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Blog posts tagged with 'Fiber Optic'

What Makes a Quality MTP/MPO Cable

MTP/MPO cables are used in a variety of high-speed, high-density applications and within larger data centers. Generally the quality of the cable is determined by the stability and sustainability of the network as a whole. So, how can you spot a quality MTP Cable in the wild?

 What Makes a Quality MTP/MPO Cable 

Below are 5 things you should look for in MTP cables to ensure you get the quality you are looking for.

1. Branded Fiber Cores

MTP/MPO solutions are usually employed in networks where space is at a premium such as telecommunications distribution boxes and data center cabinets. When this happens it usuaslly results in small bend angle. If the fiber core is of poor quality the small bend angle can result in signal loss which leads to transmission interruptions. Brands such as Corning ClearCurve have a much better performance which reduces signal loss and makes routing and installation far easier.

2. Industry Recognized MTP Connectors

MTP connectors can house 12, 24, or 72 fibers in a ferrule. This makes them really grat for use in data centers due to the space they save. Industry recognized MTP or MPO connectors like those from US Conec, offers precision alignment owhich reduces insertion and return loss.

Industry recognised connectors provide a solid structure that make them great for many mating cycles. Buying the best MTP cables, and industry recognized MTP connectors matters greatly when quality and reliability are important.

3. Low Insertion Loss Is Very Important

Insertion Loss (IL) refers to the loss of optical power caused by using a connector or plug. It is one of the key factors that affects the performance of fiber optic networks. Simply put, the smaller the insertion loss, the better the network will perform. The IL of a conventional multi-mode MTP ferrule should generally not exceed 0.6 dB, and the conventional single-mode MTP ferrule should generally not exceed 0.75 dB. For single-mode and multi-mode MTP with low insertion loss (high quality), it is generally required that the insertion loss does not exceed 0.35 dB. When choosing MTP cables, try to choose vendors that provide insertion loss test reports with their cables. (Fibertronics does)

4. Consider How Flame Retardant It Is

Fiber optic cable jackets can be made up of various different materials, all of which have different fire resistances that are suitable for various scenarios. They most typically PVC, LSZH, Plenum and Riser. Most of these have good flame retardant properties. If there are higher requirements for the installation environment such as in drop ceiling and raised floors, it is best to choose a higher flame retardant level.

MTP/MPO NEC Rating Level Application
OFNP: 1 (Highest) Horizontal wiring area and aerated environment (conveying pipes and air handling systems.)
OFNR: 2 (Middle) Vertical wiring area (connection between entrance equipment or computer room and communication cabinets on different floors)
OFNG/OFN: 3 (Lower) Common area

5. Stringent Quality Testing

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created IEC 61300-3-35 which is designed to ensure quality and performance. This standard oulines pass/fail requirements for connector end faces before connection. It has requirements relating to scratches and defects in each zone inside the connection. The defects include all non-linear features detectable on the fiber, including particulates, other debris, pits, chips and edge chipping. Basically put, the cleaner the end face is, the better the cable quality is overall.

All Fibertronics cables are subjected to testing within our advanced testing department that adheres to the highest quality standards. Once completed each cable has a print-out of it's test result bundled with it and is then ready to be carefully shipped to you.

Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors

With the now widespread use of high-speed fiber optic cables withing installations across the globe one of the biggest reported issues by installers is, without a doubt, is contaminated connectors. Dirty connectors are responsible for issues such as poor signal performance and outright connection failures.

Fiber Optic Cleaning Guide

Different Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

Without listing off all of the over 100 different types of fiber optic connectors, the most commonly used types include the following:

LC, SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000 and MTP/MPO.

If you'd like to learn more about these individual connectors be sure to check out our earlier blog titled A Quick Guide to Fiber Optic Connectors.

How Fiber Optics are Cleaned

There are two primary methods when it comes to the cleaning for fiber connectors: Dry Cleaning and Wet Cleaning.

