How to Choose and Use Fiber Optical Network

Proudly Serving the Low Voltage
Industry for 20 Years
Volume 20 • Number 11 • 2010
Optical Network
Connects CityCenter
to the Future
By Corning Cable Systems
How to Choose
and Use Fiber
By Andrew Schmeltzer
Building blocks for the
entire data center.
One company, every solution.
Leviton products cover every area of the data center, from the
entrance room and computer room to the TR and support offices.
Pre-terminated copper and fiber solutions, fiber raceway cable
management, power distribution units, and Opt-X Ultra® and
Replicator™ Series Fiber Enclosures make up just a few of the
smart data center solutions that keep businesses, government
buildings, and cities running.
Rely on our data center specialists for technical support, including
design, layout, elevations, pathways, and specifications —
customized to each installation. Email Leviton’s data center team
at [email protected], or visit Leviton.com/datacenter.
THE FUTURE IS ON
*Qualifed Contractor CAT 6A installations only.
© 2010 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. All rights reserved.
contents
20
Optical Network
Connects CityCenter
to the Future
By Corning Cable Systems
It is a sleek, gleaming vision that rises
amid the hustle and neon of The Strip,
setting a new standard for what life
and entertainment in Las Vegas could
become. CityCenter, the largest privately
funded development project in U.S. history, combines casino, hotel, condominium,
retail and entertainment venues into a
single, integrated and complex, launched
in December 2009.
26
8
Rising Copper Prices
Make Room for
Innovative Business
Strategies
Fiber optic cable is one of the fastest-growing transmission mediums for both
By Greg Greenwood
new cabling installations and upgrades, including backbone, horizontal, and
As copper increases to more than $4/
even desktop applications. It works very well in applications that need high
lb, innovation is key to success. Unless
bandwidth, long distances, and complete immunity to electrical interference.
How to Choose and Use Fiber
By Andrew Schmeltzer
you’ve been living under a rock the past
month, you’ve heard manufacturers and
distributors announcing over the loud
horn that cable prices are increasing.
There’s no doubt about it; raw materials
are going up. The question is how much
of the price increase is actually due to the
Products:
Departments:
6 Award of
Excellence
4 Terminology
4 Calendar of
Events
30 Advertiser/
Web Index
6 Latest New
Products
cost of copper and other materials and
how much is “opportunity” increases
for the major players?
Columns:
31 Network News
www.cablingbusiness.com
You need it. You want it.
Now is the time to get it.
Anyone who has used a DTX knows
it’s the best. It’s the cable tester of
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Are you prepared to win new jobs?
Now is the time to equip your crew
with the essential tools they need.
Get a cash rebate for up to
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Learn more at:
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page 4 | departments
editorial staff
November/
December
2010
terminology
CODEC (Coder/Decoder)
Equipment used to transform analog voice signals to digital
signals (coder) and digital signals to analog signals (decoder). May be
in digital PABX or in the device/instrument itself.
Volume 20
Number 10
Russell Paulov
Editor in Chief/
Sales Manager
[email protected]
Coherent Light
Parallel, narrow band of light of the same wavelength and phase.
Rita Paulov
Sales Associate
[email protected]
Coil Effect
Harry Newton Associate Publisher
Gerry Friesen Associate Publisher
The inductive effect exhibited by a spiral-wrapped shield,
especially above audio frequencies.
Collapsed Backbone
Magazine Design
Caren Lane
Red. a design group
www.red-adesigngroup.com
817-439-2095
A local area network configuration wherein bridging and routing
functions are located at the main cross-connect and accessed via
concentrators at the horizontal cross-connects.
Cabling Business Magazine (ISSN 1086-1823) is published
monthly by Cabling Publications, Inc., 12035 Shiloh Road,
Suite 350, Dallas, TX 75228. Subscriptions are issued without charge and distributed on the internet. For additional
subscription information call 214-328-1717. The projected
mailing date for Cabling Business Magazine is the third week
of the issue month.
An end user is a manager or administrator who recommends, specifies or authorizes the purchase of products for
the cabling infrastructure in an organization or enterprise.
An end user can also be described as an individual who uses
telecommunications cabling for the purpose of designing,
installing and maintaining a cabling system.
A service provider is an owner, manager or administrator of
a company that provides a variety of cabling services. These
services include installing, maintaining, integrating, designing and engineering a cabling system.
Articles, letters and press releases are gladly accepted for
publication. However, no responsibility can be assumed for
the return of unsolicited manuscripts, artwork, photographs
or other material. All material becomes the property of
Cabling Publications, Inc., which reserves the right to edit,
alter, publish or otherwise use such material. Publishers of
this magazine assume no responsibility for statements made
by their advertisers in business competition, nor do they
assume responsibility for statements and opinions expressed
or implied in the columns or articles of the magazine.
Permission to photocopy for internal or private use is
granted by Cabling Publications, Inc.
Have an idea for an article or
an installation story to tell?
Submit it to Cabling Business
Magazine. Click here for
more information.
Color-Coded Cable
Cable having color-coded insulation on the conductor to aid
identification.
Common Carrier
A private communications utility company or a government regulated
organization that furnishes services to the general public. It is typically
licensed or regulated by a state or federal government agency.
calendar of events
January 9 – 12, 2011
ACUTA Winter 2011 Seminar
Phoenix, Arizona
www.acuta.org/wcm/acuta/
January 16 – 20, 2011
2011 BICSI Winter
Conference & Exhibition
Orlando, Florida, USA
http://bicsi.org/winter/2011/event_overview.
aspx?id=4818
January 29,2011 –
February 2, 2011
ASHRAE 2011 Winter
Conference
Las Vegas, NV
www.ashrae.org/events/
page/2650
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
new products
Flat Panel Articulating Wall
Mounts
award of excellence
Security Conscious, Fully Assembled
and Ready-to-Use Out-of-the-Box, and
with 45 Degree Rotation and Up to 15
Degree Tilt Capabilities, the FP-MWAB
Holds Most 24- to 37-Inch Flat Panels,
and the “Extra Medium” FP-XMWAB
Holds Most 32- to 52-Inch Flat Panels.
For
more
FP-MWAB
visit
and
information
on
FP-XMWAB,
www.videomount.com
the
please
or
call
(410) 643-6390 or toll free 877-281-2169.
Internal Touch-tone Control
Option Mini Control Module
The ITTO (Internal Touch-tone Control Option) module can be
installed in any of CPS AC power control products. When installed the
AC power can be Controlled remotely over standard phone lines or DSL
using only simple touch-tone commands. This expands the used of the
power control products and provides a very affordable configuration for
a verity of remote power control applications.
As an example ITTO in an AC power strip for only 115.00 or Control
three separate devices for $150.00. Additionally, ITTO has password protection and can transparently share the phone line with other telephone
type devices at the remote site so a separate line is not required.
For more information, go to www.cpscom.com/reboot.
Paladin Tools Jack Terminator™
The new Jack Terminator™ is made
from high-grade steel with rubber
embedded grips for extra comfort. The
ratcheted action ensures proper consistent termination and the new Jack
Terminator™ has an adjustable feature
for extra leverage applications.
The patented spring-engaged
blades terminate wires at the optimal
stroke and the blades are concealed for
added safety.
