Six Strand Pre-Terminated Single-Mode LC Fiber Optic Cable Installation Question on Wall Plate

Type2

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I am building an office attached to my house and I am networking it with both Cat6 and with fiber. I plan to live here for a significant amount of time and I want to future proof my network.

There will be four Cat 6 cables terminating at two wall plates (each a dual jack). One on North wall, one on West Wall.

The fiber cable comes in a bundle of six strands which are each terminated. Since it comes with six strands I will have three wall plates (each a dual jack). LINK I want to put a jack on the North, East and West wall.

I have wired Cat6 jacks many times so I understand the process.

For the fiber cable, I am trying to understand exactly how the process works. Is it just as simple as splitting the protective jacket and peeling it back 10 - 15 feet to expose each color coded fiber cable, then route each individual fiber cable to their respective jacks?

It seems like that would make sense... so this is probably a silly questions but I've done a lot of search online and I don't see anything specific on wiring fiber optic cable from a multi strand to individual fiber jacks. All I can find are wiring videos and explanations from racks to racks, or routers to switches, etc.

Anyone have experience or knowledge they can share? Here is the cable I purchased:
Ubiquiti Fiber Cable Single Mode 100ft - FC-SM-100

Thanks for any help you can provide!!!
 

seven0five

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What you're looking to do will work, except the wall plate you linked is for SC connectors and the cable you linked looks to have LC connectors. If the optic you use is duplex, you will need to make sure the TX on side A goes to the RX on side B and vice-versa. Single fibers with BiDi optic pairs of opposing waves (ex 1310/1490 and 1490/1310) will be plug and play.
 

Holbs

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Interesting concept of pre-termed 100' single mode fiber runs at affordable price tags.
What you propose of splitting the protective jacket could work. However, the idea about the jacket is to protect the fiber itself. Once you remove the fiber strands from this jacket (mind you..this jacket is only outdoor proof...not armored) each strand would be exposed to the danger of being easily damaged. Remember, for fiber optic cable you only get one shot at installing the cable. I would buy armored cable for at-home runs due to future people getting into walls and ceilings with drywall saws or drills (example: electrician has to run a new 14/2 for a light. That person is none too gentle when it comes to doing what it takes to install it). If not armored cable, running each stranded pairs in dedicated EMT, PVC, or blue smurf tube if you had to (in that order). And buy those flags/tabs that say 'fiber optic cable' and attach every 4 feet to easily identify to future handymen or vendors or service techs.
And then the problem of plugging the ends into a faceplate. Best be a large box behind that faceplate! There is a minimum bend radius to consider as well as how deep the end connectors stick back. I would imagine a 4x4 square deep metal box should suffice. Would be happier if they made 6x6 :)
example of indoor armored cable: 6 Strand Singlemode Indoor Armored Plenum Fiber Optic Cable - Yellow (Per Foot) Corning 006E88-31131-A3
As you can see...fiber cabling in the house gets spendy. $1.50-$2 per foot just for the cable itself. Not including boxes, faceplates, jacks, patch cords, single mode networking equip, etc. It is so spendy that it will never become the norm in households. WiFi will take care of that.
 
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bp2008

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As noted by @seven0five the wall plates do not match the ends already on the cable. You need LC wall plates.

And then the problem of plugging the ends into a faceplate. Best be a large box behind that faceplate! There is a minimum bend radius to consider as well as how deep the end connectors stick back. I would imagine a 4x4 square deep metal box should suffice. Would be happier if they made 6x6
I don't think you even strictly need a "box" behind the wall plates. I'd just use low voltage 1 gang brackets. They are really just a plastic frame to screw the wall plate into, with no walls or back end so it should be easy to work with.
 

Type2

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Any leads on LC wall plates? Having a tough time finding some. Thanks for the correction on those plates I linked to!
 

