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  • Customers Warned by Consumer Protection against Overseas Plug Converters

    Keeping in view the increasing number of electrical accidents in consideration, the Consumer Protection has issued a warning to online customers who buy electronic appliances from overseas sellers. According to reports, the power adapters delivered along with the appliances do not synchronize with United States’ safety standards and could injure or prove to be fatal in worst cases.

    There had been a couple of such incidences pretty recently in which two consumers were affected adversely by electric shocks from power adapters that were a part of the packages they ordered online from across the borders. One of these accidents involved electric shocks from a travel adapter having multiple pin options.

    A higher official from the Consumer Protection firm confirmed that it is a solution that went wrong. The sellers of such appliances offer these additional power adapters to make their appliance compliant to use in the country but it only increases the risk.

    The problem is the roots from the pins that lie exposed when the additional pins are in use. The exposed pins go live when the appliance is on and passes high voltage of electricity which is risky. The Consumer Court is mingling with various sources to spread the news and beware people about the implications behind these power adapters and converters.

    So, what can you do if you already have these appliances? Try some of these suggestions to utilize your appliance without posing any serious risks:

    1. Be careful about the safety of the electrical goods received, no matter how safe they claim to be. Every country has their own safety standards, what’s safe for them, might not be so for you.

    2. Get the adapter cross checked by an electrician or buy an adapter from local retailer which is approved to use in your country.

    3. If the plug pin is not befitting according your power board requirements, get it replaced by an electrician to get a US standard plug.

    4. Do not pass unapproved adapters to anyone, destroy them.

    This was for consumers who had already invested in foreign goods, to be an aware customer in future, please take a note of the following points:

    1. Only buy electrical products that are manufactured by ISO 9001-2000 registered manufacturers and sync with the US standards of Safety.

    2. Consider buying electrical appliances from US stores instead of overseas suppliers.

    3. Before making the purchase, ensure the pins are of US configuration and are approved to be used in the country.

    4. The pins of the power adapter should be insulated for 50% of the pin length at a minimum.

    5. Do not use previous adapters from overseas sellers considering it had been safe till now. Accidents do not occur in the first go always!

    6. Local electronic products should be approved by the state’s safety regulators but by any chance if you purchase any adapter locally and find it unsafe, report it to the Consumer Protection.

    Keep the information handy and spread it among your near and dear ones. Safety is much more important than lucrative foreign products. Look out for products from US manufacturers providing safe and RoHS compliant products.

  • Choosing Between HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4: What Should You Know?

    High Definition digital content is on the rise and given the number of options available for monitor connections, it can be cumbersome and confusing to decide multiple interface standards for your monitor or television screens. Some of the old interfaces included VGA, DVI, Component, etc. but they no more pass up as preferable interfaces for HD content.

    HDMI and DisplayPort are the interfaces developed for the modern age electronics display. But choosing among these two also depends on your usage whether you are a gamer or a movie buff. Let’s try to unravel which displayport cable suits your requirements better:

    What is HDMI 2.0?

    High Definition Multimedia Interface or commonly known as HDMI can easily be termed as the most popular interface connections today recommended and found on all monitors, laptops, television screens, and other similar electronic products. HDMI 2.0 is the standard video interface used for 3820 x 2160 content.

    The HDMI port’s features include the consumer electronic control which facilitates remote signal to be sent through HDMI. Using this, you can use your television remote to control the receiver cable box through your interface connection. Noting the typical features of HDMI 2.0, it provides 18Gbps of bandwidth and can support 4K resolutions.

    Though mostly the film content shown on television is shot at 24fps, the increased FPS is useful for self recorded videos, gaming, or future television content that can be filmed at higher FPS. The color gradient and range is also favorable with HDMI 2.0.

    Even though it’s the most popular, there are some features wherein DisplayPort offers to be unique and differing in utilizations. Let’s have a look at them.

    Understanding DisplayPort 1.4

    Quite recently, a new display interface was designed with quite similar features as of the HDMI. It’s still a less popular interface when compared to HDMI but is usually found in high resolution monitors developed in the recent years. Coming to features, DisplayPort 1.4 can transmit as much as 32.4Gbs bandwidth which is more than what HDMI can offer. The resolution offered by DisplayPort 1.4 is also much higher than that of the HDMI.

