FAQs

You Have Questions?

Merlin Communications Has the Answers!

As part of our commitment to excellence, we believe that the more our clients understand the technologies and products available to them, the better they are equipped to make informed decisions. We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions in a variety of product and service categories, but don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime if you have any additional questions. 

FAQs: General Info

If you are wanting a trusted advisor to help you with your premise based solutions, Merlin can be your holistic solution.  We are able to provide solutions to include, but not limited to; Premise based telephone systems (Avaya and Panasonic), structured cabling, video and streaming cameras, access control and fire systems.  We can be your one stop solution!

We are proud to say we are approaching 20 years of servicing customers throughout the Central Pennsylvania region (York, Harrisburg, Lancaster and beyond).

Although we are located in South Central PA and our technician services New Jersey, Northern MD and Delaware, we have strategic relationships around the country that help us service our clients throughout the country.

We are authorized and certified for all Avaya Systems including: Definity, S8300, S8400, Legend, Magix, Classic Merlin, Partner, IP Office, and Intuity platforms. 

We are authorized and certified for all Panasonic Systems including: NCP 500 and 1000, TDA and TDE 50, 100, 200 and 600 platforms. 

Our team is comprised of BICSI Technicians and NICET installers. Additionally, Merlin’s staff are also trained to work with the following manufacturers: Ortronics, Sumitomo FutureFlex Blown Fiber, Panduit, Corning, 3M, Levition, Hubbell, Commscope, Lencore Sound Masking, OSHA 10 and MSHA. 

FAQs: Structured Cabling

Structured cabling is the highway that information travels on in a building. The building can be large or small, commercial, or residential, or a combination of both as in the mixed-use retail, commercial, and residential buildings now found in most large cities. Structured cabling systems are designed around telecommunications code standards to ensure that computer equipment will operate as designed when connected to the structured cabling system. Some of these factors include distance limitations, cable types, flammability ratings, and bend radii.

The general difference between Cat5e cabling and Cat6 cabling is in the transmission performance, and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 250 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk (NEXT), return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk (ELFEXT). These improvements provide a higher signal to noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications.

This decision is a commonly debated topic. The fact is that the cable is very inexpensive relative to the entire telecommunications system and the building that it serves. The increased functionality and bandwidth that one additional data cable can provide at each work area outlet can prove to be priceless, especially after the drywall is in place.

Initial surveys are free as are introductory meetings for design. However, visits to explore faults etc. that require an engineer are charged at call out rates.

FAQs: Video Surveillance

CCTV analog cameras connect to a video monitor or DVR using a coax connection, while IP cameras connect directly to the network using a RJ45 connector and have their own IP address.  CCTV or analog cameras transmit analog signals over the coax cables, while IP cameras transmit digitally encoded video over a standard network cable.  IP cameras have computers and intelligence, so they can be shared by many PCs using web browser and the video recorded using video management software or a NVR.

Here are a few of the many differences between these devices.

  • The NVR connects to the computer network and so does all the IP cameras. This allows you to take advantage of the existing network infrastructure instead of running wires from a “home base” location to all the cameras.
  • The DVR uses coax connections to each of the analog cameras
  • The NVR supports high-resolution megapixel cameras
  • The DVR supports only cameras with VGA resolution.

There are many more differences between systems that use analog cameras and those that use IP cameras. To learn more take a look at our article that compares an analog system to the new IP camera systems.

The latest IP cameras get power over the network. This is referred to as Power over Ethernet (PoE). You can also add a PoE midspan or power injector between the switch and the camera. This means that you only need to run one network cable to each camera, making installation very easy.

You can use either a physical router for your network (wired) or a WiFi connection (wireless). Wired networks tend to be more secure and reliable, although WiFi is easier, it leads to the increased need for security.

Surveillance Secure can help you encrypt these networks and customize a wireless network to minimize chances of any problems with a WiFi setup. You may also choose to use a cellular network, which tends to be safer than WiFi, but also slower.  Surveillance Secure can discuss your options with you to determine which one would be best for your custom setup and security needs.

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