Fiber optic cable is considered as one of the most effective transmission medium today for safe, and long-reach communications, and it also offers a number of advantages over copper. In general, fiber optic cable consists of a core, cladding, coating, strengthening fibers, and a cable jacket, which has been clearly introduced in the previous article. Today’s article will focus on the several materials in fiber optic cable construction, as well as their features and applications.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most commonly used thermoplastic polymers in the world. The PVC cable is typically used for patch connections in the data center, wiring closet, and at the desktop. PVC is produced in two general forms, first as a rigid or unplasticized polymer (RPVC or uPVC). The following image shows a ST single-mode pre-Terminated cable (0.9mm PVC Jacket).
- Good resistance to environmental effects. Some formulations are rated for -55 to +55.
- Good flame retardant properties. Can be used for both outdoor and indoor fiber optic cables.
- PVC is less flexible than PE (Polyethylene).
Polyethylene is a kind of polymer that commonly categorized into one of several major compounds of which the most common include LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, and Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polypropylene. Polyethylene fiber has a round cross section and has a smooth surface. Fibers made from low molecular weight polyethylene have a grease like handle.
- Popular cable jacket material for outdoor fiber cables
- Very good moisture and weather resistance properties
- Very good insulator
- Can be very stiff in colder temperatures
- If treated with proper chemicals, PE can be flame retardant.
Kevlar (Aramid Yarn)
The word Aramid is a generic term for a manufactured fiber in which the fiber forming substance is a long chain synthetic polyamide in which at least 85% of the amide linkages are attached directly to the two aromatic rings as defined by the U.S. federal trade commission. Kevlar fiber is based on poly (P-phenylene terephthalamide). Aramid yarn is the yellow fiber type material found inside cable jacket surrounding the fibers. It can also be used as central strength members.
- Aramid yarn is very strong and is used in bundle to protect the fibers.
- Kevlar is a brand of aramid yarn. Kevlar is often used as the central strength member on fiber cables which must withstand high pulling tension during installation.
- When Kevlar is placed surrounding the entire cable interior, it provides additional protection for the fibers from the environment.
The steel armored fiber cable, using light-steel tube, can provide maximum bend radius, strong protection and flexible cabling. Steel armor jacket is often used on direct burial outdoor cables and it provides excellent crush resistance and is truly rodent-proof. Since steel is a conductor, steel armored cables have to be properly grounded and loss fiber optic cable’s dielectric advantage. Armored fiber optic cable are often used in the outdoor direct burial cables and for the industrial environment where cables are installed without conduits or cable tray protection. The following image shows a single-mode armored fiber optic cable.
Various types of these light-steel armored fiber cables are in stock in FS.COM, including pre-terminated armored fiber patch cables, armored fiber trunk cables and field-terminated armored fiber cables for both indoor and outdoor applications.
- Provides excellent crush resistance for outdoor direct burial cables
- Protects cables from rodent biting
- Decreases water ingress into the fiber which prolongs the fiber cable’s life expectancy
Central Strength Member
Strength member is used to increase the tensile force that will be applied on the cable during installation. Strength member will take the pulling force and will keep the fibers safe during installation. For large fiber count cables, a central strength member is often used.
The central strength member provides strength and support to the cable. During fiber optic cable installation, pulling eyes should always be attached to the central strength member and never to the fibers. On fiber splice enclosure and patch panel installations, the cable central strength member should be attached to the strength member anchor on the enclosure or patch panel.
When you choose to use which type of the fiber optic cables, the fiber optic cable construction, along with the mechanical and environment requirements should all be taken into account. All the above materials in the fiber optic cable construction are specifically required to meet the network infrastructure. FS.COM fiber optic cables come in various types with detailed specifications displayed for your convenient. These quality cables are designed with best-in-class performance. For more information about fiber optic cables or patch cords, you can visit fs.com.
