Fiber Optic Inspection—Does It Matter?

If you search on the internet, you will find that the greatest cause of optical network failures is the issues with end-face contamination. As bandwidth demands rise and lose budgets get higher, many optical managers have attached great importance to fiber optic inspection. Today, this post intends to explore why fiber optic inspection matters and how to achieve a satisfying inspection.

Why Fiber Optic Inspection Matters?

With the wide deployment of fiber optic components like fiber optic connector and fiber pigtail, everyone in fiber installation and network has a clear recognition of the importance of fiber optic inspection. In a study by NTT-Advanced Technology, most of installers think that fiber end-face contamination is a major cause of network outages and downtime.

Fiber optic inspection enables network technicians and other personnel to safely inspect fiber end-faces for contamination and verify the effectiveness of fiber cleaning procedures. In fiber optic communication, dust, dirt, oils and anything else on a connector end-face can seriously impact on network performance. Even in some dust caps, dust also exists. Except for those contaminants, some accidental behaviors also can cause damage for connecting end-face, which cause network failures too. Seeing is believing. Here are some samples of different contaminants and damage (deep scratch, dirt and oils).

fiber optic contamination

Once a fiber connecting end-face has been cleaned properly, fiber inspection should be done to ensure clean mating and optimum performance. And the inspection scope of single mode and multimode fibers includes several zones: core, cladding, adhesive and contact (as shown in the below chart).

fiber optic inspection zone

How to Achieve Good Fiber Optic Inspection?

In the world of fiber optics, where light is transmitting through an 8-micron fiber core, a speck of dirt is like a boulder in the middle of the road. How to remove this “boulder”? It’s fiber optic clean and fiber optic inspection. Here we mainly talk about the latter one.

We cannot see dust and little oil, or a small scratch with our eyes, but a fiber optic inspection microscope can do that. Fiber optic microscope is a type of microscope designed for fiber optic equipment to check unmated fiber optic connectors for dirt and end-face quality.

Fiber optic microscope usually has three major components: an illuminator, a microscopic lens system, and a visual display. The illuminator is used to project light through the optic fibers so any debris or imperfections is visible. The microscope system is to magnify the image of the optic fiber. And the picture will be shown on the display, usually a LED screen. In order to achieve a good fiber optic inspection, the fiber optic microscope is necessary.

Two Types of Fiber Optic Microscope

A fiber optic microscope generally comes into two forms: desktop type and handheld type.

Desktop Fiber Optic Microscope

A desktop fiber optic microscope has a free-standing monitor display connected to a separate microscope system, which is useful for high-volume testing or detailed inspection. Like the desktop video three-dimensional microscope, apart from the features mentioned above, it has a focusing wheel, indicator lights and X/Y axis adjusting knob, which help it have a high performance in fiber optic inspection. And finished, semi-finished, PC and APC all types can be tested with this microscope.

desktop fiber optic microscope

Handheld Fiber Optic Microscope

Handheld fiber optic microscope is like a mini version of desktop type. It fits most of the features of a desktop model into a smaller, portable package. The display and illuminator are combined into one unit, which makes it suitable for on-site inspection and in cases when testing is not regularly controlled. The following picture shows a FFOI-605 handheld fiber optic inspection probe microscope. It is used to examine installed fiber terminations or ensure terminations are smooth and clean. The most brilliant feature of this microscope is that it eliminates the need to access the backside of patch panels or disassemble hardware devices which prior to inspection.



Fiber optic inspection plays a key role in fiber optic termination and optical communication. And good fiber inspection cannot be achieved without a fiber optic microscope. No matter you are a fiber installer or a network operator, most vendors will recommend that good practice is to inspect all fiber connectors before mating.

Considerations for Fiber Optic Termination

Fiber optic cables and connectors are necessary components of current telecommunication systems which are transmitting greater information at faster speeds. As we all know, when appropriate optical cables have been selected for a system, connectors and termination method also should be taken into account to meet the system requirements. This article mainly explores several considerations for fiber optic termination and how different optical termination methods impact the performance of telecommunication systems.

fiber optic termination

Important Factors to Be Considered
Insertion Loss of Fiber Optic System

Fiber optic cabling systems support various communications technologies like Gigabit Ethernet, local area networking (LAN) and CATV (community access television). No matter what types of networks it supports, the communication devices have a limitation for maximum channel insertion loss measured in units of decibels (dB). Optical fiber channel insertion loss usually occurs when an active transmitter is linked to an active receiver via terminated fiber optic cables, splicing points and fiber optic connectors. The quality of fiber optical links’ terminations has an impact on the channel insertion loss. Poor quality terminations often cause more loss than high-performance terminations. An optical system will fail due to excessive insertion loss.

