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Fiber Optic

Fiber Optics

Fiber Optic cabling provides a far greater bandwidth than copper and is typically used for backbone connection between localized networking equipment and is increasingly becoming the preferred choice for high quality and reliable analog and digital communications.

Although its higher cost can be prohibitive for desktop applications, fiber optic cabling provides a high security link, with immunity from electromagnetic interference (EMI). It is also the solution for inter-building links and other connections beyond the maximum 90m for Category 5e copper cabling.

Fiber Optic Cable Design & Installation

Landmark Wiring Systems carries out the design, installation, testing & maintenance of Fiber Optic systems including Fusion Splicing & Termination of multimode & singlemode fiber cables, including repair work.

All types of fiber optic cabling systems are offered including:

  • Multimode 62.5/125 (OM1) Data Networks
  • Multimode 50/125 (OM2) Video & Data Networks
  • Multimode 50/125 (OM3) Gigabit Ethernet an 10 Gig Ethernet for up to 300m
  • Singlemode 8/125 (OS1) Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gig Ethernet for up to 2km.

Fiber Optic Termination & Testing

Our Fiber Optic termination and testing service is offered to corporate end users as well as other communication providers who prefer to use our skilled services rather than invest in expensive test equipment and costly engineer training. We use 3M HotMelt connectors to provide the best results. Other methods which include preterminated pigtails and index matching gels induce additional loss into the terminations.

Fiber Optic Advantages

Increased Bandwidth: A fiber optic system may have very high bandwidth, sometimes operating at data rates of 10Gb/s, equivalent to more than 120,000 standard telephone calls over one pair of optical fibers (one transmitting and one receiving).

Under Lab conditions, data rates as high as 10 terabits per second have been demonstrated (150 million telephone calls).

62.5 MM fibers have a lower information carrying capacity but are capable of 1Gb/s with some 10 Gigabit systems now in use.

Increased Distances: Due to the low attenuation (or signal loss) exhibited by optical fibers, signals can be transmitted very long distances. In subsea telecommunications, distances of up to 280km have been used without the requirement for repeaters or boosters. Repeatered systems can span as much as 10,000 to 15,000km, where optical amplifiers are used to boost the signal levels typically around every 80km or so.

Lightweight and Compact: An optical fiber is extremely light, a 2km spool would only weigh approximatly 1 lB, therefore it is ideal for use in applications where weight is critical. Equally, a coated optical fiber is only 250 microns (a quarter of a millimeter) in diameter; a 12 core (12 fiber) cable may be less than 8mm in diameter for indoor use.

Fiber Optic Cabling Is Secure: Operational fibers do not radiate any signal, the optical signal is completely contained in the middle of the fiber. This means that fibers are frequently used for applications where data security is important such as military and government communications. Even if attempts are made to ‘tap into’ a fiber optic cable by isolating a bare fiber and putting a tight bend onto it so that some of the signal escapes, this intrusion can be detected by monitoring the power of the transmitted signal, and located using an OTDR technique (Optical Time Domain Reflectometry).

Fiber Optic Cabling Is Safe: A fiber optic communications cable does not need to carry any electrical current. It is possible to construct completely non-metallic cables so that full electrical isolation can be achieved, particularly important in the Electric supply industry. There are no risks of short circuits generating sparks which may ignite explosive gases etc. Non-metallic cables are not prone to lightning strikes in exposed areas.

All these intrinsically safe characteristics have led to the widespread use of fiber optics in hazardous environments such as oil refineries, chemical works, coal mines, etc.

Fiber Optic Cabling Is Environmentally Friendly: When compared to copper communications cables, there is little use of resource in manufacturing, transporting and installing fiber optic cables because of the lightweight, compact nature of optical fibers.

Fiber Optic Cable Has No Scrap Value: Fiber optic cable is worthless as scrap and therefore not worth stealing unlike copper telecoms cable.

Fiber Optic Cabling Is Future-proof: Any fiber optic system currently installed will only be using a very small fraction of the potential information carrying capacity of the fiber. Therefore, as demand for communications capacity increases the system can be upgraded by attaching more sophisticated transmission equipment.

Fiber Optics Are Cost Effective: Many people view fiber optics as being very expensive, but for any application where there is a lot of data to move over long distances then fiber is likely to provide the cheapest solution.

There is a general downward trend in prices of fiber optics cabling, components, tools and installation equipment. However, the transmission equipment which converts electricity into light and back again is still relatively expensive. As prices continue to fall, and the price of copper continues to rise, fiber optics will become the most cost-effective solution for more and more applications – bringing all the other benefits as well.

See our Fiber Connector Termination page to see why we only use expoxy/polish connectors.

See the Systimax (by Commscope) white paper on the difference between 62.5 and 50 fiber.

Try a Fiber Termination quiz to test your knowledge of basic fiber terminations.