1-800-227-9473

16680 W. Cleveland Avenue
New Berlin, WI 53151

1-800-227-9473

16680 W. Cleveland Avenue
New Berlin, WI 53151

Cablepedia - The Latest News in Wire & Cable

Best Practices for Reducing Open Office Distractions with Sound Masking

Creating a great work environment has come a long way in recent years – brilliantly designed for maximum collaboration and comfort. They’re bright, airy and provide the flexibility you need to perform at your best.

These open work spaces come with many distractions, too: conversations among co-workers, phones ringing, printers, even outdoor created noises.

Our ability to perform at top level is directly tied to our ability to focus and, for most of us, distractions take our focus from our work and direct it elsewhere. In addition to productivity concerns there may also be confidentially issues. An open work space can lead to compliance concerns if the proper steps aren’t taken.

This is where a well-designed speech privacy (sound masking) system may help. I use the word ‘may’ because it can’t fix all noise in a work space:

  • Sound masking doesn’t take any sound away, it actually adds sound to the space.
  • It doesn’t make the office quieter. Instead, it adds a low-level pleasant noise to a space to help reduce the distraction of other conversations or noises.
  • Sound masking can’t eliminate a loud co-worker’s voice.

When dealing with acoustical issues sound experts (acousticians) recommend following the ABCs of sound:

A = Absorption – This is the effect that soft surfaces have in your work space. The sound wave is absorbed into the carpet, soft cubical wall or the acoustical ceiling tile so that most (if not all) of its energy is attenuated or reduced.

This is your first line of defense against distracting work place noises. Steps taken here will result in an immediate improvement.

B = Block – Just as the word implies, we’re talking about blocking the sound wave with a wall or a panel to keep it from continuing on its path. Blocking helps keep private offices quieter than open offices by using the walls and doors to keep most of the sound contained.

For most open concept offices, this is the area that provides the most difficulty because there’s very little preventing conversations from traveling throughout the space. If we can’t block it, we take the next step.

C = Cover – To cover means to overlay a new sound that covers up the existing one to make it less distracting. It doesn’t remove the original sound, it simply lays over it which makes the conversations next door sound like background noise instead of something to tune into.

There are special designs of sound frequencies called curves that are effective at covering (masking) the human voice. These curves behave differently depending on the environment so it’s important to have the sound masking system properly tuned for each specific work space. (insert graphic here.)

A properly designed speech privacy system will sound just like an HVAC system blowing air around in the background of your work place. If planned, installed and tuned properly, the system is undetectable because it floods the space with this low-level background noise (pink noise generally). Even while walking from area to area the uniform sound is such that you can’t tell where the speakers are. That’s a sure sign of a great sound masking system.

AtlasIED designs and manufactures multiple speech privacy or sound masking solutions for many different office spaces – from single rooms to multi-story, multi-zoned high-rise office buildings. Contact us to investigate a solution for your space.

WiFi… Where We Are Today and Where We’re Headed in the Future

  Where We Are Today… The most popular WiFi version installed today is the new IEEE 802.11ac. This new version expands the throughput of wireless local area networks by using high frequencies (5GHz band). It’s also widened individual channels from 40MHz (802.11n) to 80MHz or even 160MHz; added more spatial streams (up to 8) and…

Read More

Capital Electric Predicts Growth in CAN Bus Market

A controller area network (CAN bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices (sensors/actuators) to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. As you may know, we’re using more and more sensors and control actuators on every automobile made in recent years. You’ve seen the commercials for cars…

Read More

The Challenges of Firestop Systems

The need for firestopping in our network and low voltage cabling world is important, yet fairly limited in nature. For everyone, a key challenge exists within the nature of the install: We penetrate a wall, ceiling, or floor to lay the cable, and then must somehow recreate the original fire rating of that structure. The ratings…

Read More

Industrial Ethernet

“Network” is a key industry buzz word right now. The first thing that comes to mind is an office setting that relies on Ethernet to operate. It’s relatively simple: plug + wifi = connection. What comes to mind for networks on the factory floor? For starters, the environment is completely different. Factors such as extreme temperature…

Read More

HDBaseT 2.0

Walk through any business and you’ll likely see messaging in many different formats, including digital displays – an application that is quickly gaining popularity. And for good reason: these “flat screens” provide creative flexibility for messages that can be tailored to the business, customers, or event. Videos, photos, and graphics of any kind may be…

Read More

What’s new? Hubbell’s Field-Terminated Shielded Modular Plug.