It’s well known that the simplest form of fiber optics is a medium which is taken to carry signals from one point to another in the form of light. It’s composed of a transmitting device, which sends the light signal, fiber optic cables that serve as a conduit for pulses of light to travel over distances, and a receiver, which accepts the light signal transmitted. It often occurs that fiber systems are often be used as the alternative solutions to traditional copper-based communications systems, since fiber optic cables outweigh copper cables in less signal loss and immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Certainy, the advantages of fiber optics are not limitted to the mentioned two sapects. Following passages will discuss more virtual points of fiber optics, coupled with its history.
In 1880, the photophone was invented, a great inventory used to speak into a microphone which would then cause a mirror to vibrate. The sun’s light would strike the mirror, and the vibration of the mirror would transmit light across an open distance of about 656ft (200m). The receiver’s mirror would receive the light and cause a selenium crystal to vibrate, causing the noise to come out on the other end. Although the photophone was successful in allowing conversation over an open space, it had a few drawbacks: it did not work at night, in the rain or if someone walked between the signal and receiver. Then this idea was given up.
In 1950s, the laser was invented. This device was a finely controlled beam of light that could transmit information over long distances. Unfortunately, the same drawbacks also plagued the laser. Although it could be used at night, it did not work during rain, fog or at any time when a building was erected between the sender and the receiver.
Scientists at Corning developed the first practical fiber optic cables in the 1970s, based on the idea of “total internal reflection”. This is the principle that fiber cables are built upon, and it basically means that an optical fiber consists of a core of transparent glass, surrounded by outer layer, (called “cladding”) of slightly less transparent glass which reflects the light back into the core.
What is special about fiber optics? As mentioned above, fiber optic cables are made out of glass, and carry pulses of light energy. The idea of a flexible piece of glass sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but in some ways, fiber optic cables are stronger and more durable than copper cables.
Nowadays, fiber optic cables are used for many different telecommunication applications, like data centers, data warehouses, server farms, SANs, and LANs. But actually, in their practical use, there exists a common question. One may find himself faced single-mode fibers (SMFs) and multi-mode fibers (MMFs) which are terminated with different connectors, such as LC (LC fiber cable), SC (LC SC cable), MTP/MPO (MTP cable). When such things occur, it’s important to keep in mind that SMFs and MMFs are not compatible with each other, and can’t mix them together between two end points.
Why is fiber optics used in telecommunications? There are several reasons that make fiber systems more popular than copper ones.
- Large Bandwidth & Long Distance
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be passed along a cable in a given time period. If we think of cables as pipes, then bandwidth is the amount of water that can flow through the pipe in a second. The bigger the pipe, the more water can flow. Consider a normal communication cable that may be used to carry a single phone call. It is built out of copper, and may have the bandwidth of a normal drinking straw. By comparison, a fiber cable of the same physical size would provide more bandwidth.
Since fiber optic signal is made of light, very little signal loss occurs during transmission, and data can move at higher speeds and greater distances. In most cases, copper cables are limited to a range of 100meters or less. In contrast, the relatively small diameter and light weight of fiber optic cables can allow a wide range of distance reaches from 550meters to dozens of kilometers, which makes fiber ideal for applications where signals have to travel over long distances.
- Immunity & Reliability
Fiber optics provides extremely reliable data transmission. It’s completely immune to many environmental factors that affect copper cable. The core is made of glass, which is an insulator, so no electric current can flow through. It’s immune to electrometric interference and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), crosstalk, impedance problems, and more. You can run fiber optic cable next to industrial equipment without worry. Fiber is also less susceptible to temperature fluctuations than copper and can be submerged in water.
The data is safe with fiber cable which doesn’t radiate signals, letting information difficult to be tapped. More specifically, the dielectric nature of fiber optic cable makes it impossible to remotely detect the signal being transmitted within the cable. If the cable is tapped, it’s very easy to monitor because the cable leaks light, causing the entire system to fail. If an attempt is made to break the physical security of your fiber system, you’ll know it. Fiber networks also enable you to put all your electronics and hardware in one central location, instead of having wiring closets with equipment throughout the building. They are very attractive for use in governmental institutions, finance/banking and other environments with major security concerns.
