Each and every week, we at EC&M select one of the latest and greatest products the industry has to offer, presenting it every Monday morning on our Web site as the Product of the Week. Because we're committed to bringing you the best new products and innovations the electrical industry has to offer, we continue to make it a priority to carefully go through every press release we receive. Considering the overwhelming number of new product press releases we receive on a weekly basis, that's quite an undertaking. Featuring everything from ballasts to testers to work boots, you never know what you'll find as the featured product, but you can be sure it's something unique and useful. So just in case you haven't made it to www.ecmweb.com lately, here's a compilation of the chosen products for the past 52 weeks.
May 29, 2006 — The Safe-T-Step is designed to help users avoid injury when loading and unloading trucks, cargo vans, and other utility vehicles. This portable, lightweight step features a removable handrail, 400-lb weight capacity, heat-treated cast aluminum alloy construction, and a non-slip surface. Mounted in a flat position on the tailgate, the device can be manually unfolded and retracted with the release of a pull-pin.
William Frick and Co.
June 5, 2006 — The Smacker cradle is designed to turn any trigger-type powder-actuated tool into a bump-fire tool. The universal cradle is long-reaching with one 3-ft section and two 1.5-ft sections and can be used with any of five company powder-actuated tools — the P3500, PA3500, P35s, PA351, and PA3600 models. It can also be used with the Hilti DX-35 and DX-350, and ITW RamSet Cobra and SA-270 models.
June 12, 2006 — The SpecSeal Ready split sleeve is designed for firestopping existing electrical telephone or data cabling passing through rated or non-rated walls. This UL-classified firestop sleeve is half the weight of threaded products, according to the company, and requires no field fabrication. It is supplied in a ready-to-install kit including: a 12-in.-long steel split sleeve available in 1-in., 2-in., or 4-in. diameters; corresponding sized steel split escutcheon plates that lock the device in place; and SpecSeal firestop putty to seal the ends of the sleeve to the required 1 in. depth.
June 19, 2006 — The #960 locknut plier is designed for quick and easy installation and adjustments. The plier holds and adjusts most popular conduit fitting locknuts and features a thin profile for use in tight or wire-constricted electrical boxes. Its handle is spring-loaded, allows both right- and left-handed tool use, and locks for storage in a toolbox or work belt. Made of carbon steel, the pliers fit locknuts from 0.5 in. to 1.5 in.
Drawer storage units
June 26, 2006 — The Weather Guard Itemizer drawer units are lightweight storage solutions that compartmentalize tools, small parts, and fittings. Installed in vans or in enclosed truck beds, the storage unit is designed to keep overall vehicle weight down. Constructed of aluminum with a powder-coat finish, the storage units are available in lateral and stacked designs and have an anti-skid deck top. Each drawer can support up to 75 lb of tools and parts.
Light lowering conversion kit
July 3, 2006 — This pole light lowering conversion kit is designed for hard-to-service light poles and fixtures in areas such as tennis courts and parking garages. The conversion kit can eliminate the need for bucket trucks by lowering the de-energized fixture to service it, saving money and preventing dangers associated with aerial lifts. The kit is designed with a 10-ft guide rail that installs onto existing round, tapered, or square poles and comes in standard bronze powder-coat finish, although additional pole colors and double-head adapters are available.
July 10, 2006 — FlameStopper thru-wall fittings have been redesigned for use in retrofit as well as new construction firestopping applications. The fittings combine built-in intumescent material with a fully enclosed wall penetration that allow wires and cables to be added or removed while maintaining the fire rating of the wall. The retrofit kit includes a split conduit for installations where there is no existing conduit and contains a large firestopped wall plate for irregular openings and a heat shield for existing conduit lengths.
Cable tray cutter
July 17, 2006 — The ETS8 cable tray cutter is a battery-powered tool for cutting wire mesh cable tray. The cable tray cutter comes with two batteries and can make about 250 cuts of 4.9 mm in diameter per battery charge. It weighs 3 lb, its cutting head rotates 330°, and it automatically retracts when a cut is complete. The unit can cut other wires up to 8 mm in diameter, such as a threaded rod and steel bolts, but is not intended for cutting electrical or steel cables.
Greenlee, a Textron Co.
