Decoding Grade A Connector in Fiber Optic Cables

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

With the advances in fiber optic technology and transmission systems, reliable cabling systems are becoming even more important. Active optical equipment, which is often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, is all connected into the network via the humble fiber optic patch cord or patch lead. The risk of network downtime due to unreliable cabling is one that should be avoided. Therefore, these types of networks, along with many other Data Center and high speed Commercial networks require reliable cabling infrastructure in order to maximize performance and to ensure long term reliability. Today’s article will introduce Grade A optical fiber cables.
What Are Grade A, Grade B, Grade C Fiber Optic Connector?
IEC standards dictate the connector performance requirement for each grade of fiber optic patch cord connector. These standards guide end users and manufacturers in ensuring compliance to best practices in optical fiber technology.
According to IEC 61753 and IEC 61300-3-34 Attenuation Random Testing Method, Grade C connectors have the following performance characteristics.
Attenuation: 0.25dB-0.50dB, for >97% of samples.
Return Loss: 35dB
According to IEC, Grade B connectors have the following performance characteristics
Attenuation: 0.12dB-0.25dB, for >97% of samples.
Return Loss: 45dB
Grade A connector performance (which is still yet to be officially ratified by IEC) has the following performance characteristics. Average Insertion loss of 0.07dB (randomly mated IEC Standard 61300-3-34)and a Maximum Insertion Loss of 0.15db max, for >97% of samples.
While the return loss using IEC 61300-3-6 Random Mated Method is >55dB (unmated–only angled connectors) and >60dB (mated), this performance level is generally available for LC, A/SC, SC and E2000 interfaces.
How are Grade A Connectors on Optical Fiber Patch Cords Identified?
Grade A fiber optic patch cords are identified with the letter ‘A’ printed on the connector side. The symbol is actually the letter ‘A’ enclosed within a triangle (“A”).
This identification marker is proof that you are using a high quality fiber optic patch cord. Grade A connectivity is also available for Optical fiber through adapters. The same rule applies for A grade fiber optic Adapters which also have the letter “A” clearly marked.
What Does a Fiber Optic Patch Cord Meet the Grade A Criteria?
Firstly a high quality Grade A fiber optic patch cord begins with using high quality zirconia ferrules and high quality optical fiber cable. However, the manufacturing and testing process must be first class.
In order to meet the stringent performance criteria of ‘A’ Grade connectors on patch cords, high quality manufacturing, inspection, testing and Quality Assurance (QA) procedures are required. Without the proper expertise in optical fiber technology, many other manufacturers are unable to meet these requirements.
To consistently achieve ‘A’ Grade performance, high accuracy testing using state of the art test equipment as well as constantly assessing testing methods are all required. Analysing and ensuring mechanical end face limits and that parameters are within range, ensures that Grade A connectivity is achieved.
Grade A connectors offer virtually the same IL performance as a fusion splice, with the added benefit of providing a physical contact which can be connected, disconnected and moved when required.
Conclusion
It is important to fully understand the benefits of using reliable, good quality optic fiber patch cords and connectivity. Good quality connectors with low Insertion Loss will meet large bandwidth and high speed requirements of the latest active optical equipment allowing large streams of data to be transmitted reliably over long distances. Grade A connectors on optical fiber patch cords are an example of the advances in this technology.

