Stay up to date on the latest in intelligent building solutions, infrastructure, and innovations from Paige Datacom Solutions.
  • Industry News
  • 07.26.2022

Indoor, Outdoor and In a Street Pole: A Single GameChanger Cable That Checks Many Boxes

Look up at the light pole near you and you may find a surveillance camera or Wi-Fi Access Point. Installing Ethernet enabled devices on light poles is common, but not necessarily easy. The edge devices are often more than 100 meters from the network, tapping local power may require a subcontractor, the cable may need to travel underground through wet locations, and once you get to the building you may need to transition to an indoor cable within 50 feet of entering the building.  The journey from edge device to network switch can be long, complicated and have multiple requirements. As such, many of these types of installations employ multiple cable types, additional hardware and plenty of hassle. Thankfully there’s a better way.

The OSP Shielded GameChanger Cable from Paige has always checked a lot of boxes for the installer looking for a single cable to handle most applications and recently it’s picked up another important listing for those applications where IP Video or Wireless Access Points are being installed on light poles.  

The new 600V AWM listing now allows GameChanger Cable to more simply be installed inside street light poles where higher voltages will be present. The National Electrical Code dictates that conductors of different systems in the same raceway must have insulation ratings equal to at least the maximum circuit voltage applied to any conductor. That means that if you're installing a typical low voltage Category Cable in a light pole, you’d need to add a flexible conduit or other form of physical separation -adding extra time and costs to the project.

As you work your way backwards from the IP device mounted on the pole, there are a number of other cable requirements to be aware of.  If the cable is going to be in conduit underground you should assume the risk of water intrusion. OSP GameChanger Cables have a water-blocking gel filled core to ensure your network performance doesn’t suffer in the event the cable is lying in water.

OSP cables do a great job blocking out the outdoor elements, but often need to be transitioned to an indoor rated cable within 50 feet of entering the building. Thanks to the CM listing on the OSP Shielded GameChanger Cable, installers can continue the cable run beyond the 50 foot limitation and run the cable horizontally in non-plenum spaces and even travel one floor up or down.

As with all GameChanger Cable constructions, the Shielded OSP GameChanger can also deliver 2.5Gbps and 100W PoE up to 656 feet (200m) or if you need to go farther, GameChanger Cable can deliver 10Mbps and 100W PoE up to 850 feet (259m).

Looking to simplify your design today? Look for part 258340804 at your favorite distributor. You can purchase GameChanger at our Platinum distributors: ADI & Wesco/Anixter; through our Gold distributors: Accu-Tech & ScanSource as well as select Regional and Authorized Resellers.

Looking for the press release on this topic? Click here

  • Industry News
  • 07.19.2022

The Mall of the Future: Connectivity Is Key

In 1956, Southdale Center opened just outside of Minneapolis – it was the first modern regional shopping mall. After that, malls sprouted up everywhere and became community shopping meccas, family destinations and for many, simply a fun place to hang out. Of course, decades later, the emergence and substantial growth of online shopping would begin to pose a threat to brick-and-mortar retail, especially malls.

This has led malls on a path to reinvent themselves and create new experiences for their customers – adapting to a new reality where e-commerce plays an increasingly important role in how people shop.

“The original idea was that the mall would be a sort of one-stop-shop for the suburbs... people still need a place like that, even if the items and services they need have changed.”

Meet Me by the Fountain is a new book that chronicles the illustrious history of the American mall and examines why malls are now having to change with the times. The author, Alexandra Lange says that the “original idea was that the mall would be a sort of one-stop-shop for the suburbs, with the amenities of a Main Street or small downtown.” In Lange’s opinion, “people still need a place like that, even if the items and services they need have changed.”

What has become clear is that for the mall of the future, connectivity will be more important than ever – as will the infrastructure needed to support it. Today, people and businesses want – and expect – strong Wi-Fi everywhere. And from a security perspective, when something happens, there’s an expectation that the incident will be captured on video. But the challenge is, malls are enormous, sprawling structures with complex connectivity and networking needs. And they are getting even more complex as they add elaborate entertainment venues, medical and health care facilities, office spaces and even residences.

