January 2017

Is Velcro Cable Tie More Suitable for Cable Management?

18. january 2017 at 10:17 | jack
Cable management is one of the most practical things you could do for your cable-crowded network applications. Not only are exposed and loose cables distracting, unsightly, and disorganized, they are also a hazard to your equipment and safety. There are may ways to manage fiber optic cables to keep them from posing these issues, but a few methods can be notably more effective, such as cable tie. Cable tie, or zip tie is a simple design tool used to hold fiber optic cable or copper cable quickly, without slipping. Cable ties are available in a variety of sizes and materials for use on different projects with different needs. Today, we're going to specifically introduce Velcro cable tie.

Existing Problems With Standard Nylon Cable Tie
Standard Nylon cable ties are the stock items with most telephone company and cable contractors, since their low cost and easy installation. They can be cinched snugly to cable bundles without damaging the cables, however, some installer may use a tool to increase leverage and in this way, squeeze the cable bundles so tightly that the insulation turns white or is cut by the sharp edge of the cable tie. This improper installation will lead to unpredictable operation of the local area network. Besides, some zip ties shrink when cooled or heated, thereby exerting more pressure on the fiber if already over tightened. The following image shows bundles with standard Nylon cable tie.

bundles with Nylon cable ties
Velcro Cable Tie Is more Suitable for Cable Management
To solve the existing problems with standard Nylon cable tie, an alternative worth exploring is the use of Velcro cable tie as shown below. It is more flexible and provides a sufficient amount of give in restraint, so that if someone does need to access the bundled cables, they can easily do so. The pliable nature of Velcro cable tie also translates into a harmless form of fastening. You won't see the impact found with tightly fastened plastic or wire cable ties. Besides these features obtained by Velcro cable tie, there are more specific advantages of it.

differnet color-coded Velcro cable tie
  • Reusability: Generally, Velcro cable tie is more expensive than zip ties, but its reusability feature makes it more valuable. If you want to add one more cable to the bundles with Velcro cable tie, it couldn't be easier, just take off the Velcro, add the cable, reinstall the Velcro. Nylon Zip tie, one the other hand, can be used only once. If you want to add more cable to the bundle with Nylon zip tie, you will have two options 1) add the cable outside the existing tie wraps with new tie wrap, or 2) cut the existing tie wraps, add the cable and install all new tie wraps. It is clearly that Option 1 will look terrible, especially if it happens more than once, although Option 2 is fine, but it requires you to have extra tie wrap and clean up your mess of "cut" tie wraps that you moved.
  • No Extra Cost: Nylon zip tie must be cut off and discarded if you want change your cabling configuration, however, Velcro cable ties usually come in a roll or in pre-determined length, and they can be opened quickly, and installation, removal and adjustment require no scissors or a cable tie removal tool to cut them off. This could save extra cost and prevent the cable being accidentally damage by the sharp tools.
  • No Worry About Losing Grip: Velcro is very powerful as an adhesive, because although it can be torn apart by pulling from on end to the other, it is difficult to pull apart when the surface area is spread out across the entire strip, or when the force is moving parallel to the surface. This is because when the strip is torn from one end, the surface area is relatively low.
Velcro cable tie is a must have cable management too for computer at home or at office. It delivers reliability by protecting against over-tensioning of high-performance fiber and copper cables. Moreover, as it will not crush the cables and causes damage, Velcro cable tie is very useful for computer and other data-cables. With such impressive features, there is no doubt that Velcro cable tie have gained much popularity in cable management.

Common Fiber Optic Cable Types for Outdoor Application

13. january 2017 at 7:13 | jack
Taking the advantages of fast transmission and high bandwidth, fiber optic cable is being heavily deployed in most networking applications. It comes in lots of different types, depending on the number of fibers and how and where it will be installed, normally for indoor or outdoor applications. Outdoor fiber optic cable takes more responsibility to protect the optical fiber to operate safely in a complicated outdoor environment than indoor cable. This post aims to introduce some common fiber optic cable types for outdoor applications.

