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Extend your Network

2008 September 24
by admin; 3,594 views

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to extend your network, we may have your answer. Two exciting new products are now being offered by Alps from AIC Wireless and Axxeon Technologies, Inc.

axxeon converter fcu100The first, from Axxeon Technologies, is a media converter that converts your copper based Ethernet network to a fiber-based network (and back to copper again). It extends communications up to 2km over multimode fiber and up to 30km over single mode fiber. There is also a model that allows you to extend RS-232 or RS-485 transmissions over fiber.

Axxeon converters are listed in the catalog under Network Devices >> Network Interface Modules. Product numbers: FCU-100ST & FIB1-SRLM-SC002.

If you are looking to extend your LON, BACNet MS/TP or BACNet/IP networks, AIC Wireless has developed plug and play wireless devices. These can extend your network from 100 yards to several miles. The WLD series is designed to require little to no programming and is shipped ready to go!

AIC Wireless products are listed in the catalog under Network Devices >> Switchers/Routers. Product numbers include: AIC900E, WBT900#, WMT900#, and WLD900-LR.

Check out these great new lines and let us now what you think!

(Please log in for pricing and ordering)

“…The Sunshine of my Life…”

2008 September 9

Daylight Harvesting and the Future

daylight harvestingA new movement in technology has been sweeping the automated building landscape. You may have heard about daylight harvesting in the past, but recently the unique technology has become a legitimate and useful solution to energy savings and even visual acuity. According to Turnkey Lighting Control, a leader in the field, Heschong Mahone Studies have concluded that the use of daylight harvesting skylights in schools improved students math and reading scores by upwards of 20%. When combined with building controls and other automated functions, daylight harvesting can be seamlessly integrated into the entire digital package. This, according to Dave Wilson of Lighting Control & Design, is the reason that daylight harvesting was able to move into the mainstream. Wilson was recently interviewed by Ken Sinclair of You can find their discussion – “Reaping the Harvest” – here. For more information on exactly how daylight harvesting works and it’s applications, check out Turnkey Lighting Control’s web demo (requires Flash) and statistics.

Hidden Costs of Purchasing

2008 August 22
by admin; 2,442 views

Here at Alps, we are big believers in saving money (aren’t you?). We frequently tell new customers the value of purchasing from one source can be much larger than just initial product savings. We believe this type of supply chain management is not only the most efficient way of doing business… but in the future, it will be the only way. Well, it seems we are not alone in our thinking. We stumbled across a white paper from Anixter, a supply chain services communication company. There was a lot of great information in the document, but a few things stood out to us that are some interesting statistics.

First, according to a case study conducted by the group, there is a $550 savings when purchasing all of your products from one supplier (click on pictures below to enlarge). Also, an average of $7.17 was saved per order when the supplier provided automated tracking information. And finally, ordering products with multiple P.O. numbers can cost $50 in hidden costs per P.O. number.

anixter case study screenshot anixter case study screenshot anixter PO process screenshot

So, while we are obviously firm believers in this business model, we wanted to share with you the statistics that prove our point! If you agree, disagree, or just want to start a discussion about this topic, add a comment in the comment section below.

anixter case study screenshot anixter case study screenshot

And we’re back!

2008 August 11
by admin; 1,566 views

We’re back up and running after a brief hiatus here on the blog (we’ve been busy watching the Olympics). We missed you while we were gone. But, we’re happy to say that plans for a new website layout are well underway and should be functional by the time the leaves start falling. In the meantime, we are working on bringing you some new stories, tips and information in the coming days.

While we’re hard at work, take a look at this great educational material from Watt Stopper (Le Grand) from their E-campus Web site . They have two nifty little tutorials that are worth glancing over. We think it’s an excellent way to learn about a new product and it’s benefits. If you are interested in Watt Stopper products, you can find them in our Lighting Systems and Controls category within the catalog. Hope your summer (or winter, you Australians) is going well!

