Types of fiber cable and standards

Multimode, 50- and 62.5-micron cable—Multimode cable has a large-diameter core and multiple pathways of light. It comes in two core sizes: 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 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).

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. Both also use either LED or laser light sources. 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 distance than multimode cable. Consequently, single-mode cable is typically used 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 single-mode fiber strands full-duplex for up to twice the throughput of multimode fiber.

Here is a breakdown of specifications:

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Register to win a Veri-NAC 5220!

Register to Win a Veri-NAC 5220
Network access control (NAC) prevents unauthorized devices from connecting to your network through data ports—which are inside your network. Unauthorized users can plug in, but with a NAC in place, they can’t connect.

From now until March 31st, register to win your own Veri-NAC 5220. We’re giving away five!

Protect your customers’ information. Register to win a Veri-NAC 5220 for your small network, and protect your network from vulnerabilities firewalls can’t defend against.

For official contest rules click here.

Good luck to all!

Buying tips: Plasma v. LCD Screens

When deciding whether to use plasma or liquid crystal diode (LCD) displays for your applications, you need to consider many factors. Both provide brilliant color, sharp text contrast, and crystal-clear images. But the way in which plasma and LCD screens process and display incoming video/computer signals is markedly different.

Compare and contrast.
Both plasma and LCD technology provide stark enough contrasts to make displays sharp and pleasing. But when it comes to contrast output, plasma technology outperforms LCD screens. Some plasma displays have a 3000:1 contrast ratio, which is the measure of the blackest black compared to the whitest white. LCDs use electric charges to untwist liquid crystals, thereby blocking light and emitting darker pixels. Despite this process, LCD displays don’t produce more than a 1000:1 contrast ratio.

Clarity that’s light waves ahead.
Pixels contain enough information to produce every color in the spectrum. Because plasmas use each and every pixel on their screens, color information is reproduced more accurately. Plasma screens display moving images with remarkable clarity, though burn-in can be an issue. For displays with lots of light and dark imagery, plasma panels provide excellent performance with their high-contrast levels, color saturation, and overall brightness.

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How to spot fake UL® holographic labels with UL® Authenticator Card

UL®, as part of its continuing program to identify counterfeit cable, has an Authenticator Card that can be used to identify genuine gold holographic labels. This special credit card-sized device can be used to better identify counterfeit products with illegitimate UL holograms. The card has a special window on it. When moved across the special UL logo made with color-shifting ink, the UL should appear and disappear. To get the Authenticator Card, go to ul.com/marks, use the Label Order form, and the part number 1000-S0132. Or you can call any Label Center listed on their Web site. The cards will also be available at the BICSI Winter Exhibition and Conference, February 12-16 in Orlando, FL.

The UL Website lists the distinct features of the UL hologram introduced in 2009. They are:

  • A gold background to help U.S. Customs officers and other law enforcement agencies, distributors, retailers, and consumers quickly identify the new label.
  •  Color-shifting ink similar to that in the new U.S. paper currency.
  • Repeating pattern of floating UL symbols, a distinctive burst pattern around one of the floating UL symbols, and wavy lines.
  • Additional covert security features to assist with the authentication of a UL holographic label.