At one of my last trade shows before large events were cancelled, I was speaking to a network design engineer and he told me about a project that had an unexpected issue. He went on to say everything went smoothly from planning to implementation. However, during the review and evaluation stage, an issue arose that was a first for him.
The customer had noticed that the network was down. While the engineer was happy the customer choose to go with our manageable, hardened Ethernet switches to reduce the total cost of ownership and allowed remote management into the switches to solve common issues, this was not one of those cases. The engineer deployed technicians to take a look and when they arrived on site, they saw the door on the telecom equipment cabinet, where the switches were housed, standing open. Apparently, someone had opened the cabinet and started tampering with the equipment and the network connections. This was not what they had wanted to experience on a new installation. At this point he abruptly stopped his story and asked me, “Do you have anything for that?” And I just as quickly said, “Yes, we do!”
Transition Networks recently released its Enclosure Door Contact Alarm (EDCA). This is a small device that along with a mechanical door contact switch and the dry contact relays within the hardened Ethernet switches already installed in the telecom cabinet, can alert network managers when a cabinet door has been opened.
The EDCA is small enough to fit into any cabinet, no matter how full it is. It can be clipped on to a DIN rail or attached via a bracket to the wall of the cabinet. It does require power but with a wide input voltage range, it can be powered by the same power supply that is powering the hardened Ethernet switches. In the diagram below, we see how the EDCA is wired up to the mechanical door contact switch, or any other actuation device, and to the terminal block on the Ethernet switch, providing an interface to the dry contact relays.
By sending 12V of power to the enclosure door contact switch, it becomes an active device, so if any change of condition occurs, such as a door going from closed to open, it will cause the relays in the Ethernet switch to trip and send an alert to network managers. These alerts can take the shape of an alert in the management system, or an audible or visual alarm.
Deploying our door alarm will add an additional level of security to any telecom equipment cabinet by monitoring the status of the cabinet door and alerting network managers of a change of condition. Making network managers aware of these changes more quickly, will help improve network uptime and reduce costs of network maintenance. The Enclosure Door Contact Alarm is an inexpensive tool that can pay huge dividends down the road.
Our team is ready to answer your questions on protecting your equipment cabinets from tampering.
Reach out to a Transition Networks sales representative today:
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