Return Loss of Optical System

Return loss is the power of the optical signal that returns towards the optical source against the direction of signal propagation, which is mainly caused by Fresnel reflections and Rayleigh back scattering. Communication systems can be impaired by an excessive amount of reflected optical power, which could alter the transmitted signal to an extent that is not the power level received by the receiver. Generally, components like connectors and mechanical splices are specified as reflectance, and system sensitivity is specified as return loss.

Fiber Optic Termination Methods

Nowadays various fiber optic connectors are available such as LC, SC and MTP connector, so are termination methods existing for different connector types. Common termination methods include no-epoxy-no-polish (NENP) connector, epoxy-and-polish (EP) and splicing.

No-epoxy/no-polish Connector

NENP connector is a type of connector that does not require the use of epoxy or polishing in the field, because those processes have been finished when the connector is made. This type of field termination is the fastest and simplest for a new installer to master. Compared with those connectors terminated in the field, the termination process (polishing the fiber end-face) of NENP connector is accomplished in advance in a manufacturing environment, which provides insurance for the fiber optic termination quality.


Epoxy-and-polish Connector

Another common termination method is to use epoxy and polish connectors. EP fiber termination includes the following steps: injecting the connector ferrule with epoxy, curing, scribing the protruding fiber from the ferrule, and polishing the ferrule end-face. During this termination process, two situations may affect the termination quality. One is the bubbles that occur in the epoxy. Another is the debris that may appear in the ferrule. Besides, the quality of the polished end-face also can directly impact both the insertion loss and reflectance.

Pigtail Splicing

Pigtail splicing is another method used to terminate an optical fiber. This method is achieved by fusing the field fiber to a factory-made pigtail in a splicing tray. The person who has some experience of pigtail splicing must know pigtails should be cleaned and cleaved before they are spliced, and the cleave precision significantly impacts splice quality.



Different fiber optic termination methods vary amounts of insertion loss and reflectance. The epoxy injection and subsequent polishing process are the most critical steps during optical terminations that determines the magnitude of air gap at a connector interface. Factory-controlled manufacturing processes ensure consistent optical performance. Field epoxy and polish procedures produce connector end-face conditions that vary among installation techniques. However, no epoxy-no-polish connectors and pigtails are not only manufactured with precise and repeatable polishing process, but insertion loss and reflectance are measured for every connector.

To ensure that epoxy and polish connectors meet specified optical performance established by industry standards, both insertion loss and reflectance must be measured after fiber is terminated. In a word, the proper optical fiber termination method should be chosen to ensure easy system installation as well as meet required insertion loss and reflectance values prescribed by either industry standards or link loss budget, or both.

Mode Conditioning Patch Cable Testing

Mode Conditioning Patch Cable Basics

Mode conditioning patch cables, sometimes also called mode conditioning patch cord (MCP), are built in the form of a simple duplex patch cable. They are designed for Gigabit Ethernet multimode applications at the 1300nm wavelength. Generally, this patch cord consists of a duplex common connector on each end of a cable assembly with a single-mode to multimode offset fiber connection in one of the two legs.


In summary, this type of patch cable has three distinctions when compared with common patch cables.

The first one is its structure that we have mentioned above. It features rugged construction with a permanent low profile offset closure which helps light go through the fiber core precisely.

The second is the reason why they are needed. Common fiber cables are the medium of light signals. However, when transceiver modules used in Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-LX) launch only single-mode (1300 nm) long wave signals, problems arise if an existing network utilizes multimode cables. And then mode condition patch cord comes to aid, making the transmission between single-mode and multimode fibers go on wheel.

The last difference of mode conditioning patch cord is its deployment method. Unlike common fiber cables, mode conditioning patch cord usually needs to be used in pairs. So these cables are usually ordered in even numbers.

Testing Methods of Mode Conditioning Patch Cable

Testing a mode conditioning patch cord for insertion loss is similar to testing any standard fiber cable assembly. If the system in which a mode conditioning patch cord is correctly installed does not function properly, simple steps can be taken to rule out the mode conditioning patch cord as the root cause. Here are the steps.