Learning Five Ways to Test Fiber Optic Cables

In this technological world filled by fiber optic systems everywhere, one won’t fail to enjoy the benefits brought by fiber optics in daily life. In a whole fiber optic system, the most essential part should be the fiber optic cable. This cable is made up of incredibly thin strands of glass or plastic capped with the same (eg. ST ST fiber cable) or different connector types (LC ST patch cable) on the ends, used as the medium to carry information from one point to another with light-based technology. Just like electricity that can power many types of machines, beams of light can carry many types of information, so fiber optics do great to people in many ways, like broadcasting, transportation, medicine, etc..Along with the heavy use of fiber optic cables, testing the installed cables also gains importance in practical use. Since there are many standards available for testing, some people may get confused. But don’t worry. This text is written with an attempt to clear off this confusion.
Testing Principles
Generally speaking, five ways are listed in various international standards from the EIA/TIA and ISO/IEC to test installed cable plants. First three of them use test sources and power meters to make the measurement, while the last two use an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR). Let’s first see the different results from these methods, and then delve into each one.
The use of source and power meter method, also known as “insertion loss”, simulates the way the actual network uses the cable plant. The test source mimics the transmitter, and the power meter the receiver. But insertion loss testing requires reference cables attached to the source and meter to connect to the cable under test. This insertion loss test can use 1, 2 or 3 reference cables to set the “zero dB loss” reference for testing. Each way of setting the reference gives a different loss. While OTDR is an indirect method, using backscattered light to imply the loss in the cable plant, which can have large deviations from insertion loss tests. OTDRs are more often used to verify splice loss or find damage to cables.
Source/Power Meter Method
In source and power meter method, all the three tests share the same setup (shown below), but the reference power can be set with one, two or three cables as explained next. In general, the 1 reference cable loss method is preferred, but it requires that the test equipment uses the same fiber optic connector types as the cables under test. If the cable (ST ST fiber cable) has different connectors from the test equipment (SC-SC on the tester), it may be necessary to use a 2 or 3 cable reference, which will give a lower loss since connector loss is included in the reference and will be subtracted from the total loss measurement.
Reference per TIA OFSTP-14 (1 Cable Reference)
This method, formerly called method B, uses only one reference cable. The meter, which has a large area detector that measures all the light coming out of the fiber, effectively has no loss, and therefore measures the total light coming out of the launch reference cable. When the cable is tested as below, the measured loss will include the loss of the reference cable connection to the cable plant under test, the loss of the fiber and all the connections and splices in the cable plant and the loss of the connection to the reference cable attached to the meter.
Reference per TIA OFSTP-14 (2 Cable Reference)
This one, formerly called method A, uses two reference cables with one launch cable attached to the source, and the other receive one attached to the meter. (The two cables are mated to set the reference.) Setting the reference this way includes one connection loss (the mating of the two reference cables) in the reference value. When one separates the reference cables and attaches them to the cable under test, the dB loss measured will be less by the connection loss included in the reference setting step. This method gives a loss that’s less than the 1 cable reference.
Reference per TIA OFSTP-14 (3 Cable Reference)
Reference cables are often patch cords with plugs, while the cable under test has jacks on either end. The only way to get a valid reference is to use a short and good cable as a “stand-in” for the cable to be tested to set the reference. To test a cable, replace the reference cable with the cable to test and make a relative measurement. Obviously this method includes two connection losses in setting the reference, so the measured loss will be less by the two connection losses and have greater uncertainty. Finally, here goes the picture showing the testing case with one, two, three reference cables.
OTDR Testing
With only one lunch cable, the OTDR can measure the length of the cable under test and the loss of the connection to the cable under test plus the loss of the fiber in the cable under test, and any other connections or splices in the cable under test. However, this method doesn’t test the connector on the far end of the cable under test, because it isn’t connected to another connector, and connection to a reference connector is necessary to make a connection loss measurement.
If a receive cable is used on the far end of the cable under test, the OTDR can measure the loss of both connectors on the cable under test as well as the fiber in the cable, and any other connections or splices in the cable under test. The placement of the B marker after the connection to the receive cable means some of the fiber in the receive cable will be included in the loss measured.

 

