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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so Nathan has been so kind to add this new board. And it may all be my fault for asking. Thanks Nathan.

So then I shall see if there is any interest in the neighborhood.

In an effort to test the waters let us see who is here and lurking.......or not.

I am in South Central Penna. Have been in business for 15+ years. I have and can install a variety of security panels. Ademco, Napco, Moose, Sentrol, Caddx, DS, DSC, etc. Have installed Access Control, CCTV, Intercoms, Telephone Systems, Solar Powered Systems, some simple Home Automation, Computer Network Cabling.

Lately have been having to refusing a lot of calls as a result of a Yellow Page Ad, because just too busy to look at the work or just don't want to do the "biding war" thing. Trying to take on existing customer work and referrels. I can be selective as to new work. Kinda a good feeling.

Soooooooooo that is my intro. Any other Low Voltage people here??? If so please chime in. Who knows we may have something in common.

BTW how often have you heard these words from a "Tech Support" person??

"Never heard of that before".

I hear it what seems more than I should. Frustrating to say the least.

Comments welcome.

Have a good day.

Les
 

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DGR,IABD
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I'm just a regular electrician, but in the low voltage end I install:
Ademco, Edwards, Moose, Elk, DSC (Kantech mainly). Do the whole range of voice/data/video including NorTel Meridian stuff, Cat5e, Cat6, video survalience, driveway entry systems, Cooper structured wiring for the home, overhead paging/distributed music. I do a fair amount of SmartHouse and home brew some home automation/hvac automation too. I recently got my RCDD cert from BICSI.

I really don't "sell" this stuff. I just have all these products and vendors in my bag of tricks to solve problems for the high end customer. If I ever wanted to put some serious sales effort into this side of the business, the profit margins are obscene.

ABLE, I think you're only about 50 miles from me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"ABLE, I think you're only about 50 miles from me."


That would put you in the Harrisburg area. Correct??

Sounds like we do about the same stuff. Are you using a Contract Central Station for monitoring??
 

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DGR,IABD
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ABLE1 said:
That would put you in the Harrisburg area. Correct??
Close... Cumberland County.

ABLE1 said:
Sounds like we do about the same stuff. Are you using a Contract Central Station for monitoring??
Yes, if that is a customer requirement. I don't push the issue. I'm not really into the security all that much, but I can offer whatever anyone wants. I'd say that the bulk of my security work is people who just moved into a house or business and they need all the codes reset or zones/features added. That's always a treat, since I don't know what the reset procedure is on lots of the antique models. Access control/mag locks/etc. is getting bigger and bigger all the time. I get a few resi calls a year for driveway gate systems and call boxes, etc. The prices on some of that stuff will knock you over. I've put in more than one gate system that costs more than the car driving through it.
 

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mdshunk said:
Close... Cumberland County.

Yes, if that is a customer requirement. I don't push the issue. I'm not really into the security all that much, but I can offer whatever anyone wants. I'd say that the bulk of my security work is people who just moved into a house or business and they need all the codes reset or zones/features added. That's always a treat, since I don't know what the reset procedure is on lots of the antique models. Access control/mag locks/etc. is getting bigger and bigger all the time. I get a few resi calls a year for driveway gate systems and call boxes, etc. The prices on some of that stuff will knock you over. I've put in more than one gate system that costs more than the car driving through it.

That old stuff is always a challenge. Had a lady call this week wanting a 18 year old Napco re-programmed after a storm. Panel lost power and programming. She went on to say that ADT tried but couldn't and suggested a new replacement system. I explained that since she is under contract with ADT, that they should be able to service their own custormer needs. And since she is under contract to them it would be against her contract to have anyone else work on the system. She said she would read her contract (fine print) and possibly call again later.
 

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I have nothing to do with electricity, low or high voltage, but I got a real chuckle out of this:
BTW how often have you heard these words from a "Tech Support" person??

"Never heard of that before".
I've been installing w/c for about 20 years, and I still get that line too when inquiring about defective goods or problems with a product.
Ignorance is bliss eh?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ProWallGuy said:
I have nothing to do with electricity, low or high voltage, but I got a real chuckle out of this:

I've been installing w/c for about 20 years, and I still get that line too when inquiring about defective goods or problems with a product.

Ignorance is bliss eh?
Yes your right. I always seem to take this approach.

"Well then, if you have never heard of that before then that would mean that if something is found to be wrong with a product it will always happen with ME FIRST. How can that be possible, to have one lonely installer to have been the first to find a flaw in your product every time there is one?? Can this be explained??"

I either get a "Can you hold for a moment" or a 'click'.

I had one Tech Guy tell me that the system that had stopped operating and would not respond (it had been running for 5 years with a hitch) "needed to be returned for a software upgrade at a cost of $150.00". No other suggestions were available. I wanted to reach through the phone and grab him by the throat. Instead I asked for his supervisor who told me the same thing. ??????????? I then shut the system down for 5 minutes and after power up it has been working fine for 4 more years. I know I should have did that in the first place, but.....................

