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Tech Showcase: Integrator Toolkit

Some tools that can make life in the field a little easier.

Last month we took a look at business software — the tools that help the managers keep the shop running smoothly. This time we are heading out into the field to take a look at some gear that helps the installers. This is just a sampling that goes all over the place — from power analyzers to headlamps — but each of these manufacturers has a full line of products that can helpful when on the job.

SurgeX enVision Power Analyzer
Power anomalies such as surges, spikes, sags, and electrical noise can damage or degrade equipment, as well as lower system performance and cause downtime. The SurgeX enVision is a diagnostic intelligence system that measures, records, and interprets power conditions in real time, with detailed time- and date-stamped reports.

The enVision identifies the potential cause of power issues, measuring line and neutral to ground voltage, crest factor, power factor, and line frequency metrics. It interprets the data to offer solutions by showing key metrics, trends, and baselines, as well as the factors that influence equipment operation, damage conditions, and inefficiencies. It also includes Multi-Stage power protection and conditioning that includes Cat6 network and ground fault protection to make sure connected equipment is safeguarded when electrical disturbances occur. An internal battery continues recording power condition data even in the event of a power outage.

The enVision is available in 30-amp, 120 – 208V, and 240V models to suit any installation.

MSolutions IP Network Analyzer Software
MSolutions’ IP Network Analyzer software is available for use on its MS-TestPro portable test device and gives integrators a toolset to test AV signal integrity and performance over IP networks. According to the manufacturer, the MS-TestPro is the first HDBaseT tester to integrate AV over IP test capabilities, eliminating the need for an expensive standalone network tester. The initial software release is compatible with Cisco network switches and is activated upon connecting the MS-TestPro to the network switch. Customers can download the IP Network Analyzer software to their existing MS-TestPro devices for an immediate 14-day trial, or purchase the software for use on new devices.

The IP Network Analyzer software provides immediate, detailed feedback on network and switch information and settings, and a general overview of IP network conditions and connections. The information received allows integrators to confirm if network settings fit AV over IP performance requirements, and that the switch configuration can support smooth video streaming.

MSolutions is actively testing its IP Network Analyzer software with other leading network switch manufacturers, with additional compatibility announcements expected over the coming months.

Platinum Tools ezEX RJ45 Starter Kit
Platinum Tools’ ezEX RJ45 Starter Kit (p/n 90188) contains EXO Crimp Frame with EXO-EX Die; ezEX38 connector (25pcs.); ezEX44 connector (50pcs.); ezEX48 connector (25pcs.); and ezEX strain reliefs in asst. colors (20pcs.)

The patented EXO Crimp Frame with the interchangeable EXO-EX Die is designed to terminate the patented, pass-through ezEX-RJ45 connectors. This series of connectors covers a wide range of insulation diameters (conductors) and cable jacket diameters, making it easy to select the right connector for your cable. All three sizes, ezEX38, ezEX44, and ezEX48, shielded or non-shielded, are rated for 10 Gig and PoE+ and can be used for Cat6A, Cat6, and Cat5e, covering a full insulation diameter range of 0.83mm – 1.22mm.

Arlington TV Box
Arlington’s low-profile 5×8-inch TV Box comes with a steel back box for use with metal conduit and a 38RAST Snap2It connector to complete the installation. The TVL508S is designed for flush-mounting TVs on a wall as shallow as 3/4-inch such as furring strips on concrete block walls or 2×2, 2×3, and 2×4 or larger studs. The low-profile design also helps compensate for plumbing and other obstructions present behind the wall.

Plugs and connections stay inside the box so the TV mounts close to the wall, and there’s ample room inside for tying off cable. It is cULus Listed and provides secure mounting in wall with mounting wing screws.

Metra Home Theater HDMI Extender Over Fiber
Metra’s HDMI Extender Over Fiber supports HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, as well as resolutions up to 4K@60 Hz HDR. It is compatible with multimode fiber with LC connectors and has a transmission distance of up to 300M/984 feet over OM3 multimode.  It supports bi-directional IR with included IR receiver and emitter, as well as RS232 pass-through. LC SFP modules  and mounting tabs are both included.

Chief Kontour KXD Low-Profile Dynamic Height-Adjustable Desk Mounts
In typical times, we would not include monitor arms, but these are not typical ttimes, and as clients look to improve their work-from-home spaces, the desire for more monitors grows. Chief’s Kontour KX Series Monitor Arms provide a complete range of motion due to its FleXlink design. KX Series mounts with FleXlink optimize depth of dual-monitor installs for shallow depth desktops while still providing full range of motion for screen sharing with colleagues.

This series includes Chief’s patented Centris Extreme Tilt technology for fingertip monitor positioning. Kontour monitor mounts float the displays in the optimal ergonomic position above the work surface to create a more productive and comfortable work environment.

Klein Tools Rechargeable Light Array Headlamp
Klein Tools’ Rechargeable Headlamp has a rectangular light array, which offers a more usable light field. Its adjustable fabric strap with silicone grip comes equipped with a convenient marker and carpenter’s pencil holder, and it also mounts magnetically with a backside magnet for use as a work light. Its headlamp bracket also attaches directly to Klein Hard Hats that are equipped with bracket system. The battery gauge indicates level of battery life with colored LED lights and the slim profile light with pivoting mount allows up to a 64-degree lighting angle. It provides 260 lumens for 9 hours and 125 lumens for 14 hours. The light can be removed from bracket for recharging via the included USB-C cable. It has a drop-test rating of 6-feet, and is dust and water resistant.

Vanco HD4KSC 4K HDMI Down Scaler
The Vanco HD4KSC 4K HDMI Down Scaler is a staple in many AV integrator’s toolkits for its ease of converting 4K signal resolution to 1080p in real time and with no latency. Low profile and compact in size, the HD4KSC is easy to install and hide behind most displays and can be implemented without affecting the 4K resolution on other displays. It features an optical audio output to de-embed audio, making it a great solution for soundbar applications. With support for 4K/60 with HDR10 from the input source, the Vanco HD4KSC is perfect for any application with mixed 4K and 1080p resolution displays.