Dec 16

Different Kinds of Cable Lacing Bars for Cable Management

Cable lacing is a method widely used for cable management. For applications in telecommunication, navy, and aerospace, it is often used for tying cables in an organized sequence. Traditionally, cable lacing will use a thin cord to bind together a group of cables with a series of running lockstitches. Today, cable lacing bars and cable ties are typically used to perform cable lacing. Cables can be bound by the cable ties onto the cable lacing bar. Of course, cable lacing bars also have different shapes to meet different cabling demands. This article will guide you to explore the world of cable lacing bars.

cable lacing bars

Introduction to Cable Lacing Bars

Cable lacing bars or lacer bars are made of metal designed to mount above, below, behind, or in front of your network devices. They are often seen in racks (between switches and patch panels) or enclosures. The pressure of cable connections is greatly relieved by the support of cable lacing bars. Installing the cable lacing bar is pretty easy. Only several screws are needed to fasten each end of the bar onto the rack. The width of cable lacing bar is the standard 19 inches, but the height is usually optional of 1U or 2U.

Benefits of Cable Lacing Bars

Why are cable lacing bars so popular for cable management? Here lists some advantages of using the assemblies.

  • Point 1, cable lacing bars are space-saving. The bars use less than one U space, or none at all if mounted in front of or behind equipment. Thus, the valuable U space is saved for other network installation needs.
  • Point 2, cable lacing bars provide numerous cable lacing points. Almost entire length of the bar is neatly covered with lacing slots, which allows for easy cabling along the whole bar.
  • Point 3, cable lacing bars relieve the strain of cables. When large amounts of cables are installed in the rack, cable stress will also increase accordingly. Using cable lacing bars can relieve cable stress and avoid pulling cables when routing them from one side of a rack to the other.
  • Point 4, cable lacing bars promotes good bend radius. If bend radius of fiber cables is well-protected, risks like slower data speeds and broken cables will no longer exist.
Six Types of Cable Lacing Bars

In general, there are six types of cable lacing bars. Each one is designed for a specific cabling environment. From the descriptions below, you can know which one is the perfect solution for your application.

Round lacer bars are used for individual or a small amount of horizontal cables. The rod has flattened ends and its diameter is 1/4 inch.

round-lacer-bar

When lacing small bundles or individual cables off the rear of equipment, patch panels and other components, round lacer bars with offset are used to relieve cable stress from the connections. Appropriate offset should be selected based on the distance from the rear of equipment to the rack rail.

round lacer bar with offset

Square lacer bars are suitable for cable routing at the rear of equipment. They are also used for vertical or horizontal cable lacing. Similarly, they are still designed with 1/4” diameter rod and flattened ends.

Square Lacer Bar

L-shaped lacer bars are much stronger and provide fixed lacing points. More cables can be supported by this type of bar. You should also mind the distance from the rear of equipment to the rack rail for offset choosing.

L-Shaped Lacer Bars

90 degree bend lacer bars are special for the 90 degree bend which provides a full-width support. They can also be used for clearance around components that extend past the rear rack rail.

90 Degree Bend Lacer Bar

Horizontal lacer panels are typically used for large lacing amounts of cables or mounting devices. They have large flanges, numerous lacing points and more surface for mounting.

Horizontal Lacer Panel

Conclusion

Since cable management takes an important role in structured cabling, cable lacing bars are an ideal solution for efficient and safe cable routing. Choosing the right type of cable lacing bar is also necessary for making the best use of it. Thus, you’d better choose wisely and consult the professionals if needed.

Dec 07

Reasons for Choosing LC HD Plus+ Cable in Data Centers

Many data centers are now upgrading into unprecedented higher bandwidth. In order to realize the massive data capacity in a restricted area, reducing the connectivity space is rather important. Therefore, many high-density devices are designed to meet this requirement. One of the most popular products is the LC HD plus+ cable. It has become an effective solution for 10G / 40G / 100G applications. Why does data center constantly use this type of patch cable for equipment connections? This article will give you four irresistible reasons of choosing LC HD plus+ cable.

Construction of LC HD Plus+ Cable

You may wonder what makes LC HD plus+ cable so special. From its construction, you can see the differences. LC HD plus+ cable is mainly structured with uniboot connector, push pull tab and bend-insensitive fiber. The uniboot connector combines two LC connectors into one boot housing, which means that two fibers are bundling in a single patch cord. The connector polarity is also reversible without using special tools. As for the push pull tab, it is a tab attached to the connector used for pushing or pulling the whole connector into or out of the equipment. It is also known that fibers are usually sensitive to stress, but LC HD plus+ cable is no more afraid of bending thanks to the bend-insensitive fiber.

LC HD plus+ cable

Four Reasons of Using LC HD Plus+ Cable
Advantage of Uniboot Connector

The compact uniboot design reduces the cable management space by 68%, which has efficiently offered airflow and visibility of equipment in high-density networks. Its reversible polarity design also enables the change of polarity with a finger latch release greatly eliminating the cable congestion in racks and cabinets. In this way, uniboot connector significantly eases the issue of cable management in high-density connectivity.

uniboot-connector

Advantage of Push Pull Tab

When manual access to the connector is limited in areas like the slider or rear part of the connector, the use of push pull tab will greatly simplify such connectivity problem. The flexible connector can be freely extracted or inserted into the port with the help of extension tab. No tool is need for the connecting and disconnecting process which makes the use of push pull tab much simpler. Therefore, it is also an ideal solution of dense applications to save space for the stacking of devices.

push-pull-tab

Advantage of Bend Insensitive Fiber

In general, when fiber is stressed by bending, the light in the outer part of the core will leak out of the fiber and no longer stay in the core. This can cause huge fiber loss and lower the transmission performance. However, using the bend insensitive fiber can avoid such situation. Bend-insensitive fiber adds a layer of glass around the core of the fiber which has a lower index of refraction that literally “reflects” the weakly guided modes back into the core when stress normally causes them to be coupled into the cladding. Bend-insensitive fiber becomes more and more vital to the high-density applications where fiber bending is almost inevitable.

bend-insensitive-fiber

Advantage of Low Insertion Loss

Apart from the above benefits, LC HD plus+ cable also supports low insertion loss. Lowering the insertion loss can achieve higher data performance. The insertion loss of LC HD plus+ cable is lower than 0.15dB due to its integrated design.

Conclusion

Uniboot connector of the LC HD plus+ cable perfectly reduces the space for high-density connectivity in data centers. The push pull tab and bend-insensitive fiber also simplify the installation process. FS.COM has provided the custom service for LC HD Plus+ fiber cable. Trunk cable and harness cable can all be customized with LC HD Plus+ designs. Please visit FS.COM for more information.

Nov 30

How to Terminate Bare Fiber With Fiber Optic Connector?

There are usually two ways for fiber optic termination. Bare optic fiber can be either spliced with another fiber for a permanent joint or connected with fiber optic connector for a temporary joint. When using the fiber optic connector, we can easily install or uninstall the cable for various applications. This type of termination is more flexible and simple to operate. It is also time-saving to use fiber optic connectors for cable connectivity. However, do you know the right process to terminate bare fiber with fiber optic connector? This article will guide you step by step.

Common Fiber Optic Connectors

Let’s start from the fiber optic connectors. Choosing the right kind of connector for your termination is extremely important. In today’s market, four types of fiber optic connectors are widely used for terminating single fibers. They are LC, SC, ST and FC connectors. LC connector has a 1.25mm ceramic ferrule which is only half the size of other connectors. It’s a snap-in connector usually used for high-density applications. SC connector uses a 2.5mm ceramic ferrule and also features a snap-in connection for quick cable patching. Different from other connectors, ST connector uses a bayonet twist-lock connection with 2.5mm ferrule. Moreover, FC is a screw type connector with 2.5mm ferrule but is becoming less popular than LC and SC connectors.

common-fiber-optic-connector

Connector Polish Styles

When terminating the optic fiber with connector, you should also decide the polish type if the connector is not polished in advance. Generally, connector end face will be polished to minimize back reflection of light. Using the mated polish styles, light can propagate through connectors with lower fiber loss. There are four types of polish styles – flat, PC, UPC and APC polishes. Among them, UPC and APC types are more popular in the industry. The major difference between UPC and APC connectors is that the APC type is polished at an 8-degree angle while UPC has no angle, but they are both slightly curved for better core alignment. As for the color, UPC connector is usually blue and APC connector is green.

upc-apc-polish

Important Precautions

Fiber optic cable is very fragile and sensitive to contamination, thus we need to pay more attention to the precautions before starting termination. Here lists some general precautions as a reference:

  • Always keep dust cap on unused connectors. Store spare dust caps in a dust free environment.
  • Remember to clean the connector and fiber before termination.
  • Make sure there is no laser light in the fiber during termination process.
  • Do not bend the optic fiber at a radius less than 25 mm.
Termination Process

When everything is ready, we can begin the fiber optic termination. The followings are the specific steps.

