Advantages of Fiber Cabling You May Not Have Considered

September 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

 

First things first, we aren’t claiming that fiber is outright better than copper cabling.

 

We understand that as data and network design requirements vary, some applications may need copper cabling. In these cases, copper is likely the best choice and perfectly suited for that network or application.

 

What we ARE saying is that in other instances there may be advantages to using fiber in your application. 

 

When you consider the many elements that are involved in designing your network- such as cost, dependability, durability, resources, space, etc.- it will be helpful to know more about how using fiber can positively impact your network.

 

As with any technology related implementation, one might also want to consider the environmental impact that the network will have. Fiber has some environmental advantages that we will go over. 

 

So here they are, the facts about why fiber could be beneficial to your application!

1.       It generally requires less power

 

Overall, fiber uses less power to transmit at a longer distance.

 

Look at redundancy, for example. Copper backbones and Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDFs) could be converted to fiber optic direct from a centralized data center all the way to the desktop. When you eliminate the need for IDFs, you eliminate the need for all the extra space, cooling, cabling and power backup they require. This will generally mean less power consumption, especially at longer distances.

 

Copper also has limited run distances, so getting data from point A to point B can be an issue if the connection exceeds 100 meters, whereas fiber provides much further distance support.  

 

If you absolutely need copper, consider that higher quality copper cables result in less re-transmission of data and therefore less power consumption. Also, inexpensive and portable Wireless CPE units can be used remotely to provide a secondary communications link when fiber cannot be installed due to cost or physical barriers.

 

Note that fiber optic media converters can help transition your copper network to fiber optics if you choose a hybrid network design.

 

 

2.       Saves on Resources

 

Why? Fiber is lighter by nature of its composition. Therefore supporting structures can be less robust.

 

Also, since fiber runs all the way to the destination without a repeater for most networks, there is less need for intermediary network closets which saves on floor space and power consumption.  This also saves on HVAC needs too (which provides energy savings).

3.       Efficiency

 

Fiber cabling is as good as it gets for efficiency and security in network applications.  This is because it is free from threat of corrosion and is resistant to atmospheric conditions such as lightning or other electrical interference. Fiber is also resistant to environments where vibration and EMI/RFI interference might be present. And, fiber-optic cables don’t interfere with other devices.

 

Fiber proves its efficiency especially when you look at the use of materials over time for upgrading. Upgrades can be rather difficult with copper wire, though not with fiber because the real capacity of fiber is only partially utilized at today's network speeds. Cable and telephone providers often use fiber because it gives them greater reliability with the opportunity to offer new services, such as digital phone service and internet connections. 

 

With fiber cabling the signal also has a constrained loss rate, which means that very little signal is lost over rather long distances. Lastly, fiber is very hard to tap and steal data from since it transfers data with light.

 

 

4.       Saves on Waste

 

To put it into perspective, one fiber cable can do the work of TEN copper cables. That’s less material being used for manufacturing, thus less material ending up at the landfill.

 

As mentioned above, the reduced need for upgrading fiber networks also saves on waste as you are disposing of fewer cables over time.

  

All points considered, choosing the best connectivity media for your application is a balancing act. Armed with the facts you need about the implications of fiber technology, now you can consider what is most important to you and what best suits the requirements of your network.

 

The Ultimate List of Fiber Cable Connectors and Colors

June 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

You can practically see the rainbow when you look at our fiber cable offering on our website or in our catalog. 

 

In the world of fiber optics, there’s a standard color scheme to identify each and every type of fiber cable.  

 

And then there are all of those connectors to choose from… ST, SC, LC, MTRJ…

 

Though you may have heard of them, it can be challenging to identify the difference between each type of connector. 

 

We’re here to break it down. In the following tutorial, we’ll highlight some of the most common colors and connector types that you should be aware of. 

 

If you’re going to deploy a new network system using fiber or would like to better organize your existing fiber cables, you’ll want to stick around.

 


COLORS

 

So what do they all mean?

 

Traditionally, the following jacket colors have been used to define Single mode and Multimode fiber cables:

 

Yellow

9/125 Single mode

 

Orange

50/125 Multimode

 

Aqua

50/125 
(10 Gigabit Optimized)

 

Slate (Gray)

62.5/125 Multimode

 

 
 
 
 

Over time, the use of fiber has expanded in many applications and the need for different jacket colors has become a requirement for some customers. In today’s telecommunications networks you might also see different jacket colors used to denote different services or devices.

 

For example, if you have already allocated your traditional orange 50/125 cables to all of your high speed server connections, you can now add blue 50/125 fiber cables to denote WAN router connections.

 

By using colors to identify services/devices, troubleshooting is made easier, thereby decreasing network downtime. 

 

L-com has also developed a line of red, blue, green and yellow jacketed fiber cables which make port and service locations easier to find in dense equipment racks. 

