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Electromagnetic Interference

29 Oct

Noise on Circuit

The topic this month is “NOISE”.  Not the racket coming from your kid’s bedroom down the hall but the insidious corruption of an electrical signal in a circuit.  EMI or electromagnetic interference commonly referred to as “noise” can be a nuisance.  Electrical noise currents on data communication cables are a real problem.  They can cause corruption of the desired signals being sent across the cable by the equipment connected to its ends.  In extreme cases, these noise currents may even become great enough to cause electrical damage, such as component burnout, to the circuit elements used at either end of the cable.

Electrical noise is the result of more or less random electrical signals getting coupled into circuits where they are unwanted, i.e. where they disrupt information-carrying signals.  Noise occurs on both power and signal circuits, but generally speaking, it becomes a problem when it gets on signal circuits.  Signal and data circuits are particularly vulnerable to noise because they operate at fast speeds and with low voltage levels.  The lower the signal voltage, the less the amplitude of the noise voltage that can be tolerated.  The signal–to-noise ratio describes how much noise a circuit can tolerate before the valid information, the signal, becomes corrupted.


Electrical noise, in its various forms, can adversely affect any product using electronic circuitry. Its potential to cause damage or dysfunction is increasing today as electronic circuits become

In Offices, the laser copier/printer is a well-recognized “bad-guy” on the office branch circuit.  It requires an internal heater to kick in whenever it is used and every 30 seconds or so when it is not used.  This constant switching has two effects: the current surge or inrush can cause repetitive voltage sags; the rapid changes in current also generate transients that can affect other loads on the same branch.more and more complex. Today’s computers and microprocessor-based systems operate at higher speeds and provide more features with reduced size and weight through the use of complex solid state components, both analog and digital. These are inherently fragile and susceptible to damage and/or malfunction from electrical noise.

How can I Protect My Equipment?

Proper grounding of the electrical system is essential.  If your business doesn’t have grounded three-pronged outlets, the first step is to install them.  It is best to put printers on its own dedicated circuit.

Fuses and circuit breakers protect building circuits from overheating and causing fires.  However, damaging spikes and surges occur so quickly that they pass through circuit breakers.  To catch spikes and surges before they damage your equipment, you need surge suppressors.  Surge suppressors react within one billionth of a second (called a nanosecond) to divert the excess voltage to the buildings ground.  Good surge suppressors also filter line noise.

In the Video below you can hear an example of electrical noise


Google Forms

8 Oct

If you haven’t heard yet, Google has just about everything you can imagine these days, including Google Docs or more specifically for the purposes of this blog, Google Spreadsheets.

Google Spreadsheets looks and feels just like Microsoft Excel with one special caveat, it’s free.  If you haven’t tried we would encourage you to take a look at a minimum.  It has all the functions within the cells that you would expect; calculations, links, graphs, etc.  One very cool function that prompted me to share this is the functionality of Forms.

Google Forms is a function within the Google spreadsheet that allows you to quickly and conveniently take a survey of information.  You can pose questions in a variant of ways and receive answers that are specifically denoted or multiple choices as an example.  The form then is emailed away to your recipients and as they respond to the survey, your spreadsheet automatically populates.  This is probably one of the more powerful functions of the Form because it can save you so much time.

Now for the WOW part of the form.  We were recently at a conference where the speaker was a Google expert.  He pulled up on his projector the Google form and started reviewing the abilities, some of which we have listed above and many more including the ability to host a Q&A session using Google forms and having your audience text their answer in to him right then.  None of us had to wait to see the results because as all of the attendees were texting their answer choice to the phone number projected on the screen.  We saw a poll of the possible answers and the percentages of people selecting one vs. the others.  He was able to privately poll the audience and show immediately where the majority of the group stood.  Talk about WOW factor!

Think about the various ways you could use this tool in your next presentation, company meeting or private event and the amount of time you will be able to save by letting Google handle all of the busy work. You can bet that I will certainly be trying to incorporate this into my next presentation.

For more information on Google Forms check out this video:

Server Room Energy Consumption

17 Sep

Every month we receive an energy bill and we think, “How can the energy consumption be that much?!”  The second thought is, “How can we reduce the amount of energy we are consuming?”

serverroomEarlier this year we were able to identify equipment in our server room which was contributing to the overall energy consumption.  We were in need of updating our main server – so we looked a step further to see how we could also reduce our energy costs while meeting the requirements we had set forth for the new server.  After considerable analysis, we opted to acquire a new Dell server which would allow for future expansion and allow us to continue our Virtualization initiative.  With VMware we have been able to simplify our server hardware requirements and increase infrastructure efficiency.  By implementing VMware, we have increased overall utilization of our servers since we can load multiple operating systems on one physical server allowing us to take advantage of the hardware capabilities.  The virtualization initiative has also reduced capital and operating expenses, minimized potential lost revenue due to downtime, outages and failures.

Prior to cutting over to VMware we had multiple physical servers running in our server room producing heat and drawing energy every day. With the acquisition of the new server built to support virtualization, we were able to reduce the amount of physical servers from four (4) to one (1) server.  Our server room cooling costs have been reduced drastically because the amount of heat one efficient server puts out is considerably less than our four (4) old servers which were 6 plus years old.  Here is the quick math on cost avoidance.

  • Electricity to run old inefficient servers (3 physical server reduction)
    • A 350W server running 24/7 would directly consume 3,066 kWh of electricity annually.
      • At the current WE Energy price average of $0.126/kWh cost ~ $386.32
  • 3 servers cost $1,158.96 per year
  • Annual savings on physical server energy consumption $772.64 this is a 66% energy savings.
  • Air Conditioning
    • The cost avoidance relating to AC is difficult to pinpoint exactly. However, the cost of cooling the server room has also been reduced because the AC unit is cooling one efficient Dell server instead of 4 servers.

In conclusion, continuing our virtualization initiative has not only improved our server performance, infrastructure efficiency and decreased capital cost – it has also allowed us to reduce our monthly energy cost.

KIP 70 Series

10 Sep

Kip70SeriesBPI Inc is a proud Blue Ribbon Dealer for KIP America products.  We are excited to announce the new KIP 70 Series of printers.

Some of the features from the 7170 / 7770 / 7970 include:

Smart, Multi-Touch Controls

All system functions of the KIP 70 Series are performed through its large, 12″ display with vivid multi-touch color controls that instantly respond to your touch.

New Super-View Image Control

The high resolution multi-touch screen provides copy, scan and print previews, allowing you to instantly view b&w and color images. Multi-touch controls allow you to zoom, rotate and pan the image preview.

Smart, Multi-Touch Controls

Tap, Swipe, Rotate, Spread and Pinch to get a large, full color look at image files before you print, make changes and see your results immediately.

New KIP Cloud Connect

The KIP 70 Series provides walk up users with the ability to print from or scan to the cloud of their choice right from the multi-touch control display. This cloud enabled function allows individuals or groups to create a link to a cloud destination for storage & collaboration.

You’ve got access to everything in your cloud wherever you are: Your photos, documents, and other important files are available on your phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. In short, your files and info aren’t stuck on any single PC or device.

New KIP Color Plus

KIP Color Plus is a versatile color copy, scan and print application supported by the multi-touch control display. KIP Color Plus features integrated collated sets printing and advanced color print management for up to three connected printers.

New Space Saving Top Stacking Design

The KIP 70 Series features an innovative top stacking design that fits where you need it – in tight spaces  or against a wall, delivering easy access to all system features and enhancing workflow productivity.

BPI Inc will have the KIP 7170 on display at both Open Houses next week.
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