Fiber VS Copper: How Should I Make a Decision?

Both fiber optic cables and copper wires are media of signal transmission, but the way of transmission may differ. Fiber optic technology uses pulses of light to carry data along strands of glass or plastic, while traditional copper wires transmit electrical currents. The obvious difference is the maximum cable length. Most people prefer fiber because of the longer max cable length of optical fibers. But what are other factors which might come to mind when making choice between them? You may find answer in this post.

Comparison Between Fiber Optic Cables and Copper Cables

The following properties make a comparison between fiber optic cable and conventional copper cables.

1) Bandwidth

Fiber optic cable provides more bandwidth than copper and has standardized performance up to 10 Gbps and beyond, something that it is impossible to achieve when using copper. More bandwidth means that fiber can carry more information with far greater efficiency than copper wire.

Copper-glass

2) Range of transmission

Since data travels in the form of light (in total internal reflections, the loss of quality is negligible) in fiber optic cables, very little signal loss occurs during transmission and data can move at higher speeds and greater distances.

3) Not susceptible to interference

Fiber optic cable is also much less susceptible to noise andelectromagnetic interference than copper wire. For example, over a distance of two kilometers, copper wire would experience a great deal of degradation in quality, while there would be virtually none over the same distance using optical cable. It is so efficient, in fact, that roughly 99.7% of the signal reaches the router in most cases.

4) Size, weight & strength

Fiber optic cable is much thinner and lighter than copper cable. It can be used more efficiently in confined underground pipes, and is also much stronger, with eight times the pulling tension of copper wire. Furthermore, it has strength members and stiffeners that make it much harder to damage or kink.

Fiber optic cables vs Copper cables-

When to Choose Fiber or Copper?

Apart form all the factors above, one important factor while choosing the cable is the speed of the network and the devices you plan to use. The general specifications for currently available ethernet network speeds are as follows:

copper cable

fiber optic cables-

I’d pick a cable that will support the current network requirement, while having sufficient scope for expansion. It is important to choose a medium that will support enough growth because usually replacing switches or modules on both ends of a link is just a one/two man job, while running new cabling for an upgrade is highly labor intensive and might cost a lot of money in comparison. The following are suggested scenarios where I’d pick each cable.

1.Cat6 would be my choice for last mile connectivity to the desk/wall outlet for any organization that either has:

  • A very low bandwidth requirement, like small cafes, retail stores, etc.
  • Or where the expected life of the interior fitout and office space is less than 5 years.
  • It might be worth noting that Cat5e might seem cheaper, but it only covers a small margin. So I’d just skip that for the better performance.

2.Cat 6a will be my choice for both last mile connectivity for the following reasons.

  • Ability to run at 10G speeds later on
  • Less susceptible to noise, interference and cross talk compared to Cat6. (Since almost all Cat6a cables are shielded)
  • Cat6a would be my choice for the last mile haul in any industrial or factory environment if they cannot use fiber all the way to their equipment.

3.Single mode fiber would be my cable of choice for any kind of backbone cabling where the long haul is needed. It has stood the test of time and I don’t think it’ll get obsolete any time soon. I’d pick the OS1 grade for indoor applications and OS2 grade for outdoor applications.

4.I’d use multimode fiber in between my telecom rooms, between racks in the data center. I’d pick OM3/OM4 depending on the budget available.

5. If possible to convince decision-makers, I’d use a combination of SMF and MMF across the entire network, even to the desk or wall outlet. Going for a completely fiber only networks saves up a lot of space and energy costs and provides a lot of management flexibility by drastically reducing the number of telecommunication rooms in large facility. Also such a network will have a large capacity of bandwidth and provided you’ve run enough number of cores, it will be future proof to a large extent.

Conclusion

There is no such thing as the perfect cable for everything. In the end you need to balance out between cost, capabilities and provision for growth based on the requirements of your particular application and business. But no matter copper cables or fiber optic cables, all can be found at FS.COM. You can always find one catering to your need most.

IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable– A Survival In Harsh Environment

IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable can be used in harsh environment, providing more convenience and extra protection for network systems. Even if there are various patch cables available on the market, which can be used in different applications, in most cases, they can only be installed in relatively protected environment where stay away from liquid, chemicals and animal biting. What if I want to use it in military network or extremely harsh environment? The following text will introduce a saviour in hostile surroundings—IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable.

Overview of IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Waterproof fiber optic patch cable is mainly used in outdoor connection. It is designed with a stainless steel strengthened waterproof unit and armored outdoor PU jacketed cables. It can resist high temperature, and is suitable for use in harsh environments. Similar to standard fiber optic patch cables, waterproof fiber cables also have various types, including simplex, duplex, 12 fibers, 24 fibers, and various kinds of connect interfaces are optional, such as LC, SC, FC, ST, MPO, etc.