Mall Security Officer

When it comes to security at the mall, the need for connectivity is especially important. Recently, a national developer and operator of shopping malls asked Surveillance One , a systems integration company to upgrade the video surveillance systems on their properties. In a recent case study, Surveillance One explained that a major priority for the mall operator was to transform how it could centrally manage and maintain the hundreds of video cameras blanketing each mall property. They needed to minimize potential points of failure (like PoE repeaters) and be able to manage and perform service remotely.

Adding PoE extenders or IDFs had been the standard way of doing things. But it’s more expensive up front and can hinder the ability to perform centralized, low-touch maintenance. Often electronic devices are tucked away in difficult-to-access locations, they tend to fail over time – and can be time consuming and expensive to locate and service. And while many problems can be resolved remotely by simply power cycling the end device, that can be challenging if there are intermediary devices between the managed switch and the end device. In short, what was needed was a greatly simplified solution – and one that could cover the far reaches of the sprawling malls.

John Fitch, Product Manager at Surveillance One

John Fitch, Project Manager at Surveillance One

John Fitch, Surveillance One’s Project Manager found that achieving this objective would require “seamless cabling out to the device from a network switch,” with the ability to extend across vast spaces. To do this, Surveillance One deployed Paige’s GameChanger® Cable, a patented, specially formulated cabling solution optimized for long distance applications, delivering 2.5 Gb/s performance and 100W PoE over 200 meters.

There is no doubt that strong security is a necessity for malls. Ultimately, a mall’s success and viability depend on whether tenants, employees and shoppers continue to feel safe and welcome in the mall itself, as well as in its adjacent parking areas.

As malls evolve, so do their security needs. There has been a noted shift in the mix of tenants in malls, with more shops featuring designer and luxury merchandise as high end shoppers prefer to see and touch the products up close. This increase in luxury shops has added tempting targets for thieves, and it’s one reason malls are seeing an increase in activity by organized groups of criminals. Cory Lowe, an expert on retail crime and a research scientist at the Loss Prevention Research Council was asked about this in a national news story on the topic , “These are people who make a living stealing and reselling. This is not a one-time opportunistic or need-based robbery,”

“These are people who make a living stealing and reselling. This is not a one-time opportunistic or need-based robbery.”

Lowe said retailers are seeing an escalation of these organized group-led “ smash-and-grab ” crimes. This typically involves groups of individuals targeting stores that feature higher-value items like electronics or designer merchandise – items that are then often resold on web and social media marketplaces.

One recent example was a brazen robbery of a Louis Vuitton store in a mall in Evanston, IL by a group of hooded thieves in the middle of the day – an event captured on video surveillance. According to John Fitch of Surveillance One, these types of incidents are why malls are increasingly applying technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and radar to help identify potential threats as they happen and be able to follow them in real-time.

Aside from security, malls in the future will inevitably use technology and connectivity in a way that attracts and better connects with digital consumers. The  Ericsson ConsumerLab recently identified the “hybrid mall” as one of its 10 Hot Consumer Trends. It envisions “a place where consumers could enjoy global experiences, interactions and social connections in a networked physical setting that is close to home.”

There is little doubt that connectivity will be key in the shopping mall of the future. Security integrators and networking professionals, by applying their expertise and the latest, innovative technologies, will play an important role in maximizing security and connectivity in these vast spaces and complex environments – and will help shopping malls to realize their future vision in communities across the world.

For over 60 years, Paige has helped the world connect with industry-leading wire and cable solutions. Paige specializes in application-driven products, engineering value added solutions for some of the most complex environments.

In 2017, Paige launched the patented GameChanger® Cable – the easiest, fastest and least expensive way to take your CCTV systems well beyond the 100-meter limit (2.5 Gbps and 100W PoE up to 200m).

