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Cooling the Control Rooms: Testing Temperatures Keeps Football Data Flowing

January 2015

Shane Conner of Indiana, checks equipment at the big game with the Fluke Ti125 Infrared Camera

When football coaches talk about "bringing the heat," they mean a linebacker or defensive back is blitzing to put big-time pressure on the quarterback.

In telecommunications and internet data centers—rooms that contain the switching gear and servers that move audio, video and other data to and from the stadium—heat can have disastrous consequences, too, just like it can for quarterbacks.

Servers stop working, sensitive electronics are compromised. Data can stop flowing. That's why the climate in such rooms is carefully controlled with air conditioning and fans blowing across electronic equipment and power backup supplies.

When it comes to a big event like the Super Bowl, a bevy of new equipment is stuffed into those rooms, making the heat potential even greater. At University of Phoenix Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, electrical technicians from Seattle-based WBL Services are adding telecommunications switch gear and servers to an existing data control room in the basement of the stadium.

Shane Conner, a WBL contractor and owner of ATEC, his own Lebanon, Ind., electrical design/build business, recently made the rounds checking the temperature of the control room and their installed equipment using a Fluke Ti125 Industrial-Commercial Infrared Camera with Fluke Connect™.

"All of this equipment is built to be in a 64°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) room," said Conner. "That's why the thermal imagers are very important in here, especially as we start powering stuff up. We're sending out energy. We need energy. It all produces heat."

The Ti125 is used to take the temperature of the overall room as well as any hot spots.

"The first thing I do is take a shot of the floor to find the temperature there, then I go to the ceiling so I always use the laser function," Conner said. "Then I'll make sure there's not a big temperature differential.

"The whole room should have air flow in it and it all should be the same temperature. After the floor to ceiling temperature level is taken, I check our equipment and look for anomalies."

In a spot check on a switch gear rack with the Ti125, Conner discovers the temperature is nearing 80°F (27°C).

"If it's 80°, we have to bring some new units in here to bring those temperatures down. Because if it's going from 75° to 80° it's going go from 80° to 85° real fast. So it's critical you monitor the temperature in here so this equipment doesn't fail. There might be a piece of equipment in here that could shut this whole room down."

He finds that the temperature in the room is 70°, which is acceptable.

He captures a thermal image of the hotspot on the Ti125, then calls up the Fluke Connect™ app on his phone where he is able to voice annotate it and share it with WBL president Bill Lipscomb via the app on Lipscomb's phone. Or he could use email.

The free Fluke Connect™ app is available for Android (4.3 and up) or iOS (4s and later) smart phones. Learn more at

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