I typically test my alarm panels before I take them out on site for an installation. I would like to be able to test the communications to make sure that the panel is programmed and communicating properly. Do you know of such a simulator?

A simulator is not only a good setup tool but it is also a good tool for troubleshooting your panel’s communications. There are two telco line simulator products that come to mind. The “Ring-It” ( from Digital Products Co. and the DLE-200B ( phone line simulator, and the DLE-300 advanced simulator with display from Viking Electronics. I am sure they will be glad to assist you with you project.

Currently I have a problem trying to get the installers to log the amount of wire they use on each spool. This causes us to have to spice on long runs and not match the right spools with what is left on them. Any suggestions?



Get a hold of an inexpensive digital scale. Try to find one that does decimal pounds for U.S. weights. Check with the manufactures of the wire you are using and get the specified weight for a foot of the cable. Now you can very accurately estimate the wire remaining on your spools. See an example below.

Some 18/2 wire is specified by the manufacturer at 18 pounds per 1,000 feet, or 0.018lbs/ft. If a spool weighs in with 4.3 pounds of wire then you have (4.3/0.018), or 238.8 feet remaining on the spool. Mark the spool for the next job. Any other spool of the same type you would need to divide the partial spool weight by 0.018. Create a pound per foot constant for each wire type you use and that is it.

You will notice that I have not accounted for the weight of the empty spool. You will not need to do this if you want to increase the accuracy of your final calculation.  You will need to weigh an empty spool and subtract it from the wire spool total weight to get a true reading of the wire total weight on the spool or in the box.

If you want to estimate lengths in the field you can also use a hanging scale to estimate remaining wire on the spool or in the box. If 1,000 feet is 18 pounds, then 9 pounds is 500 feet, 2 pounds is 111 feet, etc. Hope this helps.

To ask Bob questions about installation or troubleshooting, E-mail him at bob.dolph.

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