Testing the Multimode/Multimode Leg of Mode Condition Patch Cord

1. Remove the MCP from the system.

2. Reference out a multimode (MM) test jumper using a 1300nm wavelength multimode source.


3. Verify whether the connector on the receiver (RX) end of the MM reference jumper is good. Connecting the MM reference jumper to the OTS TX, and connecting another same jumper to another OTS RX. Then link the two MM fiber jumpers and measure the insertion loss across the multimode connector pair (just like the following picture shows). This value should be < 0.5 dB.


4. Replace the second MM reference jumper connected to the OTS RX with a multimode/multimode leg of MCP (shown a picture below). Measure insertion loss across this multimode connector pair. This value should be < 0.5 dB too.


Testing the Single-Mode/Multimode Leg of the Mode Conditioning Patch Cord

1. Repeat the same three steps mentioned above to measure the insertion loss across the single-mode connector pair (the value < 0.5 dB). The difference is to do it with two single-mode fiber jumpers.

2. Remove the single-mode jumper from the OTS RX, and then connecting the OTS RX to a MCP cord. Make sure the single-mode fiber part of the MCP connecting with the single-mode reference jumper, like the following picture shows. Measure the insertion loss across the single-mode connector pair.


3. Remove the connector of MCP from the OTS RX, and link the multimode fiber part of the MCP with OTS Rx using a multimode jumper used in the in the previous section. Showing in the below picture.


4. Measure insertion loss. This loss is the insertion loss of the multimode connector pair. This value should be < 0.5 dB.

5. The total insertion loss of the MCP is the sum of the loss across the two connector pairs. If the insertion loss is < 1.0 dB, then the MCP cord is functioning properly.

If the MCP cord was mistakenly reversed in the system, then there will be a very high attenuation (on the magnitude of up to 45.0 dB), which would occur resulting in severely degraded signal strength.

Notes: In the whole testing process, if the insertion loss is not < 0.5 dB, then you should separate connector pair and clean them for the second measurement.


Mode conditioning patch cable provides a convenient and reliable method of connecting multimode fiber plants with 1000Base- LX based transmission equipment compliant with IEEE 802.3 standards. This article introduces a simple method to test mode conditioning patch cable in network system. Hope it may help you.

Achieve Simple Connection With Toolless Keystone Jack

Ethernet cables like Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat 6a are widely used to connect devices on local area networks such as computers, routers and switches. In most successful connections with Ethernet cables, keystone jacks that connect a device to a network port play an important role. But nowadays a new type of keystone jack is also very prevalent. That’s toolless keystone jack. This article intends to introduce the basics and benefits of toolless keystone jack.

Toolless Keystone Jack Overview

People who have electrical cable installation experience know clearly what is a keystone jack. A keystone jack is a female connector for mounting a variety of low-voltage electrical jacks or optical connectors into a keystone wall plate, face plate, surface-mount box or a patch panel. Keystone plug is a matching male connector, usually attached to the end of a cable or cord. Traditional keystone jack needs a punch down tool to help finish cable installation, but this toolless keystone jack is different. With the snap-fit cap design, conductors can be terminated simultaneously when the cap is pressed into place, allowing for a simple installation without the need for a punch down tool. The most commonly used one is RJ45 (8P8C) toolless keystone jack.

rj45 toolless keystone jack

There are shielded and unshielded toolless keystone jacks in the market. The difference between them is whether there is a shielded STP cover outside that is designed for protection from external radiated noise. Choosing a suitable keystone jack should be based on the cables you’re connecting to. In a word, toolless keystone jacks are an ideal solution for terminating and connecting network cables.

shielded and unshielded toolless keystone jacks

Benefits to Use Toolless Keystone Jack

Compared to common keystone jacks, toolless keystone jacks have more benefits.

Easy termination. As have mentioned above, there is no need to use punch down tools in the termination process. Except that, simply insert the wires according to the color coding and press down the cap. Termination will be done. Besides, all eight wires can be terminated at a time when the cap enclosed.

Easy Installation. Flexible mounting tab allows installation from front or rear of face plate and secures module into the face plate. Besides, 568A and 568B color wiring diagram is integrated on the outside for quick identification and easy installation.

Save cost. If you do not want to invest a punch down tool for only a time installation, this keystone jack would be a perfect choice.

Convenient to verify proper wiring (only for the unshielded keystone jacks). The snap-fit cap has a large window for viewing terminations. Once the termination is done, you can check whether there is an error occurring to make sure a successful connection.

benefits of useing toolless keystone jacks

Steps to Terminate Cat6 Cable With Toolless Keystone Jack

Using tools to terminate cables is time-consuming, especially under some conditions where time is the paramount factor to be considered. Of course, toolless keystone jacks do not suitable for all cases. It should depend on the practical situation. Here is a simple installation instruction for toolless keystone jack termination.