IP67 waterproof fiber cable meets ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors Association) standards and the IP66/67 environmental sealing ratings. IP67 waterproof fiber jumper connectors are designed according to the IEC60603-7 interface standard, which allows mating to other similar mechanical locking systems. In all, IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable is a low-cost and ideal alternative for industry, FTTA, or other harsh environmental conditions.

IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable–What Does IP Mean?

Here IP is referred to as Ingress Protection rating (or International Protection code), which is an important parameter showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids. IP rating code is usually followed by two digits. The first digit indicates degree of protection against solids, which is raging from 0 to 6. The second digit represents degree of protection against liquids, which is raging from 0 to 8. The larger the number is, the higher the protection level is. The following two tables explain the two types of protection levels in details.

Table 1: Protection levels against solid objects.

Protection levels against solid objects

Table 2: Protection levels against liquids.

Protection levels against liquids

Why & Where to Use IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable?

Compared to common fiber optic cables, IP67 waterproof fiber cables are endowed with the following features:

  • Corrosion-resistant, waterproof, dust-proof
  • High temperature stability, low insertion loss
  • Easy operation, reliable and cost-effective installation
  • Thread locking mechanism to ensure long-term reliable connection
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Rugged design for extreme environments
  • High sealing performances for vacuum & under water applications

All of the above features make waterproof fiber cables suitable for outdoor application, such as:

  • Emergency repair quick connection system
  • Radio and television industry
  • Military exercise communication devices
  • Power industry emergency communication system
  • Oilfield, mining communication connection
  • Remote wireless base station
  • Railway signal control application
  • Intelligent substation communication
  • Video monitoring system
FS.COM IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Cable Component Details

Since IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cables have various connectors and types. IP67 LC to IP67 LC duplex single mode waterproof fiber optic patch cable from FS.COM will be taken as an example for your reference.

IP67 LC Component Details

In FS.COM, IP67LC cable connector is the LC connector whose optical channels are based on the convention with duplex, single mode APC. The aluminum frame has a spring-loaded push-pull locking mechanism and possesses the excellent cable retention because of an aramid yarn within the cable. When there is no connection by the automatically operated sealing-cover, both chassis and connector can protect against dirt and dust. In addition to the automatic sealing shutters, rubber outer sheath and steel, the automatic protective cap is fitted for using when unconnected. When connected or capped, the sealing connection environment amounts to IP67.

Summary

With the rapid development of optical communication, more and more fiber optic cables are increasingly used in different environments. Under harsh conditions, the ruggedness and durability of common fiber optic cables cannot meet operators’ requirements, especially for exceptional demanding applications. This post mainly introduces IP67 waterproof fiber optic cable suitable in harsh environment. All the types of waterproof fiber optic cables are available in FS.COM. If you have any problem about them, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

The Need for Ultra Low Loss Fiber Patch Cables in Data Center

Fiber optic cables are now indispensable transmission media in data center. But during the transmission, attenuation of optical fibers becomes one of the top concerns since it greatly impacts the signal transmission, and what’s worse, it’s difficult to avoid, especially in the long distance transmission of high-speed backbone network. Under such a background, the introduction of ultra low loss fiber patch cables provides a new way to solve this problem. This post will reveal why ultra low loss fiber patch cable is superior and different types of ultra low loss fiber patch cables provided by FS.COM.

Why Ultra Low Loss Fiber Patch Cable is Advantageous?

Lower Attenuation—According to the loss of optical fiber, the optical fiber is divided into common fiber, low loss fiber and ultra low loss fiber. Among them, the attenuation of common optical fiber is about 0.20dB/km, and the attenuation of low loss fiber and ultra low loss fiber is lower than 0.185dB/km and 0.170dB/km respectively. Compared with common fiber, low loss fiber and ultra low loss fiber can respectively reduce cross section loss of 2dB and 3dB. For the future transmission rate of 400G, low loss optical fiber can reduce about 20% of regeneration stations, while ultra low loss optical fiber about 40%. The benefits and advantages of ultra low loss fiber cable are obvious and noticeable.

Network Redundancy—Compared with common fiber, the excellent characteristics of ultra low loss fiber provides network redundancy for expansion of network transition span and site, for upgrading to the faster bit rate and an increase of network components’ flexibility or extension of the distance between regenerators in order to achieve longer and wider regional network and satisfy the global increasing demand for bandwidth capacity.

Low Cost—In addition to aforementioned advantages, the use of ultra low loss fiber cable can greatly reduce cost. The reduction of a regeneration station means saving millions of dollars. With the forthcoming of 400G, compared to common fiber, low loss fiber can reduce 20% (about 0.3 billion dollars) of 400G regeneration station, while ultra low loss fiber cable about 40%.