For more information on this
and other communication tools, visit
www.greenlee.com or call Greenlee at
1-800-435-0786.
www.cablingbusiness.com
page 7 | new products
Economy Laptop Carts
Black Box® Economy Laptop Carts
HDMI and IR Extender with
HDshak Processing
Cable Network Analyzer
The
DIGI-HD-IR2
employs
Intelix
field
trademarked HDshak processing, which
to 16 laptops and are a budget-friendly
spectrum analyzer spans the entire 1000
guarantees HDMI signal integrity through
alternative to other more expensive carts
MHz bandwidth of network spectrum
bandwidth limiting, dynamic key process-
on
the market. The ELTC16D secures
in one screen, giving technicians a full
ing, and EDID storing. The DIGI-HD-IR2, a
computers with its keyed tambour door.
picture of the network. In addition, the
professional-grade extender which trans-
Both carts are perfect for classrooms and
CM3800 identifies network impairments
mits HDMI and IR up to 300 feet over two
training facilities. They’re guaranteed
such as ingress that impact video, voice
twisted pair cables. The DIGI-HD-IR2 trans-
for life and made in the U.S. The carts
and broadband data services with more
mits 1080p video up to 150 feet, 720p and
recharge computers overnight with their
accuracy, giving technicians an effective
1080i video up to 300 feet, and 480i and
built-in 16-outlet power strips.
tool to reduce network outages and
480p video up to 300 feet. Built-in ESD pro-
optimize service delivery. For more
tection safeguards connected equipment
information, visit www.sunrisetelecom.
from power strikes and surges. Complete
com/cm3800/pr.
product information and specifications are
(ELTC16D, ELTC16) store and transport up
To learn more, call 888-433-5049 or
visit www.blackbox.com/go/EconLap.
The
CM3800
advanced
available on www.intelix.com.
RHINO™ 5200 Backgrounder
Designed for professional installers,
the new Rhino 5200 is an advanced, easyto-use label printer that includes hot keys first introduced on Rhino products. “Hot
key” technology saves users time by reducing the number of steps required to format a label. Users enjoy even more time
savings with simple, advanced and simultaneous serializations, multi label views
and over 122 common pre-programmed
datacomm and electrical symbols for quick
ESD-SAFE Cutters & Pliers
Xuron® ESD-Safe Cutters & Pliers feature static dissipative hand grips with a
surface resistivity of 106-109 ohms which
conforms to ANSI/ESD.S20.20 and DODHDBK-263.
The cutters all incorporate
Xuron’s Micro-Shear® by-pass shear cutting action that produces a clean, square
cut without spikes and the pliers come
in 10 head styles for crimping, forming,
and bending wires. For more information
contact, www.xuron.com.
WypAll Wipers with 40
Percent Post-Consumer
Recycled Fiber
Kimberly- Clark
Professional
has launched a new generation of
environmentally responsible disposable wipers under the WypAll brand.
Manufactured using 40 percent postconsumer recycled fiber, from sources
including recycled cardboard boxes nd
recycled office paper WypAll contain
up to 35 percent more sheets than standard packaging. For more information,
visit www.kcpreducetoday.com/us.
and easy printing. For product information, please visit www.DYMO.com.
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
How to Choose and
Use Fiber
By Andrew Schmeltzer
www.cablingbusiness.com
page 10 | fiber optics
cables contain several fibers, a
strong central strength member,
and one or more metal sheaths
for mechanical protection. Some
cables also include copper pairs
for auxiliary applications.
Figure 1. Fiber Optic Cable Construction
Fiber optic cable is one of the
fastest-growing transmission
mediums for both new cabling
installations and upgrades,
including backbone, horizontal,
and even desktop applications.
It works very well in applications
that need high bandwidth, long
distances, and complete immunity to electrical interference. That
makes it ideal for high-data-rate
systems such as Gigabit Ethernet,
multimedia, Fibre Channel, or
any other network that requires
the transfer of large, bandwidthconsuming data files, particularly
over long distances.
Fiber optic links offer far
greater distances than copper
links do. Conventional electrical
data signals are converted
into a modulated light beam,
introduced into the fiber and
transported via a very small
diameter glass or plastic fiber to
a receiver that converts the light
back into electrical signals.
Fiber Optic Cable
Construction
Because it’s usually made of
glass, fiber optic cable cannot
withstand sharp bending or
longitudinal
stress—even
though it seems quite flexible.
Therefore, when fiber is placed
inside complete cables, special
construction techniques are used
to allow the fiber to move freely
within a tube. Usually fiber optic
Core – This is the physical
medium that transports optical
data signals from an attached
light source to a receiving
device. The core is a single
continuous strand of glass
or plastic that’s measured in
microns (μm) by the size of its
outer diameter. The larger the
core, the more light the cable
can carry. All fiber optic cable
is sized according to its core’s
outer diameter.
Cladding – This is the thin layer
that surrounds the fiber core
and serves as a boundary that
contains the light waves and
causes the refraction, enabling
data to travel throughout the
length of the fiber segment.
Coating – This is a layer of
plastic that surrounds the core
and cladding to reinforce and
protect the fiber core. Coatings
are measured in microns and
can range from 250 to 900
microns.
Strengthening fibers –
These components help protect
the core against crushing forces
and excessive tension during
installation. The materials
can range from aramid yarn
(Kevlar®) to wire strands to gelfilled sleeves.
Cable jacket – This is the
outer layer of any cable. For
outdoor aerial and burial type
cables, the jacket color is usually
www.cablingbusiness.com
black polyethelene for both
multimode and single-mode
cables. For indoor cables, the
cable jacket may be any color,
but the industry standard
is orange for multimode and
yellow for single-mode fibers.
(Gray is an outdated color for
multimode fiber.) Aqua usually
signifies a 10-Gigabit, laseroptimized, 50-/125-micrometer
multimode optical fiber.
Fiber Optic Principles
Fiber’s ability to carry light
signals, with very low losses, is
based on some fundamental
physics associated with the
refraction and reflection of light.
Whenever a ray of light passes
from one transparent medium to
another, the light is affected by
the interface between the two
materials. This occurs because of
the difference in speeds that the
light can travel through different
materials. Each material can be
described in terms of its refractive
index, which is the ratio of the
speed of light in the material
to its speed in free space. The
relationship between these two
refractive indices determines the
critical angle of the interface
between the two materials.
Three things can happen
when a ray of light hits an
interface. Each depends on the
angle of incidence of the ray of
light with the interface. If the
angle of incidence is less than
the critical angle, the light ray
will refract, bending toward
the material with the higher
refractive index. If the angle of
incidence is exactly equal to the
critical angles, the ray of light
page 11 | fiber optics
will travel along the surface of
the interface. If the angle of
incidence is greater than the
critical angle, the ray of light
will reflect.
The refractive index of a
vacuum is considered to be 1.
Often, we consider the refractive
index of air also to be 1 (although
it is actually slightly higher).
The refractive index of water
is typically about 1.33. Glass,
which is used in fiber cabling,
has a refractive index in the
range of 1.5, a value that can be
manipulated by controlling the
composition of the glass itself.
Fiber Optic
Characteristics
Optical fibers allow data
signals to propagate through
them by ensuring that the light
signal enters the fiber at an angle
greater than the critical angle
of the interface between two
types of glass. The center core is
composed of very pure glass with
a refractive index of 1.5. Core
dimensions are usually in the range
of 8 to 62.5 μm. The surrounding
glass, called cladding, is a slightly
less pure glass with a refractive
index of 1.45. The diameter of
the core and cladding together
is in the range of 125 to 440
μm. Surrounding the cladding is
a coating, strengthening fibers,
and a jacket.
When light is introduced into
the end of an optical fiber, any
ray of light that hits the end of
the fiber at an angle greater than
the critical angle will propagate
through the fiber. Each time
it hits the interface between
the core and the cladding it is
Figure 2. Light Traveling Through a Fiber
reflected back into the fiber. The
angle of acceptance for the fiber
is determined by the critical angle
of the interface. If this angle is
rotated, a cone is generated.
Any light falling on the end of
the fiber within this cone of
acceptance will travel through
the fiber. Once the light is inside
the fiber, it “bounces” through
the core, reflecting inward each
time it hits the interface.
