The microprocessor is propelling the teledata industry through one possibility barrier after another. Products have made quantum leaps in features and capabilities, and there is no end in sight. What wasn't possible yesterday is old news today.

User-friendliness is unparalleled in the history of microprocessors. Graphical interfaces make the products easier to use. Advances in signal conditioning mean the equipment can use inputs that once were useless to it. Extended programmability and configurability mean the user can do more things with fewer products. In fact, inventory costs per feature are a fraction of what they once were.

A new telephone ring signaling product lets people know when their phone rings. It provides a visual or audible alert, or both. It interfaces with a normal phone system, installs easily, and conforms to all federal requirements.

Audible strobes, digital voice announcement systems, voice paging, and low profile speakers are but some of the innovations that help meet special needs. Complex installation procedures are history - in fact, many signaling products feature two-wire installation.

Formerly, the Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA's) 568A wiring standard recommended that telecommunications cables run all the way from the desktop to the wiring closet in an uninterrupted run. It did allow for an intermediate "transition point," but until recently, the standard gave little information regarding the concept. TIA has issued an updated document, TSB (Telecommunications Systems Bulletin) 75, which develops the concept of intermediate points by providing optional schemes and topologies, along with performance criteria for open-office zone wiring. So now there are products that make this zone wiring system easy to implement. Some are prefabricated modular zone wiring systems installed with modular cables, connectors, and zone distribution boxes. Modular systems dramatically cut the cost of wiring system changes. Rather than unwire, then repull and rewire, and do all the other overhaul required for a move, it's now possible to simply unplug components at the old location and plug them back in at the new one. The modular systems accommodate power, lighting, voice, and data lines.

Fiberoptic cables now come sheathed in a galvanized steel interlocked armor. The increased physical protection allows the cable to be used in applications previously off-limits to fiberoptics. A new hybrid composite cable incorporates both optical fibers and current-carrying conductors in a galvanized steel interlocked armor, providing a one-step installation for both power and data. Cables also come in lengths for specific applications. For example, a 7-ft cable for vertical drop applications eliminates the need to join two lengths to cover distances from ceiling to housing.

Fiberoptics manufacturers do back their products. For example, if you buy into one manufacturer's fiberoptic product lines, you'll receive full technical assistance, contractor training, and a 15-year warranty.

LED technology has overcome some of the disadvantages of incandescent and halogen light sources for signaling circuits. While the Achilles' Heel of LEDs is their limited field of visibility, now special lenses change the LED's light from unidirectional to omnidirectional.

Two-way radio shows the effects of large scale integration (LSI) technology, with increased range and better sound fidelity (due to better signal conditioning), smaller size (more transistors per area of circuit), and lower costs per feature.

Category Twelve

READER'S CHOICE

These items have appeared over the past year in EC&M's Product News section and received the highest reader response in their category.

Coaxial loudspeaker

The C803A coaxial, 8-in. loudspeaker provides maximum coverage with minimal units, making the loudspeaker ideal for commercial, industrial, and institutional sound system applications. The 16W unit offers a frequency response of 60 Hz to 18 kHz, [+ or -] 6 dB, and a broad uniform dispersion pattern of 150 [degrees]. Offers highly intelligible sound reproduction, smoother mid-range response, extended low frequencies, and a good distribution for high-quality sound systems.

Atlas/Soundolier

Communications system

The 5100 communication system brings telephones into the classroom, connecting teachers, parents and students. Added is computerized voice messaging, including the new ParentLink feature. This enables teachers to leave messages for parents in a variety of ways. Teachers can leave a message each night outlining homework assignments or event schedules. Parents and students can access the messages from any touch-tone telephone 24 hrs a day.

Simplex

Sound control

The MG1500A sound masking generator provides optimum level control at any frequency with just a touch of a button. Unit features a 14-band equalizer that can be digitally adjusted to the appropriate setting by pushing the single control button in the respective direction. The product offers password protection and programmable security measures to guard selected settings and presets from being altered.

Atlas/Soundolier

Notification devices

These audio visual units, A32-V33, are available in white or red panels with a variety of colored lenses. UL-listed strobes (90mA), with optional incandescent lamp modules in steady or flashing all units, are also available in 12V, 24V, or 120V.

Space Age Electronics

Workstation access

The Ruggedized Information Outlet (RIO), a metal outlet made to bring fiber-to-the-workstation in high-traffic areas that require robust outlet construction, is designed to bring fiber and copper to premises locations. Has a fiber capacity of 4 ST compatible connectors. The fiber ports exit the bottom of the outlet, and copper ports exit the cover of the unit. Available in two basic versions: the shallow version or the deep version - both with a cover that includes either 4 copper jack ports or accommodations for a single gang-plate supplied by the end-user.

Siecor

Ceiling mount speaker

Just released is a ceiling mount speaker for use as part of a fire alarm system to provide voice evacuation. Has a field selectable voltage option of 25V or 70V, and a field selectable option of wattage taps from 1/3, 5/8, 1, and 2W. The speaker mounts to a standard electrical 4-in. square box. Has a white flush steel mounting faceplate with openings for sound transmission.

Space Age Electronics.

Category Twelve

PRODUCT REVIEW

Patch panels

The Category 5 110 patch panels with hinged wire management are designed to address rear access applications. The panels open down for easy termination, and upon completion, lift back into position. The panels are offered in standard or high density 24-, 48-, or 96-port configurations.

Ortronics

Emergency audible/visual signals

The Survivor Series signals provide hazardous and nonhazardous area emergency lighting and signaling. Includes ELPS and N2LPS emergency lights, EXL explosionproof exit signs, W2H signals, ETH Flex-Tone and ETH horns, EV and VDAS strobes, ESR bell signals, and ETW and D2TW telephones.

