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Product Data Sheets (pdf)...Fiber Connector Tool Kit

Black Box Explains…Terminating fiber.

Terminating fiber cable used to be a job for experts only. But today, prepolished connectors make it possible for anyone to terminate multimode fiber—all you need is a bit of... more/see it nowpatience and the right tools. Here’s how to terminate fiber with ST connectors:

Step 1 — Slide the connector strain-relief boot, small end first, onto the cable.

Step 2 — Using a template, mark the jacket dimensions to be stripped (40 mm and 52 mm from the end).

Step 3 — Remove the outer jacket from the cable end to the 40 mm mark. Cut the exposed Kevlar. Carefully remove the jacket to the 52-mm mark, exposing the remaining length of Kevlar.

Step 4 — Fan out the Kevlar fibers and slide the crimp ring of the connector approximately 5 mm over the fibers to hold them out of the way. Mark the fiber buffer 11 mm from the end of the cable jacket. Also, mark the buffer where it meets the jacket.

Step 5 — Bit by bit, strip off the buffering until you reach the 11-mm mark. Check the mark you made on the buffer at the jacket. If it’s moved, carefully work the buffer back into the jacket to its original position.

Step 6 — Clean the glass fiber with an alcohol wipe. Cleave the fiber to an 8-mm length.

Step 7 — Carefully insert the fiber into the connector until you feel it bottom out and a bow forms between the connector and the clamp. Cam the connector with the appropriate tool.

Step 8 — Crimp the connector.

Step 9 — Slide the crimp ring up the jacket away from the connector, releasing the Kevlar fibers. Fan the fiber so they encircle the buffer. The ends of the fibers should just touch the rear of the connector—if they’re too long, trim them now.

Step 10 — Crimp the connector again.

Step 11 — Slide the strain-relief boot over the rear of the connector. You might want to put a bead of 411 Loctite adhesive for extra strength on the rear of the boot where it meets the jacket.

Although the details may vary slightly with different connectors and termination kits, the basic termination procedure is the same. collapse

Black Box Explains...PC, UPC, and APC fiber connectors.

Fiber optic cables have different types of mechanical connections. The type of connection determines the quality of the fiber optic lightwave transmission. The different types we’ll discuss here are the... more/see it nowflat-surface, Physical Contact (PC), Ultra Physical Contact (UPC), and Angled Physical Contact (APC).

The original fiber connector is a flat-surface connection, or a flat connector. When mated, an air gap naturally forms between the two surfaces from small imperfections in the flat surfaces. The back reflection in flat connectors is about -14 dB or roughly 4%.

As technology progresses, connections improve. The most common connection now is the PC connector. Physical Contact connectors are just that—the end faces and fibers of two cables actually touch each other when mated.

In the PC connector, the two fibers meet, as they do with the flat connector, but the end faces are polished to be slightly curved or spherical. This eliminates the air gap and forces the fibers into contact. The back reflection is about -40 dB. This connector is used in most applications.

An improvement to the PC is the UPC connector. The end faces are given an extended polishing for a better surface finish. The back reflection is reduced even more to about -55 dB. These connectors are often used in digital, CATV, and telephony systems.

The latest technology is the APC connector. The end faces are still curved but are angled at an industry-standard eight degrees. This maintains a tight connection, and it reduces back reflection to about -70 dB. These connectors are preferred for CATV and analog systems.

PC and UPC connectors have reliable, low insertion losses. But their back reflection depends on the surface finish of the fiber. The finer the fiber grain structure, the lower the back reflection. And when PC and UPC connectors are continually mated and remated, back reflection degrades at a rate of about 4 to 6 dB every 100 matings for a PC connector. APC connector back reflection does not degrade with repeated matings. collapse

Black Box Explains...Fiber connectors.

• The ST® connector, which uses a bayonet locking system, is the most common connector.

• The SC connector features a molded body and a push- pull locking system.

• The FDDI... more/see it nowconnector comes with a 2.5-mm free-floating ferrule and a fixed shroud to minimize light loss.

• The MT-RJ connector, a small-form RJ-style connector, features a molded body and uses cleave-and-leave splicing.

• The LC connector, a small-form factor connector, features a ceramic ferrule and looks like a mini SC connector.

• The VF-45™connector is another small-form factor connector. It uses a unique “V-groove“ design.

• The FC connector is a threaded body connector. Secure it by screwing the connector body to the mating threads. Used in high-vibration environments.

• The MTO/MTP connector is a fiber connector that uses high-fiber-count ribbon cable. It’s used in high-density fiber applications.

• The MU connector resembles the larger SC connector. It uses a simple push-pull latching connection and is well suited for high-density applications.