Figure 2 illustrates how light
rays travel through the fiber,
reflecting off the interface. If the
physical dimensions of the core
are relatively large, individual
rays of light will enter at slightly
different angles and will reflect
at different angles. Because they
travel different paths through
the fiber, the distance they travel
also varies. As a result, they arrive
at the receiver at different times.
A pulse signal sent through the
fiber will emerge wider than
it was sent, deteriorating the
quality of the signal. This is called
modal dispersion.
Another effect that causes
deterioration of the signal is
chromatic dispersion. Chromatic
dispersion is caused by light
rays of different wavelengths
traveling at different speeds
through the fiber. When a series
of pulses is sent through the fiber,
modal and chromatic dispersion
can eventually cause the pulse to
merge into one long pulse and
the data signal is lost.
Another characteristic of
optical fiber is attenuation.
Although the glass used in the core
of optical fiber is extremely pure,
it is not perfect. As a result, light
can be absorbed within the cable.
Other signal losses include bending
and scattering losses as well as
losses from poor connections.
Connection losses can be caused
by misalignment of the ends of the
fiber or end surfaces that are not
properly polished.
Fiber Optic Ethernet
Standards
10BASE-FL – 10-Mbps Ethernet
over multimode fiber.
100BASE-SX
–
100Mbps Ethernet over 850-nm
multimode fiber. Maximum
length is 300 meters. Longer
distances are possible with
single-mode fiber. Backwards
compatible with 10BASE-FL.
100BASE-FX – 100-Mbps
Ethernet (Fast Ethernet) over
1300-nm multimode fiber.
Maximum length is 400 meters
for half-duplex connections (to
ensure collisions are detected)
or 2 kilometers for fullduplex. Longer distances are
possiblewith single-mode fiber.
Not backwards compatible
with 10BASE-FL.
100BASE-BX
– 100-Mbps
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
page 12 | fiber optics
Ethernet over single-mode
fiber up to 100 kilometers.
Ethernet over single-mode
fiber. Unlike 100BASE-FX, which
uses a pair of fibers, 100BASEBX uses a single strand of
fiber and wavelength-division
multiplexing, which splits
the signal into transmit and
receive wavelengths. The two
wavelengths used for transmit
and receive are either 1310 and
1550 nm or 1310 and 1490 nm.
Distance is up to 10, 20, or 40
km.
1000BASE-SX
– 1-Gbps
Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet) over
850-nm multimode fiber up to
550 meters, depending on the
what micron cable is used.
1000BASE-LX – 1-Gbps
Ethernet
over
1300-nm
multimode fiber up to 550
meters. Optimized for longer
distances (up to 10 kilometers)
over single-mode fiber.
1000BASE-LH
–
1-Gbps
10GBASE-SR
– 10-Gbps
Ethernet (10-Gigabit Ethernet)
over 850-nm multimode fiber.
It has a range between 26
and 82 meters, depending
on whether you’re using 50or 62.5 micron cable. It also
supports 300 meters over 2000
MHz/km multimode fiber.
10GBASE-LX4 – 10-Gbps Ethernet
over
1300-nm
multimode
fiber. Uses wavelength-division
multiplexing to support up to 300
meters over multimode cabling.
Also supports 10 kilometers over
single-mode fiber.
Multimode vs. SingleMode Cable
Multimode,
50and
62.5-micron
cableMultimode
cable has a large-diameter
core and multiple pathways of
light. The two most commnon
are 50 micron and 62.5 micron.
Multimode fiber optic cable can
be used for most general data
and voice fiber applications,
such as bringing fiber to the
desktop, adding segments to
an existing network, and in
smaller applications such as alarm
www.cablingbusiness.com
systems. Both 50- and 62.5-micron
cable feature the same cladding
diameter of 125 microns, but
50-micron fiber cable features a
smaller core (the light-carrying
portion of the fiber). Also, both
also use either LED or laser light
sources.
Although both can be used
in the same way, 50-micron
cable is recommended for
premise applications (backbone,
horizontal, and intrabuilding
connections)
and
should
be considered for any new
construction and installations.
The big difference between
the two is that 50-micron cable
provides longer link lengths and/
or higher speeds, particularly in
the 850-nm wavelength.
Single-mode,
8–10-micron cable
Single-mode cable has a
small 8–10-micron glass core
and only one pathway of light.
With only a single wavelength
of light passing through its core,
single-mode cable realigns the
light toward the center of the
core instead of simply bouncing
it off the edge of the core as
multimode does.Single-mode
cable provides 50 times more
page 13 | fiber optics
distance than multimode cable
does. Consequently, singlemode cable is typically used in
high-bandwidth applications
and in long-haul network
connections spread out over
extended areas, including cable
television and campus backbone
applications. Telcos use it for
connections between switching
offices. Single-mode cable also
provides higher bandwidth, so
you can use a pair of singlemode fiber strands full-duplex
for up to twice the throughput
of multimode fiber.
PVC (Riser) vs. PlenumRated
PVC cable (also called riserrated cable even though not all
PVC cable is riser-rated) features
an outer polyvinyl chloride jacket
that gives off toxic fumes when it
burns. It can be used for horizontal
and vertical runs, but only if the
building features a contained
ventilation system. Plenum can
replace riser, but riser cannot be
used in plenum spaces.
“Riser-rated” means that the
jacket contains PVC. The cable
carries a CMR (communications
riser) rating and is not for use in
plenums.
Plenum cable has a special
coating, such as Teflon® FEP, which
doesn’t emit toxic fumes when it
burns. A plenum is a space within
the building designed for the
movement of environmental air.
In most office buildings, the space
above the ceiling is used for the
HVAC air return. If cable goes
through that space, it must be
“plenum-rated.”
General-Purpose vs.
Distribution-Style vs.
Breakout-Style
General-purpose fiber cable
is constructed of buffered fibers,
aramid yarn, and a PVC or plenum
jacket. The fiber is surrounded
with Kevlar® for tensile strength.
Use the PVC cable for horizontal
and backbone network runs.
Use the plenum cable where fire
ordinances require plenum.
Distribution-style cables
have several tight-buffered
fibers bundled under the
same jacket with Kevlar or
fiberglass rod reinforcement.
These cables are small in size
and are used for short, dry
and riser and plenum applications.
Because each fiber is individually
reinforced, these cables are easier
to terminate, making breakout
cable more economical over
shorter distances.
Indoor/Outdoor
Cable
Indoor/outdoor cable uses
dry-block technology to seal
ruptures against moisture seepage
and gel-filled buffer tubes to halt
moisture migration. Comprised of
a ripcord, core binder, a flameretardant layer, overcoat, aramid
yarn, and an outer jacket, it is
designed for aerial, duct, tray, and
riser applications.
Figure 3. Types of Fiber
conduit runs, in either riser or
plenum applications. The fibers
can be directly terminated,
but because the fibers are not
individually reinforced, these
cables need to be broken out
with a “breakout box” or
terminated inside a patch panel
or junction box.
Breakout-style cables are
made of several simplex cables
bundled together, making a
strong design that is larger than
distribution cables. Breakout
cables are suitable for conduit runs
Interlocking Armored
Cable
This fiber cable is jacketed in
aluminum interlocking armor so
it can be run just about anywhere
in a building. Ideal for harsh
environments, it is rugged and
rodent resistant. No conduit
is needed, so it’s a labor- and
money-saving alternative to using
innerducts for fiber cable runs.
Interlocking armored cable is
lightweight and flexible but also
extraordinarily strong. It is ideal
for out-of-the-way premise links.
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
page 14 | fiber optics
Laser-Optimized
10-Gigabit Cable
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
quicker 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.