Step one. Trim the end of the Cat6 cable with a crimping tool. Strip off the jacket to expose approximately one inch of wires. This step is similar to the termination process with RJ45 connectors.

Step two. Untwist wires and flatten them as much as possible to make preparation for the next step.

Step three. Just open the top cap, place the wires on the jack according to the color coding on the outside.

Step four. Close the top cap to snap firmly on the plug. In order to ensure a good termination, you can just insert two pairs wires at a time, then repeat the same operation until all wires are placed well.

Step five. Carefully cut off the wire ends using crimping tool. And check the keystone jack to make sure the wires are terminated well.


Toolless keystone jack provides a simple way to terminate and install Ethernet cables. With its special design, time and money can be saved. They are quite versatile and can be mounted easily into a wall plate, which makes them one of the most common and useful components of data centers and networking.

PON Transceivers for FTTH Applications

Nowadays, the requirements for higher Internet access speed keep growing in different applications such as video conference, 3D and cable TV, which result in popularity of FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) deployments. Passive Optical Networks (PON), as the leading technology used in FTTH applications, are also widely used. PON transceivers are one of the important components in PON systems. This post intends to describe some basic knowledge of PON transceivers.

Basics of PON Transceiver

PON transceiver is a type of optical transceivers which often uses different wavelengths to transmit and receive signals between an OLT (Optical Line Terminal) and ONTs (Optical Network Terminals, also called ONU). According to different standards, PON transceivers can be divided into different types. There are diplexer and the triplexer transceivers on the basis of wavelengths. For the diplexer transceivers, the 1310nm wavelength is for the upstream and 1490nm for the downstream wavelength. While for the triplexer transceiver, the 1550nm wavelength is used in the downstream direction. Of course, it is also possible that 1490nm wavelength is allocated in the downstream direction by using video over IP technologies.


According to the plugged-in device, there are OLT and ONU transceivers. Generally, OLT transceiver is more complicated than ONU transceiver. Because one OLT transceiver may need to communicate with up to 64 ONU transceivers.

Two Common Types of PON Transceiver

It’s know to all that there are two usual network architectures in PON systems: GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) and EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network). Both of them offer users high-speed services over an all-optical access network. As we have mentioned above, PON transceiver can be classified into OLT and ONU transceivers. Here mainly introduce two common OLT transceivers used in GPON or EPON network.

GPON OLT Transceiver

The GPON OLT transceiver is designed for GPON transmission. In order to illustrate this transceiver clear, let’s take the GPON OLT SFP module for an example (shown as following picture). The transceiver uses 1490nm continuous-mode transmitter and 1310nm burst-mode receiver. The transmitter section uses a high efficiency 1490nm DFB laser and an integrated laser driver which is designed to be eye safety under any single fault. The receiver section uses an integrated APD detector and bursts mode pre-amplifier mounted together. To provide fast settling time with immunity to long streams of Consecutive Identical Digits (CID), the receiver requires a reset signal provided by the media access controller (MAC). The GPON OLT SFP transceiver is a high performance and cost-effective module for serial optical data communication applications to 2.5Gpbs.


EPON OLT Transceiver

EPON OLT transceiver is designed for PON applications. It has SFP, XFP and SFP+ packages. Here we also introduce this transceiver by taking EPON OLT SFP transceiver as an example. Generally, EPON OLT SFP transceivers support 1.25Gbps downstream and 1.25Gbps upstream in EPON applications. Like the GPON OLT SFP transceiver, they also have 1490nm continuous-mode transmitter and 1310nm burst-mode receiver. And their transmission reach is 20 km. The transmitter section uses a 1490nm DFB with automatic power control (APC) function and temperature compensation circuitry, which can ensure stable extinction ratio overall temperature range. And the receiver section has a hermetically pre-amplifier and a limiting amplifier with LVPECL compatible differential outputs.


Challenges of PON Transceivers

Although PON transceivers provide a satisfying performance in FTTH applications, there still exists some challenges in the following aspects:

  • Burst-mode optical transmission technologies for the upstream link.
  • High-output-optical-power and high-sensitivity OLT at the CO (central office) are needed for the losses introduced by the optical splitters and fibers connecting subscribers’ premises.
  • The Optical Line Terminal (OLT) RX needs to be able to receive packets with large differences in optical power and phase alignment.
  • Quick rise/fall time to minimize guard time during transmission.

