When it comes to network cabling, the outdoors connections, meaning the ones that occur between different buildings are usually done with fiber-optic cables. When you are indoor cabling, that means within a building, in order to save costs Ethernet twisted pairs are usually used in this type of wiring.
However, during the conversion process between one to another certain pieces of equipment need to be used in order to properly interface one to another. If we see the different types of devices we need to use in this kind of installation we can mention the fiber optic converter, the fiber cables, patch cords and of course the Fiber Termination Box.
The process of optic fiber termination looks to provide a simple way to do fiber cross connection and light wave distribution.
What is the Fiber Termination Box?
One of the most important pieces used in an Optic Fiber installation is the Fiber Termination Box. An optical fiber terminal box receives its name because it’s a box that’s used in the optic fiber wiring to protect the wiring and to make the distribution to different links within the FTTH network.
A fiber termination box (FTB), also known as optical termination box (OTB), is a small-sized fiber management product. It is widely adopted in FTTx cabling for fiber and cables. They offer an ideal solution for the construction of entrance terminals, telecommunications cabinets, cross-connection, computer rooms and other controlled environments.
In terms of installation environments, there are indoor and outdoor Fiber Termination Boxes. The indoor type act as the transition point between the upstream cable and the horizontal cable, thus providing operators with much more cable management flexibility. In addition, indoor FTB allows space for extra cable and fiber termination, used for fiber splicing.
The outdoor is environmentally sealed to distribute fibers for FTTX networks. They are also designed for fiber splicing, termination and cable management.
The main application of the fiber optic terminal box, is to serve as a termination for the different fiber optic cables and connecting the core of the cable and pigtail. It is important to notice that the cables can be multi-core. If you have a cable with 4 fibers (this one is called a fiber optic cable with 4 cores).Once this cable enters the termination box is possible to split it into 4 pigtails in order to have 4 different patch chords. If you have a 12-core optic cable, using a 12-core fiber optic termination box it can be split into 12 pigtails.
Fiber Termination Box characteristics
Fiber Termination boxes contain the covering, internal structure (supporting structure, fiber disc system, fixing device) and protective elements of optical fiber. The prominent advantages of fiber termination box lie in efficiency of welding cable fixing and its protective role in fiber optic machinery.
An insulation between metallic cable components and the terminal box is always required in a fiber termination box, which provides a space for storing cable and the rest of the fiber. In addition, they also facilitate installation on various occasions as it is easy to access, resulting in time and cost savings.
Fiber Termination Box applications
It is used in telephone system, agricultural telephone network system, data and image transmission system, CATV cable television, indoor cable through access connection and power branch.
Fiber terminal boxes are available for distribution and termination connection for various kinds of fiber optic systems, especially for Mini-network terminal distribution, in which optical cables, patch centers and pigtails are connected. Besides that, it can be applied for splicing flexible fiber cable, protecting fiber optic joints and sharing connectivity to individual customers.
What is a Fiber Pigtail?
Despite its funny name, the Fiber Pigtail plays an important role in the fiber optical wiring. This is a buffer with an optical connector on one end. The other end of the buffer has an exposed fiber. The exposed end is meant to be spliced to a single fiber. The other part (the one with the special connector) is meant to be connected to the converter or to a special optical transceiver.
When we are using a Fiber Termination Box, the pigtail connects the fiber cable across the couplers in the box converting and with the fiber patch chord.
The fiber patch chord.
Another crucial element for the fiber installation when using a fiber terminal box is the patch chords. As its name implies this is used to patch connections. Patch chords have two different terminals on each end. They have many different applications depending on the wiring. Engineers with experience even used them to create pigtails.
Using the right part for the job.
If you remember, we started talking on how the connections from building to building are made using optic fiber. We also mentioned that connections within a building are made using twisted Ethernet pairs. So, how can we connect optic fiber with regular Ethernet cables?
Well, the answer is: by using optic fiber converters. These devices allow the connection between fiber-based installations and cooper-based ones. It is important to note the difference between the Fiber Termination Box and the Fiber Converter. Fiber Termination Boxes are used to terminate optical cables and make distributions based on the needs of the network, by using patch cords or pigtails. On the other hand, converters transform light signals into electrical signals that can travel through the cooper wires of an Ethernet cable.