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Tier 1 Testing using an OTDR on Installed Fiber Cabling????

Seymour Goldstein

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is committed, by formal consensus, to develop standards for the benefit of industry and is represented by hundreds of companies. While participating companies cooperate to develop standards, each have their commercial business interests to protect. Sometimes, these companies over-reach to meet their business goals. Fortunately, the TIA voting and balloting process works well as a means to check and balance sometimes rogue proposals.

Testing Installed Fiber Cabling Terminated with MPO Connectors

Seymour Goldstein

Several published standards describe how to perform attenuation measurements on installed fiber optic cabling. However, no standard exists that provides guidance for testing installed fiber optic cabling terminated with MPO connectors. Currently, a technical report (TR) is being drafted that provides such testing guidance.

What You Need to Know About Testing BIMMF

Seymour Goldstein

Developed for use in data centers and enterprise network applications with a very tight loss budget, bend insensitive multimode fiber (BIMMF) is able to withstand tighter bends with substantially less signal loss than non-BIMMF.

HOML as a Source Qualification Test

Seymour Goldstein

TIA adopted IEC 61280-4-1, the standard defining attenuation measurements of installed multimode fiber cabling, as ANSI/TIA 526-14-C.

In IEC 61280-4-1, the encircled flux launch is defined as normative (required) for these cases and there is no intention to change requirements in the next edition:
Case 1 - 50 μm core fiber at 850 nm,
Case 2 - 50 μm core fiber at 1300 nm,
Case 3 - 62.5 μm core fiber at 850 nm,
Case 4 - 62.5 μm core fiber at 1300 nm.

Revision to IEC 61280-4-1 Ed 2.0, Fibre-optic communication subsystem test procedure – Part 4-1: Installed cable plant – Multimode attenuation measurement

Seymour Goldstein

This primary international standard provides guidance for measurement of attenuation using power meters, light sources and OTDRs on 50/125 µm and 62.5 µm multimode fiber cabling that may include connectors, adapters and splices. Various test methods and cabling configurations are described. This report gives important information regarding upcoming changes for anyone needing to specify testing. Architects, Consultants and Engineers may use this information to learn of changes in IEC, anticipate customer concerns and gain insight to cabling testing trends.

Standards Update: The Four A’s of Harmonization

Seymour Goldstein

With ANSI/TIA being a North American standards body and ISO/IEC considered international, some often question why we need both, especially considering the similarities between the two.

It’s Not You. It’s Your Tester

Robin Rees

When it comes to testing your multimode optical fiber installation, inconsistent results can leave you confused and wondering if you are within your loss budget. And with today’s higher speed fiber links that require even tighter loss budgets, accuracy is more critical than ever.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The launch condition of the light source you’re using to test has the greatest influence on your loss measurements. In other words, the wrong launch condition means the wrong measurements.

What you need is a properly controlled launch that is consistent and accurate—neither overfilled nor underfilled. Overfilled may leave you thinking you’ve gone over budget, while underfilled may leave you thinking you have room for more loss when—in fact—you do not.

The End of Era: Saying Goodbye to DTX

Mark Mullins

The year was 2004. The hottest mobile device was the Motorola Razr flip phone, Pierce Brosnan was still able to pull off a James Bond role, Facebook was a website nobody’s parents knew about, and The Red Sox won the World Series. It was also the same year that Fluke Networks introduced the DTX CableAnalyzer.

Standards Update: Copper on the Move

Mark Mullins

In the 2009/2010 timeframe, copper standards got a lot of attention with the publication of the TIA-568-C standards and ISO 11801 2nd edition for 10-gigabit copper cabling, as well as IEEE 802.3at for PoE Plus.

While more applications and devices continue to take advantage of that technology, there has been plenty of standards development action taking place behind the scenes that is keeping copper on the move.

Standards Update: The Four A’s of Harmonization

Mark Mullins

 

With ANSI/TIA being a North American standards body and ISO/IEC considered international, some often question why we need both, especially considering the similarities between the two.

But there are also plenty of differences—from terminology and spelling, to policy and codes. The good news is that with technology having made our world a much smaller place, TIA and IEC are fast at work harmonizing standards.

New DSX-5000 Endorsements: Eurolan & Furukawa Industrial S.A.

Mark Mullins

We’re very excited to announce that two more manufacturers have endorsed the DSX-5000 this month! Eurolan has over 1,000 certified installers and engineers, and is a major supplier in Russia and the CIS countries. Furukawa Industrial S.A, is a major supplier with Centre of Excellence for Latin America in the manufacture of optical and metallic cables and has over 37 years of history in Brazil . This brings the total of number of manufacturers worldwide who have provided their endorsement to: a whopping 26!

Slash Fiber Job Completion Time with New Fiber Testing and Certification Tools

Harley Lang

The datacom industry is fast adapting an “all-for-fiber, fiber-for-all” mantra. Fiber developments and growth are everywhere, from high-speed data centers to bandwidth-hungry enterprises to Google Fiber. 

