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Visibility Solutions

Garland Technology is committed to educating the benefits of having a strong foundation of network visibility and access. By providing this insight we protect the security of data across your network and beyond.

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Should You Be Worried About Bending A Fiber Cable?

Fiber wires lose light no matter what. They have a db/km loss rate, this is subject matter we have covered in my other blog on Split Ratio & Budget Light Loss.

But, did you know your bend radius could affect the db loss of a fiber cable?

There is a lot of engineering, research and development that goes into building fiber network hardware. Today I'm talking about passive fiber network TAPs and the bend radius of a fiber cable.

Light freqency


Typical Electronic Frequency in HZ = is 1/ wavelength. In Fiber the Frequency (f) equation is the speed of light in fiber (v) /wavelength (A). The average speed of light in a fiber is around *2.14 X 10 -8 m/seconds.

  • Note this will cary with different fiber but is an acceptable average.
  • Frequency A is a higher frequency than frequency B which has a longer wavelengths.
  • An interesting fact - the frequency of a signal (light or photon flow) stays the same in the air or in a fiber.


Free Whitepaper: Your Go to Guide for Network Connectivity Download Now!


Bend Loss Factors

Bend loss occurs when the fiber cable bends is tighter than the cable's maximum bend tolerance. Bending loss can also occur on a smaller scale from such factors as:

  • Sharp curves of the fiber core
  • Displacements of a few millimeters or less, caused by buffer or jacket imperfections
  • Poor installation practice

Microbending: losses are due to microscopic fiber deformations in the core-cladding interface caused by induced pressure on the glass.

Microbending

 

Macrobending: losses are due to physical bends in the fiber that are large in relation to fiber diameter. 

Macrobending

Attenuation due to macrobending increases with wavelength (ie. greater at 1550nm at 1310nm)


The signal still can get through but loss is still an issue - light is power. Light distortion = power loss. This hurts your optical budge.

In other words, if you have your fibers wrapped too tightly inside your network tools – you could be losing a lot more db than you thought, affecting the distance the data can travel with integrity.

Second, if the bend is too great, there will be stress placed on the cladding that may cause micro cracks, allowing leakage over time, as well as excess stress on the connectors, also causing misalignment that can cause further drops in db.

Our passive fiber TAPs have been designed and factory tested (read 'Born in the USA: The Story of Garland Network TAPs') eliminating any tight bend radius issues. We did not want to have a small compact design that would require tight fiber bends, increasing the risk of db loss as well as sharp curves that can occur in the manufacturing and assembly process.

Looking to add fiber TAPs to your next deployment, but not sure where to start? Join us for a brief network Design-IT consultation or demo. No obligation - it’s what we love to do!

Free Whitepaper: Network Connectivity Download Now!

Written by Jerry Dillard

Jerry Dillard, CTO and Co-founder of Garland Technology, leverages over two decades in design and engineering to ensure maximum performance within today’s network environments. Dillard, the inventor of the Bypass TAP, continues to innovate network visibility solutions worldwide.

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