Friday Funday

2008 July 25

July has been a great month for the construction industry and we hope that you are all experiencing positives in your business. In the past few months we’ve added several new manufacturers to our catalog and we think they offer some great products that you’ll be interested in. In case you didn’t know, we add about two new manufacturers’ products per month. If you know of a brand or type of product that you are looking to see in the catalog, ask one of our customer service representatives; we may already carry those products! Below is a list of some new manufacturers whose products are in the catalog and ready to be sold:

AirCare Automation

  • Motor Controller Accessories
  • Interface Modules and Consoles
  • Single Phase AC Motor Controls

AIC Wireless

  • Network Interface Modules
  • Ethernet Switches


  • Intrusion Sensors
  • Security Cameras
  • Accessories

Consense Corp.

  • Condensation Sensors, Surface and Area Sensing

EMCO Flow Systems

  • Inline Flow Meters
  • Insertion Flow Meters


  • In-Wall Automatic Shut-Off Timers

Proliphix Inc.

  • Communicating Programmable Thermostats and Accessories
  • Temperature Sensors

ROSCO Laboratories

  • Fog/ Smoke Machines

Sycom Surge Inc.

  • Surge Protection & UPS

Valve Teck

  • Butterfly Valves with Electric Actuators

Watt Stopper

  • Occupancy Sensors
  • Specialty Controls and Switches

And for our Friday treat, here is a little clip of an HVAC unit being installed on top of a building… hopefully this hasn’t ever happened to any of you.

Find more extreme videos at


2008 July 24
by admin; 2,857 views

Happy Birthday Ms. Wendy Siefert! Wendy celebrated a birthday yesterday complete with flowers from her newly engaged son.
happy birthday wendy siefert

Alps Controls named one of 2008 Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania.

2008 July 24

pittsburgh business times best place to work logoWe made the list!

Alps Controls, Inc. has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Western PA by the Pittsburgh Business Times. We are extremely proud of this honor and happy to have such a great work environment here on the waterfront in Pittsburgh. If you will be in the Pittsburgh area on Oct. 15, feel free to come support us at the awards ceremony!

It IS easy being green.

2008 July 21
by admin; 1,612 views

Have you heard the word “green” lately?

While environmental issues have become hot recently, within the HVAC industry energy savings has always been the goal. With the advent of automated building controls came the prevalence of energy efficient systems, and the recently popular LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

A few of our manufacturers already have fantastic green product options (that can even help buildings achieve LEED status) that we are proud to offer. Many of the products that we have always carried are also energy saving devices, that can be energy conscious when used correctly. Below are a few articles describing the latest in green solutions. We will continue to offer you news and information about green standards and green practices in the HVAC building industry, but let us know what you think! Tell us how important “greening” has become in your business, if at all.

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Check out these articles on green product solutions available through Alps!

You tell us.

2008 July 7
by admin; 1,612 views

We’re doing some research on new products and we need your help!

Answer our poll below (no name or info required) to help us test the waters with new products you would like to see Alps Controls sell. The room sensor we’re thinking of providing would be available in both Analog and LON versions.

So, click our one question survey below and see the results for yourself. If you have an opinion that goes beyond “yes” or “no,” let us know by sending an email to Thanks for the feedback.

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Tip of the week: Search by part number

2008 July 7
by admin; 1,465 views

“That’s not what I typed!”

When searching for a part by part number (in the upper right left hand corner), sometimes a part will appear at the top of the searched products that looks nothing like the part you entered. “What is a CS-30!? I entered an H800!” This is just our little way of showing you some alternative products to the one you may be searching for. These are products that we feel deserve your attention and you should learn more about. Often, these products are the same as the part number you entered but from a brand you may not know about. Of course any product that you see recommended from Alps has our stamp of approval. Also, if you are used to buying a product from a source other than Alps (but who would do that?!) you can enter that part number and the search will display the Alps equivalent. Feel free to call and ask us what the benefits are for using this product instead of the one you had originally planned for.

Below is a short demonstration of this feature in action. Watch the video here on YouTube if you’re having any problems seeing it here. Contact our customer support team if you have any additional questions!