Getting older has many interesting facets as your body changes. In my case, I inherited finger arthritis from my father and my guitar playing, never that good to begin with, has greatly deteriorated. The middle fingers on my hands are bending left and right and get in the way of the others. So, I guess it’s slide guitar from here on out; put the glass on the pinky, tune to open G and let it rip.

In working with video equipment, I’ve had some difficulties connecting and removing BNC and F connectors, because often the female connectors are quite close together on a DVR or device, and I usually end up grabbing the trusty Leatherman pliers and slowly removing a connector one-quarter turn at a time.

To make our technician lives easier Ideal Industries Inc. is delivering the 35-046 BNC/F connector termination tool.

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This ingenious hand tool makes terminating BNC and F connectors much easier when they are in tight quarters and/or your fingers don’t work the way they used to. Time is money, and this tool can make your hookups faster and save your fingers from cuts and scrapes. As a bonus, the 35-046 has a threaded F female connector on the other end that can make the installation of F connectors onto coax cables much easier. After inserting the center conductor in the hole, screwing the connector onto the fixed adapter will properly install the connector onto the coax.

Ideal Industries Inc. designs and supplies tools for our industry, which are carried by most major distributors. There are cheap tools and good ones. Ideal tools will work repeatedly and last at least until you leave them on a job somewhere.

One of the problems that I have encountered again and again over the course of the past 10 years in working with Wi-Fi IP cameras is that the manufacturers tend to provide plug-in power supplies with very short cords, maybe three or four feet. (Resideo cameras are a notable exception with lengthy power cables and/or extension cables provided with their products.) Wi-Fi cameras need an AC plug nearby, and the short distances of the power cables can limit the locations where a camera can be located. If there’s a convenient AC outlet, then there’s no flat surface nearby to park the camera and/or the AC sockets are both in use by existing customer devices.

One of the recent TV go-tos at the Engebretson house is “The Virginian,” a 1.5-hour Western series from the early ’60s that was one of my lovely wife’s favorite shows as a child. While watching one of these shows I saw an ad for a device that in some cases can solve the problem of the short power cables provided with most Wi-Fi cameras.

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It’s a simple concept. The Socket Shelf 8 Port Surge Protector Wall Outlet from The Sharper Image turns a vertically oriented AC socket into a six AC outlet with two USB ports, and surge protection. The cute component is the shelf that fits on top of the plug-in module. It may well be a perfect place to park a Wi-Fi IP camera, eliminating the short power cable problem and providing surge protection for connected devices.

It probably won’t work in every application, but having one in the installation truck might be useful. This device is available at the usual online locations.