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Home Perimeter Security Control Rooms Company Introduction Wieless Infrastructure Fibre Optics Vulnerability Assessment Access Control Integration CCTV Time & Attendance Contact Us

FIBRE NETWORKING

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LANs (local area networks) use fiber optics primarily in the backbone but increasingly to the desk. The LAN backbone often needs longer distance than copper cable (Cat 5/5e/6) can provide and of course, the fiber offers higher bandwidth for future expansion. Most large corporate LANs use fiber backbones with copper wire to the desktop. Fiber to the desk can be cost effective if properly designed.

Lots of other networks use fiber, CCTV is often connected to fiber for it's distance capability. Industrial plants use lots of fiber or distance and noise immunity. Utilities use it for network management, liking its immunity to noise also. The military uses it because it's hard to tap or jam. Airplanes use it for that reason too, but also like the lighter weight of fiber.


Designing Cable Networks

Fiber's extra distance capability makes it possible to do things not possible with copper wire. For example, you can install all the electronics for a network in one communications closet for a building and run straight to the desktop with fiber. With copper, you can only go about 90 meters (less than 300 feet), so you need to keep the electronics close to the desk. I guess this is too big a topic for a overview! But we'll pass along some hints to make life easier. First and foremost, visit the work site and check it out thoroughly. Know the "standards" but use common sense in designing the installation. Don't cut corners which may affect performance or reliability. Consider what are the possible problems and work around or prevent them.

Fiber's extra distance capability makes it possible to do things not possible with copper wire. For example, you can install all the electronics for a network in one communications closet for a building and run straight to the desktop with fiber. With copper, you can only go about 90 meters (less than 300 feet), so you need to keep the electronics close to the desk. With fiber, you only need passive patch panels locally to allow for moves. Upgrades are easy, since the fiber is only loafing at today's network speed.


Industrial Networks

In an industrial environment, electromagnetic interference (EMI) is often a big problem. Motors, relays, welders and other industrial equipment generate a tremendous amount of electrical noise that can cause major problems with copper cabling, especially unshielded cable like Cat 5. In order to run copper cable in an industrial environment, it is often necessary to pull it through conduit to provide adequate shielding.

With fiber optics, you have complete immunity to EMI. You only need to choose a cable type that is rugged enough for the installation, with breakout cable being a good choice for it's heavy-duty construction. The fiber optic cable can be installed easily from point to point, passing right next to major sources of EMI with no effect. Conversion from copper networks is easy with media converters, gadgets that convert most types of systems to fiber optics. Even with the cost of the media converters, the fiber optic network will be less than copper run in conduit.