  • Step 1, measure and mark the cable jacket to the desired length(usually 35 mm). Place jacket stripper on mark and squeeze gently until cutter closes. Pull the cut section off the cable.
  • Step 2, measure and mark kevlar to the desired length(usually remain 7 mm). Use scissors to cut away extra kevlar.
  • Step 3, measure and mark the buffer to the desired length(usually remain 16 mm). Strip the buffer in several small lengths to avoid fiber damage.
  • Step 4, use a lint-free, alcohol-soaked tissue to clean the fiber.
  • Step 5, fill the syringe with adhesive, and slowly inject the adhesive into the ceramic tip.
  • Step 6, gently insert the fiber into the connector and put the connector components together.
  • Step 7, place the connector in the polishing disk. Put it on the polishing film, and lightly polish the connector for 8 to 10 times.
  • Step 8, mission complete! Give it a try on your equipment.

fiber-optic-termination

Conclusion

Bare fiber terminated with fiber optic connectors greatly eases the stress for cable installation. It is always recommended to turn to the professionals for help when doing fiber optic termination.

Nov 25

Trend of Cloud Computing in Data Center

In the past, traditional data centers were mainly established by hardware and physical servers. However, the data storage is limited to the physical restriction of space. Network expansion became a headache for IT managers. Gladly, virtualized data center with cloud computing service has emerged and continued to be the trend since 2003. More and more data center technicians adopt it as a cost-effective solution to achieve higher bandwidth performance. This post will help you to have a better understanding of cloud computing in data center.

cloud-computing-of-data-center

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing service is not restricted to one data center. It may includes multiple data centers scattered around the world. Unlike the traditional data center architecture where the network users owned, maintained, and operated their own network infrastructure, server rooms, data servers, and applications, cloud data center is providing business applications online that are accessed from web browsers, while the software and data are stored on the servers or SAN devices. Thus, applications using cloud-based computing are running on servers instead of local laptop or desktop computer. There is no need for users to know the position of data center and no need for experts to operate or maintain the resources in the cloud. Knowing the way to connect to the resources is enough for the clients.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing brings many great changes for data center networking. Here lists some key benefits of cloud computing.

  • Flexibility – Cloud computing has the ability to update hardware and software quickly to adhere to customer demands and updates in technology.
  • Reliability – Many cloud providers replicate their server environments in multiply data centers around the globe, which accounts for business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • Scalability – Multiply resources load balance peak load capacity and utilization across multiply hardware platforms in different locations.
  • Location and hardware independence – Users can access application from a web browser connected anywhere on the internet.
  • Simple maintenance – Centralized applications are much easier to maintain than their distributed counter parts. All updates and changes are made in one centralized server instead of on each user’s computer.

cloud-computing-advantages

Traditional & Cloud Data Centers Cost Comparison

Cost is always an important concern for data center building. One reason why cloud computing is so popular among data centers is because its cost is much lower than the same service provided by traditional data centers. Generally, the number of cost mainly depends on the size, location and application of a data center.

Traditional data center is more complicated by running a lot of different applications, but this has also increased the workloads and most applications are only used by few employees making it less cost-effective. 42 percent of the money is spent on hardware, software, disaster recovery arrangements, uninterrupted power supplies, and networking, and 58 percent for heating, air conditioning, property and sales taxes, and labor costs. While cloud data center is performing the service in a different way and saves the cost for servers, infrastructure, power and networking. Less money is wasted for extra maintenance and more for cloud computing, which greatly raises the working efficiency.

Is It Secure to Use Cloud Computing?

Data security is always essential to data centers. Centralization of sensitive data in cloud computing service improves security by removing data from the users’ computers. Cloud providers also have the staff resources to maintain all the latest security features to help protect data. Many large providers will safeguard data security in cloud computing by operating multiple data centers with data replicated across facilities.

Conclusion

Cloud computing service has greatly enhanced the high performance of data centers by reducing the need for maintenance and improving the ability of productivity. More data centers are turning into cloud-based these days. It is definitely an efficient way to provide quality data service with cloud technology.

Nov 18

Using IP67 Fiber Cable For Fiber Link Protection

Fiber optic cables have taken a large percentage of today’s network market. Compared with copper cables, optical cables are faster in speed and lighter for carry. The deployment of fiber optic cables has brought many benefits to ordinary people, but the disadvantages of fibers can also be fatal. Optic fibers are easily breakable and polluted by dust, liquid and other contamination. Hence, fiber optic cables should be designed to accommodate to different kinds of environment. IP67 fiber cable is a type of specially used fiber cable with dust-proof and water-proof functions. This post will guide you to know more about this special fiber cable.

Meaning of IP67

When hearing the name of IP67 fiber cable, you may be curious about the meaning of IP67. Actually, “IP” is a kind of rating defined by International Standard IEC 60529. The abbreviation stands for international protection which classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid object (including body parts), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The IP code consists of two numbers, such as IP67. The first number represents the solid object protection, and the second is the water protection. Following picture presents the category of IP codes. If either number is represented by an “X”, it means the product has not been tested in that category. It does not equate to a ranking of 0, but it also does not guarantee any protection. Therefore, IP67 means that the cable is protected from dust at the highest level and against temporary immersion in water.

ip-rating-code

Construction of IP67 Fiber Cable

IP67 fiber optic patch cable contains the ordinary optic fiber and special IP67 fiber optic connector. IP67 connector is designed based on the conventional connector with a aluminum shell of spring-loaded push-pull locking mechanism. The shell protection can block dust and liquid from the inside connector. The following picture gives a detailed structure of IP67 LC duplex connector.

structure-of-ip76-cable-connector

Types of IP67 Cables

According to the connectors on each ends, IP67 fiber optic cables can be divided into two types. One type is equipped with IP67 connectors on both ends, and another type is terminated with a IP67 connector on one end and common fiber optic connectors on the other end. Fanout IP67 fiber optic cable is also used for high-density connections.

ip67-fiber-cable

Applications

The strong PU jacket and single-mode APC armored structure of IP67 cable provides 1 Gbps data transfer speed in high bandwidth application, which is five times quicker than standard 9/125 μm fiber patch cable. The low insertion loss IP67 cable connector has a simple push-to-latch and a pull-to-release outer sleeve for mating and un-mating action allowing for easier install or uninstall. Designed according to the IEC60603-7 interface standard, the connector can also match with other similar mechanical systems. IP67 cables are often used in FTTH, FTTA, LAN test equipment and military industry deployed at junction cabinets in the street, remote radio head connection, wind mills or direct buried installation.

Conclusion

IP67 fiber optic cable offers great protection for optic fibers against dust and water under severe outer environment. It is wise to use IP67 fiber cables in these places to secure your data links. Inner shell connectors of the cable are now optional with LC, SC, ST and FC types. You may regard IP67 cable as a considerable choice for your network.

Nov 09

Have You Used Fiber Optic Wall Plate for FTTx Applications?

Did you notice the square object with jacks installed on the wall before? It is often called as wall plate. There is a variety of wall plates used in everyday life. Almost every room will have one to enable convenient cable deployment inside buildings and houses. As for FTTx applications, fiber optic wall plate is an indispensable component to keep fiber optic link away from dust and damage. This article will mainly give some details about fiber optic wall plate.

fiber-optic-wall-plate

What Is Wall Plate?

First, let’s get to know more about the basics of wall plate. Wall plate, also called as wall outlet, workstation outlet or station outlet, is a flat plastic or metal plate that usually mounts in or on a wall (sometimes may be mounted in floors or ceilings). A wall plate has one or more jacks. A jack refers to the connector outlet employed for physical and electrical connection to the network cabling system. According to different networks, wall plates is divided into two types as fiber optic wall plates and copper wall plates. Since optical network has been leading the world trend, today we will get to know more about fiber optic wall plates.

