R&M to Revolutionize Broadband Network Installation with Self-Assembly of Fiber Optic Connectors
Swiss manufacturer R&M is developing precision connectors for fast termination at the construction site / First solution for maximum performance level, alternative to splicing
April 8, 2013 11:53 by Colin_Saldanha
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 8th April, 2013: Cable specialist R&M intends to revolutionize the installation of broadband networks with a new fiber optic connector. This Swiss manufacturer is bringing the first field-terminable connector from its own development department to market in the next several days: the FO Field LC. It satisfies Grade C/1 requirements, the highest performance level for FO connectors. It can be mounted in a minute at the construction site.
“For the first time, we offer an alternative to expensive fusion splicing. Now network operators and installation engineers can achieve top quality home and office connections and repairs at the flick of a wrist,” R&M CEO Michel Riva explained.
The FO Field LC is suitable for single mode fibers and also for multimode fibers in the categories OM2, OM3 and OM4. It can be used to assemble both full and compact fibers of 0.6 to 0.9 mm diameter and even bare 250µm fibers. A crimp-free strain relief was also developed specially for cables with a diameter up to 3.0 mm. It can be screwed on in no time. R&M Product Manager Daniel Eigenmann explained the big advantage: “One connector for all types of cabling simplifies logistics.”
The FO Field LC can be assembled with the angled physical contact (APC) polish at the end-face of the fiber. The APC contact ensures the best possible light transmission in the connector. As a Grade C/1 connector, the FO Field LC has particularly favorable attenuation characteristics. Insertion loss (IL) is typically 0.25dB and return loss (RL) is over 60 dB plugged.
Installation engineers require no additional training to assemble the FO Field LC and hardly any tools. A pair of scissors, wire strippers and a standard cleaver are all that is needed. You simply cut the fiber at the required point and position it in the high-precision fiber guide. Then you clamp the fiber with the press of a button and the wire by removing a wire clip and assemble the components. A standard infrared source is used to check that fiber contacting is correct. If the light goes out in the semi-transparent side window of the housing, the connection is fine. The FO Field LC can be reconnected. Field terminable versions of SC and other connector types will follow soon.
Jean-Pierre Labry, Executive Vice President, R&M Middle East, Turkey and Africa said, “R&M has once again demonstrated that it is at the forefront of technology innovation with the FO Field LC. Its ease of use, high quality, adaptability and cost saving potential make it a boon for network operators and comes at a perfect time when this region is seeing a great amount of fiber optic installations.”
Background: Field termination instead of splicing
It would save enormous cost and time for many fiber optic installations if there were a fast, easy way to assemble connectors at the construction site. The field terminable connectors for FO cabling currently available on the market have several disadvantages. Their mechanical and optical characteristics do not come up to the values of conventionally manufactured and factory-tested connectors, especially when it comes to return loss.
Virtually all well-known solutions work with a flat end-face to the fibers. A 0 ° cleaver is used to manufacture the fiber junctions in the connector. It creates a perpendicular cut through the fiber optic cabling. A special gel is used in an attempt to improve the quality of fiber transmission and reduce signal losses. For physical reasons, attenuation values of at most 45 dB return loss can be achieved.
The field of possible applications for single-mode PC connectors is very limited. These products are only used as the last connector in the outlet or for repair purposes. They are certainly not suitable for high performance links in the broadband supply or in structured cabling that require low insertion loss connectivity.
The alternative is generally fusion splicing, a type of welding procedure. The necessary equipment is relatively expensive and can only be run by a small number of specialists. Consequently, fiber optic connections for homes and offices are usually quite expensive to make and require considerable labor. A construction crew first runs the installation cable. Then the splicing specialist comes in and finishes the connections.
Professional and quality-conscious operators of FO networks demand precise APC contacts (APC = Angled Physical Contact) for the entire transmission path. In this solution, the polish on the end-face of the fiber is 8°. That reduces reflections and improves light transmission. In other words, better attenuation values are achieved. APC solutions are already common today because they are more future-proof and offer high transmission capacity, e.g. to support video overlay.
Important to know: Field terminable FO connectors are not explicitly standardized. Classification refers to applicable, previously available standards. Future standards will, however, require field terminable connectors to fulfill the performance levels Grade C/2 and Grade C/1. This new advance from R&M is already offering this performance today.
Field terminable connectors are an ideal solution for many FO projects. They can be used easily, quickly and on a large scale. You only need to prepare cabling and components. Classic splicing is justified, however, for top quality cabling tasks. R&M follows this principle: ‘Quality and care must never be neglected in fiber optic installation’.
About Reichle & De-Massari (R&M)
Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) develops and produces passive cabling solutions for communication networks and has established itself as a leading producer of high quality copper and fiber-optic solutions. The company has set up its own sales organizations in 30 countries and these are streamlined into seven sales regions. Around two thirds of R&M’s sales revenue is generated abroad. In 2011 sales reached CHF 189.4. More than 5% of sales revenue is invested in research and development every year. R&M is ranked one of the 500 leading companies in Switzerland and currently employs approx. 600 people. The company is wholly owned by the Reichle family and is managed as an independent family business.
More information is available at http://www.rdm.com
Marketing & Communication Manager
Regional Office- Middle East & Africa
Reichle & De- Massari MEA
PO Box 54281
Dubai Airport Free Zone K09/K10
Tel: + 971 4 236 87 61
Fax: +971 4 236 87 62
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +97150 6400762
Email: [email protected]