BOON OF USING FIBER OPTIC CABLES OVER COPPER CABLES

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Everyone knows that approx.. an year ago we use copper cables while using the internet connection of any brand. The service providers come up with copper cable to install the internet connection and provide the required service to them. But at present time, fiber optic cable is in demand. The users are quite happy with its performance as it rarely gets out of connection. On the other hand, it also gives a good speed to the user in comparison to the copper cables. Let’s discuss some other best advantages of fiber optic cable over the copper cables.
Greater BandwidthThe
copper cable has the capacity to handle greater bandwidth as originally it was designed for voice transmission and have a limited bandwidth. So, now it is used as a greater bandwidth device. It carries more data than copper cables at the same diameter. Within the fiber cable group, only single mode fiber can delivers up to twice the multimode fiber. So, users are fine with what they are availing.
Faster SpeedsThe
fiber cables carry light to transmit data. This enables the cable to carry diverse signals at speeds that are slower than the speed of light which is faster than cat5 and cat6 copper cables. Therefore the speed this cable is higher than the copper cable.
Longer Distances
When it comes to long distance, this cable never disappoints as cables generally works on the basis of wavelength, network, distance and it performs well in each of these areas. It carries signals much faster than the traditional foot limitations upto 328ft. It carries data upto 25 miles.
Better ReliabilityBe
it any weather, fiber cable is immune to temperature changes. Weather doesn’t hamper the connectivity of this cable as like other traditional cables. And it does not even carry electric current so user must be stressed free with electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can interrupt data transmission.
Thinner and Sturdier
In comparison to any other cable, this cable is thinner, sturdier and light in weight. It is less prone to damage and breakage.
More Flexibility for the Future
According to the demand and usage, the media converters enable the user to incorporate fiber into existing networks. The converters enhance the Ethernet connection over fiber optic by extending the UTP. Modern panels are designed to meet the current needs and provide the flexibility for future needs. The panels are comprises of variety of cassettes for different types of fiber patch cables.
Low Cost
If the user gets its ownership, then he or she will realize that in initial days the rate of fiber optic cable is a bit expensive, but its reliability, durability and speed makes it worth it. And after some days of use, it automatically becomes affordable as there are a number of packages are given to the user to choose the most affordable one.
Each of these advantages of fiber optic cable makes it best among all other traditional internet connections.

Different Types of Cable Jacketing

In the fiber industry, we have all probably seen the words plenum or riser in our day, as these are two of the most common jacket types in the United States. In Europe we are seeing more Low Smoke Zero Halogen cables being utilized. But there are other options out there in the fiber optic world that are lesser known and talked about, they are the likes of Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH), and Polyethylene (PE).
When looking at the construction of any fiber optic cable, you will notice that the jacket is the first line of defense against physical damage from chemicals, water, burning and other potentially damaging effects that would compromise the viability of the cable. Cable jackets come in multiple colors, but there are industry standard color codes such as aqua for OM3 or yellow for single mode, but in some cases there are custom colored jackets. You will also see foot markers on the outer jacket, showing you length of the cable, and even a print string showing the type of fiber, brand of cable, and type of cable construction. The print string will also contain information as to whether or not the cable is UL listed, and if it is, it will contain the UL number. Most cable jacket material is made from PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride, and there are additives that determine its jacket rating.
Plenum and riser ratings are defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC). They are also responsible for the standards that these cables must abide by in order to be classified as plenum or riser cabling. This standard basically states that if a fire were to start within a structure, how much would these compounds contribute to the fire, and create a “fuel” source – transporting the fire from place to place along the cable.
Most fiber optic cables that adhere to these fire standards are Underwriter Laboratories (UL) tested, meaning that they bear the UL marker on the cable jacket and have been certified to meet the NEC Standard for the cable jacket type. These UL Listings are independently tested, and qualified to ensure that the safety measures are upheld. They (UL) have no monetary stake in the items that they test, and consumers can be assured that this UL listing means that the safety standards are upheld. These listings are given and can be taken away at any point if the quality of the product does not continue to meet that UL standard.
The real question that most technicians ask in the field is where to use what type of jacket. Below we will go into a breakdown of the cable jacket types and where they can be utilized within a building or structure.
Plenum Cable
Plenum has the highest fire rating, meaning that it can be installed in all of the plenum spaces within a building such as the air ducts and ventilation systems – any part of the building that has to do with heating or cooling. Plenum can sometimes be utilized in any space within a building as an alternative to other jacket types. Plenum cables are less hazardous and create less smoke and toxic fumes in the case of fire. If a job requires plenum cable then plenum cable must be installed, there are no alternatives for this type of cable install. Plenum cables for the above reasons are usually slightly more expensive than the other cable jackets.
Riser Cable
Riser cabling is only to be used within riser spaces in a building – such as between building shafts, for vertical runs. It is meant to be a backbone cable, the fire ratings that fit a riser rating are not as strict as plenum. You can utilize a plenum cable within a riser space, but you cannot utilize a riser cable in a plenum space. Such as in the case of a ventilation shaft – you could not install a riser cable because this is a plenum air space, but you can install riser say in an elevator shaft between the floors of a building. Typically, riser cables are less expensive than plenum because the standards are less stringent.
Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) Cable
Low Smoke Zero Halogen cable jacketing or LSZH is a separate classification from riser or plenum cables because it does not contain the same compounds or thermoplastics that produce smoke and other hazardous chemicals that could be harmful to humans and animals that may be in the vicinity of the cable, if it ever should burn. To be considered low smoke zero halogen cable, it must be made of flame retardant materials that do not excrete halogens, and produces little to no smoke when it burns. LSZH is not the same as a plenum cable – they are two different fire ratings. While it may seem beneficial to use LSZH within every space in a building, this type of cable does not fit the bill for every single application. Since this product is far more expensive than other compounds, it does not make sense to install this in areas that do not require a less hazardous, or low smoke material. LSZH is highly recommended for areas that have poor ventilation, where people tend to congregate or in a confined space. LSZH is primarily utilized in Europe currently but, this type of cable is gaining traction within the US markets. .
PE Cable
PE (polyethylene) rated cable is primarily used for outdoor cables only; this is not a cable that can be installed more than fifty feet inside of a building. PE cable jacket’s superior weather, temperature and water or moisture resistance makes this a great pick for harsh weather conditions and installations, but its rigid characteristics make it difficult to utilize in environments that require flexibility or movement of the cable. It also boasts superior UV protection because its black color absorbs the sunlight, which is a typical characteristic for outdoor rated cabling.
While there are more cable ratings and classifications than these shown above, these are the most common types that your average technician will run into on the job more. Familiarity with the cable jacket types is never a bad thing to have in a technician’s pocket. Knowing and being able to define what makes a plenum cable plenum or riser cable riser is superior knowledge that will benefit the technician on future jobs. .

