How to get the best use from Zoom in the hybrid workplace during and after COVID-19 lockdown.

Click play to view the webinar with Jaron Burbidge from Zoom.  He shares his experience and know-how to give you inspiration and ideas on how to improve your hybrid workplace communications.  Find out tips and tricks, how-to and how-not-to.


Have more questions?  Contact the friendly experts – call 09 377 3778 or email


Simplify Life.

Click play to view the webinar where our friendly experts share their experience and know-how to give you inspiration and ideas to guide your smart home decisions.


Call 09 377 3778 or email to get in touch with one of team.


Looking for the Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams?  It is the unmissable bright blue icon on the right of the SHARE page.

Whiteboard in Teams

Click the grey TEAMS bar at the bottom of the page when in a meeting, click the Share Button (box with the up arrow in it) and look over to the right.

Whiteboard in Teams




How I missed this for over 8 weeks astounds me but curiously the many panic searches I did while in meetings told me to look in Conversations / More… / Apps and that just ain’t true!

Hope this helps someone.

When distance learning was first introduced it was forward thinking in a paper-based environment but the most important parts of education and learning were lost;

  • The formation of relationships
  • Collaboration between educators and students
  • Collaboration between students
  • Engagement, person to person

In today’s digital age, technology is a tool which can dramatically improve the distance learning environment bringing a live experience to both educators and participants allowing both parties to read body language and tone.  It creates a personal connection and supports communication simultaneously with feedback in real time.  Technology in a distance learning setting provides a collaborative environment designed for group work and sharing and encourages creative thinking.

This interaction is vitally important for student engagement, active participation and maintaining relationships.  Fostering and maintaining relationships is especially important during periods of heightened stress, such as the current global pandemic, for the well-being of your students and the success of their learning.

Furthermore, technology allows analysis of levels of engagement – things that are otherwise very difficult to track or measure in a physical space – making a distance education offering a super smart tool for your institution.

If you are investigating virtual classroom technology or picking between systems, contact Laurence now on 027 846 1763 or email for a system demonstration.

Do you want to know how long one of your learners is speaking or how many times they raise their hand?  Technology allows you to easily analyse this data and use it to improve the education experience for both educators and learners.

There are many reasons to consider using technology to improve learning opportunities including accessing subject matter experts anywhere in the world or going on virtual field-trips – an experience far greater than a pre-recorded webinar.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a virtual classroom or training room can improve your educational offering call our friendly experts today.  Training Institutions please contact or ph 021 947 308.  Education Sector including Ministry of Education please contact or ph 027 486 1763.  We will consult with you to produce the best solution for your environment.  We can assist with hardware, software, installation, training and ongoing support.

Photo credit:

Have you noticed your LED lights flickering intermittently around the same time of day?  You may be being affected by ripple control.

Ripple control is when your power company is managing the electrical load on the network.  Control signals are sent from the power company which switch off devices, such as hot water cylinders and street lights, to reduce the amount of electricity being used.  Another signal is sent once network demand eases, to switch the hot water cylinders back on.  This signal can sometimes cause noise at your devices and result in your LED lights flickering when the signals are being transmitted.  Flickering can last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and stops when the power company stops sending the signal.  Many LED drivers are affected by these ripple control signals.

Happily, we can add a ripple control filter to stop your LED lights from flickering. We suggest you call your electrical company and ask what the ripple control frequency is in your area – usually 750Hz or 1050Hz. We’ll need this information to match the right ripple control filter to the local signal being output by your electrical company.

This is not a DIY job as all ripple filters must be installed by a registered electrician. So, if you’ve noticed your LED lights flickering intermittently give us a call on 09 377 3778 so we can sort it out for you. Contact us or email for more info or to arrange a ripple filter today.

What should I do during an electricity outage?

Vector has the following tips for what you should do in an electricity outage:

Report the outage. Call 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867).

Use a torch instead of candles (a torch is safer).

Switch off sensitive electrical equipment, such as your TV, computer and stereo as they can be affected by a power surge when power is restored.

Keep the fridge closed so food will last longer while the power is off. A freezer will usually keep food frozen for up to 24 hours without power.

Turn appliances off. Make sure elements on your stove, the kettle, and all heaters are turned off. This ensures they don’t come back on without you noticing when the power supply is restored.

Don’t touch or use any electrical appliances while barefoot in damp or wet conditions.

If you go out, be aware that streetlights and traffic lights may not be working.