Loose-Tube vs. TightBuffered Fiber Optic
Cable
There are two styles of
fiber optic cable construction:
loose tube and tight buffered.
Both contain some type of
strengthening member, such as
aramid yarn, stainless steel wire
strands, or even gel-filled sleeves.
But each is designed for very
different environments.
Loose-tube cable is specifically
designed for harsh outdoor
environments. It protects the
fiber core, cladding, and coating
by enclosing everything within
semi-rigid protective sleeves or
tubes. Many loose-tube cables
also have a water-resistant gel
that surrounds the fibers. This
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gel helps protect them from
moisture, which makes loosetube cable great for harsh, highhumidity environments where
water or condensation can be a
problem. The gel-filled tubes can
also expand and contract with
temperature changes.
But gel-filled loose-tube
cable is not the best choice when
cable needs to be routed around
multiple bends, which is often
true in indoor applications. Excess
cable strain can force fibers to
emerge from the gel.
Tight-buffered cable, in
contrast, is optimized for indoor
applications. It’s easier to install,
as well, because there’s no messy
gel to clean up and it doesn’t
require a fan-out kit for splicing
page 15 | fiber optics
or termination. You can install
connectors directly to each fiber.
For the best of both worlds,
try a hybrid, breakout-style fiber
optic cable, which combines
tight-buffered cables within a
loose-tube housing.
The Ferrules: Ceramic
or Composite?
As a general rule, use ceramic
ferrules for critical network
connections such as backbone
cables or for connections that
will be moved frequently, like
those in wiring closets. Ceramic
ferrules are more precisely
molded and fit closer to the
fiber, which gives the fiber optic
cables a lower optical loss.
Use composite ferrules for
connections that are less critical
to the network’s overall operation and less frequently moved.
Like their ceramic counterparts,
composite ferrules are characterized by low loss, good quality,
and a long life. However, they
are not as precisely molded and
slightly easier to damage, so they
aren’t as well-suited for critical
connections.
Signal Sources and
Detectors
To use fiber optic cables
for communications, electrical
signals must be converted to
light, transmitted, received, and
converted back from light to
electrical signals. This requires
optical sources and detectors that
can operate at the data rates of
the communications system.
There are two main
categories of optical signal
sources – light emitting diodes
and infrared laser diodes.
Light
emitting
diodes
(Leds) are the lower-cost, lowerperformance source. They’re used
in applications where lower data
rates and/or shorter distances
are acceptable. Infrared laser
diodes operate at much higher
speeds, dissipate higher power
levels, and require temperature
compensation or control to
maintain specified performance
levels. They are also more costly.
Signal detectors also fall
into two main categories – PIN
photodiodes and avalanche
photodiodes.
Similar to sources, the two
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page 16 | fiber optics
types provide much different cost/
performance ratios. PIN photodiodes are more commonly used,
especially in less stringent applications. Avalanche photodiodes, on
the other hand, are very sensitive
and can be used where longer
distances and higher data rates are
involved.
Splicing and
Terminating Optical
Fibers
In practical situations, fiber
optic cables exhibit signal power
losses based on both the fiber
and connections from the fiber to
sensors or other fiber segments.
Typically fiber losses run at about
10 decibels (dB) per kilometer.
Whenever a fiber must
be terminated, the goal is to
produce a perfectly transparent
end to the fiber. The end-face
should be square, clear, and
physically mated to the receiving
optical device. In some cases,
cables are permanently joined
by splicing or gluing the ends
of the fiber together. Others
mechanically align the fibers and
use a transparent gel to couple
the ends of the fiber together.
Early fiber optic connections
involved cutting the fiber,
epoxying a special connector, and
polishing the end of the fiber. This
operation required special tools
and testing equipment to ensure
a good connection. While this
technique is still used, devices used
to cleave, align, and join fibers have
been improved and simplified.
Connection losses vary, depending
on the type of connection, but
typically range from 0.2 to 1 dB.
Planning a Fiber Optic
Link
The most important consideration in planning a fiber optic link
is the power budget specification
of the devices being connected. This
value tells you the amount of loss in
dB that can be present in the link
between the two devices before the
units fail to perform properly. This
value will include inline attenuation
as well as connector loss.
Fiber attenuators are used
with single-mode fiber optic
devices and cable to filter the
strength of the fiber optic
signal. Depending on the type
of attenuator attached to the
devices at each end of the fiber
optic cable, you can diminish the
strength of the light signal a
variable amount, measured in
decibels (dB).
Why would you want to
filter the strength of the fiber
www.cablingbusiness.com
optic signal? Single-mode fiber
is designed to carry a fiber optic
signal long distances –as much
as 70 kilometers (or 43.4 miles).
Fiber devices send this signal with
great force to ensure that the
signal, and your data, arrive at
the other end intact.
But when two fiber devices
connected with single-mode fiber
cable are close to each other, the
signal may be too strong. As a
result, the light signal reflects back
down the fiber cable. Data can be
corrupted and transmissions can
be faulty. A signal that istoo strong
can even damage the attached
equipment.
Because it’s probably not
feasible to move your fiber
equipment farther apart, the
easiest solution is to attach an
attenuator to each fiber device.
Just as sunglasses filter the
strength of sunlight, attenuators
filter the strength of the light
signal transmitted along singlemode fiber cable. Within the
attenuator, there’s doping that
reduces the strength of the
signal passing through the fiber
connection and minute air gaps
where the two fibers meet. Fiber
grooves may also be intentionally
misaligned by several microns –
but only enough to slow the fiber
page 17 | fiber optics
optic signal to an acceptable rate
as it travels down the cable.
Before
selecting
an
attenuator, you need to check
the type of adapter on your
fiber devices. Attenuators
typically fit into any patch panel
equipped with FC, SC, or LC
adapters that contain either PC
or APC contacts. In addition to
the type of adapter, you also
need to determine the necessary
attenuation value, such as 5 or 10
dB. This value varies, depending
on the strength of fiber optic
signal desired.
Testing and Certifying
Fiber Optic Cable
If you’re accustomed to
certifying copper cable, you’ll be
pleasantly surprised at how easy
it is to certify fiber optic cable
because it’s immune to electrical
interference. You only need to
check a few measurements.
Attenuation (or decibel
loss) – Measured in decibels/
kilometer (dB/km), this is the
decrease of signal strength
as it travels through the fiber
cable. Generally, attenuation
problems are more common on
multimode fiber optic cables.
Return loss – This is the
amount of light reflected
from the far end of the cable
back to the source. The lower
the number, the better. For
example, a reading of -60
decibels is better than -20
decibels. Like attenuation,
return loss is usually greater
with multimode cable.
Graded refractive index –
This measures how the light
is sent down the fiber. This
is commonly measured at
wavelengths of 850 and 1300
nanometers. Compared to
other operating frequencies,
these two ranges yield the
lowest intrinsic power loss.
Propagation delay – This
is the time it takes a signal
to travel from one point to
another over a transmission
channel.
Optical
time-domain
reflectometry (OTDR) –
This enables you to isolate
cable faults by transmitting
high-frequency pulses onto
a cable and examining their
reflections along the cable.
With OTDR, you can also
determine the length of a fiber
optic cable because the OTDR
value includes the distance the
optic signal travels.
There are many fiber optic
testers on the market today. Basic
fiber optic testers function by
shining a light down one end
of the cable. At the other end,
there’s a receiver calibrated to the
strength of the light source. With
this test, you can measure how
much light is going to the other
end of the cable. Generally these
testers give you the results in dB
lost, which you then compare to
the loss budget. If the measured
loss is less than the number
calculated by your loss budget,
your installation is good.
Newer fiber optic testers
have an even broader range of
capabilities. They can test both
850- and 1300-nanometer signals
at the same time and can even
check your cable for compliance
with specific standards.
