Structured cabling manufacturer Brand-Rex has launched a network infrastructure management system called SMARTPatch. Based on a family of patch panels, patchcords, scanners and software, it is designed for installation in new buildings and informs network managers about the status of a network via a database. It can check all cable connections, so there is no need to check wiring and connections manually. It monitors the status of a network and can automatically detect network devices such as routers, PCs and switches, then add them to the database. This simplifies and optimises management of the network's assets. The device controls lights on the patch panel to guide technicians when reconfiguring the wiring, and can be linked into a building's control systems to monitor the functioning of sensors and detectors. There is also a web interface so the system can be managed remotely.
Fire-alarm control panels
Morley-IAS Fire Systems has introduced its range of Dimension fire-alarm control panels. The panels are analogue-addressable, meaning they constantly communicate with the sensors in the building so in the event of a fire, its exact location can be identified. The panel has been designed for easy installation and supports several protocols used by different sensor manufacturers to communicate with the control panel. These include Apollo Explorer, XP95, Discovery, Hochiki ESP and System Sensor Europe. As such, the panel is also ideal for upgrading existing installations. It is available in 1, 2 and 4 loop configurations – each loop being able to handle a finite number of sensors so it is suitable for both small and large installations.
Morley-IAS Fire Systems
Digital printers for large drawings
Xerox Corporation has introduced its 510 range of wide-format, monochrome digital printers. Suitable for design professionals who need to print out large drawings, three models are available: the 510 Series 5, Series 7 and Series 10 printers with print output speeds of five, seven or 10 A1 documents per minute respectively. There is a choice of one, two or three media drawer configurations and the printer is upgradable.
Personal access system
Nortech Control Systems has brought out a microwave-based automatic vehicle and personal access control system called Hyper X. Tags located on, say, a vehicle's windscreen are read by a detector that allows access to be gained. Applications include automatic barriers into car parks or hands-free personnel access into buildings. The company says the use of the 2.45 GHz bandwidth means interference is eliminated and the tags are suitable for car windscreens with built-in window demisters that prevent traditional radio frequency systems from working properly. The company also says the tags can be read at angles of up to 90º to the detector.
Nortech Control Systems
Wireless door-entry phone
Logisty has launched a wireless door-entry phone system with two-way voice and data communication. It enables visitors to talk to building occupants and the occupant to activate the door latch, open a garage door and turn on a light. The main unit is supplied with a cordless mobile handset to control the system. The unit can be specified either with single- or twin-call buttons for single and twin premises and a version with a keyboard for coded entry. An anti-vandal cover is also available.
Wireless security devices
Security solutions provider Netbotz has added two products to its Sentry range of devices designed to protect premises from security risks. The Wallbotz 500, is a wireless enabled device that incorporates an integrated colour camera and is able to detect movement. It also has sensors capable of detecting threats such as a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. The device has a modular design with the camera and sensors contained in detachable pods so it can be installed either as a self-contained unit or controlled remotely from a base station managing multiple cameras and sensors across a large site. The company has also launched its latest version of the Netbotz Central 2.0, a device that centrally configures and manages Netbotz devices installed in buildings across an organisation. This latest version allows Netbotz Central 2.0 users to share stored information on an external database.
Electronic clocking-in system
Torus Software Systems has announced that the latest version of its Timelink 4000 time-recording system will be available for short term rental.
It is a time clock system that records the hours worked by employees, the company says it is sufficiently rugged for use on construction sites. Attendance data collected by the system is downloaded onto an electronic timesheet and can be imported into a payroll software package. The company says that it takes seven minutes to calculate data from a manual clock card but this automated system cuts it down to one minute per employee, and is better at monitoring and controlling lateness. The system is available for rental for periods of three months or more and a printer is included so hard copies of timesheets can be printed off.