Types of Fiber Optic Wall Plates

Fiber optic wall plate is designed to establish the connection between two fibers. Based on different adapters, fibers, port counts and port orientations, fiber optic wall plates have many classifications.

Classified by Adapter

There are typically four types of fiber optic connectors used in optical network, therefore the fiber optic adapters installed on the fiber optic wall plates are also different. LC, SC, FC and ST adapters are the common types. When you need to find a matching fiber optic wall plate, just check your fiber connector to see if it is the same type as the wall plate.

adapter-type-of-wall-plate

Classified by Port Count

As for port count of the fiber optic wall plate, a typical wall plate holds up to four ports. For individual homes, sing-port type is mostly used for FTTH network. But for the office buildings, multi-port type is required for FTTD applications. In addition, if other ports are aimed for different applications, the ports can be made as hybrid ports with mixed types of adapters.

port-count-of-wall-plate

Classified by Port Orientation

Port orientation is another way to divide fiber optic wall plates. Using the right orientations can provide fiber links better protection under different environment. Three common types of port orientations are straight, box-shaped and angled.

port-orientation-of-wall-plate

Classified by Fiber

Fiber optic cables are made of different types of fibers. In order to satisfy the demands for all kinds of fiber cable deployment, fiber optic wall plates are also distinguished by single-mode fibers of OS2, and multimode fibers of OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4. Moreover, single-mode fiber optic wall plate is used for most FTTx projects.

How to Install Wall Plate?

As a reference, here are the recommended steps for installing box-shaped wall plates on the wall:

  • Step 1, determine the location of the new cabling wall plate. Use a pencil to mark a line indicating the location for the top of the wall plate.
  • Step 2, use the hole template to trace the outline of the hole to be cut onto the wall with a pencil. Keep the top of the hole aligned with the mark made in step 1.
  • Step 3, follow the lines and use a drywall keyhole saw to cut out a hole.
  • Step 4, insert the wall plate into the hole. If it won’t fit in, trim the sides of the hole with a razor blade or utility knife.
  • Step 5, secure the wall plate by screwing the box to the drywall or by using the friction tabs.
Conclusion

Fiber optic wall plate is an important part for FTTx applications. Selecting the right one from so many types of wall plates is also a task. All the aspects for your project should be taken into consideration. FS.COM is a place where you can find different types of fiber optic wall plates. You are welcome to get more detailed information in there.

Nov 02

Building MDU Network into Brownfield and Greenfield

Multi-dwelling unit (MDU), namely multi-family residential, are the structures of housing where there are more than one living unit per location. MDU classification of housing has been considered as an important growth opportunity for communication services providers according to the population density and economics of scale. Generally speaking, there are two applications for MDU FTTx network deployments as “greenfield” and “brownfield”. This post will introduce the basic information about MDU and its network building applications.

Three Types of MDUs

In North America, MDUs can be classified into three construction versions of high-rise MDU, mid-rise MDU and low-rise MDU. Here will explain them one by one.

High-Rise MDU

This type of MDU refers to the large multi-story building like condo or apartment with more than ten floors and 128 living units using the internal residential entry. High-rise MDU is typically designed as vertical living style and planned for cabling access to the different stories and sections of the building thereby making sure that the FTTP network functions efficiently and reliably over high levels.

high-rise-mdu

Mid-Rise MDU

Mid-rise (medium-rise) MDU is the leased or owned condo or apartment with up to 10 stories including 12 to 128 living units using the internal residential entry. For new mid-rise MDU, its fiber deployment is similar to the high-rise buildings. However, many old mid-rise MDUs are built as walk-ups and without provisions for new cabling networks. It is a challenge for these mid-rise residential buildings to find space for structured cabling.

mid-rise-mdu

Low-Rise MDU

Low-rise MDU is usually known as condo, townhouse or apartment constructed in garden style or horizontal style. There is only up to 3 floors or stories and 12 living units inside the low-rise MDU with external residential entry. The difficulty level for cable deployment also depends on whether the building is newly constructed.

low-rise-mdu

Brownfield and Greenfield Applications

As mentioned above, the oldness and newness of residential buildings will affect the difficulty degree of cable installations. These two types of architectures are also the basic applications for building MDU network. Greenfield means the newly-built housing communities consisting of many separate living units typically joined together in one or several buildings. However, brownfield refers to the MDU that already exists in a typical urban area.

In a Brownfield application, a service provider must deliver fiber into the customer’s premises quickly, efficiently and securely. The ability to connect fibers as they are needed for new subscribers is best served using a simple “plug and play” approach. Thus, the splice storage should provide a demarcation point, such as a fiber demarcation box, equipped with industry standard connectors.

brownfield-deployment

As for greenfield application, a network operator could ideally place the fiber to every living unit during initial construction. Fiber from every unit may then be run back to central closet and spliced as required inside a closure. A box such as the fiber splice box is an optimal and low cost solution.

greenfield-deployment

Fiber Connectivity Methods

In MDU network applications, service providers can use factory-terminated patch cords or fusion-spliced pigtails to connect fibers. Patch cords are efficient connectivity methods because no tools or splices are required in the field to make the termination. Their simple plug and play installation also minimizes the required skills for setting up the connection, which reduces installation time and labor costs.

Fusion-spliced pigtails can alleviate the issues of cable management for massive patch cords and cable waste for long patch cords. However, the fusion splice machine is expensive and specialized training is required. The fusion splicer also requires electrical power in places like MDU hallways where power outlets aren’t readily available.

Conclusion

The building of FTTx network in MDUs has become more and more popular around the world. Project installer should make proper connectivity plan according to different structures of MDUs. The complexity of deployment will also depends on whether the MDU is built in greenfield or brownfield. A successful network deployment in MDU is measured in many ways.

Oct 28

An Easy Guide to MPO/MTP Polarity

Nowadays, many data centers are migrating into the 40G and 100G transmission. To prepare for this change, MPO/MTP technology is applied to meet the requirements of high density patching. Typically, a fiber optic link needs two fibers for full duplex communications. Thus the equipment on the link should be connected properly at each end. However, high density connectivity usually requires more than two fibers in a link, which makes it more complex to maintain the correct polarity across a fiber network, especially when using multi-fiber MPO/MTP components for high data rate transmission. Therefore, many technicians would prefer to use pre-terminated MPO/MTP components designed with polarity maintenance for easier installation. This article will specifically guide you to understand the polarity of MPO/MTP products and the common polarization connectivity solutions.

What Is Polarity?

Keeping the right polarity is essential to the network. A transmit signal from any type of active equipment will be directed to the receive port of a second piece of active equipment and vice versa. Polarity is the term used in the TIA-568 standard to explain how to make sure each transmitter is correctly connected to a receiver on the other end of a multi-fiber cable. Once the component is connected to the wrong polarity, the transmission process will be unable to go on.

Structure of MPO/MTP Connector

When discussing about the polarity, MPO/MTP connector is an important component for you to know. An MPO/MTP connector has a key on one side of the connector body. There are two positions of the key – key up or key down. Key up position means that the key sits on top. When the key sits on the bottom, it is the key down position. Moreover, the fiber holes in the connector are numbered in sequence from left to right named as P1 (position 1), P2, etc. Each connector is additionally marked with a white dot on the connector body to designate the P1 side of the connector when it is plugged in. The MPO/MTP connector can be further divided into female connector and male connector. The former has no pins while the latter has two pins on the connector. The following picture shows the basic structure of MPO/MTP connector.

structure-of-mpo-connector

Connecting Methods of A, B, C

The TIA standard defines two types of duplex fiber patch cables terminated with LC or SC connectors to complete an end-to-end fiber duplex connection: A-to-A type patch cable is a cross version and A-to-B type patch cable is a straight-through version. Based on this, there are three polarity connecting methods for MPO/MTP products. Here will introduce them in details.

duplex-patch-cable

Method A is the most straight-forward method. It uses straight-through patch cords (A-to-B) on one end that connect through a cassette (LC-to-MPO or SC-to-MPO depends on what the equipment connector is), a straight-through MPO/MTP key up to key down backbone cable and a “cross-over” patch cord (A-to-A) at the other end.

method-a

Method B is the “cross-over” occurred in the cassette. The keys on the MPO cable connectors are in an up position at both ends, but the fiber that is at connector P1 in one end is in P12 at the opposite end, and the fiber that is in P12 at the originating end is in P1 at the opposing end. Only A-to-B type patch cord is needed for this method.

method-b

Method C is the most complicated. There is pair-wise “cross-over” in the backbone cable. A-to-B patch cords are used on both ends. The cassette uses MPO/MTP key up to key down and the backbone cable is pair-wise flipped so P1, P2 connects to P2, P1 and P3, P4 connects to P4, P3, etc.

method-c

Conclusion

Knowing the polarity of MPO/MTP system helps you better upgrade the 40G and 100G networks. According to different polarity methods, choosing the right MPO/MTP patch cables , connectors and cassettes will provide greater flexibility and reliability for your high density network.