Types of Ultra Low Loss Fiber Patch Cable

In order to offer better performance for our customers, FS.COM introduced two types of ultra low loss fiber optic patch cables.

Ultra Low Loss Single Mode Fiber Patch Cable

FS ultra low loss single mode fiber (SMF)features a typical insertion loss of 0.12dB. The cable is designed for signal transmission over the 1310nm and 1550nm wavelength. And it has Grade B connector which can ensure ultra low IL (insertion loss) and RL (return loss) and avoid the production of error code and worse signal. In addition, the material of the single mode fiber is G.657.A1 (Compatible with G.652.D)which allows the cable to be bent more severely than standard patch cables.

Enhance Grade-B LC Data Center Premium Patch Cable

Ultra Low Loss Multimode Fiber Patch Cable

Multimode fiber (MMF) is a cost-effective solution for short-reach optical interconnects of up to a few hundred meters. The low insertion loss MMF from FS.COM ensures ultra low maximum loss of 0.15dB at the wavelengths of 850nm or 1300nm. The common types of low insertion loss MMF include OM2, OM3 and OM4. With special material design, it also offers excellent hydrogen aging characteristics, which guarantee stability of fiber application. All in all, this ultra low insertion loss MMF cable fully meets the demands for transmitting signals with high speed and high capacity.

Enhance LC Data Center Premium Patch Cable

Summary

Since attenuation is a key factor impacting signal transmission, it’s crucial to select ultra low loss fiber patch cables to deploy future proof cabling infrastructure. If you are in need of any suggestions on network deployment, feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com or directly visit www.fs.com.

Bend Insensitive Fiber–A Perfect Solution For FTTH

It’s known that almost all fiber optic cables have one common weakness when deploying FTTH (Fiber to the Home): attenuation. Any accidentally twisting or bending of cable too much will generate attenuation that can ruin your application with signal loss. If the damage is severe, the user is usually faced with an option: either dump it or buy a new one. In order to solve the problem, bend insensitive fiber is designed to cause much lower optical power loss under bend conditions. In this way, cable bending won’t be an obstacle for your cable installation.

bend sensitive fiber cables

What is Bend Insensitive Fiber?

Bend insensitive fibers can produce minimum loss while transmitting light even if they are bent beyond the bend radius. In bend insensitive fibers, an optical trench is built with a lower refractive index material around the core so that the lost light can be reflected back in, thus minimizing data loss. At the same time, other factors like core diameter, wavelengths, single mode or multimode, etc are also optimized to minimize the losses due to excessive fiber cable bends during installation or maintenance.

Advantages of Bend Insensitive Fiber
  • Fiber cable installation errors due to steep cable bends (inside patch panels, racks, entrance/exit points, etc) can be avoided.
  • Bend insensitive fiber cables are very useful for indoor fiber cable installations as they can now be taken around walls, pillars, ceilings, ducts, and other uneven surfaces within the buildings.
  • Higher bandwidth applications can be confidently deployed using bend insensitive fibers as accidental excessive bending of fibers does not cause much of performance degradation.
  • Bend insensitive fibers also show a great deal of resilience in situations where fibers are fixed to surfaces using clamping, tie-wrapping or stapling.
  • Bend insensitive fibers can be spliced with the same methods used for normal cables, and in most cases, the normal fiber connectors and accessories are compatible to be used with bend insensitive fibers.

BIF cable for ftth

Why Choose Bend Insensitive Fiber For FTTH?

With the continuous demand of higher bandwidth, copper cables are reaching their limit to do the job. FTTH (Fiber to the Home) networks are expected to replace the copper networks with bend insensitive fibers. The bend insensitive cable has less attenuation compared with traditional fiber cables and this will make the installation and maintenance of the fiber optic cables more efficient.

In FTTH networks, people require the fiber optic cables to be bend-insensitive so that it is easier to deploy in the house, such as at the angled points inside the rooms along the walls. Another benefit we can get from bend insensitive fiber cables is that they are space saving. This is also the trend of future fiber optic network—smaller, denser and more efficient. Many companies such as FS.COM are able to provide the bend insensitive fiber optic cables compliant to ITU-T G657 standards.

Conclusion

Bend insensitive fibers can keep lower power loss under bend conditions. This kind of cable is quite necessary to the application of FTTH (Fiber to the Home) access network. FS.COM bend insensitive fiber patch cables are available for multimode (OM2, OM3 and OM4) and single-mode (OS2) networks. Each bend insensitive cable is manufactured with high-quality components and is thoroughly hand-tested for optimum optical performance. For more information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.