Instructor Expertise

  1. Fiber Optics - Connecting a Wireless World

    Fiber Optics - Connecting a Wireless World

    The word antenna may bring to mind various mental images or memories depending on your age. You may envision the tall radio and TV broadcast antennas, the “aerial” on your house, or the 10-inch “car phone” antenna attached to cars in the ’80s and ’90s. Many of those antennae of the past were analog and used copper or coaxial types of cabling.

    The shape of antennas has changed with advances in technology. They have become smaller, increased in density, and are often hidden in plain sight. No matter how the look of the antenna changes; one thing that remains constant is our need for them. In our not-too-distant future, the antenna will be called upon to be the key enabler of low-latency, high-bandwidth, next-generation wireless communication.

    Initial 5G mass deployment is underway, and WiFi-6 is not far behind. Soon we will experience higher connection speeds, faster downloads ...

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  2. Choose the Right Fiber Network Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tools

    When your fiber network encounters an unexpected performance issue, often the first instinct is to replace a connector, jumper, or a trunk in a haphazard way to restore service. While this may initially seem to be the fastest method, oftentimes it may be more costly and potentially more disruptive. Some may compare this to an inexperienced auto mechanic randomly installing parts in your car in an attempt to resolve a concern without proper diagnostic tools, all at your added expense. Like the auto analogy, when it comes to fiber networks, having the right tools and knowledge of what to look for can quickly identify the issue and allow you to properly correct or address the problem the right way, likely with less material and labor costs.

    There are many brands and types of equipment on the market to perform this type of diagnosis, but when the problem occurs, scrambling to research what ...

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  3. We Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts!

    Ghost Image in an OTDR

    Optical time domain reflectometers (OTDRs) are critical instruments for evaluating optical fiber spans. Like any technology, they are not infallible. As the term ‘reflectometer’ implies, OTDRs work by analyzing optical signals which are reflected (and scattered) back to them. Some people call them “cable radar” because they analyze a reflected signal and not the transmitted signal. Due to this, OTDRs will sometimes generate measurement “artifacts”. One such artifact is a secondary reflection, or an “echo” - often referred to as a GHOST! After reading this article, you won’t be afraid of no ghosts!

    Ghosts in the noise

    The most common ghosts occur on short spans with a highly reflective open fiber end. In this case, the end of the fiber at distance L1 will generate a high-powered reflection that will arrive back at the OTDR connector. Much of it is received ...

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  4. OTDR Dynamic Ranges

    Flex Scan OTDR

    The OTDR is one of the most powerful tools you will purchase to support your fiber network. This article discusses one key but sometimes confusing OTDR specification, Dynamic Range.


    Dynamic Range

    The informal definition of Dynamic Range is “how far can my OTDR see?” There are at least two formal definitions of Dynamic Range, the Telcordia definition (the most widely accepted and specified), and IEC definition. Each of these specify the amount of (one way) fiber loss from the initial backscatter (fiber) signature to a given Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) level on the OTDR trace.

    OTDR Dynamic Range Specification (SNR Limit)
    IEC 98%
    Telcordia 50%

    The IEC range wil ...

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