How to get into a CCTV Career

cctv-contractors-300x134Something that few people tell you when it comes to choosing a career is how to get into that field. They tell you to go to college, but what about those people who want the tradesman route? It isn’t possible to knock on the door of every company in your field. So, what do you do?

An apprenticeship is achievable, but there can be competition for certain companies. Knowing someone inside the company can open many doors. Establishing contacts, even if it is just an exchange of business cards, will prove infinitely valuable. It is a lot easier to get your foot in the door if your uncle, brother, buddy, or someone you play sports with has a good standing.
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Alarm Installation Tools

Being in the field of alarm installation is unique. Some of the job requirements are similar to CCTV or cable installation, but alarm installation is very much a cross between these two fields with some locksmithing thrown in.

Like any industry, there are some trade tools that industry specific. This will serve as a guide to the most common tools in the trade. These are the tools which the alarm installation contractor will work with on a regular basis.

wire fishing toolA wire fishing tool is not for landing a Largemouth Bass, it is for feeding a leader and wire through the wall. It has a magnetic tip to keep the wires from coming loose. Without this tool, getting wires to thread behind a wall would be a daunting task. Most come with a handy carrying which keeps them from tangling.
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Voice and Data Contractors: The move from voice to data.

At any given time, there are over a million listings for voice and data contractor positions. While the two are often lumped together, the high demand for more and more data is surpassing the needs for verbal communication.

Most people, especially the younger generations, would rather wait online to chat with a representative than to be placed on hold to speak to someone in person. In fact, an increasingly large percentage of the population communicates almost exclusively through texting, e-mail, and social media.

This is putting an increased demand on businesses to stay on top of trends. Businesses that are just now getting a Facebook page or a website are missing out on the other sites that are popping up by the day. The top 15 social media sites include Vine, Meetup, and Tagged in addition to Twitter and Facebook.
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Leads for Cabling Contractors

cabling contractor leads - CablingJobs.comFor any contractor, word of mouth and the ease of locating services can make or break a business. Being a professional with good reviews is definitely beneficial to bringing in other clients but, if other potential clients can’t find your business than they are just passing you by.

One option is to seek out customers. This can involve knocking on doors, distributing flyers, paying for late night commercials and more. There is a better way, an easier way to not only get your name out there, but to also have clients come directly to you. Clients who want and need your services.

Cablingjobs.com is the leading website for cabling contractors. It is a full and complete website listing cable installers from all over the country by area and specialty. Having your business listed on cablingjobs.com offers some unique advantage that will not be found on other websites.
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Cabling Installation Process

cable technicianThere are numerous steps that must be followed by a cable installer to make sure that their installation is successful. There are generally six stages of the process, all of which a cable layer needs to be familiar with. The design process is how the area will look, where the wires will run and what functions will need to be performed. This will determine layout, type of wire, and how to best influence functionality.

The installation process is, well, the installation process. This is when wires are laid, above and/or below ground. The components, such as central CPU’s is also installed at this point. Depending on what kind of cable is already in use, the functions it was designed for and its sheer quantity, the project may take a few days to several months. Having cables already in a building is not always more efficient time wise than having a clean slate to work with. This is especially true if the cables were laid before color coding was instituted or if they are rusted, non functional or out dated.
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Electrical Jobs – Voltage

electrical jobs - voltageVoltage is a term just about everyone on the planet is familiar with, but few have more than a passive knowledge of what the term means. Also known as the electromotive force, voltage is the potential energy of a units charge.

There are two types of electrical current flow, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). Alternating current is a bit more complicated than direct current and the polarity will switch periodically. AC is more commonly used in homes, office buildings, warehouses, etc… Instead of the electrical current flowing in just one direction, as is the case with DC, the current changes direction periodically. The circuits most also reverse to accommodate the change in the flow in current. Alternating current uses a specialized electrical generator, called an alternator, to produce alternating current. AC has some unique benefits over DC, such as the ability to have its voltage levels converted using a transformer.

Direct current is not as commonly used by cable installers as it is most commonly used in most electronics, radios, phones, laptops and similar items. DC voltage maintains a consistent polarity. Batteries are the most common supplier of DC current, but it can also be produced with a rectifier, which converts AC to DC, or a commutator which is connected to an AC generator. Even though a cable installer will more commonly work with AC, knowledge of DC is required to recognize modifications which have been made to make current direct.
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What’s Required of Cable Installers?

career as a cabling installerIt may not seem like it, but a career as a cable installer is quite a big responsibility. If an installer is not thorough, then the entire system could malfunction, circuits could fry, and in some cases, fires can be started. The job involves more than just connecting two cables and calling it a day. In fact, the field encompasses so much that the expertise required goes well beyond hardware.

