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  • Identify Types of Network Cables and Connectors

    There are three types of network cables: fiber, twisted pair, and coaxial.

    Fiber is the most expensive of the three and can run the longest distance. A number of types of connectors can work with fiber, but three you must know are SC, ST, and LC.

    Twisted pair is commonly used in office settings to connect workstations to hubs or switches. It comes in two varicties: unshielded (UTP) and shielded (STP), The two types of connectors commonly used are RJ-11 (four wires and popular with telephones), and RJ-45 (eight wires and used with xBaseT networks—100BaseT, 1000BaseT, and so forth). Two common wiring standards are T568A and T568B.

    Coaxial cabling is not as popular as it once was, but it's still used with cable television and some legacy networks. The two most regularly used connectors are F-conectors (television cabling) and BNC (10Base2, and so on).

    Fiber

    Fiber-optic cabling is the most expensive type. Although it's an excellent medium, it's often not used because of the cost of implementing it. It has a glass core within a rubber outer coating and uses beams of light rather than electrical signals to relay data. Because light doesn't diminish over distance the way electrical signals do, this cabling can run for distances measured in kilometers with transmission speeds from 100 Mbps up to 1 Gbps higher.

    Fiber optic cable

    Often, fiber is used to connect runs to wiring closets where they break out into UTP or other cabling types, or as other types of backbones. Fiber-optic cable can use either ST, SC, or LC connector. ST is a barrel-shaped connector, whereas SC is squared and easier to connect in small spaces.The LC connector looks similar to SC but adds a flange on the top (much like an RJ-45 connector) to keep it securely connected.

    st sc lc connectors

    Note: In addition to these listed in the A + objectives, other connectors are used with fiber. FC connectors may also be used but are not as common. MT-RJ is a popular connector for two fibers in a small form factor.

    Twisted Pair

    There are two primary types of twisted-pair cabling (with categories beneath cach that are shielded twisted pair (STP) and unshielded twisted pair (UTP). In both cases, the cabling is made up of pairs of wires twisted around each other.

    UTP offers no shielding (hence the name) and is the network cabling type most prone to outside interference. The interference can be from a fluorescent light ballast, eletrical motor, or other such source (known as eletromagnetic interference [EMI]) or from wires being too close together and signals jumping across them (known as crosstalk), STP adds a foil shield around the twisted wires to protect against EMI.

    Twisted Pair

    STP cable uses IBM data connector (IDC) or universal data connector (UDC) ends and connects to token ring networks. While you need to know STP for the exam, you are not required to have any knowledge of the connectors associated with it. You must, however, know that most UTP cable uses RJ-45 connectors, which look like telephone connectors (RJ-11) but have eight wires instead of four.

    RJ-45 connectors

    Two wiring standards are commonly used with twisted-pair cabling:T568A and T568B (sometimes referred to simply as 568A and 568B). These are telecommunications standards from TIA and EIA that specify the pin arrangements for the RJ-45 connectors on UTP or STP cables. The number 568 refers to the order in which the wires within the Category 5 cable are terminated and attached to the connector. The signal is identical for both.

    T568A was the first standard, released in 1991. Ten years later, in 2001, T568B was released. Pin numbers are read left to right, with the connector tab facing down. Notice that the pin-outs stay the same, and the only difference is in the color coding of the wiring.

     

    Pin assignments for T568A and T568B

    Note: Mixing cables can cause communication problems on the network. Before installing a network or adding a new component to it, make sure the cable being used is in the correct wiring standard.

    Coaxial

    Coaxial cable, or coax, is one of the oldest media used in networks. Coax is built around a center conductor or core that is used to carry data from point to point. The center conductor has an insulator wrapped around it, a shield over the insulator, and a nonconductive sheath around the shielding. This construction allows the conducting core to be relatively free from outside interference. The shielding also prevents the conducting core from emanating signals externally from the cable.

    Note: Before you read any further, accept the fact that the odds are incredibly slim that you will ever need to know about coax for a new installation in the real world (with the possible exception of RG-6, which is used from the wall to cable modem). If you do come across it, it will be in an existing installation and one of the first things you'll recommend is that it be changed. 

