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Going underground

06 January 2009

Digital advertising technology in the London Underground uses Hylec APL connectors for protection
UK cable gland specialist Hylec-APL is supplying its latest innovative and tough outdoor cable connectors to London Underground contractors to link together the new LCD advertising display screens in the harsh underground environment.

Going underground
Going underground

In a job such as this it is important that no compromises are made, equipment has to be resistant to moisture, temperature and small impacts as well as adhering to fire safety standards. Installation also had to be quick to ensure minimal downtime thus avoiding disturbance of the Underground schedule.

A series of live advertising screens are being installed throughout the London Underground in various stations. The Underground, which could be said to have created outdoor advertising, is now endeavouring to liven up its marketing, as well as commuters’ journeys by digitising the displays at stations. To realise this goal 150 large screens will be installed throughout 24 stations.

The Underground is a hostile environment for electronics which means that Melford, the company providing the fully equipped TST screen units, needed to ensure that both the data cabling and power cables would be protected. Each required a specific solution specified by Hylec-APL’s technical experts.

In order to link the display images and controls together the data cabling is being plugged into a special moisture proof cable gland that has the facility to accept RJ45 type connection. With ingress protection of IP68 and extremely high cable retention these cable glands are able to ensure that the cable entry points do not pose a threat to the integrity of the projectors.

Hylec is also supplying waterproof Teetube cable connectors to protect the power lines linking the screens together. The Teetube design offers IP68 ingress protection and offers 2 and 3 way cable entries. With its high IP rating and up to 6 pole connections the Teetube is suitable for use where moisture is present.
Other benefits of the Teetube include an innovative transparent option also allows users to check connections without disassembly which ensures that maintenance time is kept to a minimum. The ease of installation that these cable connectors provide coupled with the outstanding protection they offer is ideal for the contractors, enabling them to make a robust IP68 connection with the same cable retention offered by a traditional dome topped cable gland quickly and securely.

All installations in the London Underground have to follow very strict safety guidelines. It is necessary that all products used are low smoke and halogen free in the event of a fire. Hylec APL was able to recognise the importance of providing equipment that met all the criteria for this installation. The connection solutions it offered provided the contractors with ingress protection suitable to the application as well as high cable retention and good fire resistance.

The maintenance and installation contractors, Melford, produce digital display technologies for various industries including CCTV monitors already in use in the Underground network. They decided on the Hylec-APL cable glands and Teetubes as they recognised that they best matched the strict requirements for the project.

Vic Austen, spoke for Hylec APL “Due to the nature of the environment in which the work is being carried out we recognised the importance of providing products which could withstand the hazards which may be encountered. We are very proud that our products are to be used in such an exiting project and are confident that they will provide the protection required for the job”

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