What Is Outdoor Cable?
As we all know, indoor cable is we call "tight-buffered" cables where the glass fiber has a primary coating and secondary buffer coating that enlarge each fiber to 900 microns-about 1 mm or 1/25 inch to make the fiber easier to works with. It is designed for flexibility, tensile strength, ease of handling, and flame retardancy. Different from indoor cable, outdoor cable structure contains a water blocking, which prevents the accumulation of water from freezing and transferring stress to the glass fiber, making the cable withstand the rigors of outdoor installation for a lifetime of 20 or 40 years.

Common Types of Outdoor Cables
For different outdoor environments, such as moisture, sunlight exposure, or underground, there are different outdoor cable types being applied.

Outdoor Loose-Tube Cable
Loose-tube cable is composed of several fibers together inside a small plastic tube, which is in turn wound around a central strength member, surrounded by aramid strengths and jacketed as shown below, providing a small, high fiber count cable. It is designed to endure outside temperature and high moisture conditions. The fibers are loosely packaged in gel filled tubes to repel water. Recommended for using this type of cable between buildings that are unprotected from outside elements. Loose-tube cable is restricted from inside building use, typically allowing entry not to exceed 50 feet(check your local codes).

structure of loose-tube cable
Indoor/Outdoor Tight-Buffered Cable
By eliminating the need to splice outdoor cables to flame-retardant indoor cables, indoor/outdoor fiber optic cable can achieve the connection between and within buildings, which saves many labor hours and reduces material costs. Indoor/outdoor tight-buffered cable is the most commonly used type, which often comes in two versions-fiber distribution cables and breakout fiber optic cable. This type of outdoor cable is flexible, easy to handle and simple to install. Since they do not use gel, the connectors can be terminated directly onto the fiber without difficult to use breakout kits. The image below shows the structure of indoor/outdoor tight-buffered cable.

indooroutdoor tight-buffered cable
Aerial Fiber Optic Cable
Aerial fiber optic cable as shown below is usually used for outside installation on poles. Due to its installation environment, the design of aerial fiber cable must consider to protect it from the destruction of the nature and man-made damage or theft. It is easily affected by the natural disasters, such as typhoons, ice, floods, as well as the influence of an outside force and the mechanical strength weakening in themselves. Therefore, the failure rate of aerial fiber cable is higher than the pipeline or direct buried fiber optic cable.

aerial fiber cable
Direct Buried Fiber Optic Cable
Direct Buried cable is a kind of communication or transmission cable which is especially designed to be buried under the ground without any kind of extra covering, sheathing, or piping to protect it. Unlike standard telecommunications and power cable, which have only a thin layer of insulation and a waterproof outer cover, direct buried cable consists of multiple layers of heavy metallic-banded sheathing, reinforced by heavy rubber covers, shock absorbing gel, wrapped thread-fortified waterproof tape, and stiffened by a heavy metal core as shown below. Direct buried cable is cheaper and easier to lay than other kinds of cable that require protection from the earth. However, direct buried cable is also easily cut during digging or other excavation. As a result, most direct buried cable is found on side roads, not main thoroughfares.

Outdoor cabling environment is so complicated that we should choose right bulk fiber optic cable to keep the good performance of the whole transmission network. FS.COM provides affordable fiber optic cable price for the outdoor cable that we have discussed above. For more information, please check FS.COM.

MPO/MTP Connectivity System Overview

11. january 2017 at 3:24 | jack
As the demand for high-speed transmission and data capacity is becoming much greater than ever before, 40G and 100G has become a trend and hotspot for data center cabling system. Many IT managers are turning to MPO/MTP technology, since it can provide ideal conditions for high performance data networks in data centers. In the following text, some components in MPO/MTP system will be introduced.

