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.
The runaway success of PC sales in the 1980s led to the development of today’s computer networks, what we now call local area networks (LANs) or enterprise networks. The need for allowing PCs to communicate quickly followed their sales success.
When we discuss copper, fiber and wireless, we focus on the media, often without regard to the networks for which the media are supposed to provide connections. To better understand the role of the media and the selection of the best choice, it helps to understand networks.
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?