    One of the salient features of this interface is that it allows multiple independent displays to be connected by a single port. So, it definitely is more desirable and recommended option for those who work with multiple displays.

    DisplayPort is also a better option for users interested in PC gaming paired with NVIDIA’s G-sync and AMD’s FreeSync technology. The use of sync technology is important to protect the screen from damage.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to balanced compatibility, it is recommended to use the displayport cable that comes along with your display output device. Most consumer products sync with HDMI but if you are looking for a comparatively better resolution and for multiple display at one go, you should go for DisplayPort interface connected with quality Displayport Cable.

  • Some Important Facts about DIY Network Cables Revealed!

    You must have come across the word Bulk Network Cables. They are a hardware deployed to connect one network device to another or to connect computers with other devices. These cables bare wire and require plugs at both ends to fit the devices to be connected. You can also use them to connect various monitors and monitors to external input or output devices.

    With the advent of tutorials and written knowledge all over the internet, people are increasingly adopting DIY for making bulk network cables.

    Why Choose the DIY option?

    Many users like to do build them solely for their interest in creating their own hardware and there’s another side to it as well. Making your own network cables is very cost-effective as compared to store bought ones. You can order bulk network cables at lower prices and join with them plugs that are also available at pretty competitive prices if bought in packets. All in all, you can make your own network cables at half the price than the readymade ones.

    Moreover, with readymade network cables, you are stuck with the length of the cable the manufacturer provides which isn’t always feasible to your necessities. By doing it yourself, you can choose the desired length of cable with quality plugs to go with it.

    Raw Materials Required

    Firstly, choose the kind of cable you want to use for it. Ordering bulk network cables from an online store is not only cheaper but you can choose from a wide range of guaranteed quality products delivered at your doorsteps. There are many variants of these cables available; you can choose the one according to your requirements. There are also options for colors and lengths syncing with your needs. The cables can be CAT-1, CAT-2, CAT-3, CAT-4, CAT-5, CAT-5E, CAT-6, CAT-6E, and CAT-7. The 5E cable is most frequently used however you can go for Cat-6 and above for a greater transmission speed.

    A network-cable tester also comes handy to confirm that your cables are wired properly. It isn’t an absolute necessity but saves a lot of time if you have any issues with the cable or connection while working on it.

    The Procedure

    Even though the procedure isn’t child’s play, it isn’t very complicated as well. There are a few things you should keep in mind and rest is good to go. A network cable consists of the skin and 8 lines inside it. The 8 lines need to be connected to the plug in a systematic order or else your cable won’t work. Also, make sure your plug is of the standard size that fits well into the computer socket.

    To make a straight-through cable a different scheme is required than making a crossover cable, so you need to take care of the combinations as well.

    Conclusion

    Making DIY network cable is easy if the instructions are followed carefully and you get the right cables and plugs to go with it. But it comes with its own risks and dangers. DIY Network cables can sometimes be the reason for grave accidents if the connection isn’t built properly. If you are an amateur at electronic knowledge, it’s best to trust an expert manufacturer. Moreover, you can get your exact requirements at online stores which offer an extensive range of cables and electronic accessories.

  • Addressing Common Issues Pertaining USB to RS-232 Adapter Cables

    In the recent years, manufacturers have halted the production of computers with a RS-232 port which was quite common in old computers. Now the only way to connect RS-232 devices with computers is by using computer adapters which connect such devices to USB ports. Thus, a USB to RS-232 adapter is required to make the connection.

    More often than not, users face issues while connecting their RS-232 device with the computer, in spite of using correct computer adapters. In this blog, we will discuss the most common issues regarding the same.

    Driver Issues

    Getting the proper driver installed to connect your RS-232 device to the computer is essential to form a seamless connection. It’s one of the most common issues identified as users face problems while getting the suitable driver to be installed.

