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Is It Time to Review the Optical Fiber Setup in Your Test Lab?

Posted by Kevin Miller on Fri, Oct 25, 2019 @ 09:10 AM

As we enter the last quarter of the year, businesses are starting to or continuing to plan and budget for the upcoming year.  This may mean new investments, new equipment and other upgrades in technology or infrastructure to support and position the company to be competitive and successful in the upcoming year.  

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Topics: optical fibers, test lab, fiber network simulation

Using Fiber Network Simulation to Certify New Optical Equipment

Posted by Kevin Miller on Tue, Oct 1, 2019 @ 11:10 AM

Using Fiber Network Simulation to Certify New Optical Equipment 

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Topics: fiber optic testing, optical fiber spools, fiber network simulation

Simulating Fiber Optic Links and Latency at Financial Institutions

Posted by Kevin Miller on Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 11:09 AM

For banking and financial companies in the digital age, having reliable and predictable connectivity to markets along with minimal latency is critical to their success.  A financial network backbone must ensure a customer’s access to funds, particularly after hours, while delivering an additional layer of security and visibility of the most up to date financial data.  But how can a bank or financial institution have confidence that their network will perform as expected?  The solution is to accurately simulate field links and latency in a lab environment to validate system performance will be at the high level it needs to be.

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Topics: optical fibers, fiber optic network simulation, financial, latency simulator

Simulating Fiber Optic Links and Latency in the Utilities Industry

Posted by Kevin Miller on Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 09:09 AM

It is well known that fiber optics are at the heart of data-focused industries such as telecommunications, cable, and enterprise networking.  But fiber optic technology also plays a critical role for utility providers such as electric, gas, and water. Simulating the network and testing for latency are keys to successfully deploying fiber networks in the utilities industry.

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Topics: optical fiber spools, fiber optic network simulator, simulate latency, utilities

Passive Optical Networks (PONs) & Why It’s Important to Test Them Before Deployment

Posted by John Kornegay on Fri, Jun 21, 2019 @ 12:06 PM

The fact that fiber optics are used in the transmission of light-signal data is widely known, as is the fact that separated ways are required to allow those signals to arrive at their intended destination. Typically speaking, there are two types of network that are employed to achieve this goal:

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Topics: WDM, lgx splitter, 40G, pon simulator

Fiber Optic Network Simulation and Latency Platform Saves Significant Rack Space

Posted by John Kornegay on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 @ 10:04 AM

The versatile Fiber Lab 750 from M2 Optics offers multiple lengths of optical fiber in just 3RU, saving 50% or more rack space for engineers.

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Topics: delay line, optical delay line, fiber coil

High-Density Optical Time Delay Platform for Fiber Optic Networks

Posted by John Kornegay on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 @ 17:03 PM

The customizable Fiber Lab 250HD from M2 Optics provides a versatile solution for communications service providers, test labs, and research institutions.

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Topics: delay line, optical delay line, fiber coil

Types of Optical Delay Lines: Passive and Active

Posted by Kevin Miller on Tue, Mar 5, 2019 @ 14:03 PM

 

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Topics: optical time delay, optical delay line, rf over fiber, ODL, fiber coil, RFoF

Fusion or Mechanical: Which Is the Best Splicing Method?

Posted by John Kornegay on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 @ 16:02 PM

 

Figure 1: Fusion Splicer showing electrodes

When splicing together two lengths of fiber optic cabling, you have to choose between the two known methods - fusion splicing and mechanical splicing - which both essentially produce the same result - a secure connection between two formerly separate lengths of fiber.

However, how do you choose between them? Is one method better than the other? Well, in this article, we take a closer look at both, to provide some clarity on the subject. By reading to the end, you’ll know what the pros and cons are of each, how each connection is created and you’ll be in a better position to make a considered decision.

So, without any further delay, let’s begin.

Defining Mechanical & Fusion Splicing

The ultimate goal of cable splicing is to create a secure connection between two or more sections of fiber in a way that allows the optical signal to pass through with minimal loss. As we mentioned already, both mechanical and fusion splicing achieve this goal, but they do so in very different ways.