Understanding Signal Transmission in Fiber Optic Cables

The primary function of fiber optic cables is to send signals across long distances. The transmission of these signals takes place in the form of light. This answers for the speed of broadcast and its zero interference with other electronic devices around.
How Does It Actually Work?
Each of the cables constitutes thin strands of glass, which we often hear of as ‘fiber optics.’ These pieces of glass form the core of these cables and facilitate the major task of sending data, assisted by Fiber Optic Patch Cords. But doesn’t light travel in waves, spreading straight from its point of diffraction?
Yes, absolutely. Then how do light bend around corners while running through the length of the fiber optic cable? Let’s try to unravel the science that goes behind it.
How Light Bends Through Fiber Optic Cables?
The Mirror Effect
When you show a flashlight beam across a hallway, you will see the length of the light extending till the next bend but won’t be able to see anything further. But placing a mirror on the corner does the trick. You can now see the light bending further. This is because the mirror reflects the light. That’s exactly how the fiber optic cables basically work.
Internal Reflection
The reflection on which these cables operate is often termed as ‘total internal reflection’. That’s because when you send the light signal, the light remains within the cable and reflects internally. This also ensures the data isn’t lost during the transmission.
But the signals sent through fiber optic cables eventually degrade. That’s because of the decay of the signal either due to the wavelength or the affected purity of the optic glass.
Why So?
The wavelengths that fiber optic cables utilize to send over information are much longer than the light visible to use. We call these invisible ranges of long light ‘infrared’. These infrared waves are when passed through the fiber optic cables weakens the transmission of data either by absorption and scattering.
So, basically, the length of the waves reduces the accentuation of the fiber optic cable. And if we use longer waves with lower frequencies, it would result in heat interference. The temperature of surrounding objects will thus be affected resulting in signal loss.
How To Ensure Maximum Utilization?
Though fiber optic cables do eventually degrade, getting good quality cables and accessories can increase its life significantly. For optimum functioning, consider buying quality cables. The wavelength of a typical good quality fiber optic cable varies from 850 to 1550 nanometers.
The accessories are equally important. The fiber optic patch cords that connect the devices through which the information transmits should also be of best quality. Often the patch cords decay and are assumed as cable decay, resulting in increased cost investment. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to get your electronics supply only from branded and reliable manufacturers. It’s not only important for the longevity of the supplies but is also imperative from the point of view of safety.

Fiber Optic Cables and Their Multiple Benefits!