Photovoltaic connection system
July 24, 2006 — The Solarlok PV connector system now includes three new junction box configurations that accommodate different wiring needs. Expanding upon the previous six-rail product, the system now offers a two-, three-, and four-rail junction box. It also now includes positive latching features, designed to help minimize unintentional disconnections. All of this product line's junction boxes are IP65 rated and carry UL 1703 and TUV approvals.
Cable service kit
July 31, 2006 — The CableIQ service kit provides tools to perform both passive connectivity tests on cabling and active communications tests on network operation. The kit includes a qualification tester to determine whether an existing cable link is qualified to support the network's required bandwidth and provides information on the nature and location of cabling performance faults. It also comes with the company's IntelliTone probe to locate and verify the right cable and the LinkRunner network multimeter to determine whether the network drop is active and verify communication to network devices.
August 7, 2006 — The Ballast Checker is a handheld device designed to identify a ballast's technology type for use in confirming ballast status and pinpointing lighting upgrade opportunities. When pointed at a fixture, the analysis tool will turn green if the light source is powered by a high-frequency electronic ballast and orange if it's powered by a magnetic ballast. Compact and lightweight, it can operate at up to 15 ft from a light source and comes installed with long-life batteries.
August 14, 2006 — Oscar compliance software is designed to help facilities comply with new electrical industry standards for determining the short-circuit current rating (SCCR) of industrial control panel assemblies. Users can access the compliance software online at any time with a one-year subscription. Using a database of more than 50,000 online part numbers, the software can be used to look up components by their part number and accurately determine the assembly SCCR. It also allows users to enter specialized component rating information for devices not found in the software's database.
August 21, 2006 — The Signaltek cable performance tester is designed to verify that installed cabling will support voice, video, and data applications such as Gigabit Ethernet. The handheld cable tester transmits 10/100/1,000 Mbps Ethernet packets and measures errors on the link in accordance with the IEEE 802.3ab Gigabit Ethernet standard. It also supports bit error rate testing (BERT) for VoIP, data, and video over-IP applications and can store thousands of test results on its 32MB internal memory.
Generator connection kit
August 28, 2006 — The InterLock Kit is designed to allow homeowners to safely connect portable and standby generators to their home. The kit locks out the main breaker in the existing home panel and allows the portable generator to power the home through a back feed generator breaker. Available in 30 standard kits and numerous custom kits, it can be mounted on most existing home panels and is listed to UL standards.
Generator InterLock Technologies
September 4, 2006 — The ThinkWatt RF motion sensor is capable of detecting motion up to 40 ft away and operates HID, compact fluorescent, linear fluorescent, and incandescent light sources. This motion and photosensor with interchangeable lenses for aisle or round area detection employs Z-Wave RF mesh networking technology to eliminate the need for Class-II cabling. It can switch electronic or magnetic ballasted luminaires for Hi-Lo functionality, dim electronic ballasted luminaires using 0V to 10V dimming control, and switch any electrical load up to 30A. It is available for 120V to 277V operation.
September 11, 2006 — The CT20 is a two-part system consisting of a master continuity tester/transmitter and a two lead, bi-color (red/green) LED remote probe. The continuity tester/transmitter is used for local continuity testing and remote wiring identification. The remote probe allows for single-person remote continuity testing when identifying cables, verifying polarity, or labeling long distance wire/cable runs. This lightweight, compact tester features bright flashing LEDs and a loud pulsating beeper, designed to be heard over high background noise.
Measuring tool for drilling
September 18, 2006 — The PX 10 Transpointer uses magnetic field detection technology to determine the start and exit points for drilling and coring applications, rather than manually measuring or drilling pilot holes. The tool is able to measure wall and ceiling thickness on wood, drywall, block, and concrete and can be operated by one person with the use of adhesive putty. It also features an LCD display that shows wall thickness up to 4.5 ft. For angle drilling and coring, it can be used with the PXA 70 slope adapter to determine the drilling angle or to project the exit point given a set angle.
September 25, 2006 — The UnderFX uses LED lighting in a durable housing for applications such as under-cabinet lighting, cove lighting, display lighting, back bar lighting, and architectural lighting design. The fixtures are available in lengths of 12 in., 18 in., and 30 in., as well as custom sizes available in 6-in. multiples. They feature soft white color temperature from 3,000K to 3,500K that matches incandescent lighting options, are dimmable, can be run directly to a rheostat, and come in three power supply options. Additional colors are available on request.
