While electronic wizzes are familiar with the peculiar components and elements that comprise a myriad of electrical assemblies, there are still some parts that are often conflated. Patch panels and switches are one example of components that are confused for one another, though they are entirely different elements with respective roles. With this in mind, we will provide a brief overview of patch panels and switches, their roles, and how they work.


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Relays are critical components in a circuit, found in the electronic equipment ranging from smartphones to airplanes. While sharing the same name, the various types of relays perform vastly different functions. Therefore, having an understanding of the differences between the most prevalent types of relays is critical to understanding electrical currents as a whole. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between the most common relays and a safety relay.


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Relays are switches that open and close circuits electromechanically or electronically. They can be found nearly everywhere from printers and shredders to cars and telephones. Relays control one electrical circuit by opening or closing contacts in another circuit. When a relay contact is normally open (NO), there is an open contact and the relay is not energized. When a relay contact is normally closed (NC), there is a closed contact when the relay is not energized. Whether the relay is normally in an open or closed position, applying electrical current to the contacts will change their state.


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When establishing, repairing, or adjusting an electrical system, there may be times in which you need to cut, strip, or make changes to wiring. When making any adjustment to a wire or cable component, it is crucial that you understand the difference between various common tool types for the means of carrying out a job correctly and safely. Generally, the primary tools that one may use include wire strippers, cutters, crimpers, and pliers.


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Fuses are common circuit protection devices that are sacrificial, designed in such a way that they break down during overload conditions to impede the flow of unsafe current. While fuses are typically placed directly into a circuit, some may exhibit shapes and sizes that make them incapable of such connections. In order to make these fuses more compatible, an accessory known as a fuse holder may be used.


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DIN rails are components that are standard to component rail-mounting systems, commonly found within equipment cabinet racks. DIN rails facilitate the secure attachment of various devices and systems, commonly being used for mounting circuit breakers, power supplies, terminal blocks, actuators, solenoids, and other items within a frame or cabinet. As an advantageous component that is seen in various settings and industries, it can be useful to familiarize oneself with the common rail types and their uses.


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BNC coax connector components are one of the most popularly implemented RF connectors for varying electronic equipment, offering high performance and an ease of use that makes them extremely beneficial. RF connectors, or radio frequency connectors, are types that are designed for the means of functioning at radio frequencies for signal transmission. With the BNC connector specifically, such components serve as a miniature quick connect and disconnect RF connector that serves coaxial cables and coax connector components.


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The list of antonyms for ‘amplify’ includes words like ‘decrease’, ‘weaken’, ‘diminish’, ‘reduce’, etc. So, if you were looking for something to do the opposite of fibre optic amplify a signal, you might be tempted to look for something along the lines of a ‘diminisher’ or ‘anti-amplifier’— and if you asked for help looking for those things, you’d probably get some weird looks thrown your way. Fortunately, that’s not the case because what you’re looking for is actually called an ‘Attenuator’.

Attenuators are the effective opposite of amplifiers; they reduce the power connector of a signal without appreciably distorting the waveform and provides loss instead of gain. For optical signals, there’s the fiber optic attenuator, useful for when an optical signal is too strong to work with things like multi-wavelength systems or optical receivers with certain input specifications. Fiber optic attenuators are also common in fire optic communications applications where they test power level margins by temporarily adding a calibrated amount of signal loss, or by being installed permanently to properly match transmitter and receiver levels.


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When it comes to electrical equipment and circuits, one of the most important components is the circuit breaker. A circuit breaker is a switching device that disrupts an abnormal or faults current. It is a mechanical device that interrupts the flow of high magnitude current while also acting as a switch. A norsense electronic circuit breaker is primarily designed to close or open an electrical circuit connector, which in turn, protects the electrical system from damage.


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RS-485 cables are the standard in the connector cable industry, they are used for serial communications. These communications are possible because of two lines that are dedicated to a differential pair and one as a reference. It’s important to note when building with the standard, build the network with 32 slave devices connected to one master; this ratio ensures balance in the communication network. Also known as TIA/E1A-485(-A), this standard is suitable in noisy industrial environments where the application doesn’t require high transfer rates driving multiple devices.


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