Consulting for Consultants

Can we know everything all the time?

March 3rd, 2016

     We’re all professionals right? Well sometimes even professionals needs help. We can’t be experts at everything all the time, and sometimes the right thing to do is ask for help, We’ve done it, and we’ve also been there to help consultants too!

     Recently we had a consultant coming give us a call regarding a product we’ve had a lot of experience with. A consultant was installing 109 cameras at a location in New Jersey, and was running into massive issues. Every time they powered the system down, and back up, cameras wouldn’t come back up, and it was different cameras each time.

     We were picking our brains over this for quite some time, and then we asked the customer how the cameras were mounted. The cameras were mounted directly to metal, and one of their technicians told us “When I touch the camera to the metal trusses, I get sparks”.

     BINGO! After doing an analysis with similar equipment, we were able to determine that grounding the camera to a surface with more than 40VAC floating would cause the PoE circuitry to see an incorrect reference voltage. This caused the circuitry believe it was only getting “8V” instead of “48V”, causing the device not to turn on. We were able to direct the client to install plastic mounting boxes, and mount the cameras to these boxes to solve this issue.

     While we were there we also discovered they were having issues due to a 534ft CAT5e run, which is almost double the maximum length for a networking run. We were able to resolve this for them as well by hopping through a switch located closer to the main router in the building, bringing stability to their system.

     The moral of this story is simple: Don’t be afraid to ask for help, someone will always be willing to offer a hand.