Dry cleaning is mostly carried out using reel-types cassettes and push-type cleaners that wipe down the connector end faces with a dry cloth, in one direction.

Wet cleaning is seen as more 'aggressive' than dry cleaning and is great for removing airborne contaminants and oil residue. It is carried out by first wiping down the end face using a wet cleaning agent such as isopropyl alcohol and then drying it off to remove any additonal residue.

Below is a basic outline of the fiber optic cleaning process.

 Fiber Optic Cleaning Process

Important: Wet cleaning is note advised for recepticles and bulkheads as equipment damage can occur.

Fiber Optic Termination Boxes Explained

One of the most common questions we at Fibertronics often receive is, "Do I need a Fiber Optic Termination Box?" The first response is typically to ask what kind of fiber optic installation are you looking at building? This will determine if a box is required or not.

Fiber Optic Terminations Boxes

When You'll Need a Termination Box

If you're ordering or have an existing fiber optic assemby over two strands we highly recommend the use of a termination box as it helps prevent contaminents such as dust from interferring with your assembly's connectors. Not to mention it keeps all the cables extremely well organised, making them much easier to work on in future as you upgrade your assembley.

How They Work

As previously mentioned, termination boxes, as the name implies, are used when fiber optic cables are terminationed or have connectors added to the ends. A fiber optic assemby is typically fed into a termination box and then has the excess wrapped around a buil-in, internal cable spool before being connected into a fiber optic adapter panel. The fiber optic cable coming from your equipment is then connected to the other side of the adapter panel before exiting the termination box.

Which to Choose?

Fiber optic termination boxes are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Picking which one will work for your assembly will mostly depend on your own requirements such as number of fibers used and space available. 

Undersea Cable, The Internet's Backbone

You've used the internet, most of us have and in developed countries using it is just a part of peoples every day lives, with everything from searches to reading a friends latest social media posts.

Fish Under  Sea

Some countries such as Finland, Greece and France have gone so far as to ensure that broadly available internet access is written into their countries laws . FacebookTwitter and other hugely popular internet services are such as Google are available across the globe but have you ever given some thought as to how it is all possible? Undersea Cable!

How it Works

Rarely do we sit back a truly appreciate the tremendous effort that has been made in order to achieve what seems so simple on the surface. As we flick though the latest fashion posts on our tablets, read email reports on our laptops at the local coffee shop, we really don’t give much though to how that information got there and the daily challenges faced by many to bring us this convenience. Let’s dive in shall we?

Undersea or submarine cable is essentially the backbone of the internet and what allows countries and continents to share information between one another. While satellite communications are highly effective it is simply more reliable and cost effective to make use of fiber optic undersea cables. This is not to say that undersea cable is cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

Submarine cable is placed on the sea bed between land based stations in order to convey signals across the ocean. With the first communication cables being laid as early as the 1850’s for use in telegraphy. Later on these cables would advance in order to make use of modern fiber optic and carry digital data including telephony and the internet.

Typical modern undersea cables are far larger than fiber cable used in everyday land use. They are usually around 25 mm (0.98 in) in diameter and have a tremendous weight of around 1.4 kg per meter (0.4 lb/ft), although much larger and heavier ones are in use around shallower areas and nearer to shore.

Underseas Cable Diagram

 

  1. Polyethylene Jacket
  2. Mylar tape
  3. Stranded Steel Wires
  4. Aluminium Water barrier
  5. Poly-carbonate
  6. Copper or Aluminium Tuber
  7. Petroleum Jelly
  8. Optical Fibers

How is it Laid? 

The cables are laid gently on the ocean floor by specifically designed ships and in most cases remain submerged due to their weight. They are designed with an average life-span of 25 years, this however does not mean they are immune to breakages prior to this. There are a number of reasons a cable can fail including anything from simple degradation to shifts in the ocean floor. This of course means that repairs will be required and this in turn requires specialized equipment and specially trained personnel to carry out the work.

