A few basic fiber optic questions.

shorttimer

Member
Location
Colorado
Occupation
retired
I have a few basic fiber optic cable questions hopefully somebody will be kind enough to assist me with.

Our church is looking to do outdoor services to adhere to the social distancing rules. We have an area 350' from the church to do this. We are trenching and burying power lines to there and we wanted to put network service to film services as well. Being it is 350' to the closest part of the building Cat6 is out so we are looking at fiber optic. The tech guy said 50 micron, multimode, OM3 with LC connectors. So I got a price on Hitachi cable 61468-6, 6-stand as they do not carry 2 strand. But this is the bare cable cut off a spool. By the time we get around the church and into it and to the equipment room we are looking at 550'

So my questions are would it make the most sense to have the electric supply company we are buying the cable from put on the LC connectors? They send it out to do this work. Or do it after the fiber optic cable is in the ground and ends accessible? Would it be okay just to put 2 connectors on each end and just seal the other 4 in case we ever need them? This is outdoor rated cable, not armored so we are going to put it in pvc about a foot above the power lines. Although we were generous with measuring the distance (550') if for some reason we are a little short, we certainly would be in the building, is there a way we could add an additional 10' easily without too much costsay by plugging an additional 10' cable into he existing cable or...? Finally, any rough idea what they charge to put on a LC connector on both ends for 2 strands? I have no idea if it is $50 - $500 or more?

Thanks so much and stay safe
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Plenty of companies custom make the cables with the ends already on it. Care must be taken when pulling it, so oversize your conduit. I wouldn’t do anything less than 2”. Long radius sweeps help too.
 

suemarkp

Senior Member
Location
Kent, WA
Occupation
Engineer
This company has a lot of choices. Pick your cable type, terminations, pulling eyes, etc. Here's one if it doesn't need to go indoors (most outdoor cables aren't fire rated):

Or start here for all the choices: https://www.lanshack.com/PreterminatedAssemblies.aspx You may want indoor/outdoor if you want to bring it inside. But you could just put an LC patch panel near the point of entry to a building and then transition to inside fire rated cabling.

I'd get more pairs than you need, as the incremental cost is small. Field terminating is possible, but you need stuff that doesn't make sense to buy if you're not using it all the time.
 

shorttimer

Member
Location
Colorado
Occupation
retired
Okay, thanks all. We would hire a person that could install the connectors out where we plan to hold services and the one inside. Just didn't know if there are people that we could hire to just come and install the 2 connectors? Any idea of cost of putting the connectors on either with the electric supply Co. or somebody coming out.

It sounds like the preferred way is to have the connectors and get the pulling hook attached to the cable when we purchase it and then pull it through the conduit? We would only have to pull about 350' as the rest will be inside the church. So you recommend 2" conduit?

Thanks all and stay safe.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
I usually pay under $50 per for field terminations

62.5 micron Multimode is the standard. 50’is becoming more popular and goes a little farther but not much. If you are using 100 megabit and that’s all you will ever need it’s no problem. It can go up to 2 km by specs but honestly it goes at least 4 km or more. It’s not that limiting either. Think about it...people are doing 4K HDTV over the internet (cord cutters) with around 2-4 megabit bandwidth. Few homes or businesses have 100 megabit Internet...that’s strictly LAN speeds.

Gigabit is a little more touchy and you are right at the limit and may have problems with a standard SX transceiver.

There is a way around it. Use an LX transceiver with a mode conditioning patch cable. What’s that? This is technically a single mode transceiver but it will work on multi mode fiber. The special patch cable just handles the fact that the fiber isn’t really single mode. Range is 550 m (meters not feet).


You might also think about going to single mode fiber for two reasons. First the fiber itself is similar in price. Second it can easily do gigabit and if you ever expect to add land it can go up to around 30-40 km. In terms of bandwidth you can use a trick called CWDM. Basically you use transceivers with different wavelengths (different colors of light) connected via a prism on the end of the fiber. This typically allows up to 8 transceivers per fiber. If you need even more bandwidth you can use DWDM transceivers that can go up to OC48 (48 gigabits) or more but this is getting into long distance telecom equipment.

