Water Detection Sensors: Types and Applications

Water damage is often an unseen threat under floorboards, carpets, and ceilings, causing environmental and structural destruction such as mold and dry rot. Water leak detection sensors monitor areas for the presence of water and send out alerts before substantial damage is done to electronics or surrounding materials. There are many types of water detection sensors ranging from targeted spot detectors to large zones or perimeter monitoring via cable-type systems. With varying alert functions and possible relay activation, these sensors ensure users are aware of any potential issues and take steps to rectify them.

Spot Leak Detector

Spot leak detectors sense water at a single point and are often used in areas like drip pans, floor drains, or where water tends to converge in confined areas. Two probes extend towards the floor, usually with an adjustable supporting bracket to suit different water detection levels. Though economical for specific applications, spot detectors are less suitable for monitoring wide open areas given their small, precise range.

Hydroscopic Tape-based Sensor

Under carpet leak detectors function similarly to spot detectors, but are extremely slim and compact with no adjustable height in order to fit seamlessly under floor coverings. Alerts are sent when conductive liquid connects the circuit between two probes. Careful placement is necessary as these sensors cover a limited area.

Hydroscopic tape-based (HTB) sensors frequently fasten water sensitive tape to prone structures like water containers and pipes. When exposed to water or moisture, an alarm is triggered. Providing highly sensitive and considerable coverage, these detectors require optimal environments as elements like condensation can trigger false alarms.

Rope-style Sensor

Unlike previously discussed sensors, leak detection cables (rope-style sensors) are designed to cover expansive and open areas. These cables can also be affixed directly to water supply and return lines, making them ideal for covering large spaces with multiple leak points. Conceptually, all leak detection cables are based on two sensing wires running concentrically around the cable. Conductive fluid acts as a switch between both wires by connecting the circuit between them.

Depending on material and quality, these detection cables could have varying levels of bending flexibility, reactive reliability, and susceptibility to false alarms, as dust and dirt can build up over time and act as a conductor. Individual cables are often placed in locations that feed to a multi-zone control system, enabling users to identify the area an alert originates from. Some systems allow distance reading, which lets businesses run a single long cable across zones and receive a distance measurement within a few feet of the leak when it occurs. Often, this information is supplemented by a cable route map in the control system.

With the variety of leak detection options available, it is important to evaluate the types of monitoring required and the suitable implementations. Some factors to consider include: the area/s being monitored, adjustable sensitivity of the sensor, reset time if triggered, costs and simplicity of installation, scalability, and ease of integration. Network Technologies Inc (NTI) offers a wide range of leak detection sensors compatible with its ENVIROMUX

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Differences Between DVI Connectors and Signals

DVI connectors come in three types: DVI-A (analog), DVI-D (digital) and DVI-I (integrated; analog and digital). Both DVI-I and DVI-D connectors have two distinct data rates, also known as single-link and dual-link. Each link type has a maximum allowed data rate that ensures data is not corrupted when transferred from the video card to the monitor.

DVI uses Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) to transmit data over one twisted wire pair. A single-link DVI connector consists of four TMDS links. Three of the four links correspond to the red, green, and blue RGB video signals, while the fourth is a clock control channel. Single-link connectors operate up to 165MHz and offer 1.65Gbps of bandwidth. They support resolutions up to 1920×1200 at a refresh rate of 60Hz.

Dual-link connections double the number of RGB TMDS pairs

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Benefits of Using RTD Sensors in Industrial Applications

RTDs (resistance temperature detectors) are one of the most common temperature sensor types used in industrial applications. Thermocouples and thermistors are popular temperature sensors as well, but RTD sensors are more accurate over a wide temperature range and more stable over time, making them an excellent choice for many applications.

An RTD sensor is essentially a resistor whose resistance value increases with temperature. Due to the predictable change in resistance of certain materials as temperature changes, it is possible to acquire highly accurate and consistent temperature measurements. Most RTD sensors have a response time between 0.5 to 5 seconds or more. RTD sensors can be constructed with pure platinum, nickel or copper. RTDs made with platinum are also known as PRTs (platinum resistance thermometer) and are the most frequently used given their higher temperature capabilities, stability and repeatability.

Encapsulated 100 Ohm RTD Sensor

Specifications for RTD sensors include a base resistance value and a temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) value. Typical base resistance values can range from 10 to several thousands of Ohms (?) depending on material and type. The base resistance value indicates the nominal resistance of the sensor at 0

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Cascade Multiple Quad Screen Splitters to Simultaneously Display Video from 16 Sources on One Monitor

The SPLITMUX-DVI-4(RT) can be cascaded to simultaneously display video from up to 16 sources on a single screen. A master/slave setup is used for this configuration

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Maximizing Server Uptime with Secure Environmental Monitoring

As Internet commerce climbs in popularity, server uptime is essential to businesses. Uptime is a measurement of how long servers remain operational for users without crashing or requiring a reboot. The interactions between servers and their environment often pose a major risk to server availability. A crucial part of sustaining high availability lies in identifying and monitoring environmental threats, which enable prompt response to detected dangers before they escalate.

