What is DAS? (Distributed Antenna System)

Everyone knows that WIFI devices are extremely common and everyone seems to have at least one, even my 4 year old son has his own WIFI tablet so he can watch his Minecraft YouTube videos. The problem with all these devices lately has been the amount of strain that has been put on the cell tower antennas.

Let’s get to know DAS a bit better with a video helping to explain it by Superior Essex.

Now let’s take a quick look at how “small cells” are being added to your neighborhood to help ease the load and future demand of bandwidth on the towers.

Here’s a great example of what these DAS antennas look like in a neighborhood. You might want to mute the volume, sounds like this is some kind of political video to not allow these antenna in your neighborhood.

And finally here’s a great tutorial on DAS architecture.

If you were unfamiliar with DAS I hope this blog post has help you and  don’t forget to share it and I appreciate your time. Thanks!

AFL CT-30 Fiber Optic Cleaver Overview

One of our most popular fiber optic kits is the AFL Fast kit that allows you to terminate connectors in the field quickly and accurately. The most costly part of a fiber kit seems to be the cleaver so we cracked it open to get a better look.

The CT-30 is equally at home in a splicing van or in a bucket truck and is ideal for FTTx applications. Don’t forget the 16-position blade yields 48,000 single-fiber cleaves, or 4,000 12-fiber ribbon cleaves before requiring replacement, and the built-in scrap collector conveniently stores fiber shards until they can be safely discarded.

The CT-30 Cleaver is packaged with three scrap collection options that allow the user to tailor it to their cleaving preferences. The CT30 is delivered with the SC-01 Side Cover installed for users that prefer not to use an automated scrap collection system. For those that prefer an automated scrap collection system, the FC-02 Fiber Collector and two scrap box options are included. The FDB-02 Scrap Box is a smaller bin for users seeking a compact profile. The FDB-03 Scrap Box is a larger bin with sweeping brush and static resistant surfaces for those users seeking to maximize scrap capacity. All scrap options are easily configured by the user.

Its also kinda sweet that the blade is replaceable and it’s fairly inexpensive. I also like how it’s compatible with the AFL Fujikura fusion splicer.

Considering this cleaver is also commonly used in industries such as Aerospace and Defense, Alternative Energy, Broadcast, Electric Utility, Fiber Optic Component and Equipment Manufacturing, Industrial Environments, Installers and Contractors, Medical, Mining, Oil and Gas, Security, Transportation and more helps to make this cleaver one of the most popular and reliable tools on the market.

For further questions you may contact: Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 ex 232

Total Internal Reflection in Fiber Optic Cable Explained

This is a great explanation, very simple and easy to understand.

If you’re looking for more cool videos on fiber check out our YouTube channel.

Fujikura 12S Single Fiber Fusion Splicer

Are you in the market for a fusion splicer? I think you’ll find the new 12S model by Fujikura an excellent choice.

For more information contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 ex232.


MTP Fiber Optic Cable – Polarity

TIA-568-C.0 “Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises” goes over three MTP cable polarity methods – A, B and C. With multiple channels in a connector, components must be manufactured with the same polarity. Differences in polarity will not be corrected by simply flipping or switching the positioning of the connector at the location. Here’s a quick look at the current polarity methods.

I’m going to start you out with what so far seems to be the most popular polarity pinout, this would be the “Universal Polarity Management Method” and is used in many Corning fiber networks. It seems to be a little odd that this would be the most popular so far because the universal method is not included in the TIA standard but it does meets the “intent of the standard” that’s according to Corning. Makes good sense that this would be most popular because Corning seems the be the biggest giant in the fiber optic cable market.

This system is mated key-up to key-down. This method supports simple concatenation of multiple trunks without effecting polarity. Accommodates all simplex/duplex connector types. The components related to your MTP connector will also allow for easy moves without polarity concerns used in other methods.


The next most common polarity pinout method I see is “Method B”. This uses a single module type wired in a straight-through configuration and standard patch cords on each end. One thing that will stand out to you is how all the components in the system are key-up to key-up. This method will require more planning for your modules location. This method also does not accommodate angle polished single mode connectors. It’s also a common method in Commscope fiber optic network infrastructures and popular with end users due to it simplifying upgrades.

method b

Now thinking about it, the next method is not far behind after looking at my sales history of MTP cables. Let’s talk about “Method A”. This uses a single type wired in a “Straight-Through” configuration and two different patch cords in a optical circuit. One cord is straight and the other is flipped. All components in the channel are mated key-up to key-down. Because the polarity is addressed in the patch cords the end user is responsible for managing the network.

method A

The last method I’m going to brush on is “Method C”. This uses a pair wise fiber flip in the trunk cable to correct for polarity. This will enable the use of the same module on both ends of the channel and standard patch cables. Because the polarity is managed in the trunk, extending links requires more planning to maintain polarity. The TIA standard does not mention text regarding the ability to migrate to parallel optics, but parallel optics capability can easily be achieved with a special patch cord to reverse the pair-wise fiber flips in the trunk.

method c

So, there are four popular wiring schemes but the standard only recognizes three. I know, it feels like a bit of a gray area. Further questions contact sales at 888-797-3697 or comment below. Thanks!