PON transceiver is a high performance module for single fiber communications by using continuous-mode transmitter and burst-mode receiver with different data rate and wavelengths. In this post, the basis and common types of PON transceivers are illustrated. Hope it could help you. For more information, please visit FS.COM.

Applications of Tight-Buffered Distribution Cable

Tight-buffered distribution cable is made of 900µm buffered fibers in a variety of constructions. Aramid or e-glass yarns are utilized to provide strength and to protect the fibers inside. According to different application requirements, these cables can be manufactured with different jackets such as LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) and PVC jackets. And they are available in numbers of applications, including horizontal distribution, backbone and riser applications, patch cords, rack to rack links in equipment rooms and short run external inter-building links. This article intends to give a simple introduction to the applications of different types of tight-buffered distribution cable.


When it comes to deploying cables for indoor applications, the important factor that should be considered is flame ratings. Riser (OFNR) tight-buffered distribution cable is ideal for indoor applications. Its tight-bound, tight-buffered design allows cables to be installed in inter-building backbone and inter-building campus locations without costly transitions between cable types. Complaint with ANSI/UL 1666-1997, they are deployed to effectively prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor in a building when there is a fire. But OFNR cables cannot be installed in plenum areas since they do not have the required fire and smoking rating as plenum rated cables which have good flame-retardant ability.

Armored LSZH/Plenum Tight-Buffered Distribution Cable for Outdoor Applications

As we all know, fiber optic cable is fragile and easy to get damage, especially in harsh environments. Armored LSZH tight-buffered distribution cable consists of tight buffer fiber, glass yarn strength member, corrugated steel tape armor and a double LSZH jacket being of UV stabilized, water and moisture resistant. Because of its solid construction, armored LSZH tight-buffered distribution cable is a good choice for LAN backbones, direct burial, ducts, under floor or ceiling spaces.


Armored plenum tight-buffered distribution cable is placed in a flexible metal tube, which is filled with aramid yarn strength members within inner jacket for ensuring excellent tensile strength and flexibility. Over the tube, there are aramid yarns and outer jacket to provide crucial protection for fiber. These cables is an ideal solution for indoor or outdoor applications in customer premises, central offices and in harsh environments.

Considerations When Choosing Tight-Buffered Distribution Cable

Apart from the cable types mentioned above, now there are various kinds of tight-buffered distribution cables in the market to meet different application requirements. How to choose a suitable one to optimize a connection performance? Here are some considerations for you.

Application Space

Different cables have different suited working areas. Their characteristics determine where they can be used. For example, as we have mentioned above, when choosing the right tight-buffered distribution cables for indoor applications, flame ratings need to be taken into account. Plenum has the highest flame rating, which suits for air handing spaces. While riser has middle flame rating, which is suitable for vertical cable runs.

Cable Type & Fiber Count

Generally, fiber type includes OS2, OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 to meet different applications of single-mode or multimode cabling. Fiber counts are also should be considered once the fiber type is determined. There are available fiber counts from 1 to 24 fibers. Of course, some manufacturers also offer customized services.


Fiber Characteristics

Tight-buffered distribution cables are designed with different specifications to meet diverse indoor or outdoor applications. For instance, because the inside fibers are not individually reinforced, unitized tight-buffered distribution cable is often terminated into a fiber enclosure to protect inside fibers. While the non-unitized one usually used as pigtails and jumpers because of its softness and easy-to-peel.


Tight-buffered distribution cables are suitable for indoor and outdoor cable runs. By adding armor, they also can provide protection for fibers from water or other harsh conditions. What’s more, they are easy to prepare for termination and offer more flexibility for cabling. FS.COM provides a wide range of tight-buffered cables that can satisfy diverse indoor and outdoor application demands and requirements. If you want to know more details, please kindly contact us via

10G Network Access Options: Which One Benefits You Most?

Since the IEEE standard for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) has been ratified several years ago, 10GbE is popular in corporate backbones, data centers and server rooms of large enterprises. As time goes by, 10GbE technology is booming. This post mainly focuses on two prevalent 10G network access connectivity options and what benefits operators can get from them.

10G Network Access Connectivity Options

With improvements in utilization and virtualized assets, network servers now increased input and output demand. In order to meet this growing demand, there are two common connecting solutions in 10GbE networks: SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC) and 10Gbase-T SFP+ transceiver modules.


