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

Need to string Fiber Optic Cable pole to pole?

If you looking to install fiber optic cable aerially from pole to pole this can be a very labor intensive installation.

adss installation

Let’s get a good look at the ADSS cable via the AFL YouTube channel.

Now that was some great information on the ADSS Cable that AFL provided but let’s get a closer look at as 12 strand singlemode cable from the Discount-Low-Voltage.com YouTube channel.

The fact that your considering going with the ADSS cable is a fantastic option compared to a figure-8 fiber cable. This cable is a lot lighter making the shipping cost much better and the labor is a lot easier when you have to move the reel around and when you have to pull and install the cable up on that pole. We also have this cable in a preterminated option, maybe your installation is on the farm and you need to get a signal to the barn.

For more information, click on the downloads tab for spec sheets and you can also order per foot online at Discount-Low-Voltage.com

How to install Blue-Water Underground Omni Marker

Let’s take a look at the Blue Omni Marker by Greenlee from our YouTube channel.

How do we install these? Let’s figure it out.

  1. First, you need to determine whether or not the Omni Marker needs to be secured to the object being marked. If it does then you need to attach it using 1 or 2 cable ties.
  2. Place the marker over the object to be marked as shown in the image below. The Omni Marker can be buried in any orientation.
  3. Cover the marker with six inches of soil to prevent movement during backfill.
  4. Backfill the hole or trench normally.

omni install

Easy, right! There are couple things you need to keep an eye on during your installation. If you’re marking an object that is metallic, the marker should be placed at least four inches above the object and the space between should be filled with soil. If you’re marking a non-metallic object, the marker can be placed directly over the object.

The Omni Marker can be reliably detected if the distance between the locator and the marker is five feet of less. Do not bury the marker deeper than that.

The Omni Marker is patented and other patents are pending, if you need to order these online you can pick this up and other colors at Discount-Low-Voltage.com and if you do place an order congratulations on purchasing the best underground locating marker in the Galaxy.

Need help repairing that underground telephone cable?

If you’re reading this post because a Backhoe cut a cable your at the right place. What your going to want is a underground splice enclosure by Preformed Line Products. Let’s check out a How-To video from our YouTube channel.

As you can tell it’s an easy repair, keep in mind you might need a tone and probe to locate each conductor in case the conductors are hard to identify. The part number for the 6 pair enclosure is 8006137 and the 12 pair is 8006039 and they are inexpensive. Don’t forget you’ll need the UY connectors and you might need a 10 to 15 foot piece of cable in case you don’t have extra slack to make you repair.

Don’t forget to always call before you dig…next time.

https://youtu.be/70COyZytxqs

Weather Rated Enclosures for your Equipment

We understand that some of your installation and applications are outdoors and there’s no way of avoiding it sometimes. If you need a lockable enclosure that will last forever we have a perfect solutions for you. Let’s check out a BUD industries box from our YouTube channel.

Plenty of bang for the buck!

  • 16 Gauge continuous seam welded steel construction
  • Keyed latch for watertight seal, hinged cover
  • External mounting brackets so box can mount on wall or panel without having to remove the cover and exposing internal components to the environment
  • Base and door bonding studs for grounding
  • UL-508 Tested 4x Requirements UL#E194432
  • Finished Product very smooth gray powder coat
  • NEMA 4 Rated for Outdoor Use
  • Sturdy 16AWG Construction

We also have them in stock in a few different sizes.

You’re going to need to drill through that thing to get your cable where it needs to go, what do you need for that?

We have those in stock and the LPCG507 seems to be one of the most common sizes.

Now you should be good to go with your outdoor project! To order online visit Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Rating of NEMA versus IP Boxes

There is often confusion about the various rating systems for the protection of equipment within an enclosure. We are often asked which system is best and how are they different? If the customer is in the US, are they better off buying NEMA boxes or one with an IP rating, or does it even matter? While there are no hard and fast answers to the question of which is best, we thought it might be helpful to provide a few details to help the customer navigate these systems.