October 2, 2006 — The CarbonX safety-toe work boot is available in mid-cut, plain-toe, or mid- and low-cut athletic models. The work boot uses carbon-fiber technology to provide the same protection as a steel-toe, but at half the weight. The boots are non-conductive to electricity, resist extreme cold and heat, and are available in a variety of colors and men's sizes, including medium sizes from 7 to 14 and extra wide sizes from 7 to 13.
Cable tie installation tool
October 9, 2006 — The Ty-Rap cable tie installation tool is designed to ease user fatigue with features including an adjustable grip span and an anti-recoil cut-off mechanism that reduces vibration when installing cable ties. The tool also includes variable tension settings, a high-low handle force mode, and interchangeable tool heads that cover the 18-lb to 120-lb range of cable ties. Its 360° rotating nose eliminates the need to twist the tool when the cable tie orientation is rotated.
Thomas & Betts
Modular wiring systems
October 16, 2006 — The Modex line of modular wiring systems is designed for commercial construction to allow for clean, quick, and easy onsite installation. These pre-fabricated systems consist of complete, custom wiring assemblies to eliminate the need for the assembly of components at the job site by skilled labor. Delivered in pre-packaged units to the job site when needed, they are UL and C-UL listed.
October 23, 2006 — The Qk-Saw hole saw slug ejection system is designed to make drilling a hole with a hole saw more efficient. The ejector's stainless steel compression spring is designed to compress during drilling and pop the slug out when the cut is complete. The slug ejectors are available in the following packages: ⅞-in. slug ejector and ¼-in. HS pilot drill (2⅞-in. long); 1⅛ in. slug ejector and ¼-in. HS pilot drill (3⅛-in. long); and 1⅛ in. slug ejector and ¼-in. HS pilot drill (2⅞-in. long). The company also sells a value pack with all three packages included.
Dual wall bracket
October 30, 2006 — One dual-side box support wall bracket is designed to do the work of two traditional wall brackets. The dual-wall bracket can mount up to three 4-in. or 411/16-in. square deep boxes facing opposite directions in 16 in. stud spacing and four boxes in 25-in. stud spacing. It features built-in tabs for 3½-in. and 6-in. wall depths as well as a stamped ruler on both sides and continuous 3/32-in. pilot holes, ¼-in. on center. The brackets come with wide wings with ¼-in. pilot holes on each side to mount to studs, allowing brackets to be moved up to ½-in. left or right to allow installation when studs are not exactly 16 in. and 24 in. on center.
November 6, 2006 — The 1760 3-phase power quality recorder is designed to comply with the IEC 61000-4-30 Class-A standard. This PQ recorder allows the user to customize thresholds, algorithms, and measurement selections. It has a 2 GB internal compact flash memory and features 10 MHz, 6,000Vpeak waveform capture. It analyzes a range of parameters including: rms values; flicker; voltage dips; voltage swells; voltage unbalance; current and voltage harmonics to the 50th order; interharmonics; THD; mains signaling; reactive power; transients; and power factor.
Fluorescent lamps sans electricity
November 13, 2006 — The Shat-R-Glow safety-coated fluorescent lamps are designed to be a portable source of light. They can be removed from their fixtures and, even if the lamp is broken, will continue to shine while the protective coating contains most glass and vapors. Intended for use in conjunction with existing emergency lighting systems and building escape systems, they will continue to emit light even if backup sources of power are lost, and will stay lit for hours without a power source.
November 20, 2006 — The MotorQuick disconnect switches are designed to enable faster installation and replacement of motors. Combining the plug-and-play technology of the company's Linkosity power system and the versatility of its Circuit-Lock motor disconnect switches, these disconnect switches can reduce motor change-out time by more than 65%, according to the company. By pre-wiring a Linkosity inlet to the junction box of a spare motor, they allow the majority of the change-out work to be done when convenient.
November 27, 2006 — The DCS800 drives family features controllers that set themselves automatically as well as intuitive functions to eliminate the need to look up every parameter and control setting in the manual. These drives boast simple installation using a completely integrated field supply, and the power connection procedure comprises three cables in and four cables out. They also feature automatic phase sequence detection; accept supply voltages of 230VAC to 1,200VAC, 50/60 Hz; and range from 20A to 20,000A DC.