 
 
 

       

 

 



CONNECTORS

 

In addition to the range of cable jacket colors, you can choose from an extensive variety of Fiber Optic connector types

 

The most common connector types you’ll see are: LC, SC, MPO and ST style connectors.

 

All of these types of connectors can be used with either Multimode of Single-mode fiber.

 

There are three types of polishes which can be applied to a fiber connector: PC or Physical contact, UPC or Ultra Physical contact and APC or Angled Physical contact.

 

Each polish type exhibits a different level of back reflection. Back reflection is a measure of the light reflected off the end of a fiber connector. This light is measured in decibels. For certain applications, the amount of back reflection on a fiber connector is critical.

 

L-com’s fiber connectors include commercial grade field installable fiber optic connectors as well as rugged IP67 fiber connectors for use in harsh environment applications.

 

In addition to our fiber connector video, check out one of the most popular technical resources we have- our Fiber Optic Connector Chart- that can help you find the fiber connector you’re looking for.

 


WAIT, THERE’S MORE…

 

In addition to standard commercial and industrial connectors, there are also Keyed LC Singlemode 9/125 assemblies which have a variety of COLORED CONNECTORS.

 

L-com's Keyed LC line of Fiber Optic Cable Assemblies offers mechanical network security for organizations desiring to segregate networks due to privacy or security concerns. Each Keyed LC connector is color coded for identification and features a mechanical key which prevents users from accidentally connecting the cable to the wrong jack. 

 

There are a total of 12 colors available including: Brown, Cobalt, Gray, Magenta, Olive, Orange, Pink, Red, Turquoise, Violet, White and Yellow. These cables are OFNR rated to meet strict building codes and utilize Single mode 9/125 fiber. Match the color of the Keyed connector to the corresponding color of Keyed coupler to create a secure network connection. 

 

Do your eyes hurt yet?

 

How We’re Launching into the Future of Fiber & Wireless Technologies

May 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

Picture this:

 

You’ve consistently worked hard on keeping up with the latest technologies and standards so that you can be the best in your business.

 

You’re confident in your knowledge and technique.

 

Then you get the call that you’re in. They want you.

 

And you have the opportunity to present this knowledge in front of some really important people……

 

That’s how we feel this month!

 

We’re honored to announce that we’ve been given the chance to present at a technology seminar at the Kennedy Space Center.

 

In the wave of 21st century technology, our sights are set on all that the future holds for our industry and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it. On Friday, May 9, 2014, our product managers and wireless application specialists will be presenting wireless application trends and the future of fiber optic communications. For NASA!

 


The Facts on Fiber

 

Our team plans to discuss a variety of fiber optic technology trends and future applications. The first will explain and examine the increasingly relevant crossover between commercial and military grade products.

 

It’s a common misconception that if an organization is qualified as a “government” or “military” entity, it absolutely must use military grade fiber products. This isn’t necessarily the case. What we want to emphasize is that it’s important to analyze all characteristics and factors within the application in order to get the best product match, as well as the best use of one’s money. 

 

For example: a military grade cable might be applicable in a certain outdoor location where large trucks and tanks run over it. But, if each end of that cable runs into a building where it‘s protected, a commercial grade connector or cable assembly could likely be a viable option.

 

It’s also important for us to mention how fiber has evolved. Fiber is no longer just a delicate and expensive cable option. Not only is fiber capable of being used in a rugged application, but it is also an efficient green choice that saves energy. To put this into perspective- one single fiber cable can be run 100 kilometers without a connection break-up or even having to use additional electrical repeater equipment for support along the way.

 

Other fiber optic topics that we’ll discuss are port density, cable weight, and the relatively new MPO connectors. Our hands-on discussion will also focus on how advancements in RF and optical networks will help NASA achieve new design insight. 

 

Lastly, we plan to touch on the topic of security in relation to fiber optics. In the past it was believed that fiber cable was “un-tapable.” However, there is knowledge to prove that fiber actually can be tapped into, so it might be worth considering taking certain safety precautions for the security of the data being passed.

 

 

What about Wireless?

 

In addition to our focus on fiber technology, we will also hold a technical discussion about the next generation Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac technology. 802.11ac has the ability to support up to eight MIMO spatial streams, with a lot more functionality. Check out our recent post about 802.11ac technology here.

 

In relation to 802.11ac, we will also discuss MIMO technology and using MIMO compliant dual polarity antennas. Our presentation will include the latest in new MIMO wireless technology that provides improved spectral efficiency along with increased link capacity and reliability.  

 

By utilizing multiple antennas you can increase the data throughput and range, compared to a single antenna using the same radio transmit power. Additionally, MIMO antennas improve link reliability and experience less fading than a single antenna system. By transmitting multiple data streams at the same time, wireless capacity is increased.

 

Overall, there's lots of exciting stuff propagating in the world of wireless and fiber optic technology.


What do you foresee in the future?


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