Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fiber optic cable for the extreamly large solar power tower

We recently sold some fiber optic cable for something that I just heard about for the first time in my life, a solar power tower. Solar power seems to be a hot topic so I figured I'd look into how these towers work.

This tower project was in Tonopah Nevada and is know as the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, it's designed to power up to 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods supplying 500,000 megawatt hours annually of clean, renewable electricity. A loan for $737 million from the Department of Energy was approved and private capital was raised for the company handling the project, Solar Reserve. Let's see what they have to say about the construction of their project.

So it was an amazing amount of work to build and cost a ton of money but how does it work? Let's see what the U.S. Department of Energy has to say.

This is cool stuff but where does the fiber come in? There are multiple buildings and this place is huge, it covers 1,600 acres so fiber optic cable could be anywhere. The fiber sold for this project was a singlemode 12 strand armored cable that ran from the warehouse to the communications building. Here's a better look at this fiber from our YouTube channel.

Shipping this fiber was interesting when it came to the address, I was told to just put 10 miles north of hwy 95 they can't miss it! Here's the view from an airplane above, you can't miss it from anywhere.


It's cool seeing solar continue to grow, I am a little bummed out that the fiber purchased from me was not involved in the cool part of this project. I have been looking into fiber optic cable for solar panels and wind turbine applications, looks like fiber is more involved in those types of solar applications.

Update 5/28/2013

I just got back from an excellent adventure in Las Vegas with the wife and something caught my eye in the middle of the desert, just south of Whiskey Pete's in Primm Nevada.

A large solar power project! This project is called the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System and is currently the largest solar plant under construction in the world!

Here's some construction footage from Bright Source.

What are we doing in the middle of the desert?

Apparently building solar power plants everywhere.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Difference between managed and unmanaged fiber optic media converter

If you finally figured out what fiber cable type you need for you application and your ready for media converters you might of pumped your brakes when you noticed the same converter being offered as "managed" or "unmanaged" and now your asking yourself, what's the difference?

A unmanaged media converter allows for simple communication with one another but does not provide monitoring, fault detection and setting up network configurations. The unmanaged option is a great choice for newbies and if you want a plug and play fiber network cable installation.

Managed media converters are more costly but do offer additional network monitoring, fault detection, remote configuration and more. After reviewing the managed Signamax media converters we stock, one thing I noticed was it mentions SNMP management. There is no mention of SNMP for our unmanaged fiber optic media converters. What the heck is SNMP?

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a standard for managing devices on IP networks. In common SNMP installations one or more administrative computers have the job of monitoring and managing a group of devices on a network. A software component called an agent will report information via SNMP to the manager.

A SNMP managed network consist of 3 key components.

* Managed device (Media Converter)
* Agent, software that runs on managed devices
* Network management systems (NSM) software that runs on the manager (Administrative computer)

So get the unmanaged if your a noob, get the mananged if your network has certain management demands.

"By Mercy Salinas"


Monday, May 13, 2013

Superior Essex Cat5e Shielded Aluminum vs. Copper Shield

I recently did a video on a Essex cable with a copper shield and not to long ago I did what I though was the same cable but with a aluminum shield, let's take the red pill and dig into these cables.

The cables compared are part of the Superior Essex BBDe series of OSP (Outside Plant) cables. More specifically the part number for the aluminum is 04-601-54 and the copper is 04-601-55.

Both of these cables are designed to provide extension of the LAN beyond the premise, core is filled with a PFM gel to prevent water ingress and won't drip down in vertical cable run installations. Applications for both these cables are the same, 10BASE-T through 1000BASE-T, ATM and token ring, WiMAX cell towers.

Let's go over what the features are for both cables.

* Cat5e transmission performance to 350mhz
* Shield provides EMI/RFI prtection
* UV sunlight resistant black jacket
* Dry water block between shield and core

Let's visually look at these cables from our YouTube channel.

So these cables are the same except the shield, what shield is the correct shield for your installation? Let's compare.

Part number 04-601-54 the aluminum shield has a electrically continuous polymer coated smooth aluminum tape, applied with an overlap. Essex specifies this cable to be installed in lashed aerial, underground conduit and "low risk" direct burial installation.

Part number 04-604-55 the copper shield has a electrically continuous corrugated copper clad armor, applied with an overlap shield and flooded with a flooded compound. Where to install this cable is the same but essex specifies this cable as "rodent proof".

Certain areas are more exposed to those cute rodents so if that's a big concern for you go with the copper shield. Actually after comparing pricing per foot there's not much of a price difference, might as well install the copper shield.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Monday, May 6, 2013

How to convert HD-SDI to HDMI?

Many HD broadcasting cameras are pushing out a HD-SDI signal that needs to be viewed using a HDMI connection on the other end. You'll need a HD-SDI to HDMI convertor, these converters are compliant with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard of 292M and 296M. These standards support data rates up to 1.485 Gb/s.

Everfocus model number EHA-SRX is capable of receiving HD-SDI digital video signal up to 1920x1080 resolution over 75ohm coax cable. This converter will provide a complete solution for the transmission and display of both interlaced and progressive scan HD-SDI digital video. Yes Everfocus is a security camera manufacture but don't worry, this will work for your broadcasting cameras too!

Let's get a look at it from our YouTube Channel


* Accepts HD-SDI digital video at 720p/60, 1080i/60 and 1080p/30 formats/frame rates

* Processes HD-SDI standard SMPTE 292M and 296M at 1.4585 Gb/s data rate

* Provides standard HDMI output for HD TV monitor display

* Integrated cable equalizer for long distance video transmission without loss of quality

* Capable of receiving HD-CCTV digital video over 75ohm coax cable at distanced over 100 Meters

* High quality digital video and audio transmission with zero latency

Now let's dig into the cable transmission. The EHA-SRX allows a total signal attenuation of up to 43.56 dB along the cable between devices. The actual maximum cable length depends on the attenuation characteristic of the particular cable being used. So if you have a long coax run make sure you have a kick ass quality cable so you have a lower signal attenuation.

I feel like I nailed this blog post, reminded myself of Kirk Lazarus from Tropic Thunder "I don't read the scrip, the scrip reads me."

"By Mercy Salinas"

Thursday, May 2, 2013

HD-SDI DVR is perfect for recoding HD brocasting TV Cameras!

I get a phone call from a local television studio looking for a solution to record four Panasonic HDX900 cameras. The catch was we need it to record a HD-SDI signal since that's what the camera output is.

We decided to install the Everfocus EPHD04. Records HD-SDI and real time 30fps.


Let's check out some of the features.

* Full HD recording and playback

* Independent HDMI main and VGA call multiplex view monitor outputs

* Two internal hard drives support up to 3TB each

* External HDD array option so you can record up to 18TB

* Control with the front panel, IR remote and optional joystick controller

* Multiple remote access: IE web access, Smart Phone and Tablet live view

* The smart search lets you quickly identify motion in areas of interest from recorded video

My customer was installing this for a Food TV show starring someone with the name of Giada De Laurentiis? I only know of Guy Fieri because people have mention to me "You remind me of that food network star, Guy Fieri."

This HD-SDI DVR worked out great for his TV show application. He did mention this was awesome because, then he talked about a ton of broadcasting lingo that I'm not familiar with but I'm glad it worked out for him. The one thing I do remember is how much he said this was a perfect application for reality TV shows. I think it'll be real cool if I can get that bounty hunter show to order one of these. I am the dog the bounty hunter!

Interested in what else this Bad Boy HD-SDI DVR can do? Check out the manual and data sheet.


"By Mercy Salinas"