Oct 18

Enhance Your Network With 40G QSFP+ AOC

To meet the requirements for higher bandwidth and throughput, 40 Gigabit Ethernet has become a trend for data transmission. A series of 40G equipment are designed to achieve the seamless interconnection in the 40G network. Devices like 40G fiber optic transceivers and 40G direct attach cables are widely used for the high speed transmission. 40G direct attach cables (DAC) are optimal solutions for short range connectivity. It can be further divided into the direct attach copper cable and active optical cable (AOC). This article will focus on presenting you some cost-effective 40G QSFP+ AOC solutions to improve your network.

Basic Knowledge of Active Optical Cable

AOC is a cabling technology that accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fiber “between the connectors”. It adopts electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. AOC is especially used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. It is made up of the multimode optic fiber, control chip and different connectors with one end terminated with QSFP+ connector and the other end terminated with QSFP+, SFP+, LC or else connectors.

active-optical-cable

Reasons for Choosing 40G QSFP+ AOC

However, why do we often use 40G QSFP+ AOC instead of 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ module? In fact, 40G QSFP+ AOC has many benefits that will provoke your interest for choosing it. First is the lower cost compared to the module since the AOC saves the need for extra fiber patch cables. Second is the low insertion and return loss. Although it is used for the same transmission distance, the repeatability and interchangeability performances of 40G AOC are better than 40GBASE-SR4 module. Thirdly, under the four-quadrant test, which is used to test whether the product still keeps better performance even under the lowest and highest voltage and temperature situations, the AOCs are qualified to meet all the demands.

40G QSFP+ AOC Solutions

Here provides some common 40G QSFP+ AOC solutions that are welcome in the market.

Each end of this AOC has a QSFP+ connector used for 40G data propagation. The maximum length can reach up to 100 meters. It is a 40 Gbps parallel active optical cable which transmits error-free parallel 4×10 Gbps data over multimode fiber (MMF) ribbon cables.

40g-qsfp-qsfp-aoc

QSFP+ to 4x SFP+ AOC is a breakout cable offering the professionals a cost-effective interconnect solution for merging 40G QSFP+ and 10G SFP+ between devices of adapters, switches and servers. Users can install this AOC between an available QSFP+ port on their 40Gbps rated switch and feed up to four upstream 10G SFP+ enabled switches.

40g-qsfp-4sfp-aoc

This is also a breakout AOC with a QSFP+ connector on one end and 8xLC connectors on the other. It is a high performance, low power consumption, long reach interconnect solution supporting the 40G Ethernet compliant with the QSFP+ MSA and IEEE P802.3ba 40GBASE-SR4. It is an assembly of 4 full-duplex lanes. Each lane is able to transmit up to 10 Gbps data rate providing an aggregated rate of 40 Gbps.

40g-qsfp-8lc-aoc

Conclusion

Along with the popularity of 40G Ethernet, the market of 40G QSFP+ AOC has been growing over the years. It is definitely a better choice for high speed transmission over short distances. Additionally, if you are looking for higher bandwidth AOCs, there are also 100G QSFP28 AOC and 120G CXP AOC suitable for your needs.

Oct 11

How to Install Aerial Fiber Optic Cables?

When you walk on the street, have you noticed at the fiber cables hanging on the poles overhead? These cables are commonly called as aerial fiber cables, which are widely used for outside plant (OSP) installation on poles. Aerial fiber cables are designed to accommodate the severe environment preventing the destruction of the nature and man-made damage or theft. There are also different types of aerial fiber optic cables. This article will describe the common installation ways and things to notice during installation.

aerial-fiber-optic-cable

Types of Aerial Optical Cables

Aerial fiber optic cables can be classified into the catenary wire style and the self-supporting style according to different installing ways. The catenary wire style refers to the general outdoor loose tube cables which can be lashed into a messenger. The self-supporting style refers to the ADSS (all-dielectric self-supporting) cables. They are made to support their own weight and environmental conditions such as wind and ice. Figure 8 self-supporting aerial fiber optic cables are the common ADSS cables designed for easy and economical one-step installation over long haul network communication.

Aerial Cable Installation Guides
Before Installation
  • Point 1, before the aerial cable installations, making a proper plan is very necessary. All the parties including utilities, street department and so on should be present in the cable route survey. And the plan should be approved by all the parties.
  • Point 2, sufficient clearances must be maintained between fiber optic cables and electrical power cables on joint-use poles.
  • Point 3, existing dead-end pole must be evaluated to see whether they can withstand the stresses during aerial cable installation. You have to evaluate whether temporary guying is needed in order to relieve the temporary unbalanced loading during cable installation.
  • Point 4, splice locations are usually selected during the cable route survey. They are chosen to allow for the longest possible continuous cable spans and a minimum number of splices. They should be easily accessible to a splicing vehicle.
  • Point 5, remember aerial installation should never be done in wet conditions. And make sure all personnel are properly trained for pole line work.
Installation Methods

According to different aerial cable types, there are generally two installation ways. First is to lash a fiber optic cable to a steel messenger. A steel messenger is first installed between the poles. Then a cable reel trailer and truck are used to pull the cable along the messenger. A cable guide and cable lasher are used to wrap around both the messenger and the fiber cable to secure the fiber cable to the messenger. Following the cable lasher is an aerial bucket truck which makes necessary adjustments. At each pole, the fiber optic cable forms an expansion loop to allow for expansion of the messenger. The expansion loop’s sizes have both a length and a depth, and its length should be larger than twice its depth. The fiber cable should also maintain its minimum bending radius at all times.

Another way is the direct installation of self-supporting figure 8 aerial cables. It greatly simplifies the task of placing fiber optic cables onto an aerial plant. The self-supporting figure 8 cable incorporates both a steel messenger and the fiber cable into a single jacket of figure 8 cross section. The combination of strand and optical fiber into a single cable allows rapid one-step installation and results in a more durable aerial plant.

During Installation

You should watch out for your safety during cable installation. Here are some tips for you to follow:

  • Tip 1, ensure that the tools and equipment used for the cable installation are in proper working order. Improperly functioning equipment may damage cables or cause injury to personnel.
  • Tip 2, be careful when working near electrical hazards if electric lines are passing through or near the right-of-way where installation is being performed.
  • Tip 3, before pulling cable directly from a figure 8 configuration, make sure that the area inside the loop of the cable is clear of personnel and equipment. Failure to do so may result in injury to the personnel or damage to the cable.

aerial-cable-installation

Conclusion

Installing cables is not an easy thing, especially for aerial cable installations. Extra concentration and patience are needed during the installation. The actual situation is usually much more complex than we talked right here. You need to adjust your plans according to real conditions.

Oct 03

Considerations for Setting up a Small Server Room

Generally speaking, data center is designed to keep the continuous operation of computer servers in an entire building or station. Likewise, server room is also devoted to this purpose but with a much smaller space. If you are only running a small business, then a small server room is enough. But you should not think that a small server room does not need proper building plan. Actually, having a solid design is very necessary to prevent future headaches. Well-organized server room ensures the effectiveness and viability of your business. This article will provide you with some considerations for setting up a small server room.

server-room

Select Right Sized Rack

With the growth of company, equipment may pile up day by day. It is dangerous to expose these equipment randomly to the working environment. A minor accident like coffee spill or stumble can cause great loss. Gladly, using server racks will effectively solve these unnecessary problems. But how to choose the suitable racks? Most importantly, server racks with sufficient inner space is beneficial to future equipment expansion. Today, server racks are usually in free-standing style or wall-mounted style. But you need to remember that no matter which type you choose, following the installation instructions can secure your racks from rack movement which may cause further disruption and damage.

server-racks

Isolate Servers to Prevent Noise

If budget permits, having a separate server room can both effectively reduce the equipment noise and secure the equipment from theft, physical tampering, and accidents. However, small company may have no choice but to place the rack in the corner of the room. Therefore racks with sound-dampening properties are welcome to be set up within such small areas. Completely soundproofing is impossible, but overall sound reduction can be achieved.

