The Edwards Agency


Northshore High Tech: Leviton Telecom--At the end of the information highway

Tim Ferguson

Tim Ferguson molds precision data connectors.
Photo by Gordon Mitchell.

Northshore High Tech by Gordon Mitchell, Ph.D.
In work for clients who are concerned that they may be the victims of electronic eavesdropping, I inspect the inside of electrical outlets, around computer network connections, and in telephone rooms. It is not unusual to see the Leviton name dozens of times.
   The company has been a standard for outlets and switches for decades. Its Bothell-based subsidiary now produces the specialized wiring hardware needed for commercial phone and computer interconnections. It provides the user end of the information highway.
   Leviton Telecom products include modular connectors, fiberoptic interconnects, and the racks of patch panels used to connect various locations in a building.
   Most Leviton products involve precision molded plastic parts with built-in electrical connectors. The modular connectors that are used in these products are similar to the ones used in modern telephones. Wiring of this sort is common for both telephone and data lines.
   As computer speeds have increased, the need for higher quality wiring has required manufacturers like Leviton to produce products that can carry data at up to 100 million bits per second. To have a system of this sort work well, it is necessary to carefully control dimensions to minimize coupling of signals from one wire pair to another.
   "Our selling point is that we guarantee our products to work in these high bit-rate applications," explained Dan Klimke, who has been with Leviton Telecom since shortly after its start-up in 1987.
   Over 80 percent of Leviton Telecom products are manufactured in Bothell. They are available from distributors who carry computer and telephone wiring materials.

Gordon Mitchell has a background in the engineering management of high tech organizations. He is a principal of Future Focus, a Woodinville company that provides an unusual investigative service, working with commercial clients who suspect they may be victims of electronic eavesdropping. Future Focus performs specialized inspections to locate bugs and taps that may have been installed by unethical competitors or dissatisfied employees. Gordon can be contacted at 489-0446 or via e-mail at