Rapid changes in temperature and humidity, water encroachment, power outages, human error and invasive intrusions are the most common environmental threats faced by businesses. Each of these threats can be monitored, but their effectiveness varies by the method used. Typical environmental monitoring tends to constitute personnel observing the physical environment and reporting problems. When employing manual observation, many issues based on human error can arise, such as gaps in monitoring, the inability to recognize threats, accidental oversights, etc. An automated environmental monitoring system effectively addresses such weaknesses.

Through immediate detection and notification of threats, dedicated environmental monitoring systems prevent damage to server hardware and maintain necessary high uptime. Systems constantly monitor selected areas for environmental threats, which not only include ambient temperature and humidity but also inside the server rack

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Applications for Video Matrix Switches

Video matrix switches are designed to simplify the task of routing video signals from multiple sources, such as computers, surveillance cameras, and DVD players, to one or more display devices, such as monitors, projectors, and TVs. The benefits of deploying video matrix switches include reducing equipment costs and space needs, while giving video system designers more control and flexibility. These electronic switches are used in many applications, including: digital signage, command and control centers, boardrooms, entertainment facilities, conferences and trade shows, courtrooms, classrooms and home theaters.

Digital Signage
Using a video matrix switch in a digital signage application allows targeted messages, video content and advertisements to be displayed digitally in specific locations during particular times. Video matrix switches allow a user to independently route real-time, multi-input video and audio signals to multiple displays for the ultimate flexibility in distributing multimedia information in public venues, such as in retail chain stores, airports, museums, and banks.

Command and Control Centers
Command and control centers use video matrix switches to route multiple audio/video inputs (computers, cameras, and specialized equipment) to individual monitors or to a common display wall. Controllers can monitor data, alternate between different sources and, if needed, drive the signal to different viewing stations or send information through public address systems.

Corporate boardrooms often require both fixed and portable video sources for business presentations. Video matrix switches allow the inputs from participants’ laptops to feed into the facility’s projector. Additionally, video conferencing can be incorporated with the use of video matrix switches.

Entertainment Facilities
Food and beverage outlets, such as restaurants and sports bars, often use video to bring entertainment programming to their customers. These establishments use a video matrix switch to route video and audio inputs from DVD players, cable boxes, and satellite feeds to multiple displays and speakers. In addition, surveillance camera inputs can be managed from a single security station using a video matrix switch to monitor activities at cash registers, exists, and parking lots.

Conferences and Trade Shows
At conferences and trade shows, presenters need the ability to display video material from different sources on demand. By using a video matrix switch, presenters can easily manage their video feeds to address the particular needs of audience members by switching from one video source to another as needed.

Courtrooms often need the ability to present video content to different locations around the room for viewing by a judge and jury members, among others. Video matrix switches enable the quick and efficient presentation of key evidence, such as graphic reenactments of accidents or crime scenes, as well as video depositions. Courtroom security and confidentiality can be maintained in special instances, such as limited viewing by a single witness, or previewing by a judge. Video matrix switches also enable entire arrangements and bench trials to be conducted virtually.

Using video matrix switches in educational environments allows multiple classrooms to operate centrally located sources like VCRs or DVD players, which reduces space needs and equipment costs. Within individual classrooms, video matrix switches allow instructors to easily alternate between video sources during lessons. Even specialized equipment such as electronic whiteboards can be incorporated into the system.

Home Theater
A video matrix switch implemented in a home theater allows routing of audio and video signals from many sources (DVD player, satellite set top box, game system, etc) to multiple displays in the same room or throughout a home from a centralized location. This enables a user to eliminate multiple remote controls and easily monitor display content, while increasing the number of sources available to each display.

VEEMUX SM-16x64-C5AV-1000

Network Technologies Inc (NTI) offers a variety of video-only and audio/video matrix switches to improve presentation efficiency, reduce equipment and energy costs, and maximize space usage. In order to provide innovative video matrix switch solutions, NTI invests in research and development, and performs rigorous testing on all products to ensure long-lasting and proper operation. NTI’s video matrix switches are hardware-based solutions known for their ease of use, reliability, high performance, and crisp and clear video resolutions. Video signals supported include: DVI, HDMI, VGA, S-Video, Component YPbPr video, and SDI/HD-SDI/3G-SDI. Some switches, such as the VEEMUX SM-nXm-C5AV-1000, support multiple video signals and are compatible with extenders that enable a distance of up to 600 or 1000 feet between the video source and display

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HDBaseT Technology

The main drawback of HDMI as an A/V connection standard for high definition video distribution is cable length limitation. Installation costs quickly add up when you consider HDMI cables, control cables and HDMI repeaters for solving distance limitations. As a result, a multitude of HDMI extenders over standard CAT5e/6 cable became available, with each of them providing proprietary solutions to support HDMI extension. The downside was that 150 feet proved to be the maximum distance for 1080p/24bit/60Hz resolution, with HD support guaranteed well under 100 feet. As 3D formats grew in popularity, so did the need for new technology.