Get Control of the Heat

High temperature in your server rack will dramatically shorten equipment lifespan or even lead to crashes or outages. For the safety of the equipment, environment and company, you need cooling strategies to control the heat. Installing air-conditioning units is a good way to keep your equipment cool and lower the surrounding temperature. Also, a structured cabling will contribute to the heat control.

Keep Good Cable Management

Do not regard cable management as an unnecessary trifle. Sometimes it is the hidden danger in the future. You’d better keep good cable management right from the start. Properly bundling cables together behind equipment allows easier access to servers. When bundling your cables, it’s common practice to bundle by server and then group those bundles together. Related tools such as cable ties can be used to support the management process.

good-cable-management

Use Labels to Mark Everything

Another tip for managing your sever room in good order is to label all the cables. In this way, you can easily identify the right cable within a short time. Other accidents like systems being unplugged or restarted without warning can also be prohibited. When labeling your cables, you should include the information of where the cable connects to and from and a unique ID identifying the cable. Nowadays, many types of cable ties are available with the marking function.

Conclusion

Server room is an essential part of your company which contains all the important pieces that keep your business operating smoothly. Setting up a nice server room can keep your equipment away from damage and increase the working efficiency. Of course, if you are not professional, consulting a specialist for help is always recommended.

Sep 29

Why Use Media Converters in LAN & MAN?

media-converterNowadays, people are widely using media converters for LAN (Local Area Networks) and MAN (Metro Area Network). As for the LAN, media converter plays an important role in combining the fiber optic cabling and active equipment with the current copper structured cabling. And in the case of MAN, media converter is also significant in conversing electrical signals into optical signals which increases the service deployment and decreases the service cost for customers. This post is going to further explain the advantages of using media converters in LAN and MAN respectively.

Advantages of Using Media Converter in LAN

At first, media converters are simple devices just used to connect two dissimilar media types such as twisted pair with fiber optic cabling. Today, category of media converters increases a lot. And the function of media converter is not single and can meet more requirements. Media converters including fiber to RJ45 converters, SFP Ethernet converters, OEO converters, mode converters, fiber video converters, etc. can be found in the market.

Copper and Fiber Conversion

Now some LAN is still structured with twisted pair wiring. As a result, the transmission distance is greatly limited with only 100 meters. To extend the data transmission distance, fiber cable gains the popularity since it can support longer transmission distance and it’s more and more inexpensive. But in practice, copper is familiar and easier to be installed. Besides, many network devices still have copper ports. It would cost too much to replace all the expensive equipment with fiber optics. So media converter is applied to realize the copper & fiber conversion with the cheapest price. Media converters make it possible to migrate a local network to fiber while maintaining the existing infrastructure.

10-100base-t-to-100base-fx-xrj45-media-converter

Figure 1. 10/100Base-T to 100base-FX Single Fiber Media Converter

Speeds Conversion

When connecting legacy 10BASE-T network segments to a newer 100BASE-FX Fast Ethernet infrastructure, media converter is the best solution. With one RJ45 port and one SFP socket, this 10/100Base-T to 100base-X SFP Ethernet fiber media converter can mediate between 10/100M UTP ports and 100M optical fiber ports. And it can reduce electromagnetic interference and extend the distance up to 100 km. Media converters can support network speeds from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

speed-conversion

Figure 2.  Media Converter Connecting Different Speed
Bridging Two LANs over Fiber

Media converters are also used to expand the reach of the LAN to cover more locations. A converter can connect multiple LANs to form one large “campus area network” that spans over a limited geographic area. As premises networks are primarily copper-based, media converters can connect two distance switches with single-mode fiber and extend the reach of the LAN up to 130 km.

Saving Cost for FTTD

Existing data rate in the LAN backbone at 100Mbps or Gigabit speeds, fiber can accommodate high-bandwidth applications such as streaming media and voice over IP for more secure desktop connections. Media converters can make FTTD (fiber to the desktop) cost-effective in the LAN. With media converters, the cost of expensive fiber home which requires all-fiber switches, patch panels and network interface cards can be saved by converting in the telecommunications room and at the desktop.fttd

Figure 3.  Media Converters Make FTTD a Reality.

Advantages of Using Media Converter in MAN

Ethernet is the dominate LAN protocol with the highest market penetration. Past 10/100Mbps connections in LAN can’t meet the demands for high-speed data traffic. With the publication of the 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet standard, the applications space for Ethernet expands from the LAN to MAN.

Maintaining Optical Circuits

Media converters are deployed in the MAN to provide the physical layer connection and to bridge the bandwidth gap that exists between LAN and MAN. In the LAN, the structured cabling is often twisted-pair copper cable or multi-mode fiber. While the cabling is often single-mode fiber in the MAN. So media converters are used at both ends of the first mile to provide the electrical-to-optical conversion from the POP (point of presence) switching router to single-mode fiber, and back to 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet at the customer premises. At the same time, if the customer needs to increase the internet speed, the bit rate can be increased through the POP switch and the converter will automatically adapt to the increased speed, avoiding a visit to the customer site or POP.

Increasing Flexibility

Media converters can realize the connections between copper switch ports and optical access to get more flexible and further. Media converters can support multiple types of media from copper to multimode and single-mode fiber. Single-mode converters cover distances up to 80 km with 1310nm optics and even 130 km with 1550 nm optics.

Media converters can also enhance the consistency of service. On one side, if there is any problem, the network administrator can troubleshoot one circuit and keep other customers’ connections running. On the contrary, if a fixed port switch goes down, all connections will be down simultaneously when repairing a faulty port. On the other side, customers can used the media converter as an optical demarcation point, which brings cost savings and simplicity.

Conclusion

There are many benefits of using media converter in LAN and MAN, such as copper and fiber conversion, speed conversion, cost reduction, simple network troubleshooting and so on. Media converter is not only the optical demarcation between LAN and MAN, but also the bridge between LAN and optical backbone of service provider. With such a cost-effective solution, what’s the reason not to use?

Sep 19

Applying VFL for Fiber Cables Troubleshooting

Whenever you need to install or troubleshoot fiber cables, visual fault locator (VFL) is an easy and essential tool for quickly positioning the problem areas. As a fiber optic tester, VFL is used to trace optic fibers, check fiber continuity and find fiber breaks, damaged connectors, defective splices, tight bends in optical cables. Two basic types of VFL are pen shape VFL and hand held VFL. Pen shape VFL is very small with a pocket size to be carried anywhere. Hand held VFL has a range of connector bulkheads styles from universals to specific connector types. This article will lead you to know more information about VFL.

visual-fault-locator

Importance of VFL

VFL can pinpoint the exact fiber damage location, therefore technicians are able to diagnose and solve the problem in a timely manner which efficiently avoids further fiber damage. VFL is also used for conducting continuity tests and performing fiber identification. With the help of VFL, specialists can easily isolate high losses and faults in optical fiber cables. As we all know, a good cabling system is the pledge of a good data center. In order to maintain the perfect functioning of fiber optic cables, VFL is an indispensable tool to be applied for the routine trouble shooting.

How VFL Works?

The invisible light signals are typically transmitted at 1300 nm to 1650 nm wavelengths over fiber optic cables. Different from the way that OTDR (optical time-domain reflectometer) locates the faults by measuring the time of the incidence and the amplitude of the reflected pulses sent to the fiber optic cable, VFL uses powerful visible light at the wavelengths between 360 nm to 670 nm to visually and quickly locate the faults in the cables. When the visible light leaks out at a certain point of optical cable, it shows that the VFL has reached a fault. It is also easy to see light leaking through the plastic cable jackets under the right illumination of VFL. Generally, a VFL can work at the distance between 2 km to 5 km.

How to Use VFL?

Using VFL is not a difficult task. Just follow the steps to know the operation procedure:

  • Step one, remove the plastic connector covers from both ends of the fiber cable.
  • Step two, connect the VFL to one end of the fiber cable.
  • Step three, press the tester button and observe whether light emanates from the other end of the fiber. This gives a simple indication of the continuity of the fiber link.
  • Step four, repeat the above steps with other fiber cables to see if visual light is leaking out from a faulty splice. This may illustrate an easy way of carrying out visual fault locating on bad splices or joints.
  • Step five, disconnect all equipment, put the plastic covers back to the connector ends and return everything to the state it was.