    Solution: Users must make a note that the driver should sync to the chip inside the cable and not the manufacturer (of the cable). It is better that you choose cables by manufacturers that use certified driver available with Windows update. To solve issues with your computer adapter cable, you will require having an internet connection to install the driver which cannot be automatically installed. Windows Device Manager also contains the information regarding your Cable’s chip sometimes. So, you can also locate it and download the correct driver and version of Windows.

    Hardware Issues

    The hardware, as for every other electronic device, of these cables can eventually fail with usage.

    Solution: It is best to consider buying computer adapters of higher quality, manufactured by trusted cable companies. Cables manufactured by these companies last longer, though eventually you will require a replacement. The running time depends on the workload that the RS-232 to USB cable goes through. A low quality cable will come apart in a short period of time, sometimes even within a day of usage. So the solution ultimately is not to compromise with the hardware quality of any of your computer components, whether internal or external.

    Performance Issues

    USB uses a shared data bus i.e. the data is wrapped up and transferred in form of packets. One drawback that arises from using USB to RS-232 cables is that the data transfer time which was almost insignificant when computers had RS-232 ports. This data transfer time is lags in performance when huge files are being transferred.

    Solution: Though there isn’t any hard and fast solution which can get rid of the transfer time, it can be reduced to some level. The driver of the FTDI chip in your computer adapter can help in reducing this time. This can be done by accessing the Latency Timer field from the Windows device manager. Keep the setting at ‘1’, for optimal results.

    Conclusion

    Even though new developments in the technology sector are considering USB ports for external devices which typically used to be manufactured with RS-232 ports, it would take a long time for the total transition. Most of the quality data log devices stick to RS-232 which implies that you would be required to continue using such connections. The issues addressed in the blog should be helpful to troubleshoot most of the everyday issues you might come across while deploying such computer adapters.

  • Understanding the Difference Between Various Types of 6A Cables

    Category 6A cables, generally referred to as CAT 6A are becoming increasingly popular among users because of their transmission speed which is much better than previous versions like CAT 5e, CAT 6, and others. The transmission speed of these cables can go up to 10Gbps and therefore becoming first choice for users of VoIP, CCTV, and other data networks. The data transfer is facilitated at the frequency of 500Mhz.

    All categories under it are called CAT 6A under a broad umbrella but it can be divided into various types depending on various characteristics. There are basically two primary types of CAT 6A cables; namely - F/UTP and U/UTP. The terms FTP and UTP are to facilitate differentiation between shielded and unshielded cable. According to the ISO/IEC standards, the first letter indicates the type of overall shield while the latter points to the type of shielding on each pair and the balanced element. This, by far, can be stated to be the easiest way to differentiate between CAT 6A cables. Let’s have a look at the different type of combinations that are possible based on this:

    CAT 6A U/UTP

    In a CAT 6A U/UTP cable, each pair is individually shielded with a metal foil. The cross talk between pairs is controlled by individual foil shields so there can be long lays as compared to CAT6A F/UTP. The long lays between the pairs is easy to untwist and therefore shortens the termination time. The lower DC resistance in these cables provides better PoE support. The features of this cable increase the outer diameter of the cable.

    CAT6A F/UTP

    In a CAT6A F/UTP cable, the unshielded pairs are overall shielded with a metal foil. The foil shield keeps electrical noise from interfering with the cable. In these types of cables, the crosstalk between the pairs is controlled by the lay-length of the connection. Due to this mechanism, higher frequencies twist the pairs in small gaps with each pair having a varied lay. The cable also improves heat dissipation which minimizes temperature increase is PoE energized bundled cables.

    S/FTP

    A cable with twisted pair, it has four individually shielded pairs with an outer screen braid around all its pairs. This cable is considered from the Category 7 but sometimes is counted to be a part of CAT 6A cables.

    Conclusion

    Though there can be other differentiations on different basis, the standard distinction is done on this basis only. If you are using CAT6A cables for any installation, you must use a compatible shielded connector with shielded cables and similarly an unshielded cable for unshielded connectors. And to choose between shielded and unshielded cables, you need to consider your requirements along with the consideration of how cost-effective it turns out to be.