  • Industry News
  • 12.16.2021

How NETCOM Technologies Tackled a Major Hospital Expansion With Fewer Points of Failure and Greater Savings

How NETCOM Technologies Tackled a Major Hospital Expansion: With Fewer Points of Failure and Greater Savings

NETCOM Technologies, a systems integrator based in Rockville, MD was preparing to provide the security and telecommunications infrastructure for a major expansion of the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA.

Netcom’s role was to install telecom, security cameras and access control in a massive parking garage and in an adjacent Outpatient Pavilion for the hospital. This new facility would give patients direct access to treatment areas upon their arrival at the parking garage.

The parking garage is immense with 1,700-spaces, including three levels of below-grade parking and six levels above-grade. This nine-story parking garage structure has only one closet at the very bottom in the basement level. Many of the cable runs were going to be upwards of 650 feet, easily exceeding the Category 6 cable distance of 100 meters. NETCOM was also facing a tight deadline on the project. read about the solution, download the full case study here.

  • Technology News
  • 11.16.2021

There Is a Hole in the Boat: Why Access Control Professionals Need to Move From Wiegand to OSDP

Many of the people reading this publication are, presumably, security professionals who take pride in leveraging their expertise to use technology to protect people and property. A large number likely focus on access control solutions to prevent unauthorized entry into controlled facilities and areas.

As unfortunate as it is to say, statistically speaking, the probability is that many readers are not doing a good enough job. It sounds harsh, but someone must tell the captain when there is a hole in the boat, and when it comes to most access control systems being installed today, the truth is there is a hole in the boat.

Continue reading on the Security Industry Association's Website....

For more information on OSDP Access Control wiring check out our landing page.

Want to see how easy it is to hack a Wiegand Access Control System, check out this video from our YouTube page.

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  • Announcements
  • 07.08.2021

See you at ISC-W 2021!

Join us at ISC West 2021 - booth 6050

It's been too long and we miss seeing your three dimensional faces! (Zoom's ok, but nothing beats the real thing.)  

Taking place July 19-21, 2021 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, the International Security Conference & Exposition - known as ISC West - looks forward to welcoming the security & public safety industry back to accelerate market recovery and redefine the roadmap ahead. 

With ISC West, you will have the opportunity to network and connect with thousands of security & public safety professionals, learn from the dynamic SIA Education@ISC program, plus explore the last technologies in Access Control & Visitor Management, Video Surveillance, Alarms & Monitoring, Emergency Response and Public Safety, while discovering emerging solutions in IT/IoT Security, Smart Home Solutions, Drones & Robotics, and more! The combination of products, networking opportunities, special events, award ceremonies, and educational programming all in one place truly makes ISC West the industry's most comprehensive & converged event in the U.S.

Want to register today for free? Click here!

  • Industry News
  • 06.21.2021

Redefining Category 6: Delivering 2.5 Gb/s and 90W of PoE Power to 200m

With the explosion of high-speed Wi-Fi and the Internet of Things (IoT), applications hopping on the existing copper cabling LAN network, Gigabit Ethernet became a serious bottleneck.  The majority of today’s installed LAN copper cabling (Category 5e or 6) was designed for 1 Gigabit per second (Gb/s). Upgrading to 10 Gb/s Ethernet was the next higher data rate within the standards but that meant retrofitting to Category 6A, which would be an expensive option of “rip and replace.” (Note: Actually, before Category 6A was ratified, Category 6 was defined to support 10G, but distance was limited to 55m.)

In addition to requiring higher speeds for data, other devices that are now attaching to the IP network also require power (Power over Ethernet or PoE) over the same data cabling. Among these are security cameras, access control, digital signage and of course the biggest bandwidth hog - wireless access points (WAPs).  PoE technology reduces installation costs and time by allowing power and data to run over a single twisted-pair cable. But running power with data also comes with additional challenges as temperatures may rise within the cable possibly degrading the data signaling.  This is especially a concern when providing 90W (or more) of power as defined for devices classified as  IEEE 802.3bt Type 4.