Connecting equipment on the factory floor to decision makers has never been more important than it is today. We do this by connecting them via the network. In concept, it sounds easy. In practice, it can be complicated. The factory floor environment is obviously much different than the typical office. Frequently, cables are exposed to…

Read More

Fiber Clarity – Part 2

In our last Cablepedia post (Fiber Clarity – Part 1), we looked specifically at CommScope’s newest product – SD Fiber Optic Panels. Why has CommScope invested in this line? Much of the answer has to do with streamlining and enhanced clarity. Thankfully, the fiber optic cabling industry has gone through some major growth, resulting in…

Read More

Fiber Clarity – Part 1

CommScope and the many legacy brands they have acquired (ADC, AMP, Krone, NetConnect, Systimax and Uniprise), have offered many iterations of fiber termination shelves. Most followed the LGX panel format that became the industry standard (push pin panels, 118mm). Since CommScope acquired the Broadband Network Systems (BNS) group from TE Connectivity, they’ve combined the best…

Read More

Pre-Plan Your Pathways

In our last Cablepedia post (click here to access Ready to Help with Prefab), we touched on an important part of the process: pre-planning. It might not be a stretch to say that this is actually the most important part of the process! Thinking ahead can save so many things, like money, man hours, and…

Read More

Ready to Help with Prefab

For more than 30 years, we’ve been blessed to have a number of contractors as customers; helping them understand the technical aspects of the cabling products they buy from us has been much appreciated. Now, Capital has a valuable service to add specifically for contractors. Commonly called “prefab” (short for prefabrication), this service is a great…

Read More

Fast Forward

Maybe you’ve encountered the phrase “high speed migration” as an industry term. Leave it to our brilliant partners at CommScope to adopt it as a way to help us all think about where we are with our infrastructures, and what it’s going to take to grow to the next level. These are three important words.…

Read More

The Power of Transition

January is an interesting time of year. Many of us begin the month reflecting on the 12 months that came before, and thinking about how to make the next 12 even better. What’s really happening is a transition from one place and time to another. Being mindful of it is important… after all, transition is…

Read More

The Internet of Things and Manufacturing

Looking back on our 2016 Cablepedia posts, the Internet of Things (IoT) was probably mentioned as much as “wire” and “cable.” That should come as no surprise to anyone. The IoT is growing up quickly and dictating the future of information sharing. Of course, I also need to point out that wire and cable are…

Read More

Model Behavior

A colleague of mine is going through the exciting-yet-somewhat-scary process of college applications with her daughter. It is certainly no secret that times have changed, but I was surprised to hear about the latest choices for fields of study – particularly in the business world. A number of schools are offering study tracks and degrees…

Read More
Welcome to the Digital Age

Welcome to the Digital Age

There’s a bit of a trend happening in and around our industry: big-name companies are joining forces. While this is nothing new in the business world, these mergers are notable because the motivation is different. Sure, the same ground rules for more customers and market share still apply, but the latest unions are creating a…

Read More

Made in America: What Does It Mean?

With domestic manufacturing on the rise, “Made in America” is poised to take on a whole new meaning. The parameters for today’s definition will be written by using quality, cost effectiveness, and culture as important barometers.

Read More

Understanding Your Investment

The best advice for anyone looking to cross off items on the company infrastructure shopping list is this: Buy the best you can afford, and you’ll never be disappointed. That means doing your homework to avoid a costly mistake.

Read More

Today’s Wireless

  Today’s Wireless Just a few short years ago, the top raw speed for a Wireless Access Point (WAP) was a blistering 11mbps per second. I use the term “raw” because that bandwidth was in constant battle with walls, doors, and other environmental blockades, plus had to share the waves with other devices in range. In…

Read More

Data Security: Prepare Now

Data Security: Prepare Now 2014, and headlines everywhere screamed about the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The fallout from releasing personal, confidential information was enormous! This is just one, high-profile example; according to Beazley, a leading provider of data breach response insurance, the trend for outside infiltration like the Sony bombshell is rapidly rising. Last…

Read More

Trending in 2016

In past Cablepedia posts, we’ve highlighted emerging technologies such as IoT, HDBaseT, and PoE. These are just a handful of examples that show how the tools we use to generate, maintain, and share information are expanding in ways that seemed unimaginable only a few years ago. Let’s pause and consider the amount of time that…

Read More

Making a Case for a UPS

Welcome to the Information Age – a time when data can be generated, stored, shared, and accessed at almost a moment’s notice with the touch of a button or screen. Just think about how far technology has advanced in such a short amount of time! Laptops, tablets, cell phones… instant connection to anything or anyone you could possibly need.