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  • Atari bringing back devices with Sigfox IoT agreement

    By Tim Skinner           Telecoms.com

    Retro gaming giant Atari will soon be entering the IoT arena following a partnership with Sigfox, the low power WAN provider. Famed for its trailblazing old-school computers and gaming consoles in the 1980s and 1990s, an announcement from Atari said it will soon be developing and launching consumer IoT services. While tangible details weren’t particularly forthcoming, and won’t be for the time being, Atari did hint at a move back to hardware having been primarily, if not solely, focused on software and gaming for the best part of the last 20 years. Atari said the initial product line will include offerings in areas such as home, pets, lifestyle and safety. By combining with Sigfox, Atari plans on developing a wide range of new products, from the very simple to the highly sophisticated, which users can track at any time. Sigfox says that by connecting to its network, products will benefit from an extended battery life and no need for paring or connectivity configuration. “By partnering together and using SIGFOX’s dedicated IoT connectivity, we are going to create amazing products with our brand,” said Fred Chesnais, Chief Executive Officer, Atari. “We look forward to our collaboration with SIGFOX and releasing new products to the mass market on a global scale.” It’s fair to assume Atari is targeting a move back into hardware and away from gaming, although more information will be released in due course. Atari says development of the new product line will begin in 2016.

     

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  • Feds get huge response to request for IoT input

    By Sean Kinney   www.industrialiot5G.com

     

     

    More than 100 companies suggest ways U.S. government can help advance the IoT

    Many industry watchers feel the U.S. is slipping behind other countries, particularly Germany and China, in creating a unified national strategy for development of the Internet of Things or IoT. But federal leaders, in the early stages of involvement, reached out to the telecom industry for guidance.

    Back in April the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, issued a “request for comments on the benefits, challenges and potential roles for the government in fostering the advancement of the Internet of Things.”

    Two months later and the call for comment has been met in spades with more than 130 filings coming from a broad swath of telecom interests including carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone; vendors including Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei and Samsung; and industry trade groups like the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wireless Infrastructure Association, the Open Connectivity Foundation and the GSMA.

    Here’s a full list of the respondents and their filings with NTIA. A review of some of the filings indicates a strong industry expectation that the rapid uptake of IoT will require global coordination and will likely create new markets while disrupting existing ones.

    Verizon representatives told NTIA: “To support this explosion of IoT devices, a robust and secure underlying communications network must serve as a foundation. That network requires both increased commercial spectrum and development of the underlying core infrastructure. We encourage all stakeholders to work together to ensure that these necessary building blocks for IoT development are available and accessible. To enable sufficient spectrum to power this new wave of connected innovation, private and public sectors must continue to cooperate, not only to develop more ways to effectively share spectrum, but also to provide federal users incentives to free up spectrum for commercial licensed and unlicensed use. As potentially billions of new IoT devices are deployed, they will drive data growth that – combined with the parallel growth in overall data usage by consumer devices – will require new commercial spectrum allocations to accommodate the unprecedented demands for more bandwidth. This includes spectrum necessary to support 5G, since 5G’s super-fast speeds and low latency will help facilitate new IoT use cases.”

    Ericsson commented: “In Ericsson’s view, 5G is the technology that will unleash the true potential of the Internet of Things. To support the IoT’s development, the government should unleash the resources that will ensure U.S. leadership in 5G by releasing more spectrum for commercial use. Through network slicing, 5G technology will allow a single infrastructure to meet the very different needs of Massive and Critical IoT devices – it will enable networks to handle the incredible increase in data from the billions of low energy, low data devices, while also providing very high reliability, availability and security for critical uses. We also encourage the government to support global standards and best practices and to allow industry to continue to innovate and coalesce around the most favorable IoT solutions.”

    And from the GSMA’s point of view: “The United States should forbear from regulating IoT and avoid reflexively extending legacy regulations designed for outdated technologies to the IoT…The U.S. government should support and promote industry alignment around interoperable, industry-led specifications and standards across the global IoT ecosystem…The U.S. government should promote the allocation of globally harmonized spectrum that can support IoT…The U.S. government should encourage industry to build trust into IoT devices. Existing laws and regulations, operating in tandem with self-regulatory regimes and best practices, will provide sufficient protection to consumers as the IoT develops…Finally, the U.S. government should engage on a bilateral and multilateral basis, as appropriate, to ensure that international IoT activities similarly encourage competition, investment, and innovation. Regulatory interference at this stage—from any source—could lead to fragmentation and impede innovation, inhibiting the IoT’s ability to reach its full potential to deliver benefits to consumers.”

     

     

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  • How to Install or Remove SFP Transceiver Modules on Cisco Device

    The SFP (small form Factor pluggables) transceiver modules are hot-pluggable I/O devices that plug into module sockets. The transceiver connects the electrical circuitry of the module with the optical or copper network. SFP transceiver modules are the key components in today's transmission network. Thus, it is necessary to master the skill of installing or removing a transceiver modules to avoid unnecessary loss. This tutorial are going to guide you how to install or remove SFP transceiver module in a right way.