Does armored fiber optic cable need to be grounded? Yes!

How to bond and ground

Understanding how to bond and ground a fiber-optic system with armored cable can be confusing. First, it is important to understand the difference between the terms bonding and grounding. According to the NEC and industry standards, bonding is the permanent connection of metallic parts to form an electrical path that will be conductive and continuous. Grounding is the act of connecting that path to the earth or some conducting body that serves as the earth. When all the components of a system are properly bonded together and grounded to the earth, the risk associated with electrical current harming personnel or damaging property and equipment is reduced.

The first step is to connect/bond the cable armor to a bonding or grounding electrode conductor. This can be accomplished right after the cable is accessed, and the armor is exposed. A bonding conductor or jumper is a short length of conductor, such as copper wire, that maintains electrical conductivity between two metal objects. The bonding conductor is required to be UL-listed and made of either copper or another corrosion-resistant conductive metal. This stranded or solid wire can be insulated, covered or bare. Most cable manufacturers supply an insulated, UL-listed 6-AWG copper strand. The 6-AWG size is preferred for the bonding conductor because that allows it to comply with both the NEC and ANSI-J-STD-607. The bonding conductor can be attached to the armor by the use of a listed clamp, lug or connector, as stated in NEC Article 250.70.

Once the clamp is installed, vinyl tape can be applied around the clamp and exposed armor to protect the installer and the fiber from any sharp edges where the armor is exposed.

grounding armored fiber

For the conductive fiber-optic cable to be fully grounded, the bonding conductor from the cable needs to be bonded to the intersystem bonding termination (if present), or another accessible location per NEC Article 770.100. The intersystem bonding termination is the device that connects the bonding conductors to the building’s grounding electrode and ultimately, to earth. Typically this is accomplished by connecting the bonding conductor to a dedicated path back to the telecommunications main grounding busbar (TMGB) or the telecommunications grounding busbar (TGB). The dedicated path can be a direct run or created by attaching to a rack or cabinet’s bonding system that bonds the rack or cabinet back to the TMGB or TGB. Specific requirements on how the TMGB or TGB are designed can be found in ANSI-J-STD-607 and other industry standards. When the armored cable is correctly bonded and grounded, it minimizes the risk of unwanted electrical current that could potentially harm personnel, property or equipment.

Props to Sara Chase with Corning Cable Systems.

Tight Buffered Fiber or Loose Tube Fiber

Overview – Tight-buffered cables are commonly used in intra-building, risers, general building, plenum environments and are more commonly installed indoors. TB fiber contains a thicker coating of material around the glass strand. Loose-Tube cables are more commonly installed outdoors, aerial, duct and direct burial installations. LT fiber contains multiple strands in a tube under a jacket, the strands are loose making outside forces harder to reach them and causing issues and is more durable.

Loose-Tube Cable LT fiber starts with 6 strands then to 12 and continues to climb in increments of 12 all the way up to 244 strands. They can be dielectric, more commonly installed for pole to pole installations and armored for direct burial installs. Each modular buffer tube holds up to 12 strands and this design makes it easier for drop-offs of fiber to intermediate points without bothering other modular buffer tubes. Colored buffer coat around the glass is size 250um. Modular buffer tubes are also color coded and add protection to the strands underneath. An optional filling compound or swellable tape will fight against water penetration for underground installations. For aerial, pole to pole installations excess fiber length (relative to buffer tube length) insulates fibers from stress of installation and environmental loading and tubes are surrounded by a dielectric or steel central member and serves as a anti-buckling element.

Let’s take a quick look at an armored loose tube fiber cable from our YouTube channel.

Tight-Buffered Cable – Tight buffered cables commonly consist of an overall jacket, strength yarns and strands of fiber. Fiber jumper patch cables is a good example and you’ve probably have handled these before and are commonly installed in racks when plugging equipment together. Multi-strand TB fiber is more common in premise local area networks. The colored buffer coat is 900um in size and helps to better protect fibers during handling in space constrained areas when routing and when terminating. The yarn tensile load also keeps the load away from the fiber.

Let’s take a quick look at an indoor/outdoor tight buffered cable.

Here’s another great video from our YouTube channel comparing the 250um buffer to the 900um buffer.

If you want to go further down the rabbit hole here’s a great video by the Fiber Optic Association doing an overview on fiber optic cable.

You should have enough to chew on, we have a ton of fiber optic videos on YouTube if your interested.

Comment below and don’t forget to share! Thanks.

Broadcasting Reel for Audio and Video Fiber?

If you’re thinking about investing into broadcast deployable fiber optic cable for audio and video I’m sure you’ve spent an exuberant amount of time and money researching the proper cable for your application, just don’t forget about the importance of the reel.

Are you tight on space and would prefer to stack multiple reels? Do you need a external drum to help manage and protect the connectors? Do you need a larger than standard size reel? These are just a few questions to consider in your selection and you’ll also want to consider the life expectancy of your cable and select a high quality reel that can match that.

Here’s a quick look at a medium capacity reel.

Now that you have a few options take your time and make sure your selection is best suited for you application. Measure twice, cut once.