Two different instruments that are often described as “works like radar” can test copper and fiber cabling. For copper, it is a time-domain reflectometer (TDR). For fiber, it is an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR).
Last month, I mentioned the poor quality of some fiber optic patchcords I tested. This month, I examine the subject of cable quality, both fiber and copper. The old saying goes, “a chain is only as stong as its weakest link,” and that is especially true for cabling.
With the available infrastructure already in place, it is reasonable that a utility could partner with its local telecom company to deploy new smart grid technology. After all, it wouldn’t be a smart grid if the delivery weren’t intelligent. Wisely, in Indiana, local grid masters get it.
Some years, it seems That little changes in fiber optics, but 2010 certainly was not one of those years. Last year brought new components, applications and standards, all of which can affect this work in the short term. Let’s start with what may be the biggest news: bend-insensitive fiber.
Single-mode (SM) Fiber is practically the only fiber used in outside plant (OSP) installations and is even becoming more common in premises networks. Telephone, cable television, smart grid and cellular systems are all on SM fiber.
Video systems have many applications, from surveillance to broadcast television. Cabling for video can be specialized or operated over cabling designed for other uses. How well do you understand video cabling? Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1.
Outside plant contractors often need to install aerial cables, requiring specialized components, knowledge and skills. How familiar are you with aerial fiber installations? Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1.
The majority of premises fiber optic cables use multimode fiber. Many of these cables are backbone cables for high-speed local area networks or data centers, which operate at 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) or higher.
The optical loss of a fiber optic cable plant is the most common measurement installers make. Also called insertion loss, it is measured by using a test source, a power meter, reference test cables and connector-mating adapters.
I’m often asked technical questions about copper and fiber optic cabling. The majority are about problems troubleshooting cabling systems or networks. Some have simple answers but not all. Here are some questions we’ve been asked; see if you can answer them. Answers and explanations are in red. 1.
For electricians, voltage is the primary thing measured. In fact every electrical measurement is based on voltage, based on the relationship V = IR. In fiber optics, the most basic measurement is the optical power of the light at the end of a fiber.
Many of the problems encountered in troubleshooting fiber optic networks are related to making proper connections. Since the light used in fiber optic systems is infrared (IR) light, which is beyond the range of the human eye, one cannot see it.
There must be a gazillion ways to install premises cabling, depending on the design of the building and location of users. Let’s look at some of the guidelines included in TIA 568 or ISO/IEC 11801 standards. Answers and explanations are in red. 1.
The cost of installation for most fiber optic cable exceeds the cost of the cable itself, so ensuring the cable is good before installation is important. The first test the installer must do with a spool of cable is visually inspect it.
Most contractors assume it is necessary to field-terminate fiber optic cabling systems as part of every installation, but they are all looking for alternatives. The first alternative most people consider is to use prepolished/splice connectors, which use a mechanical splice to terminate the fiber.