DACs have been put into practice since about 2007. SFP+ DAC is a copper interconnect using a passive twinax cable assembly that connects directly into an SFP+ housing. By using inexpensive copper cable with SFP+ plugs integrated at both ends, SFP+ DAC offers 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity between devices with SFP+ interfaces. Besides, SFP+ DAC has passive and active conversions. Passive version suits connections up to 7m and active version fixes connectivity up to 15m. Due to the distance limitation, the target application of SFP+ DAC is interconnection of top-of-rack switches and storage devices in a rack. In a word, SFP+ DAC is a low cost solution for shorter distances.


10Gbase-T SFP+ Transceiver Modules

10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver module is well known as SFP+ form-factor, utilizing Cat 6a UTP (Unshielded Twisted Paired) structured cabling for network connectivity. In addition, this type of transceiver supports links up to 30m on Cat6 or Cat7 cable, which is longer than SFP+ DACs. It’s the first SFP+ transceiver that offers 10Gb/s communication over this type of media. And this SFP+ transceiver module is compatible with SFF-8432 and plugs into any standard SFP+ interface. Its standard RJ45 socket fits connections to any Cat 6a cabling.


SFP+ DAC Vs. 10Gbase-T SFP+, Which Option Is Better?

Deploying a smooth connection, a number of factors should be taken into account. As the price and power consumption continues to grow, choosing the most practical solution becomes important. Then, SFP+ DAC Vs. 10Gbase-T SFP+, which one is superior?

First, let’s make clear what benefits the two options can offer.

Options Advantages Disadvantages
SFP+ DAC Low overall cost; low power consumption; low latency; offer “pay-as-you-grow” flexibility Short transmission distance; need more cost when installed in Cat 6a cable
10Gbase-T SFP+ Transceiver Longer reach; familiar RJ45 connectors and Cat 5/6/7 cables; Interoperable with any SFP+ cage and connector system Relatively high latency which may cause delays in CPU and application works

We have a simple comparison between SFP+ DAC and 10Gbase-T SFP+ transceiver modules. From the chart, we can see each comes with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

With lower power consumption and lower latency, SFP+ DAC is a great choice for large high-speed computing applications where latency is an important factor. But SFP+ DACs offer less than a 10m distance. If the transmission distance increases, so does the cost. What’s more, SFP+ DACs are factory terminated and must be purchased in pre-determined lengths, which add overhead to cable management inventory. 10Gbase-T SFP+ transceiver modules have a good interoperability because of its RJ45 interface, which means this transceiver offers more design flexibility using structured cabling approach for longer distances up to 100 meters.


SFP+ DAC and 10Gbase-T SFP+ transceiver modules play an important role in 10GbE network systems. When there is a need to choose between SFP+ DAC and 10Gbase-T SFP+ transceiver, carefully consider your practical needs. If power consumption and latency are critical for you, SFP+ DAC may be suitable for you. And if flexibility and long reach are more important, then 10Gbase-T SFP+ transceiver module is a better solution.

Fiber Optic Splitter Termination Box for FTTH Applications

The continual expansion of broadband networks and the resulting set up of fiber to the home (FTTH) infrastructures make network organizers adopt powerful management and planning systems. Fiber optic splitter termination box is a small part of this system. Today, this post mainly focuses on the basics of splitter termination box and its benefits.

Fiber Optic Splitter Termination Box Overview

Fiber optic splitter termination box, here mainly referring to PLC splitter termination box, is a kind of fiber termination box. It is often deployed in FTTH applications for connecting feeder and distribution cables through optical splitters. And it can distribute cables after installing splitters and also can draw out room fiber optic cables in direct or cross-connections. The splitter termination box is suitable for fiber terminal point to complete connection, distribution and scheduling between perimeter fiber cables and terminal equipment, especially suitable for mini-network terminal distribution. Therefore, it is widely applied in FTTH indoor and outdoor terminal applications.


Common Types of Splitter Termination Box

Fiber optic splitter termination box offers a cost-effective way for the FTTH access network. And there are different types in the market. According to the configuration types of PLC splitter, there are three common types of splitter termination box: plug-in type PLC splitter termination box, blockless PLC splitter termination box and ABS PLC splitter termination box. Here is a simple introduction to them.

Plug-in Type PLC Splitter Termination Box

This type of PLC splitter termination box can accommodate plug-in type PLC splitter with different configuration types such as 1×8, 1×16, 1×32 and 1×64. If loaded with fiber pigtails and adapters, this termination box can offer a one-step solution for cable distribution. This box is usually made of SPCC. And it has two layers. One is for light splitting. Another is for splicing. With simply and clearly arranged incoming and outgoing cable management, the box is convenient for installation, maintenance and subsequent termination.