MPO/MTP Connector
The MPO connector is the industry acronym for "multi-fiber push on", with push on insertion release mechanism providing consistent and repeatable interconnections and available with 4, 8, 12, or 24 fibers. The MTP connector is a high performance MPO connector engineered for better mechanical and optical performance. MPO/MTP connector is available in a female version (without pins) or a male version (with pins) as shown in the following picture to ensure the exact alignment of the fronts of the connectors and the end faces of the fibers are not offset.

male and female MPO connector
High Density MPO/MTP Fiber Optic Cable
Unlike standard fiber optic patch cords (SC patch cable with maximum rate of 10Gbps) a fiber optic cable terminated with the customers' choice of 12-fiber or 24-fiber MPO connectors can be applied for 40G, or even 100G Ethernet network. Available in a male-to-male version (with guide pins) and a female-to-female version (without pins), MTP or MPO cable can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as backbones, warehouse, disaster recovery, building fiber optic distribution, and so on. MPO/MTP trunk cable and MPO/MTP harness cable are two main high-density MPO/MTP cable types.

MPO/MTP Trunk Cable: MPO/MTP trunk cable serves as a permanent link connecting the MTP/MPO modules to each other, which is available with 12, 24, 48, and 72 fibers. Terminated with 12-fiber or 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors according to customer's choice, these trunk cables, like 12-fiber MPO trunk cable as shown below could help to create a simple, cost-effective 40G networking by installing a structured cabling system. MPO/MTP trunk cable requires greater care in planning by has a number of advantages, such as higher quality, minimal skew, shorter installation time, better protection, smaller volume of cable and lower total costs.

12-fiber MTP trunk cable

MPO/MTP Harness Cable: MPO/MTP harness cable, also referred to as MPO/MTP breakout cable or MPO/MTP fanout cable, is terminated with a single MPO or MTP connector on one end that breaks out into 6 or 12 connectors (LC, SC, FC etc). It's available in 4, 6, 8, or 12 fiber ribbon configurations with lengths about 10, 20, 30 meters and other customized lengths. MPO/MTP harness cable provides a transition from multi-fiber cables to individual fibers or duplex connectors. For example, 8-fiber MPO breakout cable as shown below has eight LC high fiber density connectors and a MTP connector, which is convenient for wiring and management system in 40G network with stable performance.

8-fiber MTP breakout cable
MPO/MTP Cassette
MPO/MTP cassette is a modular module, which enables users to take the fibers brought by a trunk cable and distribute them to a duplex cable. As a pre-terminated fiber product, MPO/MTP cassette is loaded with 12 or 24 fibers and have LC or SC adapters on the front side and MPO/MTP at the rear as shown in the image below. It is designed to reduce the installation time and effort associated with connecting a fiber optic network, as well as, improve overall network reliability through factory tested terminations.

MPO, MTP cassette
In the above text, we have introduced common components used in MPO/MTP connectivity system, including MPO/MTP connector, MPO/MTP trunk cable, MPO/MTP harness cable, and MPO/MTP cassette. All of these components can be purchased in FS.COM at very affordable prices. If have related needs, kindly visit FS.COM.

RJ45 Connector for Ethernet Cable Termination

7. january 2017 at 4:15 | jack
It is known that fiber optic cable is often used fiber optic connector, like LC, SC, to achieve termination. How about Ethernet cables? That is RJ45 connector or RJ45 plug, which is a common component terminated with Ethernet cables to achieve the connection between computer and Ethernet-based local area network(LAN). The letter "RJ" means registered jack, which is a standardized telecommunication network interface for connecting voice and data equipment to a service provided by local exchange carrier or long distance carrier. This post aims to introduce this type of Ethernet connector and offers some simple guidance for terminating Ethernet cable with RJ45 connectors.