Might also consider wireless. I don’t mean the cheap junk (grade not price) you can buy at Walmart. Look at for instance Ubiquiti who sells really nice outdoor rated Unifi radios for about $150 each that have the same bandwidth and range as what you are looking at. In terms of reliability I currently have a wastewater plant customer with a system. You can easily extend the system with more radios if you need more bandwidth or coverage and you can get directional antennas on these or the Airmax platform. There is a wireless ISP for ranchers that extends from Bend (central) Oregon all the way to Portland, all using mountain tops and old microwave towers, all using Ubiquiti radios for both customer connections and back hauls (connection to phone company). It’s called Yellow Knife. It is THAT reliable. No trenching, no fragile glass strands that require special contractors to connect.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
X2 on the Ubiquity, I have that system at my house. I’m shooting over a thousand feet through some trees, and still getting good signal. I have an omnidirectional AP that I can pick up at close to 1000’ outside too.
 

shorttimer

Member
Location
Colorado
Occupation
retired
I mentioned the thought of an access point. We could put it at the corner of the church and it would be 350' straight shot with hardly any obstacles line of sight but one person, a semi-techie thought that with an access point you start out getting good bandwidth but then it fades off and gets quite slow. I have heard good things about Ubiquity. Is there a particular model I could possibly look into? It would need to be able to keep up filming for at least an hour of church service. Do you have a model that you would recommend?

Would it be feasible to say buy an Ubiquiti access point and when we are burying the power lines this week to just bury empty conduit so we have it in place in case the access point doesn't work out we can pull a line of fiber optic.

Thanks again so much.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
You asked for pricing, here’s mine..
We have a local company I purchase our fiber from. $0.65 per ft for our 62.5 6 strand MM fiber.
We install the fiber, then call them to come back and install our ST connectors for about $30.00 per end.(SEL relays just like ST)
Takes him all of about 30 minutes to do 8 terminations. we only need two per end but I want two extra, “just in case”.
the other two are just left not terminated.
the 6 strand is cheaper than the 4 strand. That’s why I use 6 strand...
there’s also the cost of the Moxa media converters on both ends.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
I mentioned the thought of an access point. We could put it at the corner of the church and it would be 350' straight shot with hardly any obstacles line of sight but one person, a semi-techie thought that with an access point you start out getting good bandwidth but then it fades off and gets quite slow. I have heard good things about Ubiquity. Is there a particular model I could possibly look into? It would need to be able to keep up filming for at least an hour of church service. Do you have a model that you would recommend?

Would it be feasible to say buy an Ubiquiti access point and when we are burying the power lines this week to just bury empty conduit so we have it in place in case the access point doesn't work out we can pull a line of fiber optic.

Thanks again so much.
Ubiquiti kind of has two product lines, Airmax and Unifi. They are very different but have overlapping capability. Airmax is their original product, it is designed for rural telecom systems like beaming internet service to ranchers in the Rocky Mountain states. It has beyond fiber speeds and crazy long ranges. Unifi is more of a stadium/conference center/hotel/university/office system. It is designed for a lot of users and radios in a good size area. It would be perfect for wifi at a revival in a large church where you post the WiFi password for everyone.

Unifi runs around $100 per AP. It’s a mesh system. Generally the radios connect to each other via 5 GHz and to your wireless devices on the 2.4 GHz link. Radios automatically coordinate to pick quiet channels, They also have an Ethernet port that supplies both power and.a gigabit connection for hard wired link devices. The Unifi UAC-AC-M is an omnidirectional outdoor rated unit with 300 Mbos capability on the 2.4 GHz port. The 5 GHz backbone is about 3 times that bandwidth. The hard wired port can use the full bandwidth. It probably meets the range you want out of the box. If it won’t make it you can swap the rabbit ears for an optional UMA-D patch style sector antenna ($100) that is directional and will considerably increase the range to hundreds if not thousands of feet. If you want more bandwidth the UAC-M-PRO is over 1 gigabit on the 5 GHz port. This one is $200. They have some crazy high bandwidth and range stuff but I doubt you will need any of it.

Ubiquiti hardware is top notch. They use the very solid Atheros chips but “unlock” their full capability. Their radios are a bit “leaky” compared to say $10,000 Dragonwave radios but other than that you get equal performance. These are mostly used for professional wireless systems like wireless ISPs in mountainous areas of the country or wireless coverage of stadiums, colleges, and conference halls. It is not homeowner grade.

From experience I would just go ahead and get a couple more and put at least one near your server or router. This will be the main link back. Then you just power up APs where needed, no network cabling at all. Indoors they have a bunch of options in either a wall wart shape or a round “UFO” ceiling or wall mount shape. With my mostly industrial customers I just used the same outdoor radios.

The software is different from consumer grade stuff. But you get maid showing you precisely the link quality so there is no guess work on link quality...you will know, My systems continued operating through hurricanes. No slowing down or dropouts except once in a critical radio when the operator shut off the panel that supplied power. It really is that solid, it only takes getting used to because generally you don’t mess with individual radios once they are linked to the network. You configure “the network”.