Blockless PLC Splitter Termination Box

Generally, this type of termination box can accommodate 1×4, 1×8 and 1×16 blockless PLC splitters. It is suitable for wall and pole mount with 1-3 inlet ports, 8-24 outlet ports, and up to 24 FTTH drops. They have the function of mechanical splice, fusion splice, light splitting, wiring distributions, etc. Besides, the quantity of pigtail and adapters that are loaded inside this termination box also can be matched flexibly.


Like the two types of PLC splitter termination box mentioned above, this ABS PLC splitter termination box can accommodate 1×32 and 1×64 ABS PLC splitter. And its box has two cable ports, 10-14mm cable diameter capacity and three splice trays in maximum. Capacity of main backbone cable is 12 simplex fibers. It is suitable for corridor, basement, room and building’s outer walls application with the function of mechanical splice, fusion splice, light splitting, wiring distributions.


Apart from the classification listed above, fiber optic splitter termination box also can be classified in terms of the capacity of ports such as 1×4, 1×6, 1×8, 1×16, etc.

Features and Benefits

Fiber optic splitter termination box enables service providers to accelerate their deployments more effectively and is an ideal solution when deploying networks in FTTH applications. And it offers increased efficiency within distinct FTTX network applications. Featuring a compact solution for wall mounting, these termination boxes provide a significant space savings while maintaining hand access to connectors. Following are the features and benefits of deploying fiber optic splitter termination box.

  • Provide a small footprint for splitting, splicing and terminating and are environmentally rated for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Available in several types, each box can equip with splice tray allowing for an input splicing option.
  • Accept standard splitters and splitters can be easily added after the termination box has been installed. And it can accommodate 1×4, 1×8, 1×16, 1×32 fibers, up to 64 fibers.
  • Its small size and flexible mounting options offer easy integration into cell sites and huts, providing on-demand capacity for wireless back haul applications.
  • Offer an economical solution for applications where larger sized FDHs (fiber distribution hubs) may be unfeasible.

Fiber optic splitter termination box provides a cost-effective solution for FTTH applications. Nowadays some manufacturers provide this type of box with pre-installed fiber splitters, adapters, splice trays or pre-terminated pigtail assemblies, which help to reduce installation time and cost and satisfy different requirements of customers.

Things to Know About Laser Optimized Fibers

As transmission speeds over fiber optic networks increase continually, demands for fast speed from 1Gps to 10Gbps, 40Gbps even 100Gbps are also growing day by day. In order to satisfy this demand, a relative term, “laser optimized fiber”, has come into being. However, what is laser optimized fiber? How much do you know about it? Getting to know the answers from this article will help you make preparations for the latest wave in optical communications.

What Is Laser Optimized Fiber?

Laser optimized fiber, usually refers to OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers, is different from standard multimode fiber optic cables such as OM1 and OM2 by incorporating graded refractive index profile fiber optic cable into each assembly. It means, in laser optimized fiber, refractive index of the core glass decreases toward the outer cladding, allowing paths of light towards the outer edge of the fiber to travel more quickly. This increase in speed equalizes the travel time for both short and long light paths, which ensure the accurate information transmission and receipt over much longer distances.


Laser optimized fiber optic cables are used in high speed fiber optic communications. For instance, 10G OM3 fiber optic patch cable is one of typical laser optimized fibers. It is more and more popular in backbone of the WANs (wide area networks) and data processing centers, for it not only optimizes the fiber transmission channel and space usage, but also simplifies the deployment and system test, as well as provides good performance for density installations.

Why Optical Fibers Are “Optimized”?

As we all know, traditional optical systems utilize inexpensive LED (light emitting diodes) light sources. This kind of light source is suitable for lower speeds but not for higher speeds. As the demand for higher bandwidth increased, LEDs no longer keep pace. They could not support greater transmission rates required. Therefore, a high-speed laser light source named VCSEL (vertical cavity surface-emitting laser) appears. Compared with the traditional one, this light source is well suited for 850nm multimode transmission systems, allowing for higher data rates. With the advent of VCSELs, multimode fiber had to be “optimized” for operations with lasers.


Benefits of Laser Optimized Fiber Cable

Laser optimized multimode fibers offer a unique solution for premise networking applications by enabling data transmission over longer distances, previously only available through single-mode solutions. After VCSELs appear, in order to fully capitalize on the benefits that VCSELs offer, laser optimized cables have been specifically designed, fabricated, and tested for efficient and reliable use with VCSELs. Here are some major benefits of laser optimized fiber cables.