December 4, 2006 — The HSRK is a high-speed Class RK1 fuse designed to safeguard sensitive power electronics, meet the NEC requirements for branch-circuit protection, and perform to industry standards of a semiconductor fuse. The fuse is used with a disconnect switch to allow end-users to select a single fuse, ensuring overload and short-circuit protection. It can also reduce incident energy levels enough to change the category of protective clothing that workers are required to wear while working on energized equipment.
Lighting control device
December 11, 2006 — The ELCU-100 emergency lighting control unit is designed for energy savings when used to control devices such as occupancy sensors and time scheduled systems by having these devices control emergency lighting in tandem with non-emergency lighting. These control devices can also enhance response from the emergency lighting, because they provide control at the branch circuit level and will force emergency lighting on even if normal power is interrupted in only part of the building. They feature wiring options to accommodate different control needs and an input for remote control.
December 18, 2006 — Eaton recently introduced cost-saving enhancements to its loadcenter designs, resulting in lower installation costs for electrical contractors, according to the company. The new patent-pending Cutler-Hammer plug-on neutral arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) reduces installation time by eliminating the extra step of wiring the neutral of the breaker to the neutral bar. This is accomplished by the addition of a metal stab on the breaker that clips onto an inboard neutral bar of the loadcenter. This new design is optional on the company's Premium CH loadcenters. The new loadcenter is also designed to accept all standard CH circuit breakers.
December 25, 2006 — Lockout PRO 3.0, the newest version of the company's graphical procedure writing software, allows users to easily create and implement a complete OSHA 1910.0147-compliant hazardous energy control lockout program. Enabling users to create customized lockout/tagout procedures in a few minutes, the program features user-friendly templates and offers access to a database of standard graphics, terms, and information. Users can easily customize each procedure and insert machine-specific images that walk workers through every part of each lockout/tagout procedure. They can also access current OSHA standards quickly to ensure their procedures are code-compliant.
Wire mesh grip selection software
January 1, 2007 — The new ez-Calc software CD streamlines the process of selecting wire mesh safety grips, allowing users to choose the most appropriate wire management device for their application. ez-Calc's pull-down menus guide users through the product selection process in a few steps. Providing the ability to search by grip family (pulling, strain-relief or support grips), grip style (high load, standard duty, indoor, and outdoor, etc.) or application (pulling overhead transmission lines), the software returns a list of all matching products, including a product description and diagram.
Outdoor medium-voltage ASD
January 8, 2007 — The MTX NEMA 3R MV is the newest addition to the company's line of medium-voltage adjustable-speed drives (ASDs). The product features two enclosure types married together. The transformer section is convection cooled. There are no moving parts, and heat is eliminated through passive vents at the top of the drive. The inverter section is forced-air-cooled and only uses non-CFC cooling components. The drive's power modules are designed with out-the-back heat sinks, sending waste heat out of the drive and into the atmosphere. The interior of the inverter section is cooled using plate-type heat exchangers so it remains cool and clean without introducing outside air.
Active Ethernet over coaxial video cable
January 15, 2007 — Designed for professional security installations in multiple industries, Highwire is changing the approach of upgrading surveillance systems from CCTV to IP cameras. Enabling users to change over CCTV cameras to IP/megapixel cameras with minimum expense and business interruption, the cable sends 100 Mbps Ethernet over standard coaxial video cable, supports up to 1,000 ft of coaxial cable, and can be “daisy chained” to allow for multiple 1,000-ft lengths of coaxial cable. Working with 12VDC or 24VAC power, the cable allows for multiple cameras over one video cable. Accessories include a 1U rackmount, which allows for the placement of eight units into a 19-in. rack, a specialized rackmount power supply, and individual mounting brackets.
Ethernet-compatible motor drives
January 22, 2007 — MotiFlex e100 Ethernet-compatible 3-phase AC motor drives can be used in both centralized control and distributed “intelligent drive” scenarios. The initial launch of MotiFlex e100 provides drives rated for output powers up to 16A, in five steps of 1.5A, 3A, 6A, 10.5A, and 16A. According to the company, a selection of higher power versions will follow in 2007. Compatible with the Ethernet Powerlink protocol, each drive features an Ethernet hub, enabling systems to be built using a simple daisy-chain connection scheme.
