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Is Bend Radius Really a Concern?

Is Bend Radius Really a Concern?

A: Do I really need to be concerned about bend radius?
B: Yes, bend radius is a real issue.

The question “A” asked is a common question in fiber optic cable installation. And thanks “B” to show us the right answer. To almost every FOC (fiber optic cable) installer or technician, one of the most important considerations when installing fiber optic cable is maintaining the minimum bend radius. Why? Just keep reading, you may find out the reason.

Understanding Bend Radius

bend-cablesAs we know, most of the fiber optic cable is made of glass. It is very amazing that the bundle of fiber can transmit a huge amount of signals and data. But, do you know that the cable can be pretty delicate because of the material itself? Thus, we need to set a standard (e.g. EIA/TIA 568) to define the minimum bend radius in order to keep cables in good working order.

The “bend radius” of a fiber optic cable is the term for how sharply a cable can safely bend at any given point. All cabling has a bend radius, and the bend radius may be different according to different types or different make of cables.

Minimum Bend Radius

The minimum bend radius for fiber optic cable should be specified both for long-term installation, and for when the cable is subject to tensile load. A typical value for a cable under no load (or “unloaded”) conditions is 10 times the cable’s outside diameter. When a cable is under tensile load (or “loaded”), the minimum bend radius is usually 15 times the cable’s outside diameter. For instance, for most of the premises cables, they require a bend radius of 10 times the cable outside diameter unloaded and 15 times the outside diameter when under the maximum rated pulling tension for that cable.


Bending a Fiber Optic Cable

Bending a fiber optic cable excessively may cause the optical signal to refract and escape through the cladding. It could also cause permanent damage by creating micro cracks on the delicate glass fibers. And when overbending interferes with light transmission, the resulting increased attenuation compromises the integrity of your valuable data. So, always remember that do not bend the fiber beyond it’s specified bend radius.

Bend Insensitive Fiber

Bend insensitive fiber cables are designed for improved bend performance in reduced-radius applications, such as residential or office environments which have less bend sensitivity. Optical fiber manufacturers used a refractive index “trench” in bend insensitive fiber, which means a ring of lower refractive index material, to basically reflect the lost light back into the core of the fiber. Compared with the conventional fibers, the bend insensitive fiber employs a moderately higher numerical aperture (NA) and offers improved bend performance for applications in the 1310nm and 1550nm range.

Bend-Insensitive Fiber


Bend radius is always a real issue that we should really need to be concerned about when installing fiber optic cables. Make sure to know the minimum band radius of your installed cables, and do not bend it beyond the specified bend radius. Additionally, if the application needed, you can try to use the bend insensitive fiber.

Application of the combination of LAN & Optical Fibers

Application of the combination of LAN & Optical Fibers


LAN (Local Area Network) is a common computer network of nowadays. It spans a relatively small area, such as home, colleges and universities, computer laboratory, office building or group of buildings etc. LAN is a combined group of computers, or computer systems, connected to each other that allows to share program software or data bases. A local area network may serve as few as two or three users, like a home network, or as many as thousands of users, such as an FDDI network. Today, we will talk something about the LAN systems which are used in colleges (or universities), office buildings, and industrial plants, for making use of optical fiber.

Colleges and Universities LAN

The most obvious benefit of colleges and universities local area network is college students and professors can do their research in their rooms and offices instead of going to the library. In addition, the technology of LAN and fiber optic applications provide access to other campus colleges, enabling staff members to perform research with other college professors. Moreover, it also enables students to take special courses from instructors at other colleges. Colleges or universities with a large number of students can add additional computers, scanners, and modems to the network for students to share. Although LAN would face such amounts of data shared, its transmission speed is considerable so that you could use less time to get more high quality studying files or contact with friends and families. On the other hand, it will save more and allow for easier upgrading in the software programs by using such shared network.

To face so much data sharing in network, you may have a question about the security. In a certain extent, LAN is safe for protecting the shared data, programs and others files because the network administrators of colleges can also have passwords on their programs for denying access to unauthorized users. Using passwords, they do not have to worry about programs being illegally copied or distorted.

Office Buildings LAN

Nowadays, in order to get highly efficient business, more and more companies are more preferred to rent a building or office with fiber optic applications because they feel it is very important for their business to have access to a fast communication network. Office LAN with fiber optic application, staffs of companies could enjoy their data transmitting at an even higher quality and speed than with other network applications. In addition, they do not have to worry with dangling and tangled cables that will effect their office looking. What’s more, with the fiber optic system, the company does not have to be concerned about a fire hazard because no electricity runs through the cables.

