Communications Systems

The communications systems within the building design and construction enterprise has taken on a large role in the achievement of profitability and efficiency. A basic understanding of communications systems is beneficial to all building professionals and trades, as they all play a part in the success of the communications systems.
Success is defined here as the occupants being able to use the communications systems effectively and efficiently for years after the installation is complete. A building today is not functional if the communications systems are impaired. A typical communications system may be broken down into logical segments, (1) infrastructure, (2) cabling and connectors, (3) electronic equipment, and (4) software applications. The infrastructure, cabling and connectors greatly affect the entire system. The communications systems may be enhanced by good building design and construction by providing some flexibility and room for growth.
Knowing a few definitions is key to understanding the principles of communications systems. A glossary is provided. The reader should try not to feel overwhelmed by the terms. Some fundamental terms are provided as well as some advanced terms. Once a basic understanding is reached, learning new terms will follow. Keep in mind that the sheer amount of jargon in this industry weighs down even the professionals. One observation of the industry is that the professionals rely  heavily on glossaries but do not often share them with each other or use them in public. A collection of glossaries is an important part of a professional’s personal library. Black Box Corporation provides an excellent glossary, ‘‘Pocket Glossary of Computer Terms,’’ which includes technical reference material at a reasonable cost.

—–18.1 Communications System Glossary
—–18.2 Grounding
—–18.3 Communications Room and Communications Closet Layout
—–18.4 Wiring Diagrams
—–18.5 Fiberoptic Cable
—–18.6 Fiberoptic Connectors
—–18.7 Horizontal Cabling
—–18.8 Budget

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