Notes:

  • Point one, do not look directly into the VFL’s output.
  • Point two, cover the VFL’s output with the dust cap when it is not in use.
  • Point three, VFL is not recommended to be used on dark colored or armored cables.
Conclusion

VFL is an equipment for fiber testing, troubleshooting and measurement. It is ideal for locating a large number of defects that are hidden in an OTDR “blind-spot” or “dead-zone”. Fiber breaks, faulty connectors, sharp bends, bad splices and other similar faults can be visually located by VFL’s visual light injected into a fiber. VFL can boost productivity in the field by providing fast detection, precise fault location and ORL (optical return loss) measurements. If you don’t have it, better get one for your project.

Sep 13

Are You Familiar With Optical Switch?

There are lots of fiber optical devices used for communication networks. And optical switch is the one transmitting light signals between different channels. If a light signal is propagated from one phone or computer to another, it may be required to move between different fiber paths. Under this condition, optical switch plays an important part as it can transfer the signal with a minimum loss of voice or data quality. With the growth of technologies, many new methods have been combined with optical switch to achieve higher speed performance. Today, let’s step into the world of optical switch and explore its secrets.

Types of Optical Switches

Basically, there are two types of optical switches – OEO (optical-electrical-optical) switch and OOO (optical-optical-optical) switch. Network management functions of operating a network are available today using an optical switch with an electronic-based switching matrix. OEO switch receives the optical signal and converts it into electrical signal. Then it switches the signal into a different port and converts it back to optical signal for the network. By using an electronic fabric, OEO switch accomplishes bandwidth grooming and overcomes the network impairments.

oeo-optical-switch

OOO switch or all-optical switch enables the managing and switching of optical signals without converting them into electronic signals. This is especially attractive to those carriers operating large offices where up to 80 percent of the traffic is expected to pass through the office on its way to locations around the globe. It receives the optical signal and switches it to a different port in the optical domain, then returns it back to the network as an optical signal.

ooo-optical-switch

Technologies Applied In Optical Switch
MEMS Switching

MEMS (micro electrical mechanical system) technology uses many moving mirrors to switch the signals by deflecting light waves from one port to another. There are two MEMS structures. One is called 2D MEMS mirror, and another is 3D MEMS mirror. 3D MEMS based optical switch is more widely used in the industry. Following figure shows the operation process of the MEMS switching.

mems-optical-switch

Liquid Crystal Switching

Liquid crystal technology employs the polarization effects of light in liquid crystals for light switching. At first, the light is filtered through polarization beam splitter to be separated into two or more paths. Then the light is put through a liquid crystal where its polarization property may be changed. At last, the light comes into the polarization beam combiner to be steered into the output port. And the output port is decided by the new polarization property of light.

liquid-crystal-optical-switch

Bubble Based Switching

Bubble based switch can use air bubbles and micro trenches aligned vertically and horizontally to switch the light. When there is no need for switching, the light can pass through the trenches uninterrupted. This technology has the benefits of low cost and fast switching time.

bubble-based-optical-switch

Thermo-Optic Switching

Thermo-optic switch will send light down a wave guard. The light is then split into different wave guards. If a switching command is issued, one of the wave guard arms is heated and the light within the wave guard will change its optical path length. Then the light is recombined and the path lengths of the lights are measured. If the lengths are different then the beam will be switched into one output port. If they are the same, the beam will be switched into another port.

thermo-optic-switch

Applications

Optical switches can be applied to various applications. In high speed networks, switches for this function are usually used within optical cross-connects to handle large amount of traffic. Another application is for the protection switching. If a fiber fails, the switch allows the signal to be rerouted to another fiber before the problem occurs. Also, the OADM (optical add-drop multiplexer) will use some optical switches to convert signals from a DWDM stream allowing carriers to selectively remove some wavelengths from a signal.

Conclusion

Optical switch is an important device that transfers light signals into different channels. Based on the original OOO type and OEO type optical switches, many new technologies have been brought in, which ensures the high performance of optical switches. With growing demands for higher data bandwidth, the future of optical switch is bright.

Sep 06

Punch Down Tools User Guide

The term “punch down” is used for the physical force needed to pierce or take away the cable insulation while the connection is being made. Punch down tools or krone tools (named after the Krone LSA-Plus connector) are widely used for copper network built by Ethernet cables including cat 5, cat 5e, cat 6, etc. As we know, these copper cables can be connected with keystone jacks, cross-connect blocks, patch panels and surface mount boxes. Therefore, the function of punch down tools is to insert the wires into the IDC (insulation-displacement connectors) on these terminations. This post is going to introduce some basic knowledge about punch down tools and the proper way to use them.

punch-down-tools

Operation Principle of Punch Down Tools

Many punch down tools are composed of a handle, an internal spring mechanism and a removable slotted blade. After positioning the wire into a slotted post on a punch down tool, just pressing down the tool on top of the wire over the post. Then the internal spring will be triggered by the required pressure and the blade pushes the wire into the slot. At the same time, the blade cuts the insulation and secures the wire.

punch-down-process

Instructions for Using Punch Down Tools

Step one, make preparations before punching down a wire. When gripping the punch down tool in one hand, you should ensure that the cutting blade is facing down. Then coil the wire through the connection block terminal by another hand.

Step two, punch down the wire. You should firmly hold the wire’s end in hand and set the tool’s blade on the selected connection terminal. Then pressing the tool forward with a straight move until reaching the bottom of terminal. If you are doing it right, any excess wire would be cleanly cut off and the remaining wire would be easily connected to the terminal.

Step three, check the wire connection. Make sure the connection is secure and no broken or loose wire is left in the connection block. You can test to see if the wire is indeed fastened securely to the right terminal by tugging on it.

Helpful Tips

Tip one, always wear safety goggles or glasses when using the punch down tools. Because small pieces of wire will fly in all directions during the punch down process, which is a potential risk to your eyes.

Tip two, if the wire slips out of the connection block, you can use a flat head screwdriver to slightly increase the pressure applied by the punch down tool.

Tip three, if using the highest pressure setting, the tool still cannot cut through the cable. Then the cutting edge must become dull. This means that you need to replace the blade with a new one.

Tip four, do not use a punch down tool to tighten up flat head screws as this can break or shatter the blade.

Tip five, though most models are made of plastic, punch down tools can still conduct current. Keep this in mind when working with electrical circuits.

Tip six, you should always carry at least one extra blade for each type of termination that you are doing. Blades don’t break often, but they do break occasionally.

Tip seven, a 4” square of carpet padding or mouse pad makes a good palm protector when punching down cable on modular jacks.

Conclusion

Punch down tools are usually applied to data or telecom network wiring in computers, phones and audio devices. Of course, many types of punch down tools are available to meet different requirements. Good tools even have replaceable blades. Employing punch down tools greatly accelerates the working efficiency and reduces the task difficulty. It is important for technicians to use them in daily applications.

Aug 30

Different Kinds of Cable Tie Solutions – Which Do You Prefer?

When you first saw a cable tie, you might feel nothing special about it. It’s just a tie for holding cables together, what more could it be? But the fact is that if you want to completely get rid of messy cables, cable ties are of great importance. They are generally inexpensive, and can be ordered in various colors and sizes. There are many types of cable ties on the market. Different types are made for various applications. Using the right cable tie can speed up your working efficiency. This article will introduce some common cable tie solutions. Maybe one of them is perfect for your project.

Self-locking Cable Tie

Self-locking cable tie has the classical oval lock structure for easy installation. It is the most common cable tie consisting of a flexible nylon tape with an integrated gear rack, and on one end a ratchet within a small open case. With a good locking design, cable tie can provide firm locking for the cables. This kind of cable tie is shorter and thinner for small spaces and light wire management. Its curved tip is easy to pick up from flat surfaces and allows faster initial threading to speed installation.

Self-locking-cable-tie

Stainless Steel Cable Tie

Stainless steel cable tie is used when there is liquid involved and when extreme temperatures are involved. This cable tie can withstand temperature ranging from -100 to +1000 degrees Fahrenheit. The stainless steel cable tie has a tensile strength of 100 lbs. And it has the capability to endure most chemicals that will cause corrosion. It can be used for the most extreme environment or where additional strength, security and fire resistance are required.

