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  • Data Termination Responsibilities on ETC Systems 

    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 electrical contractor.

    So that covers the equipment cabinets.  What about field wiring? 

    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.