Precautions to Take
When Using Fiber
A few properties particular
to fiber optic cable can cause
problems if you aren’t careful
during installation:
Intrinsic power loss – As
the optic signal travels through
the fiber core, the signal
inevitably loses some speed
through absorption, reflection,
and scattering. This problem is
easy to manage by making sure
your splices are good and your
connections are clean.
Microbending – Microbends
are minute deviations in fiber
caused by excessive bends,
pinches, and kinks. Using cable
with reinforcing fibers and
other special manufacturing
techniques minimizes this
problem.
Connector loss – Connector
loss occurs when two fiber
segments are misaligned. This
problem is commonly caused
by poor splicing. Scratches and
dirt introduced during the
splicing process can also cause
connector loss.
Coupling loss – Similar
to connector loss, coupling
loss results in reduced signal
power and is from poorly terminated connector couplings.
Remember to be careful and
use common sense when
installing fiber cable. Use clean
components. Keep dirt and
dust to a minimum. Don’t pull
the cable excessively or bend it
too sharply around corners.
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
page 18 | fiber optics
Advantages of Fiber
Optic Cables
Greater bandwidth –
Fiber provides far greater
bandwidth than copper and
has standardized performance
up to 10 Gbps. But fiber also
gives network designers
future-proofing
insurance
with speeds up to 40 Gbps or
even 100 Gbps.
Low attenuation and
greater distance – Because
the fiber optic signal is made
of light, very little signal loss
occurs during transmission,
and data can move at higher
speeds and greater distances.
Fiber does not have the
100-meter (328-ft.) distance
limitation that unshielded
twisted-pair copper without a
booster does. Fiber distances
can range from 300 meters
(984.2 ft.) to 70 kilometers
(24.8 mi.), depending on the
style of cable, wavelength,
and network. (Fiber distances
are typically measured in
metric units.) Because fiber
signals need less boosting
than copper ones do, the
cable performs better. Note
thatsingle-mode cable offers
far greater distance than
either 62.5- or 50-micron
multimode cable.
Immunity and reliability –
Fiber provides extremely reliable data transmission. It’s completely immune to many envi-
ronmental factors that affect
copper cable. Because the core
is made of glass, which is an
insulator, no electric current can
flow through. It’s immune to
electromagnetic interference
and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), crosstalk, impedance problems, and more. You
can run fiber next to industrial equipment without worry.
Fiber is also less susceptible to
temperature fluctuations than
copper is, and it can be submerged in water. In addition,
fiber optic cable can carry more
information with greater fidelity than copper wire can. That’s
why telephone and CATV companies are converting to fiber.
Security – Your data is safe
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page 19 | fiber optics
with fiber cable. It doesn’t radiate
signals and is extremely difficult to
tap. If the cable is tapped, it’s very easy
to monitor because the cable leaks
light, causing the entire system to fail.
If an attempt is made to break the
physical security of your fiber system,
you’ll know it. Fiber networks also
enable you to put all your electronics
and hardware in one central location,
instead of having wiring closets with
equipment throughout the building.
Design and installation –
Fiber is lightweight, thin, and more
durable than copper cable. Plus, fiber
optic cable has pulling specifications
that are up to 10 times greater than
copper cable’s. Its small size makes
it easier to handle, and it takes up
much less space in cabling ducts.
Although fiber is still more difficult to
terminate than copper, advancements
in connectors are making termination
easier. In addition, fiber is actually
easier to test than copper cable.
Migration – The proliferation and
lower costs of media converters are
making copper to fiber migration
much easier. The converters provide
seamless links and enable the use
of existing hardware. Fiber can
be incorporated into networks in
planned upgrades. TIA/EIA-785,
ratified in 2001, provides a costeffective migration path from
10-Mbps Ethernet to 100-Mbps
Fast Ethernet over fiber (100BASESX). An addendum to the standard
eliminates limitations in transceiver
designs. In addition, in June 2002,
the IEEE approved a 10-Gigabit
Ethernet (10-GbE) standard.
Costs – The cost for fiber cable,
components, and hardware is
steadily decreasing. Installation costs
for fiber are higher than copper
because of the skill needed for
terminations, making fiber more
expensive than copper in the short
run, but it may actually be less
expensive in the long run. Fiber
typically costs less to maintain, has
much less downtime, and requires
less networking hardware. And fiber
eliminates the need to recable for
higher network performance.
Andrew Schmeltzeri is Product
Manager, Structured Cabling at
Black
Box
Network
Services.
Andrew has been with Black Box
for ten years and has been in
the structured cabling business for
over 25 years.
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
Optical Network
Connects CityCenter
to the Future
It is a sleek, gleaming vision that
rises amid the hustle and neon of
The Strip, setting a new standard
for what life and entertainment in
Las Vegas could become. CityCenter, the largest
privately funded development project in U.S. history, combines casino,
hotel, condominium, retail and entertainment venues into a single,
integrated complex, launched in December 2009.
www.cablingbusiness.com
page 21 | case study
CityCenter at Night
With startling architectural
design, advanced technologies
deployed throughout the complex (including its own energy-efficient power plant and
Automatic People Mover system) and “green” LEED® certification for multiple buildings,
CityCenter creates a whole new
21st century dynamic for Las
Vegas; one designed to appeal
to affluent visitors, shoppers
and residents who expect
world-class service and facilities
that offer distinctive amenities
on the cutting edge.
The developers of the project recognized that they needed to make sure they could
deliver on the vision to create a one-of-a-kind experience
that would draw visitors and
keep them coming back. They
needed to build a communications and information delivery
infrastructure able to support
the most advanced applications
available today, with enough
capacity, stability and sophistication to “future-proof” virtually every endpoint across the
67-acre community.
To secure that future-proof
communications architecture,
CityCenter chose the advanced
fiber optics technology of
Corning Cable Systems optical
cabling solutions.
CityCenter: A Vision
for 21st Century Las
Vegas
CityCenter is a 16.7 million sq ft mixed-use, massive
urban complex on 67 acres of
the Las Vegas Strip. A joint
development by MGM Resorts
International and Infinity World
Development Corp, a subsidiary
of Dubai World, it is estimated
to have cost $8.5 billion and
is one of the most completely integrated entertainment,
gaming, retail and residential
developments ever created in
Las Vegas.
The conceptual master plan
features seven buildings that
include approximately 2,400
condominium and condo-hotel
units and approximately 4,800
hotel rooms, distributed within several high-rise towers.
The main complex structure
includes:
• The Crystals, an ultra highend retail and entertainment
district with 500,000 sq ft
of retail and entertainment
businesses, including housing the first grocery store
directly on the Strip
• ARIA, a new 4,000-room
hotel and casino
• Mandarin Oriental, a 400-
room boutique hotel with
227 residential condo units
• Veer Towers, a purely residential building with a dramatic veering design
• Vdara, a combination condo-hotel building
Eight
internationally
acclaimed architects collaborated with the CityCenter developers to design a true community –
a welcoming environment for
people to gather, relax and
enjoy. It employs over 12,000
people, and features nightclubs,
spas, extensive meeting spaces,
business amenities, world-class
restaurants, as well as extensive public plazas and fine art
installations.
ARIA - Front Desk Maya Lin - Silver River
This vision for a complete
community with world-class
amenities drove a crucial infrastructure design decision: the
near-complete use of singlemode fiber optics to support
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
page 22 | case study
Telecom Room: Overhead View of Single-mode Optical Cables
virtually every CityCenter endpoint from hotel, office and
condominium data ports,
to casino gaming tables, slot
machines and flat panel displays, to retailer and restaurant
workstations, even wireless
endpoints in parking garages and on people movers for
mobile data and IP telephony
services.