Not only public networks, but also private networking have begun to deploy fiber optics systems nowadays. Their great capabilities of long-distance signal transmission make them popular for voice and data links. As a professional fiber patch cord manufacturer, Fiberstore offers various kinds of fiber optic cables terminated with the same or hybrid connectors on the ends to cover countless applications, at really cost-effective prices. You can come here and have a try.
Tough were those old days in the field of data communications when users had to take coppers wires as the medium to transmit data and many were looking to save money as much as they can in cabling installations and upgrades. But owing to the rapid advances of fiber optic technology over the years, fiber optic patch cords have been heavily deployed to deliver more bandwidth for significantly longer distance transmission, with very little signal loss during transmission.
Fiber optic patch cord, also called fiber optic patch cable, fiber patch cord, or fiber optic jumper, is short interconnection fiber optic cable with connector on each end. Installers often use patch cords to link the equipment and components in the fiber optic network, eg. to connect the fiber optic converter and termination box. The commonly used fiber optic jumper types include SC patch cord, ST patch cord, LC patch cord, as well as MPO cable according to different connector types. Since patch cords come in many types, do you feel at a loss while purchasing them? What’s your consideration? This article lists several parameters that need to be considered when buy patch cords.
Certainly, price comes as the most direct factor for notice, the connector type and performance seem to be more important when choosing fiber jumpers.
Various standard connectors are provided by some manufacturers, including ST, SC, MPO, LC, etc (shown below), enabling installers to choose the most suitable connector type to fit the job. Patch cord connectors should be visually inspected and optically tested. There are fundamental parameters that affect the connector performance: low insertion loss and low reflectance. Insertion loss (IL) must be in accordance with the Electronic Industries Association/Telecommunications Industry Association standard 568. Reflectance, also known as optical return loss, is the amount of light that is reflected back up the fiber toward the source by light reflections off the interface of the polished end surface of the mated connectors and air. Minimizing the reflectance is necessary to get maximum performance out of high bit rate laser systems. Good connectors with proper polish are greatly needed. Properly made fusion splices will have no refelctance; a reflectance peak indicates incomplete fusion or inclusion of an air bubble or other impurity in the splice.
Besides connector type and performance, what else should be considered? Certainly, the fiber size and type need to be specified.
Fiber optic cable is available in two versions: single-mode fiber (SMF) and multi-mode fiber (MMF) based on “mode”. The form.er usually in yellow, is designed with a core diameter between 8 and 10.5µm. There are two sub groups (referred to as OS1 and OS2) but most cable is “dual rated” to cover both classifications. In contrast, the latter, usually in orange, has a larger core size, typically 62.5µm or 50µm. With the 50µm diameter MMF, there are three different grades (referred to as OM2, OM3, and OM4). The cable types used in the patch cord should match that of the network cabling to which they are attached via the patch panel.
Fiber patch cable assemblies can also be simplex or duplex. Simplex patch cord is typically one 3-millimeter cord that goes from point to point. It has a single strand of fiber allowing for signal flow in one direction only. Duplex patch cord has two fibers molded together with a zip cord so you can separate them. Multi-fiber or high-fiber-count optical harnesses assemblies have also been brought to the market.
Other parameters that attract installers’ attention are the price and installation. For instance, the possible length is 1m from one port to another port. And when the patch panels are in a couple of racks or if a full rack is allocated to a set of patching, the length could be 2 meters. However, if it`s a piece of electronics over to a patch panel over to a big switch room, that could be 10 meters.
Installation is of great importance, because the whole fiber optic system performance can be affected by dirty connectors on patch cords. The best principle is that any time a connector is unplugged or remated, it should be cleaned carefully so as to avoid dirt, oil, or something else that would degrade the network performance.
Fiber patch cords can be used to provide interconnection between the optical transmission equipment and the patch panel, able to connect one port on a patch panel to another port. As a professional fiber optic product manufacturer, Fiberstore supplies all kinds of patch cords, such as SC patch cord, ST patch cord, LC patch cord, MPO cable, simplex/duplex patch cable, and so on. Want such patch cords for installation, welcome to visit Fiberstore.