Then you get WiFi for free for other uses too like wireless microphones or speakers across the same system in addition to the video feed. With the mesh style network you don’t have to plan as much. So in a large church you could place say an AP at both ends, let them mesh the packets for you, and have solid microphone, camera, and speaker coverage inside as well with no dead spots.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
Very good advice;
1. I have the Ubiquity at home and at our church (5 access points) . Very robust product, free software to configure.
I have quite a bit of experience with fiber:
2. Fiber is cheaper than copper. 6 count may be hard to find, we used 12 count
3. Around here (Seattle) fiber splicers are hard to find. If you use fiber use preterminated fiber to a patch panel, then run a jumper from patch panel to equipment. Get the correct jumper for the fire rating, just like Cat cable, IE riser, plenum. Jumper cable looks like Zip cord with connectors
4. LC connectors are a good choice
5. Your fiber would terminate in a small patch panel, Leviton has a nice selection.
6. You are limited to 50ft past the point of entrance with most fiber as it is not rated to run inside a building. See article 770.
7. Yes drop a 2" conduit in the ditch with power
8. MM fiber is OK for your application, SM will have faster speeds, but the equipment you light it with is more expensive (LED vs Laser)
9. If you use fiber, I would suggest having someone with cleaning experience and inspection tools help you terminate and test. Its very easy to contaminate the end faces. Have everything ready to connect and test.
10. for the preterminated fiber, pull a mule tape thru your conduit (greenlee true tape is ok but mule tape is way better) They both have footage markers to get your length from. Leave a 20 foot loop at one end.
11. Preterminated fiber and fiber jumpers I would get from Graybar.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
3. Around here (Seattle) fiber splicers are hard to find.
yes, they are...
a buddy of mine owns a fiber cabling company in NC.
he got a job cabling a Facebook server farm around Seattle somewhere.. seems like there apwas a bunch of ribbon fiber to be spliced.
He sent his fiber splicers there and hired a few more around the country and sent them there also.
he made a lot of money on that job...
 

shorttimer

Member
Location
Colorado
Occupation
retired
Thanks to all for all the suggestions. I will be checking with the electrical supply company tomorrow as they have the cable. Depending on how long it takes them to put on the LC connectors as they have to send the cable out we will either bury the cable in conduit with or without the connectors. I plan to call around tomorrow to see the availability of field cable connector installers that would be available. Thanks again all and will keep you posted.
 

shorttimer

Member
Location
Colorado
Occupation
retired
Maybe none of my business, but it seems like your church is spending a lot of money and effort on something that hopefully may only be needed for a short time.

-Hal
Actually we had it in our budget and plans to put power and Ethernet out there by the end of the year as we have services out there on special days such as Easter and during holy season. We are just pushing up the schedule a little to accommodate all the social distancing guidelines.
 

Todd0x1

Senior Member
Location
CA
I'll jump in a bit late...

If this is just temporary or for intermittent use, consider using point to point wireless if you have clear line of sight. You can do it for well under $1K. I see there has been some discussion of Ubiquiti in this thread, that is what I recommend. You don't want the unifi or mesh stuff which is wifi for this application. You want to set up a point to point link with airmax gear. A few years ago I used airmax gear from Location A to a mountaintop 4 miles away, then back to location Z another 3 miles away. This temporary link was used to transmit a LIVE TV broadcast at 1080 and it worked flawlessly (and this was in a dense area of Southern California, not out in the middle of nowhere)

I left the gear on the mountain after that use because I didn't fancy having to go retrieve it and the group who's site I was using said it could stay. It later survived a big fire on the mountain. After the fire changes were made to the site and my gear had to come down. When I got it back it was discolored from the heat and stained orange/red from the helicopter water drops but it continued to work until removed.

At your short distance all you need is a pair of uniquiti nanobeam which will set you back <$100/ea

That said if you are already trenching for power, it probably makes sense to throw a pipe in the ground for datacom and do the fiber.

If you are putting it in the ground (even in conduit) make sure you use underground fiber either flooded or with gel tape, dont just use outdoor. I would not have the underground fiber run directly connectorized, it may eventually fail at the connectors due to expansion and contraction of the fiber. Use a preterminated patch panel or fiber shelf at each end and have the U/G cable spliced to the pigtails in the panel.
 

Todd0x1

Senior Member
Location
CA
Where would the fiber land at the outdoor location? Will you have an outdoor climate controlled rack cabinet with a switch in it to get to copper? Or will fiber be plugged into the endpoint every time the outdoor location is used? If that is the case I would likely want many extra pairs.
 

slowman

New User
Location
United Kingdom
Occupation
engineer
Why not use a pre-terminated cable, you can buy anywhere.
if you want to extend the length, just use a fiber optic cable and another patch cord. SC, LC or any other connector, all can do.
 
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