     

    Things you should Know Before Installing or Removing SFP

    Before removing or installing a Transceiver Module you must disconnect all cables, because of leaving these attached will damage the cables, connectors, and the optical interfaces. At the same time please be aware that do not often remove and install an SFP transceiver and it can shorten its useful life. For this reason transceivers should not be removed or inserted more often than is required. Furthermore, transceiver modules are sensitive to static, so always ensure that you use an ESD wrist strap or comparable grounding device during both installation and removal.

     

    Required Tools

    You will need these tools to install the SFP transceiver module:
    Wrist strap or other personal grounding device to prevent ESD occurrences.Antistatic mat or antistatic foam to set the transceiver on.Fiber-optic end-face cleaning tools and inspection equipment

     

    Installing SFP Transceiver Modules

    SFP transceiver modules can have three types of latching devices to secure an SFP transceiver in a port socket:
    SFP transceiver with a Mylar tab latch.SFP transceiver with an actuator button latch.SFP transceiver that has a bale-clasp latch.
    Types of SFP Latching

    Determine which type of latch your SFP transceiver uses before following the installation and removal procedures.

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  • Fiber Media Converter Tutorial

    Fiber media converter is a cost-effective solution to overcome the bandwidth and distance limitations of traditional network cable. It dramatically increases the bandwidth and transmission distance of the local area network (LAN) by allowing the use of fiber and integrating new equipment into existing cabling infrastructure. To better understand it, this article will give an overview of fiber media converter.

    What is Fiber Media Converter?

    Fiber media converter is a transfer media that connects two dissimilar media types. Generally, it is a device that converts electrical signal used in copper unshielded twisted paired (UTP) network cabling into light waves used in fiber optic cabling, and vice versa. This kind of fiber media converter is called copper-to-fiber media converter that provides a simple way to introduce fiber into a LAN without tearing out the existing copper wiring or making changes to copper-based switches. Furthermore, there is another kind of fiber media converter that supports fiber-to-fiber conversion, which provides connections between dual-fiber and single-fiber or between multimode fiber and single-mode fiber. Fiber-to-fiber media converters also provide a cost-effective solution for wavelength conversion in Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) applications, which are also known as transponders.

    Types of Fiber Media Converters

    There are a wide variety of fiber media converters available in the market. According to different criteria, fiber media converters may be classified into different types.

    Managed VS Unmanaged

    The managed fiber media converter has the functions of networking monitoring, fault detection and remote management. It helps the network administrator to easily monitor and manage the network. An unmanaged fiber media converter, however, allows for simple communication with other devices and does not have the monitoring and management functions that managed fiber media converter has.

    Platform: Stand-Alone VS Modular Chassis-Based

    According to the platform type, fiber media converters can be divided into stand-alone fiber media converter and modular chassis-based fiber media converter. Stand-alone fiber media converters are designed to be used in where a single or limited number of converter(s) need(s) to be quickly implemented. Modular chassis-based fiber media converters, however, are used in high-density applications that multiple points of copper and/or fiber integration are essential.

    Copper-to-Fiber Media Converter VS Fiber-to-Fiber Media Converter

    According to media types, fiber media converters may be classified into copper-to-fiber media converter and fiber-to-fiber media converter.

    Copper-to-Fiber Media Converter

    Copper-to-fiber media converters are the key to integrating fiber into a copper infrastructure. According to different applications, copper-to-fiber media converters may be further divided into Ethernet copper-to-fiber media converters, video-to-fiber media converters and serial-to-fiber media converters.

    Fs copper-to-fiber-media-converter.jpg

    Ethernet Copper-to-Fiber Media Converter

    This kind of fiber media converter supports the IEEE 802.3 standard and provides connectivity for Ethernet, fast Ethernet, Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet devices. SC to RJ45 media converters, SFP to RJ45 media converters, PoE media converters, mini media converters and industrial media converters are all among this type.

    Fs ethernet-copper-to-fiber-media-converter.jpg

    The SC to RJ45 media converter comes with RJ45 and SC ports, which is designed to be used with fiber cable preterminated with the SC-type connector.The SFP to RJ45 media converter comes with RJ45 and pluggable fiber optics ports, which allows for flexible network configurations using SFP transceivers. PoE media converters can transparently connect copper to fiber while providing Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) to standards-based PoE compliant devices such as IP cameras, VoIP phones and wireless access points. Mini media converter is a miniature-sized copper-to-fiber converter. It is ideal for bringing fiber to the desktop and for mobile applications where light weight, compact size and low power are required.Industrial media converters are compact and robust devices designed to convert Gigabit Ethernet or Fast Ethernet networks into Gigabit or Ethernet fiber optic networks.