Crouse-Hinds Div./Cooper Industries

Multimedia outlet system

The QuickPort product is for offices requiring multimedia and fiber to the desk or just basic voice/data connectivity that can be fiber-ready for the future without unneeded connectors and cost. Single- and double-gang wall-plates provide from 1 to 12 ports.

Leviton Telcom/Leviton Mfg.

Two-way intercom

This hazardous location, two-way industrial intercom (AudioMaster Model 310X-MV) is rated for Class I, Div. 2, Groups A, B, C, and D; Class II, Div. 2, Groups F and G; and Class III. Features volume control, call button, balanced line output, dusttight and watertight housing, and activation of remote device.

Federal Signal/Signal Div.

Weatherproof horn

Model TA55N5 horn produces a loud sound to satisfy industrial applictions. Features a powerful 113 dB output rating at 10 ft and specially formed diaphragm and projector that provide a distinct tonal quality. Design allows for 360 [degrees] horizontal and 155 [degrees] vertical orientation.

Tork

Weatherproof horn

Model TA140N5 allows tone selection at time of installation. The three sounds (yowl, warble, and siren) are field-selectable and changeable. Has sound output of 112 dB at 10 ft. Input voltage is 120VAC, and housing is tapped for 1/2-in. conduit.

Tork

Fiberoptic outlets

The PassPort family is a high-density, field-configurable wall plate system, a fiberoptic outlet, a series of factory-configured communications wall plates, and matching electrical duplex and switch cover plates.

Mod-Tap

Patch blocks

These two 12-port patch blocks, designed to facilitate the installation or addition of a reduced-size Category 5 crossconnect, can be used for smaller data applications where a wall-mount, low-profile or reduced-cost solution is required.

Leviton Telcom/Leviton Mfg.

ADA signaling appliance

This product provides strobe synchronization without any impact on system installation or overhead. A pop-off lens sleeve comes standard bearing the word "FIRE." These can be interchanged in the field with a range of optional sleeves with different messages, different languages, and even different colors.

Edwards/General Signal

Fiber connect panel

This product interconnects, protects, labels, color-codes, and manages up to 32 strands of fiberoptic cabling. It is available as a stationary panel or with a removable drawer with smooth sliding action. The drawer slides out of the rack mount.

The Siemon Co.

Lighted sound module

The Litestak status indicator light system now has an optional sound module (Model LSS), which can be attached directly to the Litestak base (Model LSB or LSB-S surface mount) to create a stand-alone audible signal. It can also be used with up to four light modules (Model LSL) to create an effective dual-purpose signaling device.

Federal Signal/Signal Div.

Signal isolators, converters, and alarms

This line of ECT signal isolators and converters and ECA alarms is UL-approved. Both 2-wire (loop-powered) and 4-wire (line-powered) versions meet UL's standards. Models accept all common input types (4-20mA, 1 to 5V, 0 to 10V, etc.) and offer isolation (up to 1500 Vrms).

Moore Industries

Media filters

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Media Filter is designed for use with 16/4 Mbps Token Ring LANs. Filters attach to Token Ring adapter cards via DB9-type interface while an RJ45-type plug provides access to the network cabling system. Provides filtering, balancing, and impedance matching while limiting radiated electrical energy to comply with FCC Class A regulations.

Ortronics

Wire management rack

The Mighty Mo II Wire Management Rack is designed to provide strain relief, bend radius, and cable routing required for the proper installation of Category 5 products. It meets or exceeds specifications in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568A standards. The Mighty Mo II is a 7-ft (2.13 m) rack available with a channel depth of either 6.5 in. or 14 in.

Ortronics

106 duplex-type receptacles

The 106 Duplex Type Receptacles mount into single- or dual-gang gem boxes, floor boxes, poke throughs, pedestals, raceways, furniture, and power poles. Offers combinations to four terminations.

Ortronics

New 4-port telecom housing

The QuickPort 4-Port Housing simplifies installation, changes or re-location, and is installable and reaccessible. Entry holes and interior are sized to support TIA-568A compliant bend radii requirements.

Leviton Telcom/Leviton Mfg.

Patch panel kits

Mini-Mod Bezels support the standardized furniture opening proposed by the EIA/TIA committee. Support two Mini-Mod Modules (4 ports) and snap to furniture opening.

Ortronics

In-line switching module

The In-Line Switching Module with Sealed Membrane Switch for use in wet and hazardous locations has received UL approval. This switch uses light - not electricity - to switch electrical loads. The unit installs into any junction box.

FiberSwitch Technologies

Wire management rack

The Mighty Mo II Wall Mount Wire Management Rack saves space. However, space saving does not compromise proper installation of Category 5 products. Maintains strain relief, bend radius, and cable routing for specifications called out in ANSI/TIA/0 EIA-568 A standards.

Ortronics

Fiberoptic transceivers

These fiberoptic transceivers allow any copper Ethernet LAN to be switched to a fiber-to-the-desktop LAN. Consists of four Ethernet-to-fiber transceivers, a 24-by-24 transmissive star (Fiber Cluster), an Ethernet fiberoptic Bit-Driver interface card, and an optical repeater mini Bit-Driver. Available with ST, SMA, or FC connectors and are fully compatible with Windows 95.

S. I. Tech

Wall-mount brackets

These bottom-hinged wall-mount brackets are for easy rear access applications. The panel opens down for termination. After termination is complete and horizontal cables are dressed out, lift the hinged panel back into position and secure it.

Ortronics