What Is RJ45 Connector?
RJ45 is the commonly used twisted-pair connector for Ethernet cable and networks. It is usually made of a transparent plastic piece with eight pins on the port as shown below. Four of the pins are used for sending and receiving data, and the other four are used for other technologies or power networking devices. So this type of connector is also called as 8P8C (Eight Position, Eight Contact) modular connector. It can be inserted along a fixed direction and automatically prevent shedding used for most applications, such as Ethernet networking, telecommunications, factory automation and so on. The RJ45 is originally invented to replace the bulkier connector for connecting modems to telephones in the telecommunication industry, but nowadays, it is most commonly applied for networking devices including Ethernet cables, modems, computers, laptops, etc.

RJ45 connector
Differences Between RJ45 and RJ11
Besides RJ45, there are many other types of RJ-style connectors on the market, RJ11 is one of them. RJ11 connector has similar appearance as RJ45, so people often mix them together. Actually, these two connector types have their own specific purposes. The biggest difference between them is in where they are actually used. RJ45 connector is used in networking, where you connect computers or other network elements to each other, while RJ11 is the cable connector that is being used in telephone sets.

Aside from the application, there are also differences that an individual can easily see and identify. The first of which is in the number of cables that are accommodated in each connector. If you look closely at both connectors, you would see that there are only four wires inside the RJ11, while eight wires inside an RJ45. As a consequences of having to accommodate more wires, RJ45 is a little bit bigger than RJ11. You should keep in mind although it is possible to physically fit an RJ11 connector into an RJ45 receptacle, this will never function for an actual Ethernet connection, or you will damage the device that has the RJ45 slot. We can see their differences in the image below.

RJ45 vs. RJ11
RJ45 Wiring Diagram For Ethernet Cable
According to ANSI, TIA & EIA, there are two variations of RJ45 wiring diagram: T568A and T568B. Both T568A and T568B provide wiring schemes for terminating twisted-pair copper network cable to RJ45 connectors. The pairs in these cables consist of four colors (blue, orange, green, and brown), with each pair includes a solid-colored wire twisted with a wire of the same color, with white stripes.

When looking closely at the two wring diagrams below, the only visual difference between T568A and T568B is that the pin positions for the green and orange pairs are flipped as shown below. Besides the color placement variances, there are a couple of compatibility factors that can affect the choice of an RJ45 wiring scheme. T568B is a more up-to-date scheme and also the most widely chosen wiring schematic, because it matches AT & T's old 258A color codes, meanwhile, T568B accommodates for current and future needs.

T568A vs. T568B

When building a new network, one may technically pick any one of the wiring schemes. No one scheme is better than the other, or is better suited for specific things. Both schemes are perfectly fitted for any installation type. But when an existing network is being expanded, it is crucial to use the scheme in place.

How to Terminate Ethernet Cable With RJ45 Connector?
Step1: Using a crimping tool, trim the end of the cable you're terminating, to ensure that the ends of the conducting wires are even. Then strip off approximately 1 inch of the cable's jacket.
Step2: Separating the 4 twisted wire pairs from each other, then unwind each pair, so that you end up with 8 individual wires. Flatten the wires out as much as possible, since they'll need to be very straight for proper insertion into the connector.
Step3: Holding the RJ45 connector, so that its pins are facing away from you. Moving from the left to right, rearrange the wires according to the wiring scheme.
Step4: Holding the connector, and carefully insert the wires into the connector, pushing through until the wire ends emerge from the pins. Check to make sure that the wire ends are in the correct order. If not, repeat the steps2 to step3 again.
Step5: Inserting the prepared connector/cable assembly into the RJ45 slot in your crimping tool. Firmly squeeze the crimper's handles together until you can't go any further.
Step6: Carefully cut wire ends to make them as flush with the connector's surface as possible.
Step7: To make sure you've successfully terminated each end of the cable, use a cable tester to test each pin.

The RJ45 plug, with easy plug-and-play style, reducing the difficulty of installation, is one of the most popular connector type nowadays. A lot of people have begun to place RJ45 connectors on wall outlet inside their houses in order to reduce the number of visible wiring. Hope this post can help you better understand RJ45 connector and how to use them to terminate Ethernet cables.