  • Laser optimized fibers have lower total cost. It reduces immediate capital costs by extending the reach of low-cost optical transceivers, reducing or eliminating the need for higher-cost, single-mode fiber.
  • Laser optimized fibers often use multimode optical transceivers which require less power than single-mode transceivers. Besides, it also offers a superior upgrade path to faster applications without the need to replace cabling infrastructure or reconfigure data center architecture.
  • Laser optimized fiber cables have faster speed over longer distances. It allows 100 gigabit Ethernet at distances of up to 600 feet, which provide a more cost-effective solution for data centers when compared with higher cost single-mode optic fiber.
  • Laser optimized fiber is completely compatible with LEDs and other fiber optic applications. They can be installed at slower data rates or higher data rate. The cabling infrastructures based on laser optimized fibers are fully compatible with emerging, current, and older applications, and provides the longest reach possible over multimode fiber.

Laser optimized fiber optic cable enables data transmission over longer distances previously only feasible with single-mode fiber. It has more advantages when compared with common fiber optic cables. FS.COM supplies various kinds of OM3 and OM4 laser optimized cables as well as other types of optical cables such as OM1, OM2 to meet different cabling requirements. Welcome to visit FS.COM for more detailed information.

Things You Need to Know About Patch Panel

Nowadays how to achieve efficient cable management is an essential aspect in network cable installation. Patch panel, as a crucial element of an interconnected network cabling, is able to realize the connection, allocation and scheduling of cable links easily. This post will introduce some information about patch panels which can help you get further understanding of them.

What Is a Patch Panel and How Does It Work?

Patch panels, also called jack fields and patch bays, are network parts held together within telecommunication closets that connect incoming and outgoing local area network (LAN) lines or other communication, electronic and electrical systems. If engineers want to set up a wired network which contains multiple wall ports in various rooms, patch panels can offer a simple, neat and easy-to-manage solution. There are various patch panels based on the number of ports like 12 Ports, 24 Ports, 48 Ports, etc.


When patch panels are deployed in network systems, its major function is to bundle multiple network ports together to connect incoming and outgoing lines. For example, when patch panels become part of a LAN (local area network), they can link computers to outside lines. And those lines, in return, allow LANs to connect to wide area networks or other Internet. With patch panels, engineers just need to plug and unplug the corresponding patch cords to arrange circuits, which improve efficiency greatly.

The Importance of Patch Panels

As we all know, patch panels are typically attached to the network racks, mostly above or below the network switches. They consist of ports to quickly connect cables. Available in different sizes and configurations, patch panels can be customized to fit different network requirements. But all patch panels have a similar feature that they are important for networks to configure new equipment or phase out old components.

Patch panels from main links are to collect data and route it to where its destination. They are so critical to a system that if anything goes wrong with them, the entire system may fail. That means that patch panels are very important to network system.

Further more, although there are no physical limits existing for a patch panels’ size, many of them have ports from 24 to 96. And for a larger network, hundreds of ports may be needed, which is another important factor—as the network grows, more ports mean the ability to accommodate ever-expanding demand.

Besides, patch panels also help electricians and network engineers by offering convenient, flexible routing options. Because a patch panel has numerous ports in close proximity, cables can be routed, labeled and monitored easily and efficiently.

Copper or Fiber Patch Panel?

There is no doubt that patch panels are extremely important in cabling systems. And they are one of the few components used in both copper and fiber cabling networks.


Copper patch panels are typically made with 8-pin modular ports on one side and 110-insulation displacement connector blocks on the other side. Wires coming into the panel are terminated the insulation displacement connector. On the opposite side, the 8-pin modular connector plugs into the port which corresponds to the terminated wires. With the copper panel, each pair of wires has an independent port. And fiber patch panels need two ports for a pair of wires, one for the transmitting end and another for the receiving end. Fiber panels tend to be faster to operate than copper ones. Of course, they are also more expensive.

Therefore, when it comes to copper patch panel, each pair of wires has a port. While fiber patch panel requires two ports, but it is easier to be installed. What’s more, some professionals think there is no real difference in the performance and construction, while others have different opinions. They maintain that the fiber patch panels are better, even though they are more expensive than the copper counterpart. However, no matter what type of patch panels you choose, they must be based on practical situations.


As the growing demands for more effective cabling, patch panels also get more development. Manufactures are now trying to produce more convenient patch panels such as front-access panels, which allow users to terminate and manage cables from the front. Getting further understanding of patch panels can help you choose suitable patch panels for your networks.