A cable installer is often the person a client actually meets. Though the details of the project often get sent through a general database, the installer is the one who shows up, speaks with the clients and makes sure that they have every detail exactly to the clients specifications. The ability to provide customer service is essential, and though the processes used can be taught, the ability to be good with people is almost innate. Steps can be taken to improve communication, and this is something that is recommended for anyone, in any field, who has difficulties with communication.
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Cable Installation Tools

Cable Installation Tools

Cable Installation Tools – What a cable installer must know

A cable installer falls into the category of a telecommunications technician. They are responsible for ensuring that all of the digital communications that take place world wide, every minute of every day, are effective. This is done with the installation of network circuits and equipment, then after with the updating and maintaining of the equipment.

The tools required for every step of the process are unique to the cable installer. After enough time working with these tools, they will become as familiar to the technician as their hands. Though the particular usage of each item depends on the exact parameter of their job, there should be familiarity with these, as knowledge will make anyone better at their job.

Cable Tester

The first tool in the cable technicians arsenal is a cable tester. This tool is used to verify the electrical currents in a wired assembly. It verifies for the technician that all the cables are connected properly and that there are no unconnected cables in an assembly This ensures that no shorts exist within the line.
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History of Cable Installation and Advancements Made in the Past 20 Years

the history of cable installationWhen the cabling industry had to upgrade itself to fit in with the new boom of technology that began in the 1990’s, no one knew quite what this would look like. At the time, there did not exist the standards which exist now. While other industries, such as IT, had evolved in a way that allowed them to develop their required technology as the industry grew, the cable industry was left in the dark to figure out what was needed.

The cabling industry saw its birth in the 1940’s and 50’s. The mission of cabler installers at the time was to enhance the television reception in remote areas, especially those in Arkansas, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. They placed towers upon hilltops and other high points in order for transmissions to be sent out with a clear line of sight. The towers had to be hard wired to another tower or to a broadcasting location.

In the 1960’s the demand for cable installers rose. There were more TVs and radios in homes and each of these homes needed electricity to power their machines. One television per home was still the norm, but this would change as television and radio technology got smaller and more advanced. Networks like HBO were being founded by the 1970’s, meaning that the basic three channels had to upgrade. This meant an increase in regulations and overall uniformity being initiated.
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Audio Visual Jobs – AV Technician Lingo

audio visual jobs lingo.jpgThe field of audio and visual production is among the most exciting of the electrical industries. Like many jobs, it has its own language. There are some familiar sounding terms like “bus” and terms the general population has heard before, such as Megahertz and circuit, but which lack more than a basic comprehension in the minds of the general public.

Much of the terminology is learned on the job or in school. Some of the most obscure and misunderstood terms are here, a quick reference for the AV technician and layman alike. Once the true meaning is inserted in the vocabulary, an individual may find themselves using it around those who have little idea what it means.

Traditionally, when a person thinks of an artifact, they get an image of ancient Greek objects being hoisted out of the ground. In the AV world however, artifact refers to disturbances which affect the signal quality. This term was created by the Stanford Media Preservation Lab as a way to unify the terminology surrounding this phenomena.

Both conductive and nonconductive materials are used in the AV field. It is of little surprise when the conductive materials take on a charge. It is much more surprising when a NONconductive material takes on a charge. Referred to as capacitance, charges occurring in nonconductive materials can distort an electrical signal, be it audio or visual. This happens when a charge is separated due to opposite surfaces of the nonconductor being maintained at a difference of potential.

Not to be confused with a CODEX, a CODEC is a device that convert analog signals into digital form. It is an acronym for a coder/decoder. When this information is transmitted, its compressed in order to conserve the bandwidth. It is not the format in which the information is stored. It is instead a program which can read and write the files.

Many people prefer to work with some sort of ambient noise. In the non-technological world, it may be radio, TV, or even natural sounds. While it is good in this scenario, for an AV technician, it is background noise which is not intended. It mat distract from the intentional audio. This is why music is recorded in a booth, to prevent the accumulation of this ambient noise.

There are specific types of wiring used, these were covered more in depth in the article on Cable Job terminology. For the sake of this article, one should know that CAT5 and CAT 6 are the most pertinent to this field. CAT 5 is unshielded and for connecting hardware. CAT6 is backward compatible with CAT5, 5e, and 3, but CAT6 has stricter noise specifications.

With the advancements in IT (Internet Technology) streaming video and audio has increased in popularity. The ability to send images and audio, in the form of streaming video and/or audio, is something that was not feasible in the early days of the internet. Instead of downloading a file, a user can watch it as the file is transferred. These files are compressed and take a lot of bandwidth to function properly.

The list could go on for page after page. As previously stated, AV technicians are one of those positions which speak a language only they truly understand. This is necessary, because as technology evolves, new terminology must be created to describe the indescribable.