OM5 Fiber Optic Cable? Are you for real?

It was previously known as the Wide Band Multimode Fiber or (WB MMF). After a heated argument on what the standard would be, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has finalized a standard. OM5 is a version of OM4 fiber optic cable with additional bandwidth characterization at 953nm.

TIA worked on the WB MMF standard and made it support short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) transmission. The TIA standard is TIA-492AAAE. The mechanical and optical attributes are compliant with OM4 specs but also include additional specifications of effective modal bandwidth and attenuation at 953 nm. WB MMF is intended for operation using vertical-cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) transceivers across the 846 to 953 nm wavelength range.

Short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) technology uses four wavelengths across the 850 to 940 nm range. SWDM transceivers were designed to use two strands of fiber connectivity into transceivers with OM3/OM4. The SWDM VCSEL transceivers are now commercialized beginning throughout 2017. See figure 1.

 

Mux to Demux example

4x25GbE/Wavelength 2 fiber SWDM

 

You may be asking yourself if SWDM is used over OM5. SMDW transceivers are compatible with OM3/OM4/OM5 and OM5 also pushes the data rates even further.

The specified modal bandwidth (EMB) values for OM5 are…

EMB > 4700 MHz – km at 850 nm

EMB > 2470 MHz – km at 953 nm

EMB for OM3/OM4 are only specified at 850 as with OM5 is specified for both 850 and 953nm.

The EMB of OM5 is lower at 953 nm by using a combination of low chromatic dispersion and high EMB. The ideal zero dispersion wavelength occurs at 1310 nm. 953 nm is closer to 1310 nm chromatic dispersion is lower, and consequently, the EMB requirement is lower and achieves the same system performance.

Currently, there is no specified optical transmission standard for OM5. Transmission standards typically include only one multimode fiber variant and that’s selected based on economic, commercial, and equipment criteria.

TIA specifies the new color jacket for OM5 as Green. No new polarity methods are specified, and traditional Corning universal will still be commonly used. Field loss measurements will not be required for both 850 and 953 um.

Hopefully, this has helped to bring you up to speed with one of the many happenings in the fiber optic market. For pricing and availability on OM5 contact Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Let’s demonstrate the “Easy RJ45” connector and crimp tool

So we received a new shipment of these pass through easy RJ45 connectors. I’ve heard of these for a while now and I said to myself, let’s check them out. The pass through RJ45 connector  (Part Number EC-RJ45) makes terminating your network category cables easy. All you have to do is pass your wires through the easy RJ45 connector and the guides inside the connector will hold all the copper conductors in place. Then you use the EC-RJ45 crimp tool to crimp. With it’s built in blade this tool crimps and cuts all of the excess copper conductors off the end of the Easy RJ45 connector at the same time.

Let’s check out a demo from our YouTube channel.

The gold contacts don’t get enough credit. They’re 3 pronged and because of that you can crimp connectors on solid or stranded copper conductors. The crimp tool also works with standard RJ11 and RJ45 connectors.

After posting this video on our Facebook Page a fan wanted to get a look at the shielded Cat6 connector. So we decided to do another video for the shielded Cat6 connector.

Shielded Cat6 Easy RJ45 Connector

After using this tool and these connectors. The Eclipse Tools brand has come through with a quality connector and crimp tool. The shielded part of the connector also feels like it’s quality made. A customer on the YouTube channel also likes the quality of the shield and connector overall. I’ve also gained confidence with this brand knowing that it cut the end of the copper conductors clean and flush off the connector. I’ve heard that some low end crimp tools don’t do a good job of that. The connector and crimp tool is in stock and ready to ship today.

For more information and to order online visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Need a concrete floor kit for your communications relay rack?

If you’re installing a relay rack you should be installing a concrete floor kit with it, especially if your in a earthquake zone. Let’s go over what’s included in this type of kit.

Here’s a look at the bottom of your relay rack where the bolts get put through.

communcations, networking

You will need to use a hammer drill to fit the drop sleeves into that concrete.

