Monday, November 26, 2012

Aerial cable installation and what you need to know

Aerial cabling has been around forever but this method does have the highest risk of taking a crap on you due to natural disasters, vehicle accidents, lightning strikes, falling tree limbs and so on. Aerial cable runs also detracts from the aesthetic appearance of the property and installation hardware will damage the exterior of your building. If an aerial cable installation is right for you some advantages will be, fast installation and easy access for maintenance. Check your local ordinance first, your aerial cable run may be restricted.

Your planned route must provide enough stabilized ground for your installation vehicle to be supported properly during the installation and later when maintenance is required. One of the most complex installations that comes to mind for us is a ski lift install requiring a PE38 cable be ran to the top of the mountain.

Here's an example of a PE38 cable from our YouTube Channel.

Pole placement should take into account your future cable capacity needs, pole type class, storm load requirement, optimum span lengths and minimum height clearance. Cable must also maintain sag clearance.

Class numbers are assigned to pole strengths with the strongest being class 1 and the weakest being class 10. Marked poles should indicated their class, species of timber, preservative treatment, and footage. If a pole is installed in a sloping ground, the depth of the pole set must be increased over the depth used for flat ground installation. An outside plant designer should know about the three definitions of pole loading: transverse storm loading, vertical loading and bending moments.

Your aerial cable suspended strand is available in two types, Class A for general use and Class C for corrosion prone areas. Proper selection should be made for pole to pole installation. The selection of span length should follow these guidelines: * Strand tension should not exceed 60% of breaking strength under storm loading conditions. * Strand tension should not exceed 70% of breaking strength with cable in place and a 300 pound load concentrated at mid span. * Sag should not exceed 10ft at a 60 degree Fahrenheit temperature, without any wind loading.

A self-supporting cable span length is limited by the simultaneous application of the two previous factors. Self-supporting cable is a special construction in which the sheath covers both the support strand and the telecom conductors. When tensioning a self-supporting cable, special clamping devices are required for the come-along to avoid cutting the polyethylene strand covering.

In almost all cases, a pole will require some type of guying hardware, which is available as side, head, anchor, pole to pole, or pole to stub guy.

You can place an aerial cable from a stationary reel or a moving reel in either of two ways. The first way, temporary pulleys or J hooks are installed at each pole, then the truck winch is fed through the pulleys, or hooks, and attached to the end of the cable.

The second way is the end point of the cable is attached to the first pole and the rest of the reel is moved to the next pole, etc. Temporary pulleys or J hooks are not needed, because the cable is attached to each pole as it is unreeled.

So maybe your thinking about direct burying your cable instead. Check out our other blog post on direct burial cable installation tips.

You might want to consider working with a outside plant designer, there is a lot of math and science involved in this type of installation. Maybe even make an investment into a OSP design reference manual to help you out.

Special thanks to Electrical Construction and Maintenance.

Any questions? Comments? Leave them below. Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Become PCI compliant using Fiber Optic Cable and Connectors

Recently we've been involved with retail establishments that have been updating and redesigning their entire network to comply with the PCI Standard. Before we get into fiber optics let's briefly get more into what PCI is.

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry data security standard. It's a set of 12 specific requirements that cover six different goals. It tells you how to be secure and why you need to be secure. Some of the goals are things like building and maintaining a secure network, protecting card holder data, regularly monitor and test your network. This would be considered the first part of the standard, covering everything from physical security to logical security.

Fiber optics would fall into the first part of the standard. Part two is considered PADSS, Payment Application Data Security Standard and part three is called the PTS, PIN Transaction System.

The PCI Security Standards Council was formed in September of 2006 by the five major credit card brands, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB. Before 2006 each credit card had their own way of providing security. Since the inception of the PCI, they all now use these standards as the foundation of their security.

In recent months fiber optics has been and an excellent choice for replacing wireless transmission devices and for eliminating the need for repeaters and addition routers for those long copper Cat5e cable runs. Did you know you can get one gig of Ethernet on a 62.5 multimode cable up to around 750ft.

If your an Information Technology professional you might be thinking about what type of fiber cable construction might be best for your application. Let's take a look at a couple of different cables from our YouTube Channel

The above armored fiber optic cable is an awesome choice for direct burial installations but there are a couple of things you should know about. The loose tube design will make for more work during the termination process. The bigger diameter cable and weight can add to labor during cable pulling installation. The outdoor rating only allows you to enter the building no more than 50ft according to the National Electric Code.

The above interlocking armored fiber optic cable provides added protection and typically is installed for industrial and manufacturing facilities. You may also want to install it just to possibly prevent an accidental cut ensuing in taking down your network. The 50 micron glass design also pushes 10Gig speeds. The Interlocking metal clad design also saves on the labor of running a conduit then pulling your fiber through it.

The indoor/outdoor rated cable allows you to install your fiber outdoors then bring it into the building anywhere you want thanks to the combined indoor rating. It's tight buffer design also makes for a installation contractor favorite.