You gotta love it sometimes.

Les
 

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Hey,

ABLE1 and mdshunk, I sent you guys an email regarding low voltage cabling. Just seeking some advice. Let me know if you all get the emails because I sent them through this site. If not, I'll pm you.

Thanks,
RK
 

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DGR,IABD
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Why wouldn't you just post the question on the site? I charge for personal consultations. ;)

For the benefit of others, here's his question:

KeshATL said:
My name is **** and I saw your post regarding low-voltage cabling in the Contractor Talk forum. I need some advice from someone with experience in this trade as well as the home building industry in general.
I'm a young guy, 25, not far removed from college and I have been actively looking into starting my own business installing structured cabling, computer networks, and some home integration (whole house audio/video, lighting) into new homes where I live in ******,**. I would mainly be doing new homes and hopefully apartment complexes most likely with Cat6 cables and maybe even fiber optic if the price isn't too high.

The thing is I have NO experience in construction, electrical engineering, or contracting. I have a little experience in computer networking. But I am willing to learn anything. I found a CLIA HTI+ certification you can get for home integration but that's probably not going to be enough. I have found classes and training materials also for this sort of thing.

Basically, I need some advice on where to start. How can I get into this industry? I know people say you should get a job first in the field and get some experience but with the nature of this field I'd like to just skip that step and go into making money for myself. I have a couple of friends who may be willing to help out also.

Let's say I get the training and certification and I know how to do it. Now then how do I get these contractors to buy my systems when I have almost no references? Also, won't I need some good knowledge of construction for running cables all through the walls? How much time would there be to install the cabling before the walls go up?

What do you think in initial investment would be for this business? I don't really see it being too out of control.
Do you think builders are interested in this sort of thing right now?
I could go on with questions I have but I'll stop.

Thanks for reading this. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to take in as much information as I can.
 

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DGR,IABD
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This structured wiring and home automation/integration is a tough sell. My best advice is to get a job in that industry for experience and credibility. Then, collect your BICSI RCDD certification. Take tons of classes on business and sales. The biggest obstacle to what you desire to do is the sales part. You can get any monkey to install this stuff (and I'm serious about that). The brains of your operations will be needed in developing the need for this type of wiring in the customer's mind. To tell you the truth, around me most of the electricians are already doing that type of work when they rough wire the house if that's what the customer wants.
 

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For the most part, I agree with md. but I really don't think that it would be that hard a sell given todays world. I would try to get the jump and promote fiber-optics, afterall, that is where we all will end up in the next 10 yrs.
 

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To: KeshATL

I went and found your email stuck in my spam folder. It is now out and I am responding here.

I have to agree with mdshunk and tetorbilt as well to a point as well. First get some well rounded knowledge from some classes. It would be a bad thing if you sold the wiring and then it didn't work as promised and you stand there with a dumb look not knowing where you went wrong. That is why it is best to work for someone so you can some of learn the "tricks of the trade". Make sure you don't burn any bridges with working for someone to become the competion as it were. A little tricky to do.

On the other hand if you have some bucks to invest in yourself and have the slick gift of salesmanship that won't stop, and rejection does not get you down. Then by all means buy yourself a service van, load it up with some minimal tools and supplies, and then have at it. Who knows if you can give the impression you know what you are talking about and can back it up, you might find yourself in business and enjoying the........ the....... Oh yea benifits of working 12 -14 hours a day with out a vacation or time off for about 9 years or so.

Gotta love your work!!!!

Les
 

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You're supposed to get a vacation every nine years?-----I'm owed for two.
 

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It is especially good to keep track of the vacation time you did not take so that you can ask the boss for some special consideration when you take those long lunches. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

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ABLE1 said:
It is especially good to keep track of the vacation time you did not take so that you can ask the boss for some special consideration when you take those long lunches. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
True. Just today I announced to the GC on the job I was on that I was going to lunch. He asked me how long my lunch break is. I replied, "however long it takes the waitress to bring my food and me to eat it." :cheesygri
 

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mdshunk said:
True. Just today I announced to the GC on the job I was on that I was going to lunch. He asked me how long my lunch break is. I replied, "however long it takes the waitress to bring my food and me to eat it." :cheesygri

Sounds like the GC thought you were an employee.
 

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DGR,IABD
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ABLE1 said:
Sounds like the GC thought you were an employee.
No, I think he was going to try to do something in the immediate area where I was working while I was at lunch. I think he was just trying to figure out how much he could get done before I got back. He actually put off his own lunch so that he could get some work done in the area where I was working.
 

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mdshunk said:
No, I think he was going to try to do something in the immediate area where I was working while I was at lunch. I think he was just trying to figure out how much he could get done before I got back. He actually put off his own lunch so that he could get some work done in the area where I was working.

Ok, then he sounds like one of the better GC's. Always a plus++++
 

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New to the site. Lots of info. I get it, now. General contractor: WORKAHOLIC. Contractor: GUY WHO WORKS LIKE A "HOLIC" . Just kidding. You guys are great! Keep the helpful hints coming!
 
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