Stainless-steel-cable-tie

ID Marker Cable Tie

ID marker cable tie or identification cable tie features a large marker area for the imprinting or handwriting of cable assembly numbers and other vital information, making cable and wire identification in an extensive range of applications a fast and easy task. Whenever cable colors are not enough for cable identification, ID marker cable tie plays a part.

ID-marker-cable-tie

Mount Head Cable Tie

Mount head cable tie combines the zip tie and mounting eyelet together. It allows you to bundle cables and then mount them to a surface using screws, nails, clamps or clips. Surfaces including walls, ceilings, server racks, trailers, vehicle chassis, and other areas are able to handle the cables easily with mount head cable tie.

Mount-head-cable-tie

Releasable/Reusable Cable Tie

Releasable cable tie is actually reusable nylon self-locking cable tie. The common nylon cable tie can only be used once. If you need to re-bundle or rearrange the cables, then releasable cable tie is your best choice. By pressing the latch on the tough of cable tie, it can be easily released from the cables.

Reusable-cable-tie

Velcro Cable Tie

Velcro cable tie or hook and loop cable tie is made of a self-attaching hook and loop material. It is reusable and adjustable to support frequent moves, adds, and changes of cables. Usually sold in rolls, velcro cable tie can be easily cut down to any length you want. No matter for factory devices or household appliance, velcro cable tie is very convenient to be used for cable management. It also has many other types with different shapes such as the T type velcro cable tie, the voltage type velcro cable tie and the buckle velcro cable tie.

Velcro-cable-tie

Conclusion

Cable management is especially essential for device installations where large amount of cables are needed. As a cost-effective tool, cable tie can be simply mounted to arrange the cable mess which enables higher performance of devices. The above options are some common types in the market. You should choose the right cable tie according to your actual application.

Aug 25

Field Terminated vs. Pre-Terminated: Which Do You Prefer?

Fiber optic termination refers to the addition of fiber optic connectors, such as LC, SC, FC, MPO, etc. to each fiber in a fiber optic cable. It is an essential step in fiber optic connectivity. Nowadays, two major termination solutions including field terminated and pre-terminated (factory pre-terminated) are used to achieve the fiber termination. For these two solutions, which do you prefer?

Field Termination

Field termination, as its name suggests, is to terminate the end of a fiber in the field. Field terminated solutions including no-epoxy, no-polish (NENP), epoxy-and-polish (EP) connectors and pigtail splicing are applied on the majority of fiber optic cables today. Field termination not only requires various of steps and tools, but also the proper training and skills of technicians to properly terminate the fiber.

field termination

Note: pigtail splicing is accomplished by fusing the field fiber with a factory-made pigtail in a splice tray.

Factory Termination

Factory termination, also called factory pre-termination, refers that cables and fibers are terminated with a connector in the factory. In fact, factory termination has the same procedures as field termination, but all the steps are taken at the manufacturers’ facility. The pre-terminated solution mainly including the fiber patch cables, the pre-terminated cassettes and enclosures features superior performance, good consistency, low insertion loss and good end-to-end attenuation in the system with the design of high-quality connector end-face geometry. In addition, by reducing the cumbersome process and tools, factory pre-terminated solution is easier to install and requires less technical skills.

factory pretermination

Field Terminated vs. Pre-Terminated

Field terminated solution and pre-terminated solution, with different strengths and weaknesses, are likely to attract different types of users. As technicians face important trade-offs in deciding which method to choose, we are going to provide a detailed comparison between them from several aspects in this section.

Preparation
Field terminated solution needs a series of preparations before termination. Procedures including stripping the cable, preparing the epoxy, applying the connector, scribe and polishing, inspection and testing are required. Additionally, tools and consumables such as epoxy and syringes, polishing products, cable installation tools, etc. are also necessary. Conversely, the pre-terminated solution doesn’t need any cable termination preparation, no connector scrap, no cumbersome tool kits or consumables and no specialized testers needed.

field terminated preparation

Cost & Time Spent
Traditional field terminated solution has the lowest material cost with no pre-terminated pigtails or assemblies required, but with the highest labor cost as it takes much longer to field install connectors. For pigtail splicing, though the factory pre-terminated pigtails cost less but the higher labor rates are typically required for technicians with fusion splicing equipment and expertise, or fusion splicing equipment and expertise must be on hand. The pre-terminated solution typically costs more than other options on materials. However, it greatly reduces the labor cost. Because less expertise and resources are required of installation staff.

As mentioned above, field terminated solution takes more time in preparation and connectors field installation. In contrast, with pre-terminated solution, connectors are factory terminated and tested in a clean environment with comprehensive quality control processes and documented test results that allows for immediate installation, saving up to 70% on installation time.

To sum up, mainly with time and labor saving, the pre-terminated solution can help users save cost at an average of 20-30% over field terminated solutions.

Performance
In terms of performance, the pre-terminated solution is more stable than the field terminated. Factory pre-terminated assemblies with documented test results are generally available in lower insertion loss and better performance. Field terminated solution works weaker in stability. Because there are many uncertainties in field installation. When for high density applications, the pre-terminated cable assemblies offer better manageability and density which are more suitable for high-density connectivity than the field terminated practices.

Applications
Field terminated solution, as a traditional termination method, is still used in many application fields. But now, for the case that cable distances are less than 100 meters and cable lengths are pre-determined, pre-terminated solution is more preferred by users. The pre-terminated solution is widely used for cross-connect or interconnect in the MDA (Main Distribution Area), EDA (Equipment Distribution Area), or other areas of the data centre, as well as for fixed lengths in the interbuilding or intrabuilding backbones.

Warm Tips: Click here to view the Field Termination vs. Factory Termination in LAN application.

Conclusion

Field terminated and factory pre-terminated solutions play a very important role in fiber optic termination, though they have different features. Choose the right method for your network according to your plan. For data center applications, FS.COM highly recommends you the pre-terminated solution as it can help keep costs down and network up, and meets the demands on high density. Contact us over sales@fs.com for detailed information.

Source:http://www.fs.com/blog/field-terminated-vs-pre-terminated-which-do-you-prefer.html

Aug 17

PLC Splitter for Various Applications

PLC splitter or planar lightwave circuit splitter is a passive component that has the special waveguide made of planar silica, quartz or other materials. It is employed to split a strand of optical signal into two or more strands. PLC splitter also has lots of split ratios, and the most common ones are 1:8, 1:16, 1:32, 1:64, 2:8, 2:16, 2:32 and 2:64. Products usually accord with Telcordia GR-1209-CORE, Telcordia GR-1221-CORE.YD/T1117-2001 standards. There are many types of PLC splitters to meet with different needs in OLT and ONT connection and splitting of optical signals over FTTH passive optical networks.

Importance of PLC Splitter

PLC splitter is especially important in FTTH networks, which shares a single PON network with many subscribers. Having no electronics and power in PLC splitter, it is very cost-effective to provide reliable light distribution solutions. Unlike FBT (fused biconical taper) splitter, PLC splitter has a better performance that offers accurate splits with minimal loss in an efficient package. Some typical types are widely used in optical network applications, i.e. bare fiber splitter, blockless splitter, ABS splitter, fan-out splitter, tray type splitter, rack-mount splitter, LGX splitter and mini plug-in type splitter.

Applications
Bare Fiber PLC Splitter

Bare fiber PLC splitter has no connector at the bare fiber ends. It can be spliced with other optical fibers in the pigtail cassette, test instrument and WDM system, which minimizes the space occupation. It is commonly used for FTTH, PON, LAN, CATV, test equipment and other applications.

bare-plc-splitter

Blockless PLC Splitter

Likewise, blockless PLC splitter has a similar appearance as bare PLC splitter. But it has a more compact stainless tube package which provides stronger fiber protection, and its fiber ends are all terminated with fiber optic connectors. Connectors are commonly available with SC, LC, FC and ST types. Thus, there is no need for fiber splicing during installation. Blockless PLC splitter is mainly used for different connections over distribution boxes or network cabinets.

Blockless-PLC-Splitter

ABS PLC Splitter

ABS PLC splitter has a plastic ABS box to protect the PLC splitter to adapt to different installation environments and requirements. Common splitter modules are 1×4, 1×8, 1×16, 1×32, 1×64, 2×4, 2×8, 2×16, 2×32. It is widely used with outdoor fiber distribution box for PON, FTTH, FTTX, PON, GOPN networks.