Corning Fiber Optics
Connects the Complex
identify the optimum set of
Corning products to handle
individual endpoints, building trunks and the buildingto-building fiber connectivity
that would integrate the entire
community.
One of the most significant
concerns that the construction management team had
was capacity. Corning Cable
Systems supplied the materials,
keeping to tight manufacturing
and delivery schedules without
compromising quality on any of
the components.
Network Design and
Specification
There are over twenty million feet of fiber optic cable and
180,000 fiber optic endpoints
supported by Corning Cable
Systems products throughout
the seven major properties at
CityCenter.
Beginning in 2006, Corning
Cable Systems worked with
MGM Resorts International IT
Infrastructure Engineering –
Cable Plant Services to assess
the fiber optic cabling requirements for the project and to
Telecom Room: Corning Cable Systems Housings
with Detailed Labeling and Cable Management
www.cablingbusiness.com
The master plan for the
CityCenter fiber infrastructure
is based on tying together 10
structures in an advanced highcapacity fiber ring. Each building features backbone fiber
optic trunks and single-mode
fiber endpoints to condos, hotel
rooms, meeting spaces, dining
and entertainment endpoints,
and even fiber endpoints at each
gaming table and into high-tech
video poker and slot machines.
Because the average fiber
run was 900 ft, and since the
throughput demands for the
endpoints could potentially
go as high as 10G, a strategic decision was made to use
single-mode fiber for the endpoints. In runs under 800 ft, the
hardware team utilized 50/125
micron multimode MIC® Riser
cables. Corning Cable Systems
supplied virtually all of the
communications cabling components, including fiber optic
connectors, Closet Connector
page 23 | case study
Housings, custom-configured
Single-Panel Housings and significant amounts of network
backbone cabling options:
•
Endpoint single-mode
cables:
MIC Riser Cables
were excellent solutions for
intrabuilding cable runs, configured in four-fiber endpoints
with two active ports and two
spares to ensure growth capacity. MIC Riser Cables utilize 900
_m TBII® Fibers surrounded
by dielectric strength members with a flexible, flameretardant outer jacket.
• Endpoint housings:
At
the gaming tables, Corning
Cable Systems Single-Panel
Housings provided a costeffective solution for storage, protection and termination of optical fibers. They
were chosen for their compact size and small footprint
and were custom-configured
by Corning Cable Systems to
support specific needs at the
tables.
• Endpoint
connectors:
Corning Anaerobic-Cure single mode connectors combine the quick-cure convenience of anaerobic adhesive with the performance of
epoxy and polish connectors.
• Rack-mountable housings:
Corning Cable Systems Closet
Connector Housings provided CityCenter with a great
solution for interconnect
or crossconnect capabilities
between the outside plant,
riser or distribution cables
and the opto-electronics. The
Telecom Room: Corning Cable Systems Housings with
Detailed Labeling and Cable Management
units are designed for rackmounting and are designed
with an open top at the front
of the housing to facilitate
jumper routing when used in
conjunction with the closet
jumper management panel.
• Trunk cabling: FREEDM®
Loose Tube Gel-Free Cables
are used throughout the
CityCenter facilities to provide in-building backbones
for the fiber network. They
are flame-retardant, indoor/
outdoor, riser-rated cables,
suitable for installation in
aerial, duct and riser applications. Because of the riserrating, there is no need for a
transition splice when entering/exiting the building.
• Fiber ring: ALTOS® AllDielectric Gel-Free Cable
provides stable performance
over a wide temperature
range and is compatible with
any
telecommunicationsgrade optical fiber.
The fiber ring is tied
together with single-mode
fiber and features redundant
paths to support the highest
levels of reliability, ensuring
that downtime is not a concern.
Throughout the CityCenter site,
the telecom closets are tied
together with laser-optimized
50 µm OM3 multimode fiber
and single-mode fiber. These
products are proven in thousands of high-density fiber
installations and provide the
long-term performance, stability and flexibility needed to
support the current and future
uses anticipated by the residents and visitors to CityCenter.
One of most important
goals for the entire CityCenter
project was environmental sensitivity. From the beginning, all
of the major structures were
designed to receive LEED® certification through extensive use
of green technologies, such as
using reclaimed water and an
onsite power plant. Mandarin
Oriental, ARIA and Vdara all
received LEED certification in
November 2009.
At this time, fiber optic
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
page 24 | case study
stay on schedule, to minimize
rework and to ensure the
highest quality installation.
• Patch panels were laid out by
floor to make troubleshooting easier.
• Cable routing and installation
was done in a highly consistent
manner, labeling was complete -- all steps were taken
to keep installation operating smoothly, and to ensure
that long-term management
of the network infrastructure
follows standard recommended procedures.
CityCenter is Ready
for the Future
One of CityCenter’s Energy-Efficient Data Centers
products do not directly lead
to credits for LEED green building certification. However, the
ability of optical technology
to save energy and environmental cooling costs, compared
to using copper cabling for a
building’s network, can help
architects, developers and
builders reduce energy use and
environmental demands (i.e.,
air-conditioning).
Operating power and cooling energy cost reductions can
be achieved when deploying a
high-density optical network
versus a CAT 6A network for
10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) applications. Corning analysis has
shown that annual network and
cooling energy cost reductions
can range from 75 to 85 percent
based on port counts of 48 to
288, making optical technology
a significant tool for building
designers to consider when seeking to achieve higher Energy and
Atmosphere LEED points.
Onsite Corning Cable
Systems Support
Enables Successful
Fiber Installation
To insure the fiber optic
deliveries, installation and testing went as smoothly as possible, Corning Cable Systems
provided onsite technical and
project management support.
All deliveries were on time, followed by impeccable product
performance. For example:
• Over 100 fiber optic cable
installers received expert
training in installing Corning
Cable Systems’ AnaerobicCure single-mode connectors
to help endpoint installation
www.cablingbusiness.com
CityCenter represents one
of the most comprehensive
fiber deployments ever created. The fundamental reason for
creating this fiber environment
was to future-proof the multibillion dollar investment:
• Fiber optics delivers the quality
and multi-Gigabit throughput
capacity current applications
demand – to each endpoint,
and in the trunks that connect each building to the main
network.
• Fiber optics has the demonstrated capacity to handle
future growth, more sophisticated throughput demands
and expansion of the site’s
facilities without the cost
and complexity of tearing
out cabling and replacing it
with every new generation of
applications.
Article by Corning Cable Systems.
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Rising copper prices
make room for
innovative business
strategies
By Greg Greenwood
As copper increases to more than
$4/lb, innovation is key to success.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past month, you’ve heard
manufacturers and distributors announcing over the loud horn that
cable prices are increasing. There’s no doubt about it, raw materials
are going up. The question is how much of the price increase is
actually due to the cost of copper and other materials and how much
is “opportunity” increases for the major players?
www.cablingbusiness.com
page 27 | installation
As cabling professionals,
our choices include: continue
feeding the cabling machine or
forge our own path.
History proves the
power of innovation
To prove our current opportunity for innovation, let’s go
back in time.
In 1976, a man at Palo Alto
Research Centre, Bob Metcalfe,
was attempting to connect a PC
to a printer, incidentally inventing Ethernet.
Then in 1984, IBM unleashed
the power of computing with
new and exciting platforms for
all its computer users. Whether
you were using 3270 controllers
back to a mainframe or a system
34 or 36, this platform offered a
tremendous advantage to information sharing. It was the Token
Ring network along with the
IBM Universal Cabling System.
For those of us who have been
around long enough to remember, this opened the gates of
computing power, most notably
personal computing. Networking
wasn’t new, but now the giant
of the industry, IBM, was running the show.
Technology is a
revolving door
Neither IBM or Ethernet’s
network technology was bullet-proof.