  • Introduction to the Type of Nema Cords Used for Lighting Fixtures

    For all those who are unaware, “NEMA” is an abbreviation of National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association. It is an an association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers and its mission is to build and and promote safe electrical standards as well as products.

    If a plug is labelled “NEMA”, you can consider it to be an industry standard for safety. NEMA offers a wide array of plugs. But when it comes to lighting fixtures for industrial and commercial purposes, there are several confusions as to which type of NEMA power Cord should be used for what purpose.The basic functionality of these power plugs is to ensure proper connection for different electrical equipment and curb the risk of accidents.

    This article will acquaint you with the most commonly used NEMA power plugs which connect lighting fixtures to the receptacles. These power plugs are covered by ANSI/NEMA WD-6 standard which is set by National Electrical Manufacturers Association, abbreviated as NEMA.

    Specifications about NEMA Power Power Cords

    The wiring devices standardized by NEMA have a current rating of 15 to 60 amps, and voltage rating of 125 to 600 volts. This standardization is done based on orientation, shapes and blade widths. NEMA Plugs ensure that the equipment needing a particular voltage and current is not plugged into a wrong electrical system.

    Usually 15 and 20 amp NEMA plugs with both straight-blade and twist-lock varieties are used for with lighting fixtures. Here’s a breakdown to each of these power plugs and their features.

    NEMA 5-15

    Receptacle used: 125 V

    Plug: 15A

    NEMA 5-15 is used with 120V lighting system. It is a standard grounded straight blade plug used in North America, Canada and different parts of Mexico.

     

    NEMA L5-15

    Receptacle used: 125V

    Plug: 15A

    NEMA L5-15 is a twist-lock version of 120V plug. Such plugs are commonly used to stop unintentional disconnects and with industrial applications that likely to vibrate.

     

    NEMA L7-15

    Receptacle used: 277V

    Plug: 15A

    NEMA L7-15 plugs are the most popularly used twist-lock plugs with 277V lighting systems.

    NEMA L7-20

     

    Receptacle used: 277V

    Plug: 20A

    The 277V lighting systems often use NEMA L7-20 plug. You can identify the difference between 20A and 15 A by looking towards the direction of locking ground tab. 20A points outwards whereas 15A points towards the center.

     

    You can look into various charts and images in order to identify different plugs and sockets. The plug usually has curved or straight blades that stick out from the plug body. This part is considered to be the male end of the connection. And sockets or receptacle having corresponding slots are considered to be the female end of connection.

  • Pros and Cons of DB9 D-Subminiature Connectors

    Serial communication used to be one of the major ways to connect peripherals like scanners, joysticks and printers to PCs for several years. One of the most commonly used cable connector for this type of communication was 9-pin D-Subminiature connector which is also known as DB9 cable or a DE-9 cable.

    DB9 serial cables has nine pins which were enough to carry data in the series. But it has certain drawbacks which made their usage less frequent. People started to prefer USB cables over DB9 cables. However, if you shop for electronics, you will still find several devices having DB9 cables or ports on them. Let us check out some of the advantages and disadvantages of DB9 D Subminiature Connectors.

    Advantages of DB9 Subminiature Connectors

    DB9 connectors have several advantages. You can easily customize them with 9 individual pins to carry serial data. Although the speed of these connectors is low as compared to other standards like USB, the length of these cables is quite long. For eg, USB, has a five-meter length limit, but RS-232, which is the most commonly used standard for serial data doesn’t have a particularly defined length limit. RS-422 has been used at length which is hundreds of meters long with special equipment.

    In case you have an old device having DB9 connectors on it, you will find several options for conversions. Converters from other standards like USB, Ethernet etc also enable you to make use of your device on any computer.

    Drawbacks of DB9 D-Subminiature Connectors

    As the connectors are large, it becomes difficult to connect and disconnect them in small spaces. The pins of these cables are usually exposed so there are more chances for them to get damaged or break. Although you can mate the connector without any thumbscrew hardware, there are less chances that it will hold on to the equipment. On the other hand, if you use thumbscrews, the connector will take a long time to get plugged and unplugged.

