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Fibre Optic Cable


Dave lee

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Hi All

 

We have just taken delivery of our new HD Projectors and switchers and have been looking at our options of sending their 1080p signal over distances of 50 to 60m.

 

In the past we have used cat5 to send VGA over these distances but now need to consider Fibre Optic. We are looking at the Kramer 621T/621R units to convert the DVI output and

 

so my question is simply - is Fibre Optic cable robust enough for touring? I appreciate it's advantages on installs but have some doubts about it's touring suitability.

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

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Yes. More than robust enough. You can get lovely black stuff called "Tactical Fibre". Treat it with a bit of care and it will last forever. Or you can buy cheap stuff by the roll for fairly cheap price per meter and terminate and chuck when it dies. If you are going to be doing long term touring with multiple runs - ie a number of projectors for year round touring, a fibre terminating kit would be a good idea.

 

Get a cleaning kit too - you can get a basic one for under a hundred - just to make sure the connections are clean when you have issues.

 

I would consider racking your receiver - or remounting it with either an Optocon connector or an MX (Mini Expanded Beam) connector on the outside. LC connectors are a bit icky for touring use.

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Disclaimer: I've never toured with fibre, but I have commissioned hundreds of links, ranging from less than 1m to tens of kilometers.

 

 

The cable itself is reasonably robust - exterior-grade stuff gets pulled down ducts in 2km lengths - but doesn't like tight bends or knots. Interior installation-grade cable is mroe flexible, but less well armoured. Patch cable looks delicate, but is surprisingly robust. It's reasonably cheap, so make sure you carry some spare.

 

Even though the cable tends to be robust if treated with care, the ends are delicate.Get some protection over the whole end assembly in transit - not just caps, a bag over the whole end. Also make sure you cap the transmitter/receivers.

 

Repair "in the field" is a specialist task.

 

Carry a can of compressed air with you to clear out any dust in the connectors. The core of multimode fibre is typically 50 or 62 microns - less than a human hair, and smaller than most dust particles. One particle can kill a link.

 

Also useful to have some pure IPA (IsoPropyl Alcohol, not beer!) and lens tissues - if you have a mucky fibre end and compressed air doesn't sort it, then you've nothing to lose. Squirt some IPA on the end of the connector, let the tissue fall on top of it, and pull it to the side. At one time we'd use acetone, but it is more likely to damage the connector or adhesive.

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Yes. More than robust enough. You can get lovely black stuff called "Tactical Fibre".

Indeed. A couple of jobs ago we supplied a pile of Tactical Fibre for a "rapid field-deployable covert security and surveillance" system. The stuff was rated for having vehicle drive over it.

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Ive recently had exactly the same descion to make, and have gone for the all in one solution.

 

 

http://www.kramerelectronics.co.uk/products/model.asp?pid=783&sf=167

 

Took kramers advice on this in the end and it makes a lot of sense, id considered a few of the the boxes plus a load of different cables in different lengths but at the end of the day what you need is a transparent cable solution, not a pair of boxes, fibre cable and cat 5 for the edit / hdcp, id been concerened abot the fact that if the cables damaged its not field replaceable, but the all in one solution is a bit more rugged and you wont need to clean the cable ends etc. The boxes are more designed for use with installed fibre and allthough they will work perfectly well, the manufacturer is recomending the all in one solution. Id looked at a few options from different manufacturers, but the lack of hdcp or expense made the decision for me.

 

Id be interested to hear of any real world use of these or any other solutions as its too soon to know if its the right thing, but it seems so...

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Ive recently had exactly the same descion to make, and have gone for the all in one solution.

 

be interested to hear of any real world use of these or any other solutions as its too soon to know if its the right thing, but it seems so...

 

Big Mistake.....

 

The Solutions involving boxs and Tac Fibers are some much more practical .... sadly I know to many companies who bought the nice orange fibers and now regret it

 

look at Lightware - Think Logical - both make Fiber extenders Telecast make Rattlers - the best for Hdsdi and if you have spare cores in your TAC fiber use it for a 1ghz network.

 

Ian H

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We've been using the orange fibre from Kramer for about 4 years now - both the all-in-one units and the separate 621T/R units with 50m and 100m 4LC fibres.

 

We've had a spate of failures recently on the 621 Units, so I'm loosing faith in them - that said they're about 3 years old, and I wonder if the high temp they operate at has led to component failure. The 4LC fibres have lasted with minimal work, and simply taking care of them by careful handling and ensuring the TX/RX don't swing on the fibre. The all in one unit we had died after being pulled along a truss and the connector clunking on every chord as it went, where as the TX/RX kits failing have meant that we don't have to loose the whole fibre.

 

I'm currently looking at how we improve on the system - it'll be something along the lines of orange cable with CAT5 on drums, the ends protected with Neutrik Opticon Duo pairs in a project box, and then using cheap patch leads to do the jump from loom to the TX/RX units. I might also buy direct from Opticis as they OEM the Kramer units. The quotes for £1500 of Neutrik Opticon Quad 100m drums nearly gave me a heart attack. As Ian H says being able to access individual fibres means that you could use alternative transmitters for different signals in the 4 way loom.

 

HTH.

Pete.

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We've been using the orange fibre from Kramer for about 4 years now - both the all-in-one units and the separate 621T/R units with 50m and 100m 4LC fibres.

 

We've had a spate of failures recently on the 621 Units, so I'm loosing faith in them - that said they're about 3 years old, and I wonder if the high temp they operate at has led to component failure. The 4LC fibres have lasted with minimal work, and simply taking care of them by careful handling and ensuring the TX/RX don't swing on the fibre. The all in one unit we had died after being pulled along a truss and the connector clunking on every chord as it went, where as the TX/RX kits failing have meant that we don't have to loose the whole fibre.

 

Most fiber optic connectors are not rated for a lot of insertions, often 500 insertions. In a touring situation that is not many insertions. That rating is on both the cable end and the equipment end. When the connectors in your equipment go bad you need to replace the transceiver module in them.

 

There are connectors made for lots of insertions that use a lens to expand the beam to make a larger contact area where the fibers meet. These are the connectors used by Digico in their Optocore system, and in Optocore's own solutions. The connectors and cable assemblies are made by Fiber Fox and are available in 2 or 4 core versions. They are expensive, but are very robust.

 

Mac

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We generally keep the TX/RX units on the fibres, so we're talking low numbers of mating cycles so far. All the failures we've seen so far are due to the module burning out rather than the actual connections failing as far as I'm aware.

 

But as you say something to be aware of when considering the type of connectors that you choose.

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Thanks guys...

 

Looks like we've started an interesting debate here?

 

After chatting to a very helpful man at Kramer (I didn’t catch his name) I have decided to stick to Cat5/6 using the Kramer PT571HDCP boxes to convert from DVI, because as he explained these will do 1080P up to 70m.

 

Thanks for all the advise though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello to all,

 

this is my first post and I want to share my opinion about fiber optics.

The last one year we use DVI-D signal with long distance setup.

We asked many professionals to share their experience.

Finally we bought DVIgear fiber cables which have dvi-d on both ends and the transmitter end require power.

The result is very good we use them for 50m and 100m setups.

They tranfer 1080p signal without trouble.

This solution is not the cheaper one but is troubleless.

 

Thank you for reading my post...

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