Last week at the opening of the BICSI Conference in Las Vegas, the editors of Cabling Business Magazine announced that Versiv and LinkWare Live have each won the Cabling Installation and Maintenance Innovator’s Award. These awards recognize the most innovative projects and products in the structured cabling industry. The judging panel consisted of cabling and communications system specifiers, designers, integrators and managers with vast professional experience.
Testing structured fiber cabling to international standards such as ISO/IEC 14763-3 has been defined. In the last few years, the question of loss (attenuation) measurement uncertainty has been raised. Since 14763-3 specifies test limits, the user of the standard may need to know the amount of uncertainty in the measurement. Experts from IEC, well-versed in fiber metrology and uncertainty calculations, were requested to provide simplified guidelines, a table of sorts, that a user such as an installer might find useful.
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.
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.
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.
A BIMMF design tightly confines the higher-order modes that are more likely to escape the fiber core during bending. The design achieves this by adding a specially engineered optical “trench” between the fiber core and cladding.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.