Token Ring had it issues,
sending “tokens” of information around to its nodes. And,
Ethernet had the problem of
bursting “packets” across its
star topology, which caused
collisions.
The construction of the
cable deployed for these two
networks varied substantially.
Token Ring networks used
two pairs of 22 gauge wire,
each individually shielded and
surrounded with an aluminum
shield and copper braid. This
cable also had the option of
having eight, 24 gauge wires
for a telephone connection.
Desktop and wiring closet
patch cables were similar in
size and used a proprietary
black square connector, developed by IBM and one of its
OEM partners.
Ethernet networks used a
central RG-8/U coax backbone
cable that surrounded a 13 gauge
center conductor. Desktop connection cables were made up of
a RS232-type, 15 conductor, 24
gauge cable with D-Sub connectors on the ends.
Times changes and
so do the hands of
power
Fast forward 26 years ...
Token Ring is gone. IBM is
out of the cabling business and
all their systems are connected to, well, you guessed it…
an Ethernet network. Which
begs the question, what major
player won’t be in the cabling
business in the future?
In the past 26 years, which
happens to be my exact tenure in this industry, the structured cabling market has
evolved into arguably a $5 billion industry in the U.S. alone.
This explosive growth has led
to Telecommunications Industry
Association standards (now EIA/
TIA), BICSI; an influx of new
manufacturers; and the consolidation of numerous manufacturers, installation
certifications and
site warranties.
Moreover,
and
most imperative
given the state
of the industry,
this growth led
to much smaller
copper cables and
a greater dependence on fiber
optics for backbone and longhaul applications.
You can’t control prices so
control what you buy
In recent years, the fluctuation in price and availability
of raw materials in the construction of cable has become
of great concern. Given the
global appetite for growth
and information technology,
particularly in China, these
raw materials have experienced unpredictable swings in
availability and price driven by
market forces outside the U.S.
So, if you own or work with
a low voltage installation firm
and regularly bid, install and
maintain your customer’s network infrastructure, take notethis is for you. YOU HAVE A
CHOICE.
Like Albert Einstein said,
“insanity is doing the same
thing over and over again and
expecting different results.”
It’s time to push back against
the machine. What machine?
The machine of consolidation. The marketing machine.
Like Albert
Einstein said,
“insanity is
doing the same
thing over and
over again
and expecting
different
results.”
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
$0.829
0
$0.80
$0.76
page
28
|
installation
$1.24
$1.25
$1.32
Comcables saving percentage
% more for competitors
Price Comparison on 480 Station Job
$35,000
$29,366
$31,228
$29,441
$30,000
$30,378
$23,592
$25,000
$20,000
$15,000
$10,000
$5,000
$-
Brand A
Brand A
Brand B
Lesser
Brand C
Brand B
Brand C
Known
Lesser Known
Brand
Brand
The critical mass machine. The
machine that manufactures
FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and
Doubt. Need I say more?
Dare to consider a
different business
model
You have several choices, but the choice I’m talking about is significant. This
choice will make a substantial impact on the outcome
of your business, future and
profitability.
The choice is which brand
of materials to install in your
customers facilities. We work in
a standards driven business, yet
people still pay 25-40% more
for big brand name products
that perform at the same level
as less known brands. Given the
current state of the economy,
most of us aren’t in a position
to flush 40% of our profits
down the drain.
Over the past 26 years,
structured cabling technology
has come to the point where
EIA/TIA, BICSI, UL, ETL/Intertek
all “independently” verify the
processes in which that cable
Brand D
Brand D
and connectivity are manufactured. Yes, there are the black
market companies the CCCA
organization has uncovered,
which is creating appropriate
guard rails for all of us.
But let’s assume no one
reading this article wants to
harm their reputation by installing inferior or fraudulent products. At the same time, let’s
recognize that consolidation
has left you, the contractor,
very few choices. And, allowed
a select few to become dangerously close to having a monopoly in the industry.
U.S. pays more for the
same products
There is plenty of gross
margin in products for
everyone to get their piece
of the pie. Over the past
few months, we have spent
countless hours surveying the
global market for Category 5E,
6 and 6A cable, both onshore
and offshore. The verdict: our
U.S. cost is 3-5% more than the
cost of UL listed and/or ETL/
Intertek manufactured cable
in Taiwan, South Korean or
www.cablingbusiness.com
China. Even more noteworthy,
despite the recent high in
copper ($4.04/lb), our price
was significantly less than our
U.S. competitors even when
copper was below $3.50/lb.
See, we like many, assumed
the best thing to do for our
business was continue to do
what we have always done.
But, once we opened our eyes
to new possibilities and challenged the norm, we were
amazed by what was right in
front of our face.
Vision combined with
commitment leads to
success
James Allen, wrote the
book “As a man thinketh” over
a hundred years ago, professing: As a man thinketh, so he
becomes.
It is quite simple, what we
focus our thoughts on, grows
stronger in our lives. My personal ‘Ah-Hah’ from reading Allen’s
book is: We have a choice in
what we focus our attention
on. No matter the choice, if we
commit our thoughts towards
this intention, it grows stronger
in our lives.
In 1999, we had the opportunity to embrace this strategy within our company. We
decided that given the heavy
consolidation of both manufacturers and distributors, it was
critical for our company to find
and execute a fresh strategy
in order to reach our future
potential. We set our path, put
our stake in the ground and
embarked on our new strategy
full-force.
Brand 1
Lesser Known Brand
Brand 2
Brand 3
Brand 4
5.62
5.55
7.25
6.25
5.87
5.58
6.19
7.06
6.93
7.84
3.98
5.94
3.68
4.9
7.48
page 28
29 | installation
ETL Tested Performance Comparison
11 years later as I share our story with you,
we are a testament that the power of intention
backed by commitment can deliver business
exactly what you envision.
18
16
14
Innovators prevail
12
So now it’s your turn. Do you dare challenge
the standards set for you without your input? To
push against the strength of the manufacturers
and distributors that have chosen their partners
and greatly reduced your ability to win and
profit?
10
Brand 1
Lesser Known Brand
Brand 2
Brand 3
Brand 4
8
6
4
2
0
NEXT Margin
Your future depends on it.
Let me give you one last analogy to help you
understand what is available in the market today.
Imagine rafting down a river. You put your
water craft in the river in a still part of the water
called an eddy. Then you paddle it out into the
current. The water flow is consists of two types:
downstream current and eddies. 80% of the
water is flowing downstream, while 20% of the
16.5
17.06
16.3
16.37
16.68
PS NEXT Margin
Insertion Loss Margin
Return Loss Margin
water is re-circulating to the banks in eddies.
Your goal is to go downstream shooting the
white water rapids and pull over into the eddies
for a rest and lunch in the sun. Let’s imagine
though, that you left something at a previous
stop on the river and you can’t walk up banks to
get it back. How do you get there?
Dare to Win More Jobs
& Make More Profits.
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
Allows you to pull around corners like pulling through conduit bends

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ties, and can be removed just as quickly when dressing cables

Has no moving parts to pinch or cut cables, and keeps wiring
up off the floor during the installation process

Saves cable: Eliminates having to estimate how much more cable
will be needed to complete the run, from mid-run corner locations.
Eliminates loops of cable laid out on the floor!

Preserves the integrity of your cable, eliminates kinks where
“loops” of cables are pulled up into the ceiling

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Made in the U.S.A.
S T R U C T U R E D
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www.comcables.com
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
866.302.3301
page 30 | installation
You use the eddies. You
exit an eddy with your device
pointed upward and somewhat
across the river. With the proper angle and momentum, you
can actually paddle from eddy
to eddy, back and forth up
river. To do this, you must have
the downstream current to produce eddies that give you the
power to move across-stream,
against the strong current that
carries everything downstream.
