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Keep Office Grade Ethernet Switches Away from the Job Site

When interconnecting Ethernet equipment within a control panel, there is always a temptation to select off the shelf, office grade Ethernet switches from a mass retailer. These switches are fine for home use, but they are not good enough for control applications. Using an office grade switch will negatively impact your customer’s bottom line due to consequences. Keep your office grade Ethernet switches at home and use our professional CTRLink Ethernet switches on the job site.

Office grade equipment has no provisions for redundant power, leaving the possibility of a serious power disruption to your customer’s business operations. Retail and office grade equipment require external regulated 5 DC power supplies that plug into a common line voltage duplex outlet. These power supplies, known as wall warts, hang from duplex receptacles and are not designed to be secured to outlet boxes by themselves. The simple push on connector of the 5-volt plug can easily become dislodged. This results in the disruption of your customer’s business operations and increased project expenses from service calls and related service needs. Also, if a receptacle is not present in the control panel, it must be provided at an extra cost. Many municipalities require the wall wart to be attached to a wall plate which creates the need for additional labor. Failure to follow requirements can result in a “red tag” given by the electrical inspector.

Our CTRLink switches can be powered with the same power source of the installed equipment in the control panel. There is no need to have higher voltages present in the panel to power the CTRLink switch. Our switches provide positive locking terminal strips – securely locking the power supply to the switch - eliminating power disruption. The screw-style power connector is easy to wire and durable for shipping to the job sites. Redundant power connections allow the switch to continue to run without disruption from the loss of primary power. The operating voltages allow for a backup power source without identical electrical criteria. Any voltage source in the specified range can serve as a backup power source – including batteries.

Using retail switches with ineffective mounting can make explaining the unsecured, clumsy looking installation to the customer or a code inspector a difficult task. Office-grade switches are designed for desktop and tabletop mounting. Mounting a retail switch in a control panel is awkward and increases costs with extra labor and materials. Tie wraps and duct tape should not be used to fabricate a bracket when there are no mounting holes in the unit.

Just as unfavorable, when mounted in the control panel the retail switch does not allow the system integrator to view both of the LEDS and the connectors together. Retail switches typically have the LED indicators on the opposite side of the RJ-45 connectors.

Our CTRLink switches are designed and built for control panel mounting. Flanges are provided for panel mounting along with a DIN chip for DIN-rail mounting. The standardization of panel layouts and design is certain and DIN-rail mounting is secured for years. Design it once, “set it and forget it,” with no worries for future builds.

LED indicators and RJ-45 connectors are located near each other and easily viewable with the control panel door open. CTRLink switches are designed to fit well with other equipment and our switches are designed to be handle demanding EMC environments. Four-layer printed circuit boards and input filters are used to meet the industrial limits of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards EN 55022 and EN 55024.

Temperature range is a big consideration for installed Ethernet switches. Two temperature range specifications are widely accepted for ultimate performance. The 0 to 60°C temperature range is consistent with the ratings of BAS controllers, security, and fire equipment. The -40 to 75°C wide-temp range meets more demanding outdoor conditions. Retail and office grade switches are rated from 5 to 40°C, or even more unfavorable, not rated at all. You don’t want your customer’s switch to fail as a result of overstress from heat.

Finally, don’t forget that our CTRLink switches are backed with our award-winning technical support and 5 year warranty. Troubleshooting in the field is tedious and Ethernet technology can be complex. We back our rugged, reliable Ethernet switches with experienced technical support to fully meet your needs.

Learn more by visiting the CTRLink Switches product page.


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