For years, copper and fiber have battled it out over which should be the cable of choice for local area networks (LANs). Mostly, it has been fiber backbones and copper to the desktop, with wireless needed everywhere. Centralized fiber has been around for almost 15 years but has gained little traction. However, new technologies for optical LANs (OLANs) appear to be making a breakthrough. Have you been keeping up with OLAN news?
Published: January 2014Jim Hayes
Polishing Fiber Optic Connectors
With the rising popularity of prepolished/splice type fiber optic connectors, you sometimes hear “Nobody polishes fiber optic connectors anymore.” However, many contractors know that a properly installed adhesive/polish connector is much cheaper and has lower loss. Do you know how to properly install them?
Published: February 2014Jim Hayes
Fiber Optic Connector Acceptance Testing
Three times in one recent week, I heard from contractors and network owners who were having problems with networks. The problems were traced to improperly installed connectors. Obviously, the installer was not properly trained, but neither their supervisors nor the customers understood how to inspect and test connectors to approve their work. Do you?
Published: March 2014Jim Hayes
Patchcords: Expect the Worst!
It’s the little things that count—or, in this case, the short things: patchcords. Copper or fiber patchcords used in connecting network gear are generally purchased in bulk, often at the lowest price. Based on comments and questions I’ve received recently, they are the weakest link in the cabling system. Remember, a bad patchcord can make that great cabling system you installed look terrible—or not work at all.
Published: April 2014Jim Hayes
We would never try to find our way to an unknown place without street signs and a map or, more likely today, a navigation system or Google Maps on a mobile device. So why wouldn’t we expect a cabling system to have street signs and a map, too?
Published: May 2014Jim Hayes
Mixing and Matching Cables
It’s obvious we have a lot of choice in cables: fiber and copper, new ones and those already installed. But variety can create problems because they are not all compatible. How well do you understand some of these compatibility issues?
Published: June 2014Jim Hayes
What Causes Cabling Problems?
Cable is not invulnerable. It can be damaged during and after installation. Some simple precautions and advanced planning can mitigate most problems. Do you know what to do?
Published: July 2014Jim Hayes