    And as mentioned before, serial communication is a slow and old way of exchanging data. So the speed is quite slow when there are cables of long length. This also causes breaks in communication and makes the software of PC freeze. Due to such issues, other standards gained more popularity over DB9 cables.

    But this in no way means that DB9 connectors aren’t used. If you use right angle adapters, they can help you solve the tight space issue without causing any damage to the connector. You can attach the connectors with D-Subminiature plug and jack covers which can protect pins from getting damaged when not being used.

    Before you make a buy for DB9 connectors, make sure you precisely know what your needs are. If there is a smart alternative for DB9 cables, you can go for that as well!

  • Installing Ethernet Cables? Keep These Things in Mind!

    In today’s world of Internet of Things and Industrial Automation, the utility of Ethernet Cables has become inevitable. According to the concept of Internet of Things, even the everyday objects have network connectivity, which enables them to send and receive data. But in order to make the data exchange smooth, it is important to install Ethernet Cables properly.

    By doing so, you will be able to decrease the downtime and enable the exchange of data between your data systems and network devices like modems, routers, adapters and other objects that ask for a connection. If you are installing Ethernet Network Cables, you need to keep certain things in mind.

    How to plan for Ethernet Cable Installation?

    Once you have decided the place where all your cables will terminate, you can plan your Ethernet cable installation. You must remember that the location for your cables should be big enough to accommodate your ongoing project. Also consider the future data network expansion plans in your plant.

    In case your cable is going to be exposed to extreme environmental conditions, select a cable which is flexible and resistant to UV light, oil, chemicals, cutting, abrasion, oil etc. Thereafter, you need to take the following steps:

    Choosing an Ethernet Cable

    Before choosing networking cables for yourself, you need to know the features of each Ethernet cable. Details of each of these cables are given below.

    CAT5E: CAT 5E cables can replace CAT5 and CAT3 and support up to 100Mbps at 100MHz. It also curbs cross talk and offers good speed.

    CAT6: CAT 6 cables are backward compatible with the previous version of CAT cables, can be run in long lengths, have bigger gauge wires and support up to 10 Gb/s at 250 MHz bandwidth. CAT6 cables are also longer lasting. CAT 6A cables on the other hand enhances the capacity of CAT6 as it can perform up to 500Mhz and can cover distances up to 100 meters.

    CAT 7A: This type of Ethernet Cable is a good alternative to fiber optic cabling. It supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet and frequencies of up to 1000Mhz.

    Things To Keep in Mind

    While you are installing Ethernet Cables, Keep the following things in mind:

    1. Cross Power the Cable at 90 degrees: In case you have to cross the data network cabling, keep it at a 90º degrees and you can avoid interference.

    2. Don’t pack them together: If the cables are kinked, they can affect the network and compromise with the quality of cables. So try not to create a snake pit out of it.

    3. Go for different colours: Choose different colours for different cables so that there is no confusions and your data lines can remain organized.

    4. Keep the cables away from risky places: In case if you are running the cable through ceiling or wall, ensure that it doesn’t come in contact with the ceiling tiles. Also, don’t run it over water pipes and electrical conduit as it is dangerous and might cause accidents.

    5. Make use of an efficient wire management system: It is important to organize patch cabling between the racks. To organize efficiently, you can use wire bundling device or cable ties or Velcro.

    Keep the above-mentioned points in mind and start installing your Ethernet cables at the earliest.

  • HDMI Cables: Debunking Common Myths!

    If you are an avid buyer of electronic products, you must know about HDMI cables. HDMI is an abbreviated form of High Definition Multimedia Interface. It is a single cable that helps to transmit high definition video and audio. There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding these cables. Here’s an insight to these myths along with the explanations and clarifications to each one of them.

    1. There are hundred types of HDMI Cables

    This one is a huge myth. You will find several electronic shops that try to sell you an array of HDMI Cables. But in reality, there are only four major types of HDMI cables.

    a. Standard Speed

    b. Standard Speed with Ethernet

    c. High Speed

    d. High Speed with Ethernet

    Standard speed has 1080i resolution whereas high speed is rated to 1080p and higher. The Ethernet feature is an extra one and is needed only if your equipment needs Ethernet-over-HDMI compatibility.