LAN and Industrial Plants

High-speed and high-quality communication links are also needed in industrial plants. To monitor their processes online better, industrial plants can use a fiber optic application to connect their control systems to their computer networks. In some developed countries, a plant can also collect valuable information from other machines and plants that might help their plant’s machines run more smoothly and efficiently. In addition, due to many physical properties of optical fibers, they are suitable to use in industrial plants. It seems an excellent choice for the harsh environmental conditions found in industrial plants such as electromagnetic interference (EMI), extreme temperatures, and even lightning strikes.

With the development of technology and higher demands of network, the combination of LAN and fiber optic applications is becoming more valued by people. Colleges (or universities) can obtain an almost endless stream of information using less time and money while companies can also use both of these to increase productivity as well as providing a convenient, safe environment for their employees and customers. Despite the application of FTTx technologies bring a new direction of people, in a period of time, LAN will still be a common used type of small area network. Additionally, I believe that the combination with optical fibers will bring LAN a new application prospect.

Modern Network Cabling Needs Fiber Optic Cables

Modern Network Cabling Needs Fiber Optic Cables

Network Cabling is important for smooth running of business in big organizations where you can find innumerable computers nowadays. Structured cabling is the first step toward all business networks because it provides impeccable connectivity between computers, servers, and lots of other network devices, which permit both data and voice being transmitted all over the world easily.

Most cabling professionals use three basic kinds of cables because both versions is discussed below:

  • Co-axial cables: probably the most commonly used cables for establishing a wide range of networks. The co-axial cables include a copper core which is enclosed in foil insulation and is then covered with a layer of braided metal shielding. In areas which have problems with advanced level of interference, Network cabling installation professionals generally use co-axial cables having additional layers of both foil insulation and braided metal shielding.
  • Twisted-pair cables: generally split into two sub-categories, namely shielded twisted-pair cables and unshielded twisted pair cables. The cables have core of your pair of insulated copper wires which are wound around one another. As a result of the twisting of the couple of cables, the interference caused by noise or other signals emitted from various gadgets put into their vicinity is minimized.
  • Fiber optic cables: undoubtedly given greater preference by network cabling installation professionals, especially in cases when the protection, quality and high speed bandwith are of utmost importance. These cables use high-speed modulated light pulses to transfer data and contain both sending and receiving strands. The main of each of these strands is made from extremely thin glass, which is enclosed within con-centric layers of glass referred to as cladding. Each cable contains one sending strand and receiving strand that are then covered by a protective jacket to make it able to sending in addition to receiving data without having affected its quality.

As technology is advancing daily, the demand for more contemporary and fast types of network cabling is surging, now the fiber cable provides the good result and lots of companies have started utilizing it for installing data cabling infrastructure. It is because there are plenty of advantages of fiber cable, including the ones the following:

  • 1. Fiber optic cable can carry signals approximately 50 times longer as compared to the copper wires, because it has very low signal loss rate, and doesn’t require a signal repeater to maintain the integrity with the signal over long distances, unlike the copper wires.
  • 2. In a cabling system that involves copper wires, you’ll be able to detect a sign which is being transmitted through the cable remotely, which eventually presents the loopholes in their security. However, it is not possible regarding fiber optic cable because its dielectric nature can make it impossible to detect the signals remotely.
  • 3. Fiber cable has long length, small diameter, and is very light-weight, which eventually makes the installation and upgrade process pretty easy and inexpensive if compared with copper wires.
  • 4. This sort of cable provides higher bandwidth and knowledge transfer rate, which eventually cuts down on download some time and increases the network efficiency.
  • 5. This cable can be installed in high Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) areas, because it does not have metallic wiring, which eventually makes it completely resistant against EMI.
  • 6. This networking cable is very durable and long-lasting, and can be relocated many times.

Since it might be the most important cable in Network Cabling, it’s important to discover suitable and cost-effective fiber optic cables to fulfill the business needs. FiberStore supplies all kinds of cables including not just copper cables but also bulk fiber cables for example multimode, single mode, simplex, duplex, outdoor/indoor, ADSS, armored, figure 8 fiber optic cable, and POF cable etc..

Small Talk About Glass And Plastic Optical Fiber

Small Talk About Glass And Plastic Optical Fiber

Optical fiber is a flexible and transparent fiber made of glass or plastic that transmits light between the two ends of the fiber. Generally used in fiber optic communications, which permit transmissions over longer distances and at higher bandwidths, optical fibers provide better services compared to other forms of communication.

Nowadays, fiber optic cables are gaining in popularity, rapidly replacing traditional copper transmission cables. Instead of transmitting signals with electrical impulses like copper lines, fiber optic cables use light pulses that propagate through small strands of silica glass. To send data, a light source such as an LED or a laser is placed at one end of the cable. Copper wires are delicate and difficult to maintain, while fiber optic cables are durable, have stronger tension and are cheaper. Fiber cabling is not only required by large business corporations but also at home for smoother communication.