IP, or ingress protection marking, is the International standard, typically used throughout the world and only recently gaining adherents in the US.  It is based on the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard 60529.  NEMA ratings were established by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and take a somewhat different approach to designating protection levels than does the IP system. While there can be self-testing (and these are typically noted by phrases such as “designed to meet IPXX”), there are regulatory agencies such as UL for NEMA and TUV for IP that will perform and certify the tests for the various levels of protection. While there are charts that purport to show the relationship between and IP rating and a NEMA rating, the differences can be subtle yet important.

An IP ratings typically is a two digit number. The first digit stands for the level of solid particle protection while the second digit represents the level of liquid ingress protection. The levels for the solid particles range from 0 for no protection to 6 which is dust tight.  The second digit ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9.

The NEMA system uses one number to represent the level of protection although confusingly the higher the number does not necessarily represent increased security but rather different types of water resistance.

The other difference is that the tests performed to certify the ratings might be quite different although they produce a similar level of protection. For example, the spray test on a NEMA 4 box is 65 GPM of water from a 1 inch nozzle delivered from at least 10 feet away for 5 minutes. Some may suggest that NEMA 4 is the same as IP66, but the IP66 test is for 3 minutes instead of 5, 3 meters instead of 10 feet and with a slightly different sized nozzle. Although close, they are not the identical.

Below are the charts with a brief explanation of the protection levels and testing process. used to rate IP Boxes and NEMA Boxes.  As always, if you have any questions, never hesitate to contact the enclosure manufacturer for exact details and certifications.

IP protection explained.

number 1

2nd a

2nd b

2nd c

2nd d

NEMA ratings.

nema a

nema b

Let’s take a look at a NEMA 4 enclosure from our YouTube channel.

With so many box sizes available please contact Sales@Discount-Low-Voltage.com for a detailed quote.

Building Entrance Telephone Lightning Protection

Before we dive into the Circa product let’s talk about why you need protection. The National Electric Code Article 800, and the Canadian Electric Code Section 60, Subsection 200 and 202, requires the use of surge protection for telephone lines. Today’s sensitive telecommunications equipment requires more protection than ever to safeguard it against damage caused by lightning or electrical surges. Circa Building Entrance Terminals help to protect your equipment investment with sizes and features that adapt to your special needs. Daily fluctuations in current can wear down, and eventually destroy, fragile circuitry before its time.

How is this protection used? Circa’s protectors are designed for flexibility that assures a perfect fit for your business, residential and campus applications. We offer a variety of capacity options (1, 2 , 6, 10, 12 , 25, 50, 100, 200 and 300 pair sizes) that can be deployed in multiples for high pair count applications. Circa Building Entrance Terminals (BET’s) are both rack and wall-mountable. Input/output options include 110 connectors, 66 blocks, BIX connectors, swivel stubs, RJ21X connectors and pre-connected MS2 or 710 connectors. Remember to install a suitable protector on both ends of every exposed line leading into your telecommunications and networking equipment, whether aerial or buried. Proper grounding is essential for rated performance of protection circuitry.

Let’s take a look at some of the different size blocks and fuses that go along with them from our YouTube channel.

These are just a few examples of Circa’s offerings. You can order these or if you have a Circa part number that is not on the site contact us and order online.

 

Running Fiber to the Antenna?

Recently I was on a call with a customer and he ordered some fiber optic cable for a FTTA installation. So I did some digging around about what else in involved and how are these cables installed. I found a decent video regarding an installation like this.

The large reel with the power cable included was interesting. I decided to make a couple of phone calls to manufactures and seem like right now that type of cable is only offered and sold to the cell tower companies.

The cable my customer purchased was a indoor outdoor pre-made cable, and it was only to replace the coax cables. There was no need to touch power since power was already ran for existing equipment. Here’s a look at some of our other pre-terminated fiber optic cable options.

I wonder how much they get at the recycling yard for those coax cables.

Outdoor Lockable Single Gang Electrical Box

The DRIBOX by Arlington Industries will accept any wiring device and standard size wall plate. It is a paintable white and is UV rated plastic for long outdoor life.

Let’s take a look from our YouTube channel.

And you can lock it! You probably should do that especially around public places. Here’s a look at installation instructions.

Install DRIBOX

You can order online at Discount Low Voltage.com

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