As you can tell it’s very straight forward, you need just a little elbow grease to drop that sleeve with the hammer drill. For more information about this concrete floor kit and to order online visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com 

Need help cleaning that ugly hole?!

It seems like there’s always that sore spot in the network cabling infrastructure that get’s put into the “I’ll do it later” pile. Does this look familiar?

Cable through the wall

Get that eye sore out of your life and don’t let anyone know you don’t know how to properly cable. Get yourself a split sleeve by STI and make it look like this! SpecSeal Ready Split Sleeve kits easily install around existing cables. Each Ready Split Sleeve kit includes two preformed steel sleeve halves with rolled edges, steel escutcheon plates with intumescent gaskets, and a dosage of our SpecSeal SSP Firestop Putty. Ready Split Sleeve’s two-piece body and plates easily capture previously installed cables while tightly fastening to the penetrated barrier.

 

STI firestop split sleeve

Here’s a great look at the product from our YouTube channel.

Don’t forget, all data, video, communication, power, and control cabling shall be installed through sleeves wherever cables penetrate fire resistance rated barriers. In the case of existing cable installation, a split sleeve device with corresponding split escutcheon plates to facilitate installation around existing cables shall be used. Sleeves shall be sized to accommodate present cable bundle diameter as well as anticipated growth. Split sleeve kit provided with intumescent gaskets and non-hardening intumescent firestop putty. When irregularly shaped openings are encountered, the split sleeve device is UL tested and classified for this purpose. The split sleeve device is UL Classified and tested to the requirements of ASTM E 814 (ANSI/UL 1479).

To order online or for more information visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Let’s do a burn test on Counterfeit Category Cable

It seems like since around the early 2000s we’ve heard stories of low end cable manufactures cutting corners such as copper clad aluminum and pushing it as a 100% copper conductor and I’ll also never forget the phone call I received from a contractor yelling at me about how hundreds of his Cat5e jacks are failing (He bought the jacks from me, these ones) and after further inspection the cable he installed (Not bought from me) was actually a 26awg not a 24awg as stated by that cable manufacture and it caused all kinds of contact issues.

Now I have something new to reference bad cables with, the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association did a video demonstrating a burn test on counterfeit cables. This videos does a great job not only demonstrating what happens but also referencing standards from TIA and fire codes from the NFPA, let’s check out this video.

It’s interesting how the counterfeit cables do act like a fuse and the spread of the fire and smoke was amazing. Remember smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in fires. The video does talk about the UL holographic logo you should look for but that’s another thing I’ve already seen that’s also been counterfeited so you may want to look for that but also make sure you purchase your copper cable from a reputable manufacture and be-careful with the “House Brand” of cable.

Category 8 Testing Standard Approved?!

In October TIA established TIA-1152-A that covers Category 8 testing in the field and the standard has been in development since late 2013 and specifies Level 2G testing accuracy. Category 8 cabling specifications have also been established so manufactures can now start manufacturing components and systems, my only problem is where are all the Cat7 components and systems?

How is Category 8 different? It uses a frequency of 2000 MHz, and is limited to a 30 meter two connector channel. Cat5e through Cat6A uses a shielded or unshieled twisted-pair construction, Category 8 requires only a shielded full twisted pair 22awg.

Category 8 Cable shielded individual pairs

Category 8 S/FTP Copper Cable

 

Over the years Cat6A has been climbing in sales year after year but Cat7 has only been talked about from time to time and now there’s Category 8?! That 30 meter limit I think is going to be a problem that will slow the progress of this cabling system but I’ve been wrong before, just ask the wife.

A Floating Fiber Optic Network?

The United States Navy relies upon satellite and other communications systems to make sure ships, planes, and sailors can share information across the Seven Seas. In peacetime, those systems are a given. But what happens in wartime, when satillites are shot down and other forms of comms are jammed or otherwise disrupted?