Repairing Undersea Cable

Should there be an issue with a submarine cable it must be raised to the water surface and worked on from there. It is a fairly complex operation in which a cable repair ship will be dispatched to the location and the deploy a marker buoy near the break. Once there the cable will be grappled off the ocean floor and raised in order to begin repairs, various types of grapples are used depending primarily on the conditions of the ocean floor. Cable repair can be both a lengthy and dangerous for all involved with work crews having to often postpone repairs due to inclement weather conditions, regardless of the state of repair they where currently in. Once splicing of the cable has taken place the repaired cable will be returned to the seabed , the repaired cable will be longer than the original, so the excess is deliberately laid in a ‘U’ shape on the ocean floor. This is done in the hopes of preventing future damage to the cable.

Final Thoughts

Connecting the world is far from simple and very, very expensive, so next time your cruising the internet super highway give some thought to the technologies that enable you to send that email, share that photo of your lunch or pay for that designer dress in Milan.

A Quick Guide to Fiber Optic Connectors

You're about to begin a brand new fiber optic installation, or perhaps you're working on an existing one? You'll need a a good idea of what type of connectors will work best.

Fiber Optic Connectors

This simple guide should help you in understanding the various fiber optic connectors on the market and get you up and running in no time. Please note that there are many, many types of connectors and variants available, we will only be covering the most commonly used ones here.

LC Connector
LC Connector 

LC connectors are licensed by Lucent Technologies, now known as Alcatel-Lucent. These connectors are ideal for use in high-density applications due to their small size and feature a pull-proof design. They are available in both simplex and duplex versions with a 1.25mm zirconia ferrule. Additionally LC connectors also make use of an specialized latch mechanism in order to provide stability within rack mounts.

 


 

SC Connector
SC Connector 

SC connectors, also known as Subscriber Connectors, Square Connectors or Standard Connectors are non-optical disconnect connectors with a 2.5mm pre-radius-ed zirconia ferrule. They are ideal for quick patching of cables into rack or wall mounts due to their push-pull design. Available in simplex and duplex with a reusable duplex holding clip to allow for duplex connections.

 


 

FC Connector
FC Connector 

FC connectors are known as both Ferrule Connectors and Fiber Channel Connectors. They feature a durable threaded coupling and are best suited for use within telecoms applications and make use of non-optical disconnect.

 

 


 

ST Connector
ST Connector 

ST connectors or Straight Tip connectors make use of a semi-unique bayonet connection with a 2.5mm ferrule. ST’s are great fiber optic connectors for field installation due to their reliability and durability. They are available in both simplex and and duplex

 

 


 

MTP Connector
MTP / MPO Connector 

MTP Fiber Connector or Multiple-Fiber Termination Push-On/Pull-off is a brand name for a connector developed by US CONEC® and is an improved high performance version of an MPO Connector. MTP connectors are compatible with MPO connectors. The most common MTP connectors contain 12 fibers but can go up to 24 fibers in newer designs.

MTP is specifically designed for multi-fiber ribbon cables and the typical insertion loss is 0.25db, which is inline with standard SC and ST connectors. The UPC design makes use of a flat surface and the APC variant has an 8° angle in order to minimize back reflection. The connectors are available in Male (Pins) and Female (No Pins) versions.

 


 

MTRJ Connector
MT-RJ Connector 

MT-RJ Connector stands for Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack or Media Termination – Recommended Jack. MT-RJ connectors are designed to snap into Ethernet ports of various devices such as computers and routers in order to supply networks with fiber optic data transfer speeds.They are typically designed for multimode optic fibers but are available for single-mode as well. They are 2.45mm x 4.4mm in size.

 

With some luck, this guide has helped clear up a few things. However if you’re still not sure which fiber optic connectors are right for you, or perhaps you’d like some more information you can always get in touch with Fibertronics either by phone (877) 320 3143 or email sales@fibertronics.com.