Fusion Splicing

Firstly, fusion splicing involves melting the two sections of fiber permanently together. This is achieved with an electrical device aptly known as a fusion splicer, and it’s something that not only melts the two parts together with an electric arc, but it is also able to align the fiber to create a good connection precisely.

Mechanical Splicing

One of the main differences with mechanical splicing is that it doesn’t permanently join the fibers together, instead of locking and aligning the pieces together with a screw mechanism. This method requires no heat or electricity at all.

The Fusion Splicing Steps

Figure 2: fusion splicer showing fiber positioning

With both mechanical and fusion splicing techniques, there are four distinct steps to the process. The first two steps for each are almost identical, but the final two are where the differences lie.

Fusion Splicing Step 1 - Preparation

To prepare the fiber for splicing, you need to strip away the jacket or sheath that surrounds the internal glass fiber. You’ll be left with bare glass when you’re finished, which should then be cleaned with an alcoholic wipe.

Fusion Splicing Step 2 - Cleaving

The next step involves cleaving the fiber, which shouldn’t be confused with cutting. Cleaving means that the fiber should be lightly scored and then flexed until it naturally breaks. To create a sound connection, you need a good, clean, smooth cleave that’s perpendicular to the fiber it’s being connected to in the fusion splicer.

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Topics: Network Optimization

Eliminate the “Dead Zone” With an OTDR Launch Box

Posted by John Kornegay on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 @ 16:01 PM
The Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is a vital tool for fiber optic testing that can analyze the performance of fiber optic cabling through the use backscattering technologies, as well as identifying and locating connectors, splices, and breaks in fiber optic networks.

However, there is an unwanted phenomenon known as ‘dead zone’ that occurs when using an OTDR, which can cause improper readings if the right steps aren’t taken. This dead zone limitation can be avoided through the use of an OTDR Launch Box, which is what we review in more detail here.

The Launch Box Basics

The launch box, which is also known in the industry as a launch fiber, pulse suppressor, dead zone box or fiber ring, is a device that helps to eliminate the dead zone issue during fiber optic testing significantly. The dead zone is something that occurs when the pulse width changes and causes a high degree of reflection that can cover an area several hundred meters from where the OTDR is located. This results in the OTDR device not being able to detect events or issues in that area.

A term launch box is a box that contains a long spool of fiber that is placed in between the fiber being tested and the OTDR. This provides extra fiber on which the dead zone can occur. This enables the OTDR to now detect events at the beginning of the fiber being tested.

Using Your Launch Box

Launch boxes come in various shapes and sizes. However, all tend to have a robust outer casing to make them more durable. Each end of the fiber is terminated, with one to be attached to the OTDR and the other to the fiber being tested. Once connected to the relevant ports, the test can be run accordingly.

While using an OTDR box is a relatively simple process, you must be sure that it contains a sufficient length of fiber to take account of the entire dead zone or you still won’t achieve a proper reading on your trace and could miss events. Choosing the right OTDR launch box is important, as they can be customized to the specific application or device.



M2 Optics OTDR Sidekick Launch Box Solution



Choosing the Right One

When choosing the right OTDR launch box for your needs, you should approach it in the same way as you would choose a fiber patch cable. Box styles along with features such as connector type, fiber type, and fiber length should all be determined. Furthermore, some launch boxes are available with bulkhead adapters while others provide directly terminated fiber ends.

As mentioned before, a dead zone can cover several hundred meters, so your launch box spool should be long enough to cater for this. It is important to make sure you choose one that suits the job, and your OTDR user manual can provide guidance regarding the expected dead zones.

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If you would like to learn more about anything else relating to packaged optical fiber solutions, network simulation, and latency/time delays, please get in touch with us at M2 Optics by calling us on 919-342-5619 or, visit our website www.m2optics.com.


Contact M2 Optics For Your FREE Fiber Consultation!

Since 2001, M2 Optics has been an established manufacturer and innovator of professional optical fiber platforms for fiber network simulation, latency / optical time delay, training, and demonstration applications. Our customer base includes many of the world's most recognized communications service providers, equipment manufacturers, data centers, web service providers, financial institutions, research institutions, and government agencies.
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Topics: otdr launch box, pulse suppressor, Network Optimization, Financial Networks