No More “Dang It!” moments – Analyze and Manage Copper or Fiber Test Results Anytime, Anywhere

Adrian Young

At Fluke Networks, we take test and measurement seriously. Proving that point, we recently announced the world’s first cloud-connected cable certification tool. That’s right, we unveiled LinkWare™ Live, a cloud-based service that enables contractors, cable installers and project managers using the Versiv™ family of certification testers to upload, manage, and analyze certification test results from cabling projects – anytime, anywhere.

Introducing the Versiv Family Yearbook: Class of 2014

Harley Lang

For most structured cabling professionals, the days of nostalgically flipping through the pages of a school yearbook have passed. But Fluke Networks has introduced the next best thing – The Versiv Family Yearbook: Class of 2014.

Trends to Watch in 10GBASE-T and the Data Center

Harley Lang

Network engineers need to pay attention to some emerging trends in the industry. In a report published earlier this year, “Data Center Switch Long-Range Forecast Report,’ Crehan Research Inc. predicted that the data center switch market will grow to $16 billion by 2017, and Ethernet, including Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet, will become an ever-increasing portion of the overall market.

Fluke Networks Offers New Wireless Bundle

Karthik Krishnaswamy
Cabling installers and contractors who provide wireless network deployments for businesses, government organizations and other customers can expect to see a rapidly growing market over the next several years.
 
Enterprises are moving away from traditional wired networks and replacing them with Wi-Fi networks, as more users are demanding access to the Web and corporate data and applications from their wireless devices.

Prevent Errors, Limit Complexity and Reduce Cost Associated with Cable Certification

Robert Luijten

Perhaps the last thing a buyer of cable test equipment thinks about when looking for a product is how to prevent testing errors—and that’s a big mistake. While issues such as cost, standards and specifications including bandwidth and test speeds are important, decision makers should not ignore the issues of project errors and the subsequent delays they can cause.

The Importance of ETL Verification

Adrian Young

  If you’re in the cable testing business, you should know about ETL Verification.

New Infographic on What's Really Going On in the Minds of Structured Cabling Professionals

Harley Lang

You're deep in the trenches of cabling projects everyday, ensuring cleanliness, testing links and troubleshooting problems when they arise.

A New Tester for the New Normal: Introducing the Versiv Family of Certification Tools

Harley Lang

Terms like virtualization, cloud, SLA, SANs, SaaS and BYOD are all the rage in today's technology world.

Free Cable Test Management Software – Reaping the Benefits of LinkWare™

Harley Lang

Testing advanced cabling plants today is so complex that a single Category 5e test report can include more than 400 data fields. With typical jobs including hundreds and even thousands of links, even if network engineers examine all the results and determine that they all pass, there are still critical questions remaining: How can you tell if an incorrect test specification or the wrong adapter was used? Were all testers using the right software? Did you get the margins you expected and were they consistent?

How to Increase Multimode Testing Accuracy with Encircled Flux

Harley Lang

Anyone who’s ever tested a multimode fiber optic link with light sources from different equipment vendors will know that the loss measurement can vary by as much as 50 percent. Without proper controls, multimode light sources will inject light differently into multimode fibers.   Even light sources from the same manufacturer operating under different launch conditions, will produce diverse link-loss measurements, leading to different—and often confusing—test results.

Co-location Data Center Operators Testing Next Generation Cabling.

Harley Lang
I recently had occasion to visit with several individuals from a high growth sub segment of our industry. Co-location data centers enable organizations to rent equipment space and bandwidth.

OTDR Troubleshooting in the Data Center? ...Yes we can!

Harley Lang

The growing demand for higher bandwidth is affecting nearly every industry today, as organizations rely more on applications that support a variety of critical business processes. Whether it’s high-definition video, social media support, electronic medical records or other high-bandwidth applications, companies increasingly are facing a need to support higher capacity data transmission for their employees, customers and business partners. This trend toward greater capacity has in turn created an increased need for high bandwidth fiber optic cabling in the data center.

Encircled Flux – What is it, and Why Should You Care?

Harley Lang

With the introduction of low loss fiber optic components such as LC/MPO cassettes, loss budgets (test limits) are becoming increasingly smaller. As a result, installers are finding out that previous methods and assumptions about fiber testing no longer hold true.

While the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) still allows 0.75 dB per connector, factory polished connectors are closer to 0.2 dB. So when testing to TIA limits, installers are afforded quite a bit of measurement uncertainty. In other words, their testing practices need to be reasonable but not perfect.

Finding the keys to success in the MPO datacenter

Harley Lang

As companies try to address the rising demand in IP traffic in order to support a growing array of business applications, many are designing their data centers with fiber optic networks that support 10G or 40G Ethernet connections between servers, switches and storage area networks, and 100G Ethernet for core switching and routing backbone connections.

Need to test MPO cabling? No problem. -New MultiFiber Pro Optical Loss Tester reduces test time by 95%

Harley Lang

MPO cabling used to be a royal pain to test.  Traditional cable testers just couldn't make the complexity of testing 12 fibers and managing a variety of polarity schemes easy. The technician had to use expensive fanout cables, and manually keep track of which fiber of which fiber was which.  Some network engineers I have spoken with in the healthcare industry had even decided not to use MPO cabling because testing was so hard to do in the field.