HDBaseT is a new connectivity technology optimized for home and commercial multimedia distribution promoted by the HDBaseT Alliance. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is the

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Cost-Effective Video Matrix Switch Installations

Matrix switches, sometimes called crosspoint switches or crossbar switches, are a special category of switches that allow many different inputs to be routed independently to any of a number of outputs. Each input can go to one output or be split to multiple outputs simultaneously.

Video matrix switches, as the name implies, switch video signals between several sources (such as cameras, computers, DVD players, and cable boxes) and displays (monitors, TVs, or projectors). This type of switch is used almost anywhere multiple video feeds are shown

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Ethernet Control for SERIMUX

Ethernet Control for SERIMUX

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Protecting Video Signals from EMI When Using CATx Extenders

Previously, I discussed how electromagnetic interference affects video signals when using a CATx extender. In this posting, I will be discussing how using shielded cable can protect your video signal from EMI.

A simple and cost effective way to prevent EMI from interfering with signal transmission when using a CATx extender is to use shielded cable to transmit the signal. Cable shielding is offered in a wide range of designs. Each type of shielded cable construction offers distinct advantages that need to be carefully considered when selecting the best and most cost-effective option for a given application.

Braid Shields: A braid shield on a twisted pair cable, shown in Figure 1, provides effective shielding at audio, as well as RF ranges. It also provides excellent structural integrity while maintaining good flexibility. Braid shields are better than foil for minimizing low frequency interference and have lower DC resistance.

Figure 1: Braid Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

Figure 1: Braid Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

Foil Shields: A foil shield on a twisted pair cable, shown in Figure 2, offers excellent protection against electromagnetic interference at audio and radio frequencies. They weigh and cost less than braid shields.
Due to their small size, foil shields are commonly used to shield individual pairs of multi-pair cables to reduce crosstalk.

Figure 2: Foil Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

Figure 2: Foil Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

Combination Foil/Braid Shields: A twisted pair cable with a combination foil/braid shield, shown in Figure 3, provides maximum shield effectiveness across the frequency spectrum. The combination foil/braid combines the advantages of 100 percent foil coverage with the strength and low DC resistance of a braid.

Figure 3: Foil and Braid Shielded Twist Pair Cable

Figure 3: Foil and Braid Shielded Twist Pair Cable

How Shielding Helps Reduce EMI Problems
Reflection and absorption are the primary ways in which shielding significantly reduces the EMI strength on the signal carrying conductors inside a shielded twisted pair cable. Figure 4 is a representation of how the cable can reflect the high frequency EMI such as from a radio transmitter. The same shield will also absorb some of the energy of the radio transmitter EMI, further reducing the amount of EMI that makes it to the inner twisted pair conductors. When properly installed with shielded connectors to grounded equipment, the shielding redirects a small amount of the electromagnetic energy. These effects of reflection, absorption, and redirection make shielding very effective at reducing problems from high frequency interference.

Figure 4: Representation of Braid or Foil Shielded Cable Reflecting EMI

Figure 4: Representation of Braid or Foil Shielded Cable Reflecting EMI

The best way to protect against EMI from low frequency magnetic fields, such as those from a motor or a large transformer, is to provide sufficient distance between the cable and the source of the interference field. Cable shielding has only limited effectiveness at preventing interference problems from lower frequency magnetic fields. Instead of reducing a magnetic field by reflection or absorption, the cable shielding produces a magnetic field in opposition to the interfering lower frequency magnetic field. This has the result of reducing the intensity of the changing magnetic field that reaches the twisted pair conductors. Figure 5 is a representation of how shielding can reduce the strength of this type of interference from reaching the internal twisted pair conductors.

Figure 5: Cable Shield Reduces the Intensity of EMI inside the Cable

Figure 5: Cable Shield Reduces the Intensity of EMI inside the Cable

If you have an electromagnetic noise problem, it is recommended to use shielded cable. When dealing with only higher frequency electromagnetic noise such as from a radio transmitter, a foil shielded cable provides adequate protection. To achieve effective shielding against low frequency electromagnetic fields such as from an electric motor, a braid shield or a combination foil/braid shield is necessary. If you are unsure about the type of electromagnetic noise, it is recommended that you use a combination foil/braid shielded cable, because it provides the best protection against the widest range of electromagnetic noise.

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