Black Box Explains…OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4

The demand for increased network bandwidth is driving the migration towards 40- and 100-GbE networks. This demand is being fueled by multiple factors, including ever-growing global IP traffic; greater switching,... more/see it nowrouting, virtualization, and data center connections; higher bandwidth applications; video-on-demand; convergence; and more.

When planning your 40-/100-GbE migration, consider your cabling infrastructure and how it will meet your current and future data requirements. What you install today needs to give you the scalability to accommodate the need for higher bandwidth for the next 15 to 20 years. The cables of choice for data center connectivity and what is recommended by the TIA are OM3 and OM4 laser-optimized multimode fiber.

There are different categories of graded-index multimode fiber optic cable. The ISO/IEC 11801 Ed 2.1:2009 standard specifies categories OM1, OM2, and OM3. The TIA/EIA recognizes OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4. The TIA/EIA ratified OM4 in August 2009 (TIA/EIA 492-AAAD). The IEEE ratified OM4 (802.ba) in June 2010.

OM1 and OM2
OM1 specifies 62.5-micron cable and OM2 specifies 50-micron cable. These are commonly used in premises applications supporting Ethernet rates of 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. They are also typically used with LED transmitters. OM1 and OM2 cable are not suitable though for today's higher-speed networks.

OM3 and OM4
OM3 is specified in ISO 11801. OM4 was ratified by the TIA in August 2009 (TIA/EIA 492-AAAD). The IEEE ratified OM4 (802.3ba 40G/100G Ethernet) in June 2010. It was amended in 2012 to IEEE 802.3-2012. The 802.3-bm Task Force is currently working on updates. The standard provides detailed guidelines for 40-/100-GbE transmission over OM3 and OM4 multimode cable and single-mode fiber optic cable. OM1, OM2, and copper are not included.

Laser optimized
OM3 and OM4 are both 50-micron laser-optimized multimode fiber (LOMMF) and were developed to accommodate faster networks such as 10-, 40-, and 100-GbE. They also support existing networks. Laser-optimized multimode fiber cable differs from standard multimode cable because it has graded refractive index profile fiber optic cable in each assembly. This means that the refractive index of the core glass decreases toward the outer cladding, so the paths of light towards the outer edge of the fiber travel more quickly than the other paths. This increase in speed equalizes the travel time for both short and long light paths, ensuring accurate information transmission and receipt over much greater distances, up to 300 meters at 10 Gbps. Laser-optimized cable is aqua colored.

Both OM3 and OM4 are designed for use with 850-nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELS) and have aqua sheaths.

OM3 specifies an 850-nm laser-optimized 50-micron cable with an effective modal bandwidth (EMB) of 2000 MHz/km. It can support 100-Gbps link distances up to 100 meters.

OM4 specifies a high-bandwidth 850-nm laser-optimized 50-micron cable with an EMB of 4700 MHz/km. It can support 100-Gbps link distances of 150 meters.

OM3 allows for 1.5 dB of connector loss at 100 meters at all speeds; OM4 allows for 1.0 dB of loss at 150 meters for 40-100-GbE. Both OM3 and OM4 rival single-mode fiber in performance while being significantly less expensive to implement. In addition, single-mode electronics are also expensive.

Manufacturing process
Laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 cable are made with a different process than OM1 and OM2, which are made with a small defect in the core called an index depression. These cables are used with LED light sources. OM3 and OM4 are manufactured without the center defect.

As networks migrated to higher speeds, VCSELs became more commonly used rather than LEDs, which have a maximum modulation rate of 622 Mbps and can’t be turned on and off fast enough to support higher-speed applications. Thus manufacturers changed the production process to eliminate the center defect and enable OM3 and OM4 cables to be used directly with the VCSELS.

Parallel transmission
40- and 100-GbE over OM3 and OM4 uses parallel optics where data is simultaneously transmitted and received over multiple fibers. 40-GbE consists of (4) 10-Gbps fiber channels each way, for a total of 8 fibers. 100-GbE consists of 10 fiber channels each way, for a total of 20 fibers. The signals are then aggregated at each end in an arrayed transceiver (connector) containing 4 or 10 VCSELs and detectors. For multimode fiber, the Media Dependent Interface (MDI) is the MPO adapter (IEC 61754-7). OM3/OM4 Comparison
850 nm High Performance EMB (MHz/km)

OM3: 2000

OM4: 4700

850-nm Ethernet Distance
OM3: 1000 m

OM4: 1000 m

OM3: 300 m

OM4: 550 m

OM3: 100 m

OM4: 150 m

OM3: 100 m

OM4: 150 m


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