In the old days of grind-and-polish technology used in fiber optic communications, fiber patch cord installation seemed to be a difficult and hard-to get business which required a skillful specialist. But owing to the progress made in fiber optic terminations and technologies, fiber patch cables have seen extremely heavy use in telecommunications and wide area networks, since they feature high data rate capabilities, noise rejection and electrical isolation. Usually, fiber jumpers can be divided into two types: single mode patch cord and multi mode patch cord. Here “mode” refers to the transmitting mode of the fiber optic light in the fiber core. Usually the former, fiber optic patch cables single mode, are with 9/125 fiber glass typically with yellow jacket color, while the latter multi mode ones are with 50/125 or 62.5/125 fiber glass in orange color often.
Fiber optic patch cord is made of a fiber optic cable which is terminated by fiber cable connectors on both ends, meaning that fiber optic patch cable can be classified based on fiber optic connector types. For example, LC fiber patch cable means the fiber cable is with LC fiber optic connector. There are also PC, UPC, APC type fiber patch cord, different from each other because of the polish of fiber connectors. Fiber optic connectors are designed and polished in different shapes to minimize back reflection. This is particularly important in single mode applications. Typical back reflection grades are -30dB, -40dB, -50dB and -60dB. General use of these cable assemblies includes the interconnection of fiber cable systems and optics-to-electronic equipment. Image below shows several commonly-used patch cable types.
Compared with their copper wires, fiber optic jumpers have smaller diameter, lighter weight, easier for testing and installation. But their advantages are not limited to these points.
- Great Bandwidth
Fiber optic cables can carry very wide bandwidth signals, well into the GHz range. Many individual, lower bandwidth signals can be multiplexed onto the same cable. In commercial systems, fiber optic cable often carries a mixture of signal types, including voice, video and data all on the same fiber.
- Noise Immunity & Electrical Isolation
In industrial applications, one of the most important features of fiber optics is the noise immunity. Even in those conditions which are characteristics of prominent and unavoidable noise, fiber optics are unaffected. As for ground loop noise issues, the use of fiber optic patch cord can just eliminate it. Field signals, generated by devices floating at high potentials, can be coupled to other equipment at much lower potentials without the risk of damage. This is particularly preferable in industrial applications.
- Power Budget
While planning the fiber links, the most critical factor to be considered is the power budget specification of the devices being connected. This value tells you the amount of loss in dB that can be present in the link between the two devices before the units fail to perform properly. This value includes line attenuation as well as connector loss.
It’s necessary to mention that fiber optic patch cord is different from the fiber optic pigtail. The former consists of three parts: fiber optic connector+ fiber optic cable+ fiber optic connector, in contrast, the latter includes only two sectors: fiber optic connector+ fiber optic cable. Or put it in another way, when the cable is terminated with fiber connectors on both ends, it’s fiber optic jumper, and when the fiber connector is attached to only one end of the cable, it’s called a fiber optic pigtail.
Although fiber patch cords have been common for many years, there are still some myths about them.
Some people think that fiber jumper is more expensive than its counterpart copper. Actually, since manufacturing costs become down with each passing day, patch cord is less costly than the equivalent copper installation. Once deployed, the subsequent patch cord maintenance cost is also significantly less what copper requires.
It’s true that when terminating fiber cable, attention and care should be taken to avoid breaking the glass core, and some may think that patch cord is very fragile. But in practical use, fiber jumper has proven to be more robust than copper, able to withstand a higher pulling tension than copper, rated for larger temperature ranges.
Fiber patch cords play an important role in completing the end-to-end connections, ideally to be used in industrial and commercial systems. As professional fiber optic product supplier, Fiberstore offers various kinds of patch cords at affordable prices, including LC fiber patch cable mentioned above, SC patch cord, MTP/MPO cable, single mode and multi mode patch cords. If you want to know more information about patch cables or buy such cables for your networking use, please visit Fiberstore.