Don’t go near any damaged power lines and electrical equipment – stay at least eight metres away.


Click here for more information about lighting control and automation, or call us today for a chat about your LED lighting 09 377 3778

We love sparkies, we do.  They are great for power points and light switches and meter boards and finding why the breaker to the fridge trips from time to time but there are some things that you are better off getting an AV professional to do.

The picture above is a classic example from a large Auckland Hotel (which will remain nameless).  You’ll see the back of a PA (public address) amplifier that drives the speakers that play that funky but relaxing Hotel Costes’ double CD set on repeat in the lobby 24/7.

Attached to the 100v output you may recognise the cable – yup, that’s cat5 dangling there.

The Automation Associates technical deployment experts get to see a lot of weird and wonderful things out in the field – usually after we get a call that begins with “ABC company installed XYZ and it has never worked properly, can you come and take a look please?” We usually get it sorted without passing judgement but this particular doozy rates special mention, not only due to the dreadful sound quality that this totally inappropriate cable was creating in this high end hotel’s very high end lobby, nor due to the lack of cable support or labeling but mainly due to the fire hazard and attendant insurance issues staring out at us.

Insurance companies are a mixed bag in my opinion (sorry Steve if you are reading this). The cash sapping annuals and enormous excesses are one thing but when the proverbial hits the fan it’s great when they have your back, unless they don’t.  They need to protect themselves and things like wiring a 100V PA system with cable that has neither the current carrying capacity nor insulation resistance to cope with the load is an easy out for them – and when the fire inspectors report comes in, believe me, they’ll take it.

Make your day a little easier and use the right tool for the job.  In this case its an AV Professional for an AV job.

If your interest (or conscience) is piqued or there is anything bothering you about your system please give Chris Rush a call on 021 947 356 and we will send out a tech to get it sorted, no judgements – we promise.

Located at 7 College Hill, Ponsonby. Drop in anytime to talk to one of our friendly techsperts or call 09 377 3778.  Email

Today the Herald has reported 2 cases of men carrying out electrical work that they were unauthorised to do.  This serves as a timely reminder to always check the credential of your contractors.  In this case the resulting work was deficient, potentially dangerous, non-compliant and safety issues were found.

“For safety reasons, only licensed electrical workers are allowed to perform prescribed electrical work,” Registrar of the Electrical Workers Registration Board Richard Stubbings said.

To ensure your new build is compliant only use licensed electrical workers to carry out electrical work.   You can be sure when engaging Automation Associates that the technicians carrying out any electrical work are authorised and licensed to do so.  Please feel free to call us on 09 377 3778 if you would like to discuss our teams credentials.

NZ Herald article follows.


Unlicensed sparkies fined $10,000

NZ Herald
12:10 PM Tuesday Oct 18, 2016

Ronald Todd was not licensed to carry out prescribed electrical work under the Electricity Act.

An unlicensed sparkie whose company carried out “potentially dangerous” electrical work at a school has been fined just over $3000.

The man, Petone’s Ronald Todd, was engaged to carry out electrical work on the flood and security light system at an Upper Hut school, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said today.

Todd was not licensed to carry out prescribed electrical work under the Electricity Act and concerns were later raised about his work, MBIE said.

An inspector, according to MBIE, found that the work carried out by Todd’s company was “deficient and potentially dangerous”.

Todd pleaded guilty to one charge of performing unauthorised prescribed electrical work and was fined $3187.

In another case, Massey man Jack Camplin did electrical work on a 36 foot yacht in 2014.

While he had indicated he was qualified to do this marine work, Camplin was not a registered electrician and not authorised to do it, MBIE said.

MBIE said Camplin’s work was non-compliant and safety issues were found.

Camplin, MBIE said, admitted one charge of performing unauthorised prescribed electrical work and was fined $6075 and ordered to pay costs of $356.

“For safety reasons, only licensed electrical workers are allowed to perform prescribed electrical work,” Registrar of the Electrical Workers Registration Board Richard Stubbings said.

“In both of these cases, the men involved implied that they were qualified to do the electrical work they were engaged to complete, however that was not the case. This misrepresentation of their qualifications resulted in dangerous and deficient work, which could have resulted in a serious incident,” he said.

“This highlights the importance of always using a licensed electrical worker to do prescribed electrical work. To ensure the person is licensed, ask to see their photo ID before they begin the job, and ask them to certify their completed work,” Stubbings said.