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Lightning & Surge Protection 101 - Part 4

Posted by Mike Agri on 1/13/2012

When people ask me what I do, my usual response is, "I'm the last guy that gets called to fix something after everybody else who could possibly screw it up has been brought in and has failed to find or fix the problem, and usually, only after sins of the installer or subsequent service\installation people have been obscured or exacerbated by subsequent repair or troubleshooting attempts." Over the course of a career, a manufacturer's technical representative gets to see about every kind of "equipment failure" imaginable, and even some that aren't so imaginable.

TC Life Safety is Shipping Internationally!

Posted by Chris Agri on 12/14/2011

TC Life Safety is thrilled to announce the availability of International Shipping for our overseas customers.

Over the last year, we've been searching for just the right solution to serve our international audience. We had 5 main criteria we were looking for:

  1. We wanted our customers to be able to pay for their orders using their native payment options, in their native currency.
  2. We wanted to ensure that customs paperwork would be filled out accurately and completely.
  3. We wanted to give our customers the ability to know what their “landed” cost was before finalizing their order.
  4. We wanted to keep shipping costs down for our customers.
  5. We wanted our customers to be able to talk to a person about their order in their own language.

Lightning & Surge Protection 101 - Part 3

Posted by Mike Agri on 12/7/2011

Commercial grade solid state components have long been known to be subject to something I call “infant mortality” – They either “die young” [fail within 30 seconds to 30 days from initial power up], or live long, productive lives. When a system that has been functioning normally suddenly fails catastrophically, probability is high that an external event precipitated the failure.

Lightning & Surge Protection 101 - Part 2

Posted by Mike Agri on 10/20/2011

For many years, some Manufacturers have incorporated discrete devices into their circuit and board designs in an attempt to mitigate the effects of electrical power disturbances of various kinds. Some of those devices include:

  • Zener diodes – A semi-conductor that becomes conductive and begins to act like shunt resistor when circuit voltage approaches a design threshold. Zener diodes are often applied at a value around twice the nominal circuit operating voltage. They typically fail when operated above their design current, which can be quite small or quite large. They may fail open or shorted.

Lightning & Surge Protection 101 - Part 1

Posted by Mike Agri on 10/11/2011

As we all know by now, or will find out, microprocessor-based systems\devices and other sensitive [CMOS, etc.] electronics have a great aversion to voltages, currents, and frequencies they are neither designed nor intended to handle. Historically, a number of different schemes have been applied to the problems of lightning and surge protection, with varying degrees of success. In the case of Life Safety Systems [Fire Alarm, Mass Notification, Security, CCTV, Surveillance, Access Control, etc.], our main concern is preservation of specific systems, sub-systems, and devices in fully operational condition, and that is what we will focus on in this series.

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