LinkWare 7 –A good thing just got a lot better!

Harley Lang

What do Albert Einstein and Michael Jordan have in common?  No, they’re not both LinkWare users… They focused on continuously learning and pushing the envelope even though they were already far ahead of everybody else. Just like our engineers who worked tirelessly to rebuild LinkWare from the ground up and make the best even better. Improvements include:

This one is for the ages! New OTDR redefines enterprise fiber testing.

Harley Lang

By now you will have heard about the new OptiFiber Pro OTDR  and that’s a relief for me because I’ve been biting my tongue for a while!  Now that its been announced, let me share my impressions and an overview of what makes the product unique.  I will also include some links to more detailed information.  Take this from a guy that has spent five of the last seven years playing with OTDRs… I’ve used them all.  And this one is going to change everything!

For the Good Times. -Looking back on the DSP Series one year after the retirement of repair and calibration services.

Harley Lang

The end of March marks one year since calibration and service was available for the DSP 4300, and an end of an era for technicians certifying cabling with the Series.  It was a long love affair. The DSP 100 was the first of the Series. It was introduced in 1995. That year the DVD was selected as the home video format, a gallon of gasoline cost $1.09, and we all had to undure the infamous OJ Simpson trial.

Would you fight this speeding ticket? The 10% rule explained.

Harley Lang

Ironically my desire to speed in traffic evaporated when I bought a real sports car.  But this story is not about me and my desire to push the limits.  It’s about you.

Cloudy days ahead!

Harley Lang

Everybody is talking about the cloud.  Most of the chatter is about how it is changing the way we interact with data and our electronic devices.  But what those of us in the cabling industry want to know about is how the cloud can represent business opportunity. 

Re-upped!

Harley Lang

I received my new RCDD certificate, good through the end of 2014, in the mail last week. My reaction was more pensive than the elation I experienced after first passing the exam in 2003.

Why a Cat 6A Patch Cord Adapter has that funny little “A” next to the 6

Harley Lang

If you’ve seen a set of Category 6A  Patch Cord Test Adapters, you may have wondered why the “A” is subscripted.  It has to do with the standards that the adapters support. The little “A” denotes that the adapter meets the ISO/IEC specifications for a patch cord test.

The worlds most trusted cable tester reaches an imporant milestone

Harley Lang
When I was a technician we worried about, bad cable, poorly performing jacks, and doubted our testers. The threat of ongoing callbacks and the risk of large installation re-dos keep contractors up at night. Those that have passed the test of time don’t leave much to chance.  But the contractors I know do make decisions based on trust. And trust is earned over time through a series of trials, tests and demonstration of performance.    

VoIP for the masses…the end of “voice grade cabling”

Harley Lang
When I was a cable installer, we often built redundant networks for voice and data communications.  The data cabling was terminated on patch panels, and the voice grade cabling was terminated on wiring blocks. There are thousands of installations done this way.  And there were lots of reasons for it, including cost.  But I think the major reason we kept installing separate “voice grade cabling”  was that , deep down, the key influencers of cabling installation design didn’t believe that the end of voice circuits  would ever happen.

Encircled Flux still a hot topic in the standards

Harley Lang

Fluke Network's fiber optic technologist Seymour Goldstein just returned from Melbourn Australia where he attended IEC SC86C/WG1, and ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC25/WG3  meetings.  I caught up with him this week and got a download from his trip.

Product Registration...Whats the point?

Harley Lang

I don't register products that I buy.  I am not worried about another email or phone call, black helicopters, or any of that.  It's just that most of the stuff I purchase isn't worth the effort to fill out a form, find a stamp, and mail it to the manufacturer.  And like you, I am really busy with other tasks that seem more important.  For example, by the time I got ready to mail the registration form in for my Bose headphones, the only apparent benefit (the rebate) had lapsed.  So am I a hypocrate to sa

A visit from visionaries Koeman, Thwing, and Martins.

Harley Lang

The other day I heard a familiar, yet unexpected voice coming from the Fluke Networks Lab. In a moment I recognized the voice of Henri Koeman, the retired long time Fluke Networks employee and veteran of the cabling standards commitees. 

The Truth About Twisted Pair Patch Cords Take 2

Harley Lang

As I mentioned in the previous blog, the interest in patch cord testing caught my attention.  I picked up some cords from local distributors, got a DTX CableAnalyzer a couple of sets of patch cord adapters, and hit the lab for a couple of hours.  My goal was to take a crack at some of the myths about patch cords: 

The Truth about Twisted Pair Patch Cords

Harley Lang

Non compliant cabling products have been the subject of magazine articles, discussions at conferences, publicized lawsuits, and government agency investigations during the last few years.

Blog A001

Harley Lang

As you can tell from the title of this post, this is my first Cabling Chronicles blog.  My name is Harley Lang and I'll be the guy doing most of the blogging here, so let me introduce myself and how I got here. The story could start with a ten year old boy using a lineman's snips for school art projects, but instead it starts in 1995 when I was a college sophomore, fresh out of the Marine Corps and in need of a job.