     

    Video Copper-to-Fiber Media Converter

    Video copper-to-fiber media converter also called fiber optic multiplexer, which is used to transmit and receive signals such as video, audio, data and Ethernet. fiber optic multiplexers are devices that process two or more light signals through a single optical fiber (as shown in the following figure), increasing the amount of information that can be carried through a network. Since signals may be analog or digital, video copper-to-fiber can be further divided into converters transmitting analog signals and converters transmitting digital signals. As the name applies, converters transmitting analog signals give amplitude or frequency modulation of the electric signal and then convert it into optical signal. Demodulation will also be done at the receiving end. Converters transmitting digital signals, however, digitize and multiplex the video, audio and data signals, transforming multiple low-speed digital signals into one high-speed signal. This high speed signal will then be turned into optical signal transmitting on a fiber.

    Fs vedio-copper-to-fiber-media-converter.png

    In accordance with different applications, there are three commonly used video copper-to-fiber media converters: plesiochronous digital hierarchy (PDH) multiplexers, synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) multiplexers and synchronous plesiochronous sigital hierarchy (SPDH) multiplexers. Using the PDH fiber transmission technologies, PDH multiplexers are E1 point-to-point optical transport equipment. And the general transmission capacity of this kind of multiplexer is 4E1,8E1 and 16E1. SDH multiplexers, having a large transmission capacity, are designed to support end-to-end provisioning and management of services across all segments of the optical network. SPDH multiplexers adopt both PDH and SDH technologies. It is a PDH transmission system that based on the PDH code speed adjustment principle at the same time, use as far as possible parts of the SDH network technology.

    Serial-to-Fiber Media Converter

    This kind of media converter provides fiber extension for serial protocol copper connections. It accepts serial data on one port in RS232, RS485 or other format and convert the serial data stream into a fiber optic signal to a matching unit at the other end of the fiber span.

    Fs serial-to-fiber-media-converter.jpg

    Fiber-to-Fiber Media Converter

    Fiber-to-fiber media converters are used to extend network distance by providing connectivity between multimode and single-mode fiber, between different “power” fiber sources and between dual fiber and single-fiber. Furthermore, they also support conversion from one wavelength to another. Mode converter and WDM OEO transponder are two common types of fiber-to-fiber media converters.

    Mode Converter

    A mode converter can be used to allow for an adiabatic transition between two optical modes. Other than cross-connecting different fiber types, mode converters can also re-generate optical signals, extending transmission distance and double fiber cable usage. It is usually applied in multi-mode to single-mode fiber conversion.

    Fs mode-converter.jpg

    WDM OEO Transponder

    When a fiber media converter is used in the WDM system, it is called WDM OEO transponder which converts the incoming signal from the end or client device to a WDM wavelength. WDM OEO transponders are often used for dual fiber to single fiber conversion and wavelength conversion.

    Networks may require conversion between dual and single-fiber, depending in the type of equipment and the fiber installed in the facility. The following figures shows the role of WDM transponder played in the fiber optic network.

    Fs wdm-oeo-transponder-dual-fiber-to-single-fiber-conversion.jpg

    WDM OEO transponders are capable of wavelength conversion by using small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceivers that transmit different wavelengths, provide a cost-effective solution to convert from standard optical wavelengths (850nm, 1310nm and 1550nm) of legacy equipment to optical wavelengths specified for WDM networks.

    Fs wdm-oeo-transponder-wavelength-conversion.jpg

    Selection Guide of Fiber Media Converters

    A proper fiber media converter may provide a cost-effective solution for extending Ethernet transmission while reducing cable and labor cost. When selecting fiber media converters for your network, the following points should be taken into consideration:

    The chip of the fiber media converter shall work in both full-duplex and half-duplex systems. The reason is that some N-Way Switches and HUBs may use half-duplex mode operations, and serious collision and data loss may be caused if the fiber media converter only supports full-duplex operation. Connection test should be done between the fiber media converter and different optical fiber splices. Otherwise, data loss and unstable transmission may happen on account of incompatibility between different fiber media converters.To ensure the proper operation of the fiber media converter, temperature measurement is also necessary. This is because the fiber media converter may not work correctly in high-temperature environment. Thus, it is important to know exactly its working temperature.Safety device guarding against data loss shall be equipped in the fiber media converter.The fiber media converter shall meet the IEEE802.3 standards. If not, there must be a risk of incompatibility.
     
    For a selection of Compufox fiber media converters, please click on the link below:
     
     
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