One of the major challenges for fresh engineers willing to work in the Low Current / ICT / ELV domain is the lack of neutral educational material that prepares them into the field. When I say neutral, I mean material not related to vendors’ specific features. This is the main reason lowcurrent.com was born – to facilitate the learning process and provide neutral educational material for professionals. In this article, I will try to provide some tips for fresh engineers to build a strong basic knowledge necessary for their career development.
Knowledge of electric circuits is necessary especially for engineers planning to work on-site. All low current systems have power requirements with some redundancy. Knowledge of electric circuitry becomes crucial when dealing with fire alarm systems. A university level education should be enough for any engineer to be able to tackle electrical power requirements for low current systems.
IP-based devices are becoming more widely deployed as part of low current systems including network cameras, telephone handsets, standalone readers, clocks, and even speakers. Therefore, a strong background in IP networking would help engineers working in both design and integration positions. Fortunately, lots of high quality educational material is available online on this subject. One of the most prestigious certificates in this domain is CCNA – a certificate provided by Cisco that covers all the basic material in networking.
Knowing the main components is the first step in understanding low current systems. The System Architecture describes the components, how each component is connected to the other, and how these components interact with each other to provide a complete functional system. A Single Line Diagram (SLD) describes all of the above and additionally indicates the types of cables used to connect the devices. SLDs are on of the best representations of low current systems. Material covering system architecture can be found in vendor related material and installation manuals.