When I was in college many years ago, my psychology professor said, “Every year, we give the same tests, but each year, the correct answers change.” We never knew if he was joking or if research really was providing new answers. But when it comes to networking options, the same phrase applies.
Managing a fiber optic project can be the easiest part of the installation if the design and planning is thorough and complete. If not, it can be the hardest. But even assuming everything has been done right, things still may go wrong, so planning for the unexpected also is important.
Higher speed fiber optic networks demand lower losses in fiber optic cabling. Since the biggest source of loss is terminations, installers are reconsidering adhesive/polish terminations because they have lower losses. How well do you understand today’s adhesive/polish terminations?
Efficient fiber optic restoration depends on finding the problem, knowing how to fix it, having the right parts, and getting it all done quickly. Like any type of emergency, planning ahead will minimize the problems encountered.
Most of the attention to fiber optic cable specifications is focused on the cable itself, not the fibers in it. But there are more choices today in fibers that require careful consideration. How well do you understand all the possible choices? Answers are on page 126.
It seems each year, optical fiber gains strength in the marketplace. Fiber’s strengths, its bandwidth and distance capabilities, along with its immunity to electrical interference, help it quietly gain converts.
Every installation requires confirmation that components are installed properly. The installer or contractor wants to ensure the work is done properly to satisfy the customer and to ensure callbacks for repair are not be necessary.
For most of 2008, my monthly columns in Electrical Contractor have been about fiber optic network design. The goal is to educate you on the process of designing fiber optic networks, and now it’s time for a pop quiz. The correct answers and explanations are in red.
Documentation of the cable plant is a necessary part of the design and installation process for a fiber optic network. Documenting the installation properly during the planning process will save time and material.
Just as we have seen new technologies in optical fibers, new choices of cables are available for fiber optics. With fiber finding more applications, choosing the right cable requires knowing about all the new types as well as the old. Correct answers and explanations are in red text.
The choice of outside plant (OSP) fiber optics components begins with last month’s work: developing the route the cable plant will follow. Once the route is set, it is certain where cables will be run, where splices are located and where the cables will be terminated.
Having decided to use fiber optics and chosen equipment appropriate for the application, it is time to determine exactly where the cable plant and hardware will be located. One thing to remember: Every installation is unique.
Choosing transmission equipment is the next step in designing a fiber optic network. This step usually will be a cooperative venture involving the customer, who knows which types of data they need to communicate; the designer and installer; and the manufacturers of transmission equipment.
While the debate over which is better—copper, fiber or wireless—has enlivened cabling discussions for decades, it is becoming moot. Communications technology and the end-user market, it seems, already have made decisions that generally dictate the media.