The most commonly used fiber optic cables are single mode, multimode and plastic optical fiber (POF). Multimode fibers are used for short-distance communication links and for applications where high power must be transmitted, while single-mode fibers are used for most communication links over one kilometer. Both single-mode and multimode fiber optic cables are made out of glass.

In contrast with glass fiber, plastic fibers use harmless green or red light that is easily visible to the eye. Plastic fibers can be safely installed in a home without risk to inquisitive children. A second advantage is their toughness. Plastic fibers are much thicker than glass fibers, a millimeter or more, and can be handled without special tools or techniques. You need not be trained to handle and install it. You just cut it with scissors, plug it in and it works.

POF is an optical fiber which is made out of plastic. Similar to traditional glass fiber, POF transmits light through the core of the fiber. But the core size of POF is in some cases 100 times larger than glass fiber. As fiber technology continues to become more flexible and less expensive, Plastic fibers are generally more cost effective than glass fiber optic cables and are ideal for applications that require continuous flexing of the fiber. POF cables are constructed of a single acrylic monofilament and are most efficient when used with visible red status indicator light sources. A wide range of fiber optic tips are available. POF has been called the consumer optical fiber because the fiber and associated optical links, connectors, and installation are all inexpensive. The per fluorinated polymer fibers are commonly used for much higher-speed applications such as data center wiring and building LAN wiring.

As a topping fiber optic cable supplier, Fiberstore offers high-quality products at an affordable price. Except the traditional single-mode and multimode glass fibers, we also supply figure of 8 cable and POF cable.

Tapping the World’s Fiber Optic Cables

Tapping the World’s Fiber Optic Cables

Almost all the countries in the world expect their foreign intelligence services to tap and sift through international telecommunications. For that reason, network operators whose lines cross International borders are legally obliged to make certain intersection points available to the authorities. Britain’s Tempora program, for instance, had perfectly legal access to the information it obtained – at least when it passed through British territory.

From electricity to light, and back
But fiber optic cables can also be tapped secretly, without the knowledge of the operators – though this is not exactly easy. To understand how it works, one has to look more closely at how the data actually passes through the cables.

A standard fiber-optic cable laid across the land consists of 144 individual glass fibers, while undersea cables consist of a maximum of eight individual fibers. Using laser technology, the electronic data is initially turned into ultra-short flashes of light. These flashes represent the zeros and ones that all digital information is comprised of. A photodiode at the end of the cable turns the light flashes back into electrical signals.

Fiber optics need amplifiers
The signals through the light have to be re-amplified after a certain distance, which is done with the help of a “regenerator.” Undersea cables also have regenerators, which are supplied with electricity by copper cables laid across the ocean floor, together with the fiber optics.

The regenerators are the system’s weak point. At these spots, fiber optics can be more easily tapped, because they are no longer bundled together. Rather laid out individually (since each fiber must be amplified separately). At these points, data piracy is not necessarily easy – but that, as Langer puts it, is “just a technical hurdle.”

Order in the data chaos
Once a spy has succeeded in hacking into a cable, the bigger challenge occurs, sifting through the immense mass of data. This needs to be done quickly. Even if a single glass cable is operating only at 50 percent capacities, it can still deliver 10 terabytes of data in an hour. “Since storage capacity is finite, the trick is to analyze these 10 terabytes within an hour, and filter out what you’re looking for,” said Langer.

A lot of the data need to be encrypted – which also means being temporarily stored. At the same time, intelligence agencies must proceed very selectively so as not to get bogged down in the flood of data.  Langer believes that agents probably concentrate on single fibers belonging to certain operators of particular interest. “It makes more sense to search for certain content, rather than, for example, email conversations, telephone connections and the like.

Wire-tapping contest under the ocean
Hacking a cable only makes sense if you have larger server capacity immediately available, which is why Langer is skeptical of recent media speculation about the USS Jimmy Carter, a nuclear submarine be said to be on a mission to tap underwater cables. “It seems bizarre,” said Langer.

But Peter Franck, spokesman for the Chaos Computer Club digital rights collectively, considers the submarine reports “absolutely believable.” Though tapping underwater cables is so secret “that it would never be publicly talked about,” so far reports in the American media have not been denied by the government.

Frank can imagine a number of ways in which data could be moved from the submarine to servers on shore. He speculates, for instance, that the data could be pre-filtered on board and then broadcast to a base via the normal radio communication. Or a device that records the data could be left on the ocean floor. “An extra vehicle could then come and pick it up,” Franck suggested.

Such underwater cables are certainly of considerable interest to intelligence agencies, since a huge part of international fiber optic telecommunication travels through them. It could certainly be the case that a lot of the world’s fiber optic cables are being tapped – and not only in countries where the respective intelligence agencies are based.