 Another challenge for the IP networked devices is their location, such as in remote parking lots or expansive stadiums, which often exceed the Ethernet standards’ distance limit of 100m. Bandwidth, heat and distance have become major concerns for existing Category 6 which has pushed Ethernet to the limit. Luckily there is one cable that defies all limits and is verified to run higher bandwidth, high PoE and twice the distance − the GameChanger Cable™ from Paige.


Wi-Fi Drives 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s 

 Wireless technology continues to jump ahead as multi-gigabit Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 access points are being deployed pushing the bandwidths even higher. This  increased performance capacity created a need for Ethernet rates higher than 1 Gb/s to run on existing cables.

Since the next copper cabling IEEE standard after 1 Gb/s  was defined as 10 Gb/s (IEEE 10GBASE-T) and required Category 6A (or higher), IEEE published the 802.3bz standard (2016) for multi-gigabit Ethernet. This standard defined transmission of high speed and power for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), while using existing Category 5e and Category 6 twisted pair copper cabling. In addition, multi-gig switching enabled 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s speeds on existing cables, which brought the potential to breathe new life into copper-based infrastructures, while expanding and improving Wi-Fi.  This also provided the ability to add in high-bandwidth IoT capabilities as these evolve – without replacing the existing cabling plant.

 In reality, the technology of IEEE 802.3bz is based on 10GBASE-T, but operates at a lower signaling rate. By reducing the original signal rate to one-quarter or one-half, the link speed could drop to 2.5 or 5 Gb/s, referred to as 2.5GBASE-T or 5GBASE-T or NBASE-T and MGBASE-T, respectively.  To be able to run over the existing Category 5e and Category 6, the actual spectral bandwidth of the signal is also reduced, which helped lower the cable requirement from Category 6A. Therefore, using the IEEE 802.3bz standard, not only does it not reduce the cost of cabling, but also it can achieve up to five times the data transmission rate.  


Pushing Beyond the Limits 

This multi-gigabit Ethernet standards resolve the bandwidth and speed challenges, but the distance limitation was an additional challenge.  Recognized options including adding another telecom room with additional active switches or utilizing a hybrid fiber/copper cable that can greatly extend the distance but will require media conversion at the device end.   Both of these are costly solutions. Paige offers the best solution with GameChanger Cable™, a four-pair UTP cable that does it all – pushes the bandwidth limit to 2.5 Gb/s, doubles the distance, all while safely running 90W of power to the device. GameChanger is a 22 AWG UTP cable that allows those long-distance IP runs without additional electronics.  

 UL, an independent third-party lab,  verified GameChanger’s ability to run data up to 2.5BASE-T  and 90W of PoE out to 200 meters.  UL primarily tests and inspects products primarily test for safety and specification.  GameChanger was tested for specification under two different conditions – server to server and the other utilizing a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) IP-enabled security camera.   GameChanger surpassed four separate tests that included: Test# 1: 1Gb/s connection @ 200 meters; Test# 2: 2.5Gb/s connection @ 200 meters; Test# 3: 10Mb/s connection @ 850 feet; and Test# 4: 802.3bt 90W PoE 1Gb full draw over 200m.

 Earning UL’s verified mark demonstrates that Paige’s performance claim of GameChanger Cable has been verified through an independent repeatable assessment.  It ultimately helps the end user as they have 100% assurance that the specification will match that performance.  Once again, GameChanger is proven as the easiest and most cost-effective way to extend the network past the 100m limit with increased bandwidth and highest PoE with highest performance. 

  • Industry News
  • 04.14.2021

Economic Growing Pains

Economic Growing Pains: Slower Supply Chains, Limited Supply Pointing to Increases in Prices and Lead Times

The world is opening back up and that’s a good thing. However, as elements of our economy open back up it’s not as if we can just pick up where we left off a year or so ago. As commercial and consumer spending shifted around the world, so to did our global supply chain. If you’re reading this blog you’re probably familiar with the historic rally in the Copper commodity market over the last year but what you may not be hearing about is that we’re seeing inflationary pressure across the board.   The major drivers have been grouped into the following categories:

  • Copper (Conductor Material)
  • Compounds (Insulating and Jacketing Material)
  • Logistics (International and Domestic Shipping)
  • Packaging (Lumber and Cardboard)

I’ll share a number of charts that track the prices of each commodity to give you a sense of the dramatic increases we’ve seen over the last year or so. One important thing to keep in mind, these commodity prices represent the material in their raw forms. To transform them into useable materials for wire and cable they must each undergo processes which add to / amplify the increases.