Streaming through the Facebook timeline relentlessly, chatting away with customer care executives and processing important information. When you indulge into these activities, do you ponder over questions like, “What powers the internet?” and “What enables you to interact with call center executives in a glitch free way?”
Once you start pondering over these questions, you think of a network. The one that enables you to conduct these activities seamlessly. And what powers this network? Fiber Optic Cables – the thin strands made from molten silica glass. They process the information, convert it into light and transmits the data for you.
Through today’s blog, we will acquaint you with the multiple ways in which Fiber Optic Cables benefit you. So, let us plunge in:
Excellent Internet Connection
When we talk about internet connection, the first thing that comes to our mind is; huge amount of data exchange. During the initial days of advent of internet, you might have experienced low speeds and hours of anticipation while internet transmits the data. But after the advent of Fiber Optic Cables, the speed of data transmission reduced drastically. These network cables transmit data without hindrance and enable you to stream internet smoothly.
Despite of these cables, the speed of download totally depends on the type of connection you have. However, fiber is faster than other average broadbands in the USA. And of course, more reliable, and less patchy than WIFI.
Customer Service Support
“Hello! How may I help you?” When your customer care executives ask this question, you want your customers to hear it right. Trailed off voices and breaks in conversations can bring business losses. Thanks to Optic Cables, you can offer your customers with an uninterrupted customer care service. Huge network of huge cables crisscrosses the globe and provides telecommunication services. It offers voice, video, and data communications to meet the requirements of call center owners.
To get a good quality network, you need to find the right fiber optic system for your application. The professionals also provide field inspection and installation services and have a detailed knowledge about fiber cables. Once installed and set, you can offer glitch free services to your customers.
Military And Data Tranfiber-mart.comerred
The U.S. Military personnel of today undergoes a lot of challenges due to changes in operations. For enhancing safety and awareness, U.S military keeps upgrading its communication infrastructure. The communication systems established through optic cables create a dependable network between command control center and theater. By investing into fiber optic systems, they can avail a cost-effective network and get better bandwidth for real-time voice, video, and data applications. The best part? The military grade cables meet the military standards and work in the harsh environments.
Whether it is intelligence processing or aeronautical data, military personnel need a trustworthy security network. And due to optic cables, defense companies can tranfiber-mart.comorm data safely.
Fiber Optic Cables: Redefining The Future
With the above-mentioned advantages and many more, there is no denying that fiber optic technology is driving the future of digital communication. It tranfiber-mart.comorms data at the speed of light and give a flawless communication experience. Here are the ways in which they will redefine the future:
Fiber-To-Home Network
It is not surprising to find fiber-to-home networks installed in most of the commercial and residential premises. With home automation solutions and internet of things gaining popularity, the usage of fiber networks will increase. Google Fiber clocking offers speed the speed of 1,000 megabits/second which is way higher as compared to the major internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast Xfinity etc. Needless to say, a good quality cable network can only make this possible.
Multi-Terabyte Networks
Several researchers are looking forward to achieve a bandwidth of around 100Gb/s. As the costs of fiber optic cables have reduced, the chances of achieving higher bandwidths are higher. The intelligent optical network will be such that it will be able to cope with volatile bandwidth allocations. Soon, we’ll be thriving in the world of massive bandwidths!
Enhancement In Glass Fiber Designs
To change the transmitting capacity of optic cables, the electrical engineers add and remove impurities to the glass fiber. This enables them to control the speed of light that passes along the glass fiber. To obtain better glass fibers, the engineers will continue with the miniaturization of fiber optic cables. The enhancement in glass fiber designs will prove beneficial to us in multiple ways.
Adoption By Multiple Businesses
Several companies all over the world make use of fiber optics as it keeps their data safe and secure. It is impossible to hack these cables and tap into the line as you need to cut the cable to do so. And someone cuts the cable, it brings the whole system down. Also, when there are exclusive fiber connections, business owners do not share them with others. These benefits make them better, safer, and preferable as compared to copper cables. In the upcoming years, several companies will join the fiber optic bandwagon.
fiber-mart.com Cable offers a range of multimode and single mode duplex, fiber optic adaptors and connectors, attenuator, and MTP fiber patch cables. We also provide different types of USB cables, ethernet cables, adapters, power cords and PC accessories. You can check the range of products on our website and place an order. As ISO 9001-2000 registered manufacturers make our products, there is no compromise in the quality.
fiber-mart.com Cable is strives to implement the technology advances that can boost the quality of products. And to enable that, we always keep an eye on the latest developments in our field. Most of our products are RoHS compliant, eco-friendly, and come with a lifetime guarantee. If you are looking for cost-effective technology and equipment online, you can order from us.
We hope the above blog has given you much clarity about the working, utility, and benefits of fiber optic cables. What are the ways in which these cables have proved to be beneficial to you? Feel free to share with us.