    2. You should consider ratings like 15.8 GB/S and Made for 240Hz

    Sometimes, you will be forced to buy an expensive cable under the pretext that it will easily be able to cope with your HDTV speed. However, you must know that such things stand of least importance. Equipment like DVD players have a maximum resolution of around 1080p/60. Most new television has the capability of converting any signal and matching it with the Hz to provide you with clear picture quality. So if your equipment isn’t specifically related to the higher specs (which is rarely the case), do not to pay much heed to the cable mentioning the above specifications.

    3. Picture Quality will Depend on the Signal

    This is a huge misconception. HDMI is different as compared to the old video/audio analogs. Either you get complete signal or no signal at all. With the previous cables, weak signal affected the picture quality. But with HDMI if that is the case, you will not be able to see anything at all. So beware of the cables that claim to provide you with a better picture quality and end up coaxing you to spend a lot of money.

    4. Expensive HDMI Cables are of good quality

    Last but not the least; it is one of the most misleading myth that expensive HDMI Cables are of good quality. Remember that by paying extra bucks on HDMI cables, you may be able to buy good looking physical features, a fancy brand or fine packaging but the working of any HDMI cable remains the same. If you want to buy an expensive cable anyway, go for it but remember that it will provide the same audio and video quality as any other HDMI cable. All you need to do is choose a cable that goes with your system and test it after you plug in. This way you will save money and get better picture quality.

    Above mentioned are some of the most commonly known myths about HDMI Cables. So before you make your purchase, go think it through and then make a decision.

  • How Do Keystone Jacks Keep Trip Hazards at Bay?

    Keystone jacks are regular size rectangular like modules. They help to attach wires to outlets in a patch panel or a wall plate. You can find a plenty of jacks that are available in the keystone format. These include jacks used for networking and telephone cables, USB and HDMI cables as well as coaxial and RCA cables.

    Sometimes too many wires and cables put together create a total mess. If you want to keep the area around you neat, tidy and accident free, Keystone Jacks will come of real help. As they keep the wires short and hidden, cable management becomes much easier. So how do Keystone Jacks bring in convenience and prevent trip hazards? Read ahead to know more.

    Recording studios

    If you have visited a recording studio, you might be aware about the number of cords and cables that are used. Right from the recording hardware, microphones and amplifiers to instruments, headphones and monitors, everything has to be connected to something. In order to connect equipment with each other, an engineer often has to disconnect something or the other and make adjustments. Moreover, as wires are all over the studio, the tripping incidents are sure to go up.

    Having large patch bays can take care of all the problems. All the wires of hardware and other equipment remain neatly arranged at the back of the console. It also brings a lot of convenience as the sound engineer doesn’t have to crawl behind equipment in order to connect the equipment. As there is no mess on the floor, everything looks professional and in place.

    Home theatres

    Keystone Jacks are a blessing for movie buffs! Especially if the task of arranging wires seems nightmarish. A home theatre has a huge TV, audio components, satellite box and most probably a Blu Ray player. Also there are speakers perched at stands on each corner of the room. Now there are cables connecting these devices to each other. The speaker cables hanging around the walls spoil the look and aesthetics of your home theatre. If there is a neat and systematic rack with different components attached, concealed behind the TV and a keystone plate having a short cable connecting speaker to the walls, your home theatre will look as you intended it to.

    Home Office Areas

    In a typical home office, you will find a desk having a PC, a television and a telephone. All of these devices have to be connected to the wall. The phone is usually wired to the phone jack and TV to the cable jack on a different wall. The wires from near the desk run in different directions of the room. Now this is sure to create tripping hazards.

    To avoid this, a Keystone outlet can be mounted on the wall behind the desk. The cable jack for TV, RJ-45 jack for computer network and RJ-11 jack for the phone; all can be attached on a single wall plate. Needless to say, it lessens the clutter and chaos making the place look elegant and classy.

    Cables and wiring if present all over the place can create a lot of problems. You definitely do not want the areas around you to look like a snake pit. So make the most out of Keystone Jack panels and outlets!

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