Last month, we looked at how dark fiber is tested to determine its capability of supporting newer, faster transmission networks. Once dark fiber has been tested and its usability confirmed, communications systems can be connected.
Some cabling industry stakeholders predict the imminent death of copper cabling, while others disagree. However, most agree that fiber optical networks are taking a large bite out of the new network market.
Last month, we discussed “dark fiber” and how most outside plant installations include more fibers than are needed at the time of installation. Later, those fibers will be used for expanding service capacity or leased out to provide income.
“Dark fiber” is a term often heard in conversations about fiber optic communications. Perhaps this is because it has a name that sounds evil or nefarious. But dark fiber is just fiber that has been installed and is not currently in use; instead, it is reserved for spares or future use.
Now that we have covered the process of stripping the fiber and attaching the connector with an adhesive, the connector is ready to polish. The biggest problem with polishing a fiber optic connector is patience.
I suspect that the idea of employing anaerobic adhesives for fiber optics came from someone using Krazy Glue or the two-part adhesive made to fix a car’s rearview mirror after it fell off in the hot summer sun.
I am always amused when I hear, “No one uses heat-cured epoxy connectors anymore.” In fact, about 95 percent of all connectors, including every factory-made patchcord, uses heat-cured epoxy for its ease of use, low cost and high reliability.
In several recent columns, I discussed the process of fiber optic terminations. I examined each step in detail and shared some of the things I have learned from experience and teaching students. As they say, one learns from one’s mistakes.
Since fiber optics is growing in market share for all kinds of applications, I am hearing more stories about problems with installations. At The Fiber Optic Association, I handle most of the technical inquiries, so I tend to see the trends develop.
Optical local area networks (OLANs) have been the subject of these columns for several months, and before that I discussed networks. This month’s column ties together some loose ends to help you understand the OLAN concept better.
Optical local area networks (OLAN) will cause you to rethink practically everything you have learned about LANs and LAN cabling. Of course, any major change in technology like this causes FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), just like voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) and Wi-Fi have already.
Optical fibers transmit data in the form of light pulses, and they are becoming a go-to solution for transmitting data thousands of miles at incredible speeds. Proponents would have you believe they are the apex of modern telecommunications technology.
Last month, I covered the challenges to traditional structured cabling from multimode optical fiber and wireless. Multimode fiber became the favorite cabling for the backbone but never made it to the desktop because every connected device already had a free Cat 5 port.
Before I write this column each year, I contemplate the events of the past year and try to determine the direction of the market. The previous year seems to have been one of new challengers to traditional technology.
Last month, I discussed the evolution of PC networks to Ethernet over twisted-pair cables. Toward the end of the 1980s, the IEEE created a new standard for Ethernet called 10Base-T, which means 10 megabits per second (Mbps), baseband (AM, not FM) over unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) copper cable.