January 29, 2007 — The 2-in. Micro Cast downlight collection accommodates both MR11 and MR16 lamps, is made of fully die-cast aluminum, and can be installed in shallow ceiling down to 3½ in. The 2-in. aperture housing features a quiet electronic ballast for easy installation and dimming, and is available in new construction- or remodel-type mounting. The collection includes standard baffled and reflector downlights as well as adjustables, slots, and pinholes to achieve optimum lighting effects. The 2-in. aperture trims, which accommodate up to three optical accessories, come in standard black and white finishes as well as copper, mocha, and natural “raw” metal.
February 5, 2007 — NextMail is a mobile dictation and documentation solution available to Nextel walkie-talkie subscribers. NextMail allows you to wirelessly dictate, document, and share critical information via e-mail with a dispatcher or central office via your voice. The mobile worker just pushes a PTT button on his mobile phone to speak a message that is recorded and delivered to the inbox of an individual (or group with up to 50 members) as an audio e-mail to the recipient's inbox. The audio messages are stored on the company's Web site for record-keeping purposes.
February 12, 2007 — The IQV Series of cordless tools includes the W040 ¼-in. quick-change Impactool, the W150 ⅜-in. Impactool, the W360 ½-in. Impactool, as well as two drill/drivers — the 19.2V D650 and 14.4V D550. Engineered with composite housings to protect against damaging chemicals and fluids, all models are reinforced with a patented metal design that, according to the company, provides extra strength for enhanced drop resistance. In addition, the tools feature the IQV Grip, a patent-pending twist-to-lock design that grips the battery into the tool for increased holding strength.
Transient voltage surge suppressor
February 19, 2007 — The Strikesorb transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS) module provides uninterrupted protection from surge currents of up to 200kA. In addition, the module meets the requirements of the recently revised UL-1449 (2nd edition) standard without resorting to the use of internal fuses. According to the company, its unique construction — comprised of a single large distribution-grade metal oxide varistor (MOV) disc (80-mm in diameter) in a hermetic aluminum housing — provides uniform distribution of the surge current over the total area of the MOV protection element, resulting in a high-energy handling capability combined with ultralow let-through voltage to the protected equipment.
February 26, 2007 — AcceliCAD 2007 is a CAD platform that provides compatibility with industry-standard file formats, commands, and methods. Enhancements include floating prompt menus and polar angle tracking, which will snap the cursor to non-orthogonal angles and extend lines between two points. The heads-up keyboard entry allows angles, distances, and text to be entered without looking at the keyboard. In addition, AcceliCAD features a full-color 32-bit user interface with transparencies.
March 5, 2007 — Secura-Lets stackable shims and spacers for wiring devices prevent arcing due to unwanted movement and also prevent broken or cracked faceplates. In addition, they provide support of devices to their wall boxes, fill gaps created by boxes that are set too deep, bring devices flush with finished surfaces, and eliminate wobbly outlets and switches. Constructed of rigid, flame-retarded PVC, individual pieces snap together to achieve proper thickness.
Arc flash protection
March 12, 2007 — The FlashGard low-voltage motor control center (MCC) offers an insulated horizontal bus, an insulated labyrinth vertical bus, shutters to isolate the vertical bus when a unit is removed, and finger-safe components inside the units. In addition, the product features an ARC Reduction Maintenance Switch that the company says reduces the time-available fault current. It also includes an applied breaker to reduce trip time during an arc flash.
Branch-circuit monitoring system
March 19, 2007 — Designed for incorporation into new or existing data centers, the J Comm branch-circuit monitoring system (BCMS) fits under the raised floor and monitors current, voltage, and other power-related measures for up to 168 branch breakers. Helping users track and control power usage in all distribution equipment, the system features two BCMS communication boards and interface modules for either split core or solid core current transformers. With the system installed under the floor, users have either a Modbus or SNMP connection to their building management system.
March 26, 2007 — The Kwik-Fit Compression EMT features an integrated steel compression coupling that, according to the company, reduces installation time and eliminates the need to purchase and store separate couplings. The Flo-Coat hot galvanizing process protects the conduit with a triple-sealed compatible organic layer to inhibit white rust and increase corrosion resistance. In addition, the product's interior is protected with E-Z Pull interior coating for enhanced wire pulling with reduced static friction. It also meets the requirements of Sec. 300.22 of the NEC as well as UL Standard 797 and ANSI Standard C80.3.