Know What Makes Fiber Optic Cables Future Proof?

Internet connectivity over an optical cord has become a precious standard for fast and high-quality data transmission. This technology is relatively new. This new nature of it can leave some in a dilemma. Some would even be unwilling to invest in it. Some would still prefer go old school and use convention network cables.
Over the years, with the technical progress, even conventional cable has risen to new horizons. But, which technology is better? Both copper and glass or optical cords have their benefits. Both have unique features. If something is better for others does not necessarily make it better for you. So, the right question to ask is which means would suit your business?
Fiber Optics Cable
The conventional copper wires transmit data via electricity. Fiber wire relies on light. It does not transmit data through the flow of electrons. This enables much faster internet connection. In fact, it also enables handling of a higher bandwidth. Sometimes, even during the peak demand, the performance of fiber wire stands out.
The cost of optical deployment has seen a dramatic reduction recently. Moreover, the fiber optic cable is future proof. This gives it an edge over the use of copper cables. It surely has a better prospect in the world market. Let us compare fiber and copper on these five determinants to decide which one is better and suits your purpose.
Cost
As mentioned above, the cost of fiber components has seen a decrease recently. Once, the cost of optical cord was twice that of a copper wire. Now the cost difference is minimal. In fact, if we consider the overall cost, copper cable can get costlier. This is if we consider the cost of wiring closet. This includes cost of uninterrupted power source, data ground and HAVC (Hybrid Automatic Voltage Control). Overall, an all fiber LAN is more cost efficient than a copper-based network.
Bandwidth
Copper is sufficient for voice signals. Even though it has a limited bandwidth of up to 60Gbps. Fiber cords are capable to provide 1000 times as much bandwidth as copper. It can also travel for a longer distance in lesser time. In simple terms, a 500-meter fiber wire can transmit 1GHz. Whereas, a twisted pair copper wire (Cat 6) can transmit 500Mhz just up to 100 meters. Moreover, the signal loss is negligible in an optical cable. Copper has higher losses at higher frequencies. It is also noisy.
Transmission Speed & Distance
This is literally the battle between photons and electrons! Photons do not achieve 100% efficiency in achieving the speed of light. But, even with 31% slow speed, it is much faster than the speed of electrons. You cannot overlook the significant difference which exists between fiber and copper. Moreover, copper wires also have the limitation of 100 meters. This is not the case with fiber cables. In optics, the distance can range from 550 meters for 10 Gbps single mode and up to 40 Kms for multi-mode!
Reliability
Fiber optics is not susceptible to damages from the surrounding environment. Copper has the trait of losing quality over certain distance under conditions. In fact, if we use a fiber optic cable over the same distance, under the same condition, it would provide you reliable data transmission. Moreover, fiber is immune to environmental and climatic factors. Temperature variation or any electromagnetic variation will not tarnish its performance. Copper is sensitive to these factors. You can deploy fiber optic cables near industrial equipment without worry. Likewise, you can also lay down fiber into deep oceans.
Security
One can trap the electrical signals from the copper cable. In addition, it also radiates signals. If someone traps the signals, the entire system can fail. On damages, it gets difficult to identify the leakages. In case of a fiber wire, detection of a broken wire is easier. This is because several monitoring techniques are in practice for detecting its flaws. Copper wire can cause a short circuit which can even result in a fire.
Conclusion
The usage of fiber cable with its ever reducing cost and other advantages is making it future proof. Increase in bandwidth, ridiculous increase in transmission speed and many more features make it better and reliable medium for networking. It is one of the most significant mediums for innovative installations and upgrades.