Torus Software Systems
System Sensor Europe has added five interface modules to its Series 200 plus family of addressable smoke and heat detectors. These are used for controlling ancillary devices within a fire alarm loop. The isolator module is designed to be located between every 10 devices including fire alarm sensors. If there is a short circuit within the loop it will isolate those 10 devices but allow other devices in the loop to continue functioning. A single output module controls an external device such as a fire shutter and will activate it in the event of a fire alarm. There are three input modules, these set the alarm off when activated by an external device. For example, if a sprinkler is activated by a fire it will send a signal to the input module that then notifies the control panel of the event, sending the system into alarm. The input modules are available as single input, dual input and combined dual/single input versions. The modules can be mounted in a dedicated enclosure, fitted to a bulkhead or a DIN mounting rail.
System Sensor Europe
Moisture monitor for buildings
GE Protimeter has brought out a data-logging system called Humilog for monitoring moisture levels in buildings. It is intended to monitor drying rates in floors and walls, and for helping with damp diagnosis in older properties. The Humilog is connected to the company's probes and sensors and can check relative humidity, air temperature, surface temperature and wood moisture equivalent values of various materials. Users select the measurements wanted and the frequency. After the monitoring period has ended the Humilog is connected to a PC and the data downloaded into a spreadsheet for analysis.
Security specialist Sitel Electronics has launched Fingerlock, a range of locks that use biometric technology instead of keys. Users place their finger over a small sensor plate in the lock, the system recognises the individual's fingerprint and opens the door. The cylinder lock handles up to 25 users, and the mortise lock up to 50.
What’s the spec?
The boardroom is used for all types of meetings ranging from senior-level board meetings to international skills-sharing networks between engineers. Because up to 15 people need to be accommodated, the boardroom concept has been rethought. The room is square rather than traditionally long and thin. The table is square too and its sides taper so all the participants get an uninterrupted view of the screen. The back projectors that display the images on the screen are managed by the new Crestron control system that can split the screen area into a range of configurations including six views in a line, or stacked in rows. The arrangement on screen can be altered depending on the type of meeting; each view has the office name at the bottom to help delegates identify other participants. Presenters can stand at the lectern or sit anywhere in the room and control the system with the wireless keyboard and projector remote control. The room also has six cameras so delegates are always facing a camera head on. And even better, using the system costs virtually nothing – Arup sends the video and voice signal over its own computer network.
system design Arup Communications
system programmer Row Seven
Control system and picture programming
Video and sound transmission
SoftwareCAD symbols to add on
MediaGold has introduced a software add-on for CAD users that contains a claimed 20 million 2D and 3D CAD symbols. Users can export symbols and standard parts into their drawings. These parts are for a range of professions including architects, engineers, plumbers and electricians. Users select the appropriate part by industry and can then fine-tune it using drop-down menus. Finally, the object is exported into CAD packages or it can be saved in a range of file formats.
Accounts system for construction
New company CLiP IT Solutions has launched a construction industry specific accounts package.
It handles basic accounting functions and administers the CIS scheme, job costing and retentions.
CLiP IT Solutions
Heat loss calculator
The Heating and Hotwater Information Council has come up with the latest version of its Heat Loss Calculator. This works out the right radiator size for a property by calculating the amount of heat loss from the rooms. This latest version includes a radiator selector from the 16 product ranges and a boiler selector that offers a choice of 950 boilers. The package takes the user through a step-by-step process that includes room sizes, wall construction type and design temperature of the system.
Heating and Hotwater Information Council
Glass solution software
Dorma UK has collaborated with glass contractor Saper Glass and glass fabricating specialist Firman Glass to develop Dorma Glass Estimating Software (DGES for short). It helps identify the appropriate solution and products when specifying a door, partition or an unusual glazing scenario, and to work out the costs of the glass and associated processing.
Masterbill has added two plug-in modules for quantifying siteworks and drainage to its QSCad software package. The first, called Siteworks, enables users to plot their earthworks. The system can plot the contours of the site and the areas where material is to be removed. The second module, QSCad Drainage, enables users to build a library of drainage components and plot these on to the drainage plan.