A common question among contractors and ETC technicians
is: Who terminates the low voltage or the data wires in an ETC system?
First, let’s define low voltage/data. Low voltage/data
are control signals, like DMX, or TCP/IP protocols that are carried on special
wire like Belden 8471, Belden 9729 and a vast array of CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6
wire. It is not 120V line power.
In an ETC system, the ETC Technician is always responsible
for terminating and checking the data lines in ETC provided cabinets.
These cabinets typically include ETC Sensor® and Unison® racks, but can also
include 19” auxiliary racks. If you have any doubt about who provided
what cabinet, just check with the ETC project manager for that project.
The only exception to this is fiber optic lines. ETC technicians are not
trained or equipped to terminate fiber optic lines. This should be done by the
So that covers the equipment cabinets. What about
By field wiring we mean console plug-in stations, DMX jacks,
Unison stations. Essentially these are the points that endusers will
interact with - connecting consoles, fixtures, etcetera. Either the ETC
technician or the dealer that sold the project will be responsible for these
terminations. If specifically called out as “Data Term by Others” on the
ETC system bill of materials, then the dealer that sold the project is responsible
for making certain the data terminations are done to ETC specification.
Please note that the ETC Dealer may coordinate with the electrical contractor
to do these terminations.
If the ETC system bill of materials calls out “Data Term by
ETC”, then the ETC technician will terminate the field wiring as part of the
commissioning process. Again, just as in the cabinet terminations, this
goes only for gear purchased through ETC. Often 3rd party
equipment is added to a system. Unless that gear and/or the termination
points for that gear were included in the ETC order, then those terminations
are excluded from ETC’s responsibility.