else also has Wi-Fi and the problem with that is the limited number of wireless channels available.

The end result is that despite my best attempts of moving my access points around and channel hopping, inevitably my neighbours will configure their access point to use the same channel, and that causes my Wi-Fi to choke. The problem is made worse with wider bandwidth 802.11n or the 105Mbps access points, better antennas, range boosters, everyone is fighting for the same limited set of channels in the same chunk of noisy spectrum, which is also shared with my microwave oven. In the past, a single 802.11g access point running at 54Mbps would happily service all the wireless devices in my home.

Today, I have two access points just to cut through the noise. So, for myself at least wireless is used for wireless devices that don’t have a wired connection. Where I live the case with 3G is only slightly better, and depends on where I am. My service provider has great coverage in some areas and terrible service in others, as a result mobile broadband will jump between UMTS (3G) and EDGE (2.5G) causing whatever download or upload in progress to stop completely in some cases.

Throughout the Middle East and Africa, I have found the situation is similar. Usually these networks are a hybrid of both legacy and new mobile switching centres, connected with microwave links, copper and fibre technologies. Indeed in other countries I have visited such as Istanbul, Turkey, where the deployment of 3G UMTS data services is fairly recent, the 3G Internet speed is so fast with some operators that you can forget you are connected with a modem dongle.

The reason behind this is twofold, an all fibre Ethernet backbone for backhauling radio traffic, and relatively expensive data plans, which cause users to download only when it is really necessary. In other big cities, where the backhaul infrastructure is already upgraded, the mobile wireless situation is slightly different, simply too many people simultaneously attempting to access services using the same limited radio spectrum. In these areas LTE (4G) 4g sharing device has promised to solve these issue by using more efficient radio modulation techniques.

However, I can’t help but think that in these large markets the current roll out strategy of LTE will be akin to shifting piles of sand. Initially, the early adopters will enjoy the speed and improvements LTE brings, but soon the masses using the congested 3G network follow and coupled with the explosive demand for wireless, we will need a new approach to solving the growing bandwidth demands.

The approach which I believe will be the ultimate saviour of the wireless …

By Claudio Brannam March 14, 2019 Off