Read More

IoT: The Future is Now

“Jane, stop this crazy thing!” The year was 1962, and America was introduced to the family of the future: The Jetsons. The automation, the technology… it all seemed so far off and far out back then, but in less than 60 years, we’ve surpassed many of the “far-fetched” developments portrayed in that show.

Read More

Buyer Aware

Good companies offer important things such as consistency, quality, and value. What elevates an organization to the next level is how those characteristics are experienced at every turn, especially through the purchasing process.

Read More

Hubbell’s Expansion: End-to-End

There’s a recurring discussion among business leaders and supply chain managers regarding the viability of single-source purchasing. The pros and cons have been debated, diagrams have been created to illustrate various scenarios… but in the end, it really comes down to the vendor, doesn’t it?

Read More

June Lunch and Learn Recap

apital’s 2015 Lunch and Learn series is in full swing, and like our past events, Jack Hawrysz from Hubbell Premise Wiring hit this last one out of the park. As Wisconsin territory sales manager, Jack has a lot of knowledge about Hubbell’s products, and his customers’ needs. During his visit with us on June 18th,…

Read More

From “No Way!” to “No Problem!”

Think for a moment about AV connectivity… do you want to run? Scream? Hide? If you’ve been around a while, you’ve seen a frightening list of AV connector options: VGA, Component Video, RGB, S-Video, RCA, 3.5mm Audio, DVI (I, D or A), BNC, F-connectors…. Talk about a nightmare! How did we ever get anything to work?

Read More

Hear This!

Listen up: Here’s some helpful information for creating or upgrading your company’s PA system. If this info graphic proves useful to you, we’d love to hear about it! — Mike

Read More

Spring Cleaning

Here in Wisconsin, this transition is highly anticipated: It’s time to look at the world differently, and feel energized by the changes we see. We can take that renewed spirit and apply it to our work lives, too. Have you felt like you’ve been ‘hibernating’ in routine for too long? Could your work environment benefit…

Read More

Posturing for a Better You

In an average lifetime: 99,000+ hours are spent at work 4 years within that work time are spent on the phone 5 years are spent online That’s a lot of time! And up to now, the majority was spent sitting – particularly if your work environment happens to be an office. You may move periodically…

Read More

Thanks for attending our February 20 Lunch and Learn!

I think I speak for everyone at Capital Electric when I say that one of our favorite things about this company is the sincere focus on personal relationships. Vendor, customer, co-worker… regardless of the professional title, we are all people. And in my experience, our industry is full of wonderful individuals who are helpful, intelligent,…

Read More

A Clean View of HDBaseT

In the not-so-distant past, people were absolutely satisfied with watching images on screens that used around 300,000 pixels to project an image. Then, technology blew the doors off that reality – first with HD, expanding the number of pixels to one to two million, and now, with the next wave of 4K and Ultra HD, the total will…

Read More

TE Connectivity: Quality from End to End

In previous Cablepedia articles, I talked about the revolution that is happening thanks to PoE, or Power over Ethernet. Consumers’ constant demands for speed and reliability in networks and connection pressured our industry to respond, and we did – with advances in cable that flow electricity and data along the same pathways.

Read More

CommScope: Writing the Standards for Network Technology Evolution

People need to communicate, and a reliable infrastructure is what makes that possible. For decades, the company leading the way in infrastructure research, development and production has been CommScope. Today, this key supplier maintains a portfolio of copper, fiber optics and wireless products that connect networks at home, at work, and at play. They are…

Read More

A Revolution in Human Interaction: PoE

Innovation. Cutting edge. Game changer. Revolution. No matter what you call it, the inception is the same: Someone had a thought that was different. These are exciting times… we’re witnessing a revolution in human interaction. Mobile devices, web connection nearly anywhere at any time, information literally at our fingertips. This onset of availability has spawned…

Read More