This is the first in a series of columns on networks and cabling—media, really—as we explore the nature of networks, their cabling needs and how they have evolved to provide for today’s “always connected” society.
Recent columns have focused on tools and test equipment and how to use them, but what about taking care of them properly? This point was brought home to me recently when I spent two days training instructors to help them get started with their Fiber Optic Association (FOA) certification classes.
Now that we’ve covered the test equipment and learned how to estimate the measured loss using a loss budget, it’s time for one more related topic: creating the test conditions to get the “right answer.” And what, you might ask, is the right answer?
Termination of installed optical fiber cables has always been perceived as a difficult, expensive, time-consuming process that discouraged some contractors from developing in-house capability for fiber installation.
The last two columns covered fiber optic power meters, test sources and the reference cables you need to test the loss of installed fiber optic cable plants. This month, I discuss using these instruments properly and how to determine if a tested cable plant passes or fails the test.
Last month, I discussed one of the most important tools in the fiber tech’s toolbox: the fiber optic power meter. This month, let’s examine the other tool that is equally important: the test source used with the power meter to measure the loss of the cable plant.
Copper remains a primary carrier for integrated building systems, but fiber optic cabling is assuming an increasingly important role in data, telephone, access controls, security cameras, fire and security alarms, sensors, and other signaling-dependent systems.
I’m sure you’ve heard that you need the right tool for the job, but have you ever considered that you might need the right tool for you? Nothing affects how easily a job can be done as much as having the correct tools and knowing how to use them properly.
Fiber optic installers make some common, avoidable mistakes that cause problems for them and their customers. Do you know about these mistakes and how to avoid them? Correct answers and explanations are in red.
While most users in an enterprise network want mobile devices connected over Wi-Fi or cellular wireless networks, a large number of users still have cable connections. Generally, these users require high bandwidth and processing speeds and/or secure connections.
I often get calls from contractors in trouble. Usually, it is because they find some requirement in a contract that they have overlooked, and usually, that requirement is going to cost them a lot of money to meet.
Last month, I discussed the issues of industry standards for fiber optic and copper cabling. Manufacturers write standards so they can build products that are compatible with products from other manufacturers, since multiple sources are mandatory in today’s marketplace.
Practically every aspect of fiber optics, especially network design, testing and troubleshooting, depends on understanding optical power. Sometimes, something so basic gets overlooked, so let’s test your understanding of it. Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1.
Before the last meeting of the TIA TR-42 committees that write cabling standards, a major fiber optic test equipment company asked if I would petition one of the committees to reconsider OFSTP-14, a new standard for testing installed multimode cable plants.
The original intent of this month’s column was to discuss fiber use in the smart grid, but I have found it is hard to define the smart grid. Some organizations involved in it are even dropping that name for “intelligent grid” or something similar.