A second important (and confounding) factor putting upward pressure on prices is that none of these factors consider the delays at all US ports of entry (as long as 6 weeks unloading material), or the driver shortage affecting the trucking industry which are contributing factors to a nationwide shortage of these raw materials.

It’s a perfect storm, and it may get worse. From where I sit today, all indications seem to point to continuing increases in prices and lead times.

Charts provided by Trading Economics

Let’s start with copper. For the last couple years, COMEX Copper has traded between $2.50 and $3.00/lb. For reference, the all-time high price topped $4.47 in June of 2011. A few weeks ago, copper climbed as high as $4.34/lb and is currently around $4.19/lb which represents a 100% increase since March 22, 2020. 

As I mentioned earlier, this is just the raw material in its basic bar form. Before it can transmit your signal, the copper is melted down, drawn and rolled into rod which is then drawn down to 9 gauge in the intermediate drawing process and then depending on the wire being made will get a fine drawing to say 23 gauge for Cat6 conductors or for stranded products like speaker wire, it needs to be drawn down to 30 gauge where 65 fine strands get bunched (twisted) together before they can be insulated. Several of these processes could take place in different factories or different parts of the world. All of these steps add to the price of “usable” copper and increases of course are amplified as the raw materials get closer to becoming a final product.

While copper is a major driver of material costs of wire, it’s far from the only factor.  If you’ve ever terminated wire (or really taken a close look at it) you’d see other materials for insulating and jacketing that are made from various types of plastics (yes there are non-plastic materials involved too, but I’m not getting into those here.). Those insulating and jacketing compounds (polyethylene, propylene, etc.) are petroleum based and as Crude prices increase so to do the compound prices.

Resin Prices April 2020 - April 2021
(chart provide by The Plastics Exchange)
In addition to Crude Oil prices having increased increased over 300% in the last year, there are even more critical factors at hand for the resin markets. Back in late February a storm hit Texas and shut down approximately 80% of US resin production. and while most resin reactors have restarted,  most producers remain under force majeure and allocations are intact. The problems in the US don't exist in a vacuum and as such the sector is experiencing “severe shortages of raw materials and [unprecedented] price increases,” according to the European Plastics Converters (EUPC) association. According to the PlasticsExchange, "This Polypropylene environment has been like none other in our 20 years of making spot resin markets."

The end of the manufacturing process also has some surprises for us as well. The cost of lumber is at an all-time high (as of today it’s $1,212 per 1,000 board feet). Wood products (think everything from lumber used to frame your house to wood pulp used for toilet paper to cardboard boxes used to deliver your packages) are all effected and so too are the costs of our reels, boxes and skids used to package and carry your wire.

Logistics costs have been another dramatic source of price increase and limited supply recently. Driver shortages have plagued the trucking industry for a few years now and in addition to rising prices at the pump, trucking companies are having to increase wages to attract more drivers. And as far as International logistics are concerned the problems are even more complicated. Lumber Prices April 2020 - April 2021There’s a shortage of shipping containers that’s partly due to the box makers themselves cutting back on production ahead of the lockdown only to be met with unforeseen demand from US consumers buying all sorts of pandemic-rated goods (think IT equipment to work from home, DIY improvements, PPE, etc.) The result has been that shipments that used to take 4-6 weeks and cost $2,000 are now taking 12-14 weeks and cost $8,000.

If you’re still reading at this point, I think you get the idea. Our global economy is surging in some unexpected ways and the short-term effects have clearly resulted in a slower supply chain with higher prices. I don’t pretend to know when prices will cool off and lead times will return to normal, but if you’re business counts on wire to get the job done, please plan accordingly, I know ours is! 

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