That’s a very good question. The United States, NATO, and other key allies rely to a tremendous extent on satellite communications—which makes those satellites target No. 1 in a future war.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a solution: TUNA. TUNA stands for Tactical Underwater Network Architecture, a portable, temporary communications network made up of floating communications buoys linked by fiber optic cable.

Here’s how it would work. In the event of communications failure over a broad area, aircraft and ships would unload a series of TUNA buoys at sea. Each buoy consists of a radio frequency transmitter and power system. The buoys are connected by a “hair-thin, buoyant” fiber optic cable that can carry a tremendous amount of data and survive the harshness of the open ocean for at least thirty days—hopefully enough time to get primary communications restored.

Think of the system as laying a series of telephone poles across the surface of the ocean, a secure, hardwired system impossible to jam. While an adversary could theoretically tap the fiber optic lines and listen in, looking for a hair-thin wire in the middle of the Pacific Ocean would be even harder than looking for a needle in a haystack.

Fiber optic cable, military installation

    Example of fiber optic cable used in underwater military applications.

Individual buoys will likely be powered by WEBS, or Wave Energy Buoy that Self-Deploys. WEBS generates electricity from wave energy and consists of two floats that sit on the surface of the water and are rotated by passing waves. Differential and rotary motion is transferred through gearboxes to electrical generators, providing power.

The TUNA system is entering its final phase of development and is using the Pentagon’s Link 16 as a test subject. Link 16 is a secure digital communications network used by U.S. forces for text, digital imagery and digital voice transmission and reception.

No word on when TUNA will be ready for duty, but it sounds like all of the major engineering milestones have already been achieved.

This was a cool read so I thought I’d share it with you. For the complete article visit Popular Mechanics.

What is the “ER” rating in Tray Cable?

The National Electric Code Sec. 336.10 (7) states that Tray Cables are not to extend more than 6 feet from the tray for a connection to a motor, electrical device or anything else your plugging it into. If you need to make a connection to something that is further than 50 feet it must be either armored, installed in a innerduct or raceway and that not only increases material cost but your labor cost goes up when you start running that cable in that conduit.

6 foot Limit

Many times equipment is a little further away and when that’s the case a Tray Cable with an ER rating may be perfect for your application. The ER rating allows you to extend that cable from the tray with no length restrictions. This will also eliminate that extra cost of metal clad armor, conduit or raceway. The cable does need to be secured every 6 feet.

Here’s an example of a TC-ER cable from our YouTube channel.

Since this cable has no length restrictions, the included direct burial rating, sunlight resistant jacket and extreme temperature rating should handle just about any installation location you throw at it.

If you need to install this cable in a tray, here’s a cool video that may help you with your installation.

For spec sheets, pricing and to order TC-ER cable visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Easiest way to cut drywall for those Electrical Boxes

When you need to cut some drywall for an outlet it’s an easy task with a drywall saw. If you need to cut 2 holes per room in a new building and you have 40 rooms to do, it can become a tedious task. If you’ve cut drywall only once or twice let’s take a look at how it’s done to refresh your memory.

As you can tell, cutting one or two holes every once in a while is probably not a big deal when using that drywall saw, but if you have a lot of rooms to do it’s a big chore. What you want to use is the labor saving Q-Bit, let’s check it out.

The Q-Bit is an instant labor saver and fits nearly all multi-tools, and quickly turns into the square saw blade you need. If you need to cut a 2 or 3 gang size hole you simply move the blade over. Save your time. For more information and to order the Q-Bit visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Firestop Fundamentals

Here’s a great video regarding the fundamentals of Firestopping, if your new to Firestopping you want to get off on the right foot before you just start slapping putty everywhere.

Obviously there’s a lot of different areas that will require Firestopping, so STI has many different products available for your specific installation. Here’s a great look at some of the many products by STI that we have in stock.

Firestop pad for electrical boxes.

EZ Path Smoke and Acoustical Pathway Device

Firestop Plug for Conduit Sleeves

These are just a few of the many STI Firestop products that we have available. For our complete offering of Firestop products, specification sheets and pricing visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

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