As you can tell we have every type of fiber optic cable under the sun for your network. What about the connectors, are you going to terminate your own fiber cable? If so we have different kits for your termination application. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of terminating fiber you can let our assembly house terminate it for you for a pull, pull and play solution.

For more information on the PCI Standard check out the PCI Security Standards Council

Any questions regarding fiber optics for your PCI compliant network you can contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 extension 232.


"By Mercy Salinas" 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Copper twisted pair OSP or Fiber Optic outside plant?

With the rise of fiber optic cable networks more people are considering fiber over traditional copper twisted pair communications cable. Let's take a quick look at some of the pros and cons for both.

Balanced twisted pair cable transports information over the cable as an electrical signal. One advantage is it's already installed everywhere on the planet. Twisted pair cables were invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881 and is the most popular cable for our communication from one human being to another. This is an old technology but because of it's longevity more people are familiar with it and the installation process.

Here's an example of a OSP telephone cable from our YouTube Channel

There are some things about this cable that can make it a bit of a bummer. High sensitivity to external electromagnetic interference, the most common troublemaker seems to be lightning strikes. OSP copper cable will need to be properly grounded and that by itself is another science that the installation contractor must be knowledgeable about.

High bandwidth applications over twisted pair also has distance limitations. Cat5e can only transmit gigabit ethernet up to 100 meters. T-1 service within a 50 pair cable will be limited to 6 transmit signals in one binder group and 6 receive signals in a second binder group.

The size and weight of the cable will also present more cost in transportation.

Twisted pair cabling has definitely been supporting voice application services for a long time but with new technology and the need for more information faster, fiber optic cabling has been growing to support high bandwidth applications. At this point in time I do see many new installations using a combination of both.

For fiber optic outside plant environments we've sold fiber for voice, video, data, audio, CATV, fire alarms, CCTV and building automation systems. In campus environments it has the ability to sever many different transmission protocols and topologies by offering increased distance, higher bandwidth, all-dielectric cable, less susceptibility to EMI, lightning and no grounding!

Here's an example of a OSP fiber cable from our YouTube Channel 

Now that you have something to chew on, take your time and plan your system for things like future growth, longevity, flexibility and so on. You may even need to have a mixed bag of multimode, singlemode and twisted pair.

Don't forget Halo 4 came out this week so pick up a copy and I'll see you on the XBOX live network.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below! Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, November 2, 2012

What is and why do I need a fiber optic mandrel?

Over the past 15 years we've sold all kinds of fiber products for all kinds of different projects but I think the most overlooked part about a fiber optic network installation might be the use of fiber optic mandrels for proper insertion loss testing.

Before we get into the mandrels themselves let's all get on the same page with "ZEROING" your fiber optic light source and power meter. Our good friend Professor Jim Powers with Optical Wavelength Laboratories gives us a great explanation on "ZEROING".

Thanks Professor Jim Powers, now let's get into the mandrel.

Your LED light source emits light over an area larger than the typical multimode fiber core causing the low and high order modes to get excited. The simplest way to calm your light source down is to tightly bend the launch cable from your light source tester around a mandrel. 

A fiber optic mandrel is a very inexpensive tool to help improve your fiber optic testing as the tight bends around the mandrel calm the light source down. Mandrels allow the use of your overfilled LED light source to properly certify 50 and 62.5 fiber links for high bit rates such as Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Etherent.

Here's a up close look from our YouTube channel

These mandrels are not a "want to" or "don't want to" tool to use during testing. This is not 'Nam, there are rules, and according to TIA/EIA-568-B it specifies that attenuation (insertion loss) measurements of multimode fiber links for all applications be made using an overfilled light source, such as an LED with a mandrel-wrap mode filter on the transmit jumper. This enables certification of multimode links for Gigabit and 10 Gigibit. Also allows for existing 850/1300 LED light sources to test 50 and 62.5 links. 

Now let's use our fiber mandrel for "ZEROING"!

Wrap the "transmit jumper" five times around the mandrel and attach it to the output port of your LED source. Then attach the other end of the jumper to your power meter and set your wavelength.

Set your reference to display "0 dB" indicating that the power measured at output of the transmit jumper has been recorded as the reference level for your insertion loss measurements. You have now completed the "One Jumper Method".

Now disconnect your transmit jumper from your power source but NOT from your light source. Attach a "receive jumper" to to your power meter. Mate together the "transmit jumper" and "receive jumper" with a coupler. Make sure that the insertion loss is well under 0.75 dB and that is the maximum allowed by TIA.

Now your ready to test the fiber link. Connect your light source to one end and your power meter to the other. Store results, print and rock and roll!

So long story short, a fiber mandrel is for modifying the distribution of a propagating fiber optic signal. You can order your fiber optic mandrel from DLV.

Almost forgot to show the mandrel in action, here a How-To video on DB loss.

Questions? Comment below, thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"