With the rapid advancement of fiber optic technology and trend towards optical communications, fiber optic patch cord has realized its great use in high speed data transmission networks, found in routers, fiber patch panels, media converters and even in hubs and switches. Compared to its previous counterpart, fiber optic jumper causes lower signal loss, delivers more bandwidth and carries more information, becoming more and more popular in cabling installation or upgrading between or inside buildings. Just like the transceiver modules which fall in many types based on different standards, fiber optic patch cables are also available in several kinds, including single-mode/multi-mode, simplex/duplex, MPO/MTP cable, armored patch cord, and so on. This article aims to introduce the last three useful fiber patch cords and their use.
Simplex cable, also known as single strand cables, has one fiber, tight-buffered (coated with a 900micron buffer over the primary buffer coating) with Kevlar (aramid fiber) strength members and jacketed for indoor use. The jacket is usually 3mm (1/8 in.) diameter, but some 2mm cable is sometimes used with small form factor connectors. Duplex (zipcord) cable has two fibers joined with a thin web.
Since simplex patch cord consists of only one fiber link, it’s used in such applications that only require one-way data transfer. But when the equipment can transmit and receive on two different wavelengths, simplex cable can also be considered. For example, transmit could be at 1310nm and receive could be at 1550nm. This application is found more with single-mode simplex patch cable.
Duplex patch cable is suitable for applications that require simultaneous, bidirectional data transfer. Typical applications include workstations, fiber switches and servers, Ethernet switches, backbone ports, and similar hardware.
MPO/MTP cable uses multi-fiber MPO/MTP connectors for setting up high-performance data networks in data centers, so as to achieve greater bandwidth and handle network traffic requirements. Specifically, in MPO/MTP cable component, each one of the connector are used with ribbon type fiber optic cables which contain multi-fiber in one single jacket, so that MPO/MTP patch cord greatly saves space, very convenient to use. Based on single ferrule MT technology, the MPO/MTP cable assemblies are able to provide up to 72 fiber connections in a single point, reducing the physical space and labor requirement, while providing the same bandwidth capacity of a multi-fiber cable with individual fiber connector terminations per cable. MTP cables can be divided into trunk and harness versions (image below).
MPO/MTP patch cables have great use in Gigabit applications, especially in 40GbE. Often, MPO/MTP connectors terminate OM3 or MO4 to form structured cabling, serving as the transmission medium for 40GBASE optics (ie. QFX-QSFP-40G-SR4).
Armored patch cord enjoys all the features of standard fiber patch cord, available in single-mode and multi-mode version (shown below), except its much stronger characteristic. It won’t get damaged even it is stepped by an adult. What’s more, this kind of patch cord is anti-rodents, and when it’s utilized, people do not need to worry that the rodent animals like the rats may bite the cables and make them broken. Although armored fiber cables are strong, they are actually as flexible as standard fiber jumper cords, and they can be bent randomly without being broken.
Armored patch cable can be made with the similar outer diameter to the standard patch cable, which makes it a space-saving design. In addition, armored fiber cables can be with different jacket colors and jacket types, like OFNR. Light in weight, armored fiber patch cords can be with SC, ST, FC, LC, MU, SC/APC, ST/APC, FC/APC, LC/APC types of terminations.
The armored fiber optic patch cords are more robust designed, suitable to be deployed in FTTH projects inside the buildings. They use stainless steel armor inside the jacket to be resistant of high tension and pressure, able to resist the weight of an adult person.
Fiber optic patch cables are of great use in various conditions from local area network to airplanes, especially in communication networks in which the importance of patch cords is even more obvious. To get the high-quality patch cords, you can choose Fiberstore, which supplies a wide range of cables, including simplex/duplex, MPO/MTP cable, armored patch cord discussed in this text. Other cable types, such as push-pull patch cords, and 10G SFP+ DAC cable, are also available. If you would like to buy such a product, you can visit Fiberstore directly.
Nowadays, a huge number of bandwidth-hunger devices are housed in data centers, like clustered storage systems, backup devices, and various servers, which are all connected by networking equipment. These devices need reliable and scalable cabling structure for high performance and flexibility. For some large- or middle-sized enterprises, their billion-dollar business lie in the suitable deployment of fiber patch cords and fiber optic transceivers. Since there are many kinds of patch cables available in the market for transceiver modules to promote data transmission in enterprises’ data centers, it seems a little difficult to choose the right kind for such transceivers. This text tackles this issue and provides some selection guide.