Copper is increasing in
usage and price, so change
your direction
Yes, copper prices are going
up. And, if you stay in downstream momentum, you’ll be
subject to what the market
decides for you.
Yes, FEP is going up. And,
if you use the eddy currents,
you have the opportunity to
view the market in a new light
and consider new strategies to
win more jobs and make more
profit.
Are you willing to use the
market momentum to move your
business against the current?
With time comes change.
After all, when is the last time
you installed an IBM Cabling
System?
Greg Greenwood is President/CEO
of comCables, a manufacturer
of end-to-end structured cabling
solutions
and
the
industry’s
first and only manufacturer to
sell directly to its customers.
Founding
comCables
in
1999,
Greenwood has led the company
to significant growth, profitability
and expansion through innovate
strategies
and
technology.
comCables operates six facilities
in the U.S. and Mexico, with plans
for further expansion in 2011.
ad index
comCables 29
www.comcables.com
Computer Peripheral Systems (CPS)
15
www.cps.com/reboot.htm
Corning Cable Systems
9
www.corning.com/cablesystems/cbad2009
Creative Cabling Solutions
29
www.creativecabling.com
CSTI
IFC
www.cstinstitute.com
Energy Transformation Systems (ETS)
14
www.etslan.com
Fluke Networks 3
www.flukenetworks.com/YouWantIt
LEVITON
1
www.Leviton.com/datacenter
Light Connection, The (TLC)
19
www.thelightconnection.com
Live Wire & Cable
20
www.livew-c.com
Platinum Tools
14
www.platinumtools.com
R.J. Enterprises
19
www.rj-enterprises.com
Server Technology, Inc.
5
www.servertech.com
www.cablingbusiness.com
page 31 | columns
network news
Energy Transformation Systems,
Inc. announces appointment
of Joseph Rosenberger to Vice
President, Marketing and Sales
Energy Transformation Systems, Inc., a Silicon
Valley-based designer and manufacturer of
signal-attenuated impedance-matching transformers and related devices, has announced
the appointment of Joseph Rosenberger to
the position of Vice President, Marketing and
Sales. Mr. Rosenberger’s previous experience
includes posts at such high-tech companies as
The Panda Project, Silicon Bandwidth, Inc., and
Parrot Learning, LTD. From 2000 to 2005, as
Director of Corporate Communications at Silicon
Bandwidth, Inc., Fremont, CA, he helped grow
the company from startup to a multi-million dollar fabless semiconductor manufacturer.
Commented company CEO Trudy Andresen, “ETS
is pleased at having Mr. Rosenberger join our
firm, as he brings with him not only extensive
experience in marketing and sales, but in the
highly technical area of signal integrity as well.
As a key team member, he’ll help grow ETS into
a global contender in this high-growth sector of
the electronics industry.”
Please contact [email protected] for more
information.
Black Box releases study of
communications on college
campuses
Black Box Corporation (NASDAQ:BBOX) has
released an independent study of how college
administrators can communicate better with
students on their campuses.
The research study, Communication Effectiveness
in Higher Education, looks at the various communications methods and technologies used by
schools to inform and alert students.
Prepared by the Platt Retail Institute (PRI), an
industry-leading marketing research, consulting,
and analytics firm, the detailed research report
advances key findings about how to enhance the
administrator-to-student communication process
on campus.
According to Steven Keith Platt, Director and
Research Fellow at PRI, “This investigation into
campus administrator-to-student communication is the first study that addresses the effectiveness of communication that considers different types of information being delivered via
various channels.”
“Our study found that digital channels that can
be targeted to specific segments, such as digital
signage, can maximize communication effectiveness due to their ability to deliver relevant messages,” Platt said.
“This study confirms that students prefer to
receive information through newer digital media
channels, including text messages, digital signage, e-mail, and a school’s Web site,” he
said. “Use of these channels is helpful when
addressing another research finding, which is
that universities often relay too much irrelevant
information to students, with the unintended
consequence that relevant, important messages
tend to get crowded out.”
To read the report, visit blackbox.com/go/UCreport.
New CFHP Certification Custom
Training Course
The Light Brigade is pleased to announce that the
new Certified Fiber-to-the-Home Professional
(CFHP) certification program, which launched
earlier this year, is now available on a custom
basis to address client’s needs at their locations
in North America and internationally.
This course is specifically designed to certify professional competence in FTTH design, architecture, deployment, and administration technolo-
blog at www.cablingbusiness.com/wordpress
page 32 | columns
network news
gies. The CFHP content addresses active Ethernet
and PON FTTH systems, physical network architecture options, video systems, Ethernet and IP
networks, FTTH and FTTB designs, business and
economic issues, and future migration considerations. When asked about his move to Allied,
Snyder said, “I am extremely excited to join the
AWC sales team, who are known for their professionalism and dedicated customer service.”
For more information or to host this course at
a location near you, please call Pam Wooten at
(800) 451‑7128 or email [email protected]
Announcing Mockett’s New
Concepts Supplemental Catalog
Doug Mockett & Company is proud to announce the
release of our new Sneak Preview catalog featuring
all of our newest parts. As the leader in innovative furniture components, we strive to continually
offer the finest in architectural hardware. We have
added over 80 new parts to our product line that
are sure to expand your creative horizons. Most are
brand new parts, some are new designs and finish
options on existing parts. Featuring the latest in
Power and Communication Systems, an assortment
of new Drawer Pulls, and the latest in Shelf Supports,
Grommets, Wire Managers, and more! We are currently celebrating our 30th Year Anniversary, and
our new catalog is a testament to our continued
growth and expansion over the years. We are very
excited about all of these new parts, and we think
you will be too. We invite you to take a look at
www.mockett.com.
DAIKIN EXPANDS MARKETING DEPT.
Daikin America announces the addition of two
new people to its Marketing Department. Gary
Stanitis, Director of Marketing at Daikin, says “This
increase in staff results from Daikin’s desire to
strengthen and expand markets that it currently
serves, and to more rapidly identify and grow in
emerging sectors such as renewable energy.
Tony Gutowski joined Daikin in September as
Senior Market Development Representative for
the Oil and Gas sector. Tony brings to Daikin extensive experience in the Oil and Gas market. Tony
has held memberships in a number of industry
professional groups including the Energy Rubber
Group where he served as Chemical Chairman, the
Society of Plastics Engineers, The Rubber Roller
Group, The American Chemical Society, and the
Society of Petroleum Engineers.
He comes to
Daikin from Cri-Tech, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Daikin America, Inc., where he was a Senior Sales
Account Manager since 2008.
Dan Kennefick joined Daikin in October as Market
Development Manager. Dan’s responsibilities are
focused on electrical and electronic markets and
include wire and cable and energy storage applications. Dan’s background in electrical engineering, and extensive commercial experience in the
plenum cable and PTFE coaxial cable markets make
him ideally suited for this position at Daikin.
For further information, please call 1-800-365-9570
or visit www.daikin-america.com.
BROADBAND
INFOVISION
WINNERS ANNOUNCED
AWARDS
The Broadband InfoVision Awards have long been
established as the industry’s leading awards event
celebrating excellence within the broadband
marketplace.
Gavin Whitechurch, director of the Broadband
World Forum, commented: “The InfoVision Awards
are a tremendous opportunity to celebrate excellence in the broadband industry and the breadth
and calibre of this year’s submissions was unprecedented with more than 145 entries.
For more information on the InfoVision Awards
winners please visit www.broadbandworldforum.com/latest_news2/20/press_pack_-_broadband_infovision_awards/_nocache.
www.cablingbusiness.com
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Contact Russell at [email protected] or
call our offIce at 214-328-1717 for more information.
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