Allied Tube & Conduit
April 2, 2007 — No Lube SIMpull THHN building wire eliminates the need for electrical contractors to lubricate feeder-sized THHN to pull it through conduit. The wire incorporates a patent-pending technology to reduce friction and minimize the mess, labor, and cost associated with lubrication. According to the company, the product's unique design results in a cleaner appearance, easier-to-read print, and reduced susceptibility to nylon tearing. The company also claims that independent tests confirm No Lube SIMpull THHN reduces total installation time by an average of 30%, as well as eliminates equipment needed to apply lubricant. The product is available in all standard industry colors and sizes 1/0 and larger.
April 9, 2007 — Cablo Snap secures cable bundles to wire cable tray and helps eliminate over-tightened cable ties. According to the company, the wide, flared design eliminates “pinched” data cables, offering enhanced signal protection. Available in four sizes to accommodate cable bundles from ½ in. to 2 in., the reusable cable bundlers are UL-listed and meet EIA/TIA requirements. To install, snap over cables and squeeze to desired pressure. Built-in teeth lock Cablo Snap into place.
Recessed fluorescent luminaire
April 16, 2007 — The P83-26ICATDM recessed luminaire uses a standard 26W compact fluorescent triple-tube lamp and works with a standard incandescent dimmer. Dimming down to a 15% light output, the Energy Star-qualified recessed fixture meets California Title 24 requirements as well as all state standards for airtight recessed fixtures, according to the company. In addition, it features an integral-nail bar hanger.
April 23, 2007 — These circuit breakers feature Trip-Alert, an LED indication system that identifies which electrical fault condition induced tripping — arc fault, ground fault, or overload/short circuit. The “combination-type” breakers satisfy UL and CSA tests to provide full arc fault protection for the branch/feeder wiring, as well as the cord sets and power-supply cords connected to the receptacles. In addition, all devices use Electro-Sense electronic circuitry to determine the exact current levels and continuously monitor line conditions to detect various fault conditions, which the company says provides faster response and a higher level of protection. The circuit breakers also protect circuits and electrical loads against fire-causing arcs and shock-inducing ground faults.
April 30, 2007 — The Cable Comb consists of a blue inner hub and a yellow outer collar that enables users to straighten, organize, and lash single cables into a neat cable bundle. Its two-piece design locks the cables in place to prevent accidental disengagement during the combing process, and allows cables to be quickly removed from the tool and turned out of the run for termination or sub-bundling. Designed with 15 slots of various lengths that can accommodate one or more of most types of data cables, the tool can be used to straighten, organize, bundle, and lash other types of cables such as coax or control cables that are ¼ in. or smaller in diameter.
May 7, 2007 — The MM300 low-voltage motor manager can simultaneously communicate using Modbus (serial or Ethernet) and either DeviceNet or Profibus DP protocols. This advancement allows for straightforward and direct integration into new and existing HMI, DCS, and SCADA systems — eliminating the need for additional devices, according to the company. In addition, the motor manager offers advanced motor health diagnostics. Continuous monitoring — coupled with single-click access to device and system status information — can alert operators to potential conditions that could lead to critical process interruption. Ready to use right out of the box, the devices features predefined control logic and automatic I/O assignment for the most common motor starter types.
Commemorative hand tools
May 14, 2007 — In honor of the company's 150th anniversary, six commemorative Journeyman hand tools will bear Klein Tools' lasered anniversary emblem, including side cutting pliers, long nose pliers, diagonal cutting pliers, crimpers, pump pliers, and cable cutters. In addition, each of the products is encased in 150th anniversary packaging. The Journeyman line of tools features contoured, cushioned handles and is made using a dual-material molding process that allows for a softer grip on the outer surface, according to the company.
Interval recording system
May 21, 2007 — The E-Kit Interval Recording Systems, featuring the company's ElitePro Recording Power Meter, exceed all NEC requirements for determining the existing electrical load level (kVA demand) over 15-min. intervals, according to the company. The meters use proprietary ELOG software to present and analyze the collected data. Featuring a variety of pre-programmed analyses and graphs, ELOG can export data files to popular spreadsheets and databases such as Excel and Access.