“It’s never that easy”. As a homeowner, I’ve learned that this is one of the truest statements ever spoken. Something that seems like an easy fix, in the blink of an eye, can become a lot more difficult. Case in point, my son, like most kids his age, is a serious gamer. But his games aren’t what I grew up with. They don’t have simple plots like defeating an angry ape who has mastered barrel weaponry or helping two friends, Ryu and Ken, travel the world to fight in the streets. These games are very advanced with intense graphics and when playing online, require lots of bandwidth. So much so, that a Wi-Fi connection doesn’t really cut it. Which leads to my “easy” project of running an Ethernet cable to his room, through the attic, from the room with the modem two doors down. Since I had already done this for a different room, this would be a piece of cake. My first step was to head into the attic to plan the easiest route for the cable. While in the attic, to get a closer look, I stepped toward the edge of the attic’s platform only to realize there was no more platform. The platform’s edge was covered with insulation, and I made the wrong assumption. As you may know, sheetrock doesn’t offer any support for a 250-ish pound person, and my leg ripped through it like it wasn’t even there. Luckily, the rest of me didn’t follow through and I got stuck between the rafters. After a short moment of shock, I pulled myself up and realized first, I was lucky to only have minor scratches. Second, that my “easy” $30 job just became a whole lot more and third, that my son was already on the phone ratting me out to my wife. The morale of this story is that you can’t plan for the unexpected at home or in the field. But when in the field, if the job takes a turn for the worse and becomes much more difficult, we’ll be here to help with low-cost solutions and free technical support.
This issue of NOTEBOOK is full of interesting and educational articles including our Tech Threads, which discuss important VFD safety features and how process pump automation can enhance pump performance. We also have a great Cover Story on the benefits of implementing an end-to-end remote access solution that utilizes cloud technology. The User Solutions show how pneumatics and open-source control were used to turn discarded bottle caps into works of art, and how CLICK PLCs helped to quickly produce sanitizing products used to combat Covid-19. Our Student Spotlight discusses how AutomationDirect components helped Georgia Tech students melt metal with their homemade induction furnace. For information about exciting events happening in and around AutomationDirect, including some recent product awards, take a look at the Business Notes. In this issue, you’ll also find information on our newest products, such as Quadritalia modular enclosures, the new CLICK PLUS 2-slot CPUs, Norgren air preparation components, UPS-capable DC power supplies, additional ReeR Mosaic safety controller components, and more. As always, the Break Room is stocked with fun and challenging brainteasers, so give them a try and see how many puzzles you can solve.