ABS-PLC-Splitter

Fanout PLC Splitter

PLC splitter with fan-out is mainly used for 0.9mm optical fiber where the ribbon fiber can convert to 0.9mm optical fiber through fan-out. 1×2, 1×4, 1×8, 1×16, 1×32, 1×64, 2×2, 2×4, 2×8, 2×16, 2×32, 2×64 fanout types are all available with PLC splitters. Fiber adapters can also be used for the input and output ends of this kind of splitters to directly meet the demand on smaller size of splitters.

Fanout-PLC-Splitter

Tray Type PLC Splitter

Tray type PLC splitter can be regarded the fiber enclosure which contains PLC fiber splitter inside a enclosure. It is often directly installed in optical fiber distribution box or optical distribution frame. FC, SC, ST & LC connectors are selective for termination. Tray type PLC splitter is an ideal solution for splitting at the places that are near OLT or ONU.

Tray-PLC-Splitter

Rack-mount PLC Splitter

Rack-mount PLC splitter can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications in FTTx projects, CATV or data communication centers. It uses the 19-inch rack unit standard to contain the PLC splitter inside a rack unit.

Rack-mount-PLC-Splitter

LGX PLC Splitter

LGX PLC splitter or LGX box PLC splitter has a strong metal box to house the PLC splitters. It can be used alone or be easily installed in standard fiber patch panel or fiber enclosure. The standard LGX mental box housing provides a plug-and-play method for integration in the network, which eliminates any risk during installation. No filed splicing or skilled personnel is required during deployment.

LGX-PLC-Splitter

Mini Plug-in Type PLC Splitter

Similar to the LGX PLC splitter, mini plug-in PLC type splitter is its small version with a compact design. It is usually installed in the wall mount FTTH box for fiber optic signal distribution. Using the mini plug-in PLC type splitter saves time and space but still provides reliable protection for the fiber optic splitter.

Mini-Plug-in-Type-PLC-Splitter

Conclusion

These types of PLC splitters are typically installed to serve for PON and FTTH networks. 1xN and 2xN are the common splitter ratios for specific applications. You should choose the most suitable one according to your project. Hope this article provides some help.

Aug 11

Keyed LC System Secures Your Network

While we are chasing for higher data rates in fiber optic networks, data security is also an important concern for constructing good network environment. Data risks will increase in the expanded fiber optic networks when unauthorized or inadvertent data changes occur. In order to respond to the urgent demand, physically discrete fiber connection systems have emerged for security in high-performance fiber networks. Generally, we call it the keyed LC system. Data risks can be largely reduced at the early stage of the infrastructure design by using a new cabling solution of “keyed” characteristic. This article will take you to explore the world of keyed LC system.

What Is Keyed LC?

Keyed LC system or secure LC system is a small form factor (SFF) connection system that allows for physical segregation of network segments in secure fiber cabling infrastructure. Different colors are used in the system to identify different network circuits and protect them from accidental moves, adds, or changes. There are 8 or even 12 keying options for keyed LC components, thus 8 or 12 different colors are employed to correspond to the specific option. For instance, this picture shows the typical simplex keyed LC connectivity which only allows yellow colored interfaces to fit in with each other.

keyed-lc-connector-and-adapter

The following picture presents the 12 color coded patterns. Once the color does not match, the keying feature will prevent the connector from carrying the signal.

color-code-of-keyed-lc-products

Keyed LC System Components

Keyed LC system is a big family that contains various components. Most common members are keyed LC fiber optic connectors, keyed LC fiber patch cords, keyed LC fiber optic adapters, keyed LC fiber adapter panels and keyed LC fiber optic cassettes.

Keyed LC Fiber Optic Connectors & Patch Cords

Keyed LC connectors are varied in different colors. When connectors are linked to fiber cables, they combine to be the diverse keyed LC patch cables. These components are used in interconnecting or cross-connecting fiber networks within a structured cabling system. Keyed LC fiber patch cables in single-mode 9/125 um, multimode 62.5/125 um, 50/125 um and laser-optimized 50/125 um are frequently used in the network.

Keyed LC Fiber Optic Adapters

The front and back of keyed LC fiber optic adapters are both keyed to prevent installation errors and possible security breach. They have different color coded keyed patterns for identification and are available for both single-mode and multimode applications.

Keyed LC Fiber Adapter Panels

Keyed LC fiber adapter panels with 12, 16 and 24 fibers are available in the market. They are a widely recognized modular solution for restricted fiber cross-connect systems. In data center, equipment room and telecommunications room, keyed LC fiber adapter panels are now frequently used to improve data security levels.

Keyed LC Fiber Optic Cassettes

Keyed LC cassettes are widely applied to prevent unauthorized and inadvertent changes in the highly sensitive data center and IT network.

Benefits of Keyed LC Products
  • Point one — data security. It is the fundamental advantage of using keyed LC products. Data transmission is secured by multiple keying patterns. Networks can effectively be limited to certain groups, access levels or customers in a co-location environment, which provides an increased level of security and stability by protecting against incorrect patching of circuits.
  • Point two — easy identification. Color-coded keyed LC products are easy to be identified during cable installation and maintenance which saves lots of time.
  • Point three — higher performance.Keyed LC products are usually pre-terminated, which cause low insertion loss and greatly increase the fiber optic network performance.
  • Point four — flexibility. Two keyed simplex LC connectors can be easily assembled into a duplex LC connector. The polarity of a patch cord can also be reversed easily.
Summary

In conclusion, secure/keyed LC system is a modular connectivity system designed to secure fiber networks for higher performance. Great reliability can be achieved and installation becomes more efficient in all areas of a fiber cabling infrastructure.

Aug 04

UPC or APC – Which One to Choose?

When it comes to fiber optic cables, you might be curious about the description that contains UPC or APC. For example, what is LC UPC to LC UPC? And what is SC APC to SC APC? UPC and APC are actually two polish types of fiber ferrules. This article will help you explore the world of UPC and APC to know which one is the better solution for your network.

What is APC & UPC?

Return loss is inevitable when installing a connector on the end of fiber. It is a back reflection generated by the light source. However, severe light loss will damage the laser light sources and disrupt transmitted signals. Therefore, different polish connector ferrules are made to avoid serious return loss. UPC and APC are two widely used polish types. Here are some specific information about UPC and APC.

UPC, namely ultra physical contact, is evolved from PC with a better surface finish. UPC connector relies on machine polishing to deliver its low optical return loss characteristics. Its rounded finish created during the polishing process allows fibers to touch on a high point near the fiber core where light travels. In addition, when using the UPC connector, make sure your laser’s specifications can handle the return loss your UPC connector will generate.

UPC

APC, namely angled physical contact, is very different from UPC. The end face of APC connector is precisely polished at an 8-degree angle to the fiber cladding so that most return loss is reflected into the cladding where it cannot interfere with the transmitted signal or damage the laser source. But it is extremely difficult to field terminate an APC connector at 8 degrees with any consistent level of success. Therefore, if an APC connector is damaged in the field, it should be replaced with a factory terminated APC connector.

APC

How to Distinguish UPC from APC?

Many differences can be found between UPC and APC connectors:

Point one, end faces. As we have discussed before, UPC connectors are polished with no angle, but APC connectors is polished at an 8-degree angle.

Point two, ways of light reflection. Their different polish end faces directly lead to their differences in ways of light reflection. Any reflected light is reflected straight back towards the light source if an UPC connector is used. But the APC connector causes reflected light to reflect at an angle into the cladding instead of straight back toward the source.

Point three, return loss. Since their light reflection patterns are varied, their levels of return loss are also different. APC connector offers lower return loss of -65 dB than UPC of -50 dB. As a matter of fact, connectors can achieve better matching performance if return loss is lower.

Point four, connector color. This is the most obvious difference that can be seen from the surface. UPC connector usually has a blue body while APC connector has a green body.

Which One to Choose?

If you are still confused about which polish type to choose, the best way is to see whether their applications complies to yours. In general, the APC type has a better performance than the UPC type. APC is best for high bandwidth applications and long haul links. For example, FTTx (fiber to the x), passive optical network (PON) and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) that are more sensitive to return loss, thus APC is a better solution to offer the lowest return loss. However, massive employment of APC connectors will cause higher cost. In this way, UPC might be a better choice because cost budget is of equal importance.

Conclusion

UPC and APC are taken into consideration when choosing fiber optic patch cables. Both of them can reduce light loss and protect laser sources from damage. A wise selection should be based on your actual condition. Hope this article can provide you some help.