When delve into this topic, it’s imperative to have a basic understanding of the fiber optic transceiver.
Fiber optic transceiver, just as its name replies, is a self-contained component that can both transmit and receive signals. In most cases, this transceiver is plugged in devices such as routers or network interface cards which offer one or more transceiver module slot. In its whole signal transmission process, the transmitter takes an electrical input and converts it to an optical output from a laser diode or LED. The light from the transmitter is coupled into the fiber with a connector and is transmitted through the fiber optic cable plant. The light from the end of the fiber is coupled to a receiver where a detector converts the light into an electrical signal which is then conditioned properly for use by the receiving equipment.
According to different protocols, a wide range of optical transceivers are designed to support different data rates, including Gigabit SFP transceiver, 10G SFP+ transceiver, 40G QSFP+, etc..Take MGBBX1 for example, this Cisco 1000BASE-BX-U SFP is designed to be applied in Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) applications.
Fiber optic patch cord, also called fiber jumper or fiber optic patch cable, consists of fiber optic cable terminated with different connectors on the ends. It’s typical application includes computer work station to outlet and patch panels or optical cross connect distribution center. While selecting patch cord, it’s recommended to take on from the following aspects, fiber cable mode, cable structure, connector types and so on.
- Single-mode/Multi-mode Patch Cord
It’s known that fiber patch cords can be classified into single-mode and multi-mode fiber patch cord based on cable mode used. Single-mode patch cords, usually in yellow color, are with 9/125 fiber glass and has only one pathway for signal transmission, while multi-mode ones, often in orange, are with OM1 62.5/125 or OM2 50/125 fiber glass, and allow multiple pathways and several wavelengths of light to be transmitted with the large core.
- Simplex/Duplex Patch Cord
According to the cable structure, patch cord can be divided into simplex and duplex versions. Simplex, also known as single strand, patch cable has one fiber, while duplex cable has two fibers joined with a thin web. Both simplex and duplex patch cords are available in single-mode or multi-mode versions. Because simplex patch cord has only one fiber link, its typically deployed for applications that only require one-way data transfer. For those applications, like fiber switches and servers, it’s advised to select duplex fiber optic cable for simultaneous and bidirectional data transfer. Additionally, there is also ribbon fan-out cable assembly (ie. one end is ribbon fiber with multi fibers and one ribbon fiber connector such as MTP connector (12 fibers), the other end is multi simplex fiber cables with connectors such as ST, SC, LC, etc.).
- Patch Cord With Different Connectors
By connector type standard, fiber patch cord can also be divided. For instance, LC fiber patch cable is named as it is with LC connector. Similarly, there are SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP fiber patch cables. Additionally, there are PC, UPC, APC type fiber patch cords, which are differentiated from the polish of fiber connectors.
After respective introduction to fiber optic transceiver and fiber patch cord, let’s go to the core issue—to choose the suitable cable type for transceivers.
In this part, I will take Cisco transceiver modules for example. For example, I need the suitable cable type for these two Cisco GbE transceiver modules, GLC-EX-SMD and MGBLX1. Then how to choose the right type? According to “Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix”, GLC-EX-SMD is the 1000BASE-EX SFP module that works through single-mode fiber (SMF) with LC duplex, and MGBLX1 is the 1000BASE-LX SFP module also for SMF with LC duplex. In such a case, since both two modules operate on SMF with LC connector, what I need is the with LC-LC duplex single-mode patch cable.
The above-mentioned example just lists one patch cable type for fiber optic transceivers. There are several commonly-aused patch cable types: LC-LC Simplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable, LC-SC Duplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable, LC-LC Duplex OM1 62.5/125 Multi-mode Fiber Patch Cable, ect.. Fiberstore supplies various kinds of high-quality patch cords for transceiver modules. You can visit Fiberstore for more information about patch cords.