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.

ElectricalSignal

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

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Get to Know Your BPI Team

15 Oct

Bryan Manicke

Production Assistant

Madison, Wisconsin

bmanicke@bpiinc.com

Bryan has been with BPI Inc. since late May of 2013.  He is currently working in production at our Madison East location.  Bryan’s focus since joining BPI’s team has been large format scanning.  When not scanning, Bryan assists the Madison East team with usual production duties:  printing, laminating, scanning, and upkeep.

Previously, Bryan was employed at the Clarion Suites in Madison as a front desk manager, gaining a fair share of customer service skills and knowledge during his 9 year employment.  On the side, Bryan enjoys working on small computer repairs because of his extensive background in that area. As well, Bryan is enrolled in the Cisco Networking Specialization degree program at Madison College. 

Bryan is married to his wife of thee years, Lisa Manicke, a German language teacher employed within the Deforest School District.  In early September Bryan and Lisa bought a house on the east side of Madison where they live with their new puppy, Bilbo.  Bryan feels his free time is best  spent doing something mentally engaging, whether that be reading a good book, playing an involving computer game, working on a home project, trying to program his Raspberry-Pi microcomputer, or working on his car.

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: http://youtu.be/IzgaUOW6GIs

U Pointer

1 Oct

We are proud to announce that BPI Inc. is a  U-Pointer™ authorized reseller.  We had the pleasure of having David Fuller here on site during our 2 Day Open House/Client Appreciation Days a couple of weeks ago to show us the product first hand.  The  U-Pointer™ is distributed by Bald Technologies in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The U-Pointer™ is a tool that converts a projected image or plasma into an interactive workstation.  The product comes with I-Pro™, a precise annotation software while still allowing users to integrate any 3rd party software.  The U-Pointer™ can be mounted in the vertical or horizontal position thus successfully adapting to users’ specific needs.

What It Does

  • Turns physical surfaces into interactive surfaces
  • Allows users to have an interactive whiteboard at the location of choice
  • Quickly capture, annotate, & distribute ideas
  • Enhances most screen sharing programs

Features & Benefits

  • Fully integrated voice, video and annotation recording
  • Extremely precise and portable
  • Unlimited software downloads
  • Projector, plasma & software agnostic
  • Quick installation
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