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I guess you could run any fiber cable jacket and fiber strands exposed as one would like. Will work in the end of things. I would error on the side of caution and protect fiber optic cabling from start to finish with conduit & boxes as I've dealt with how fiber easily shatters, breaks, gets crushed, etc.
 

bp2008

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@Type2 Just to give you a better idea of what to expect when you eventually put the fiber optics to use, here is what I used for my first fiber project (this year).

http://amzn.com/B00GAZ2HHS This is a small managed gigabit switch with 4 RJ45 jacks and one SFP slot for a fiber module. This plays the role of a fiber media converter, effectively transitioning from the fiber network to RJ45 that most computers use.

http://amzn.com/B01N4KWOI1 This is a kit containing two SFP modules (one for each end of the cable). Most inexpensive SFP optical modules require two fibers (one to transmit, the other to receive), however the modules in this kit only require one strand of fiber because they transmit and receive on the same fiber strand using different wavelengths of light (they are "BiDi" or bidirectional). In this case, one module transmits 1550nm and receives 1310nm, and the other module is the opposite, receiving 1550nm and transmitting 1310nm.

It is hard to say if/when you will ever need to actually use the fiber. Depending on the distance, interference, and quality of the cable/crimps, cat6 can even be good for 10 gigabit networks.

Really the only reason I installed fiber for mere 1 Gbps speeds is because it was a link between two buildings that kept dropping for no reason, and the cat5e between them was beat all to heck (although it still achieved gigabit speed!). I wanted to rule out ESD and EM noise as a cause of failure in the future.
 

Type2

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Greatly appreciate all the knowledge! I decided to not split the cable - it's too risky so I'll just have to have all six fiber(s) terminate on the North wall.

I routed the fiber strand in the basement and it's a pain to deal with. At one point I had to stop what I was doing, back everything out and completely unwind the cable because it got all spindled up like a twizzler -- which makes me worried the cable could have broke.

I looked at the rating on this cable which is G.657.A2 - so apparently it is super flexible and can bend quite a bit -- and if it was Cat6 I wouldn't think twice -- but is there a way to test the fiber to make sure it's working? I read the multi-mode you can shine a light and it will transmit to the other end, but for the single mode apparently it needs a stronger source.

Am I over thinking this or should I test to make 100% sure?

Thanks again!
 

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bp2008

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I routed the fiber strand in the basement and it's a pain to deal with. At one point I had to stop what I was doing, back everything out and completely unwind the cable because it got all spindled up like a twizzler -- which makes me worried the cable could have broke.
Unless it was kinked, I suspect it is probably fine. I don't know a good way to test it short of using one of those switches at each end and seeing if they link together. Maybe shine a laser pointer in one end and see if it comes out the other end. Remember not to point the fiber at your eyes though, particularly when they're hooked up to network devices. The wavelengths used are usually way beyond what is visible to humans.
 

Type2

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Okay - learning a bit here. It looks like the LC fiber cable I purchased does not plug directly into most switches (or any?). Looks like they all use SFP modules.

The SFP module you linked to - it looks like it maxes at 1G vs 10G. I am looking and it appears there are some 10G SFP modules but wow, there are so many and hard to figure out which ones are compatible.

The Ubiquiti website is helpful - see image. If I REALLY wanted 10G I'd have to go with Ubiquiti Networks UF-SM-10G-S-US Single-Mode Fiber Module, 10Gbps, BiDi -- Newegg sells a pair for $154 (!!!!) HERE. Quick edit - looks like Ubiquiti sells them direct for $160 for a pair HERE

Also - are these SFP modules completely necessary? In other words, are there any switches with LC ports? I only see 10G Fiber switches with SFP modules.

Still doing research - mainly putting thoughts down.

Many thanks

Last edit - looks like MikroTik makes a really affordable 10Gbps switch -- link HERE
MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+in Switch 1x Gigabit Ethernet Port and 4X SFP+ 10Gbps Ports, RouterOS or SwOS
 

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bp2008

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@Type2

You are right, it can be a bit of a struggle figuring out which modules are compatible with which switches. As with other things like RAM sticks, compatibility lists provided by manufacturers are never close to exhaustive.

"SFP+" (with a plus sign) indicates 10 gigabit support. Here is a similar mikrotik switch with 2 SFP+ ports and 24 RJ45 gigabit ports: http://amzn.com/B0723DT6MN -- This isn't even a bad deal if you don't need the SFP+ ports :) This and the one you linked are the cheapest switches I know of capable of 10 gigabit connectivity.

You can't really find switches with LC ports directly built-in. There are so many different kinds of SFP and SFP+ module that if they simply picked one to embed in a switch, it wouldn't be a very flexible product. The only truly standardized connector/cable type I know of is RJ45 (cat5e, cat6, etc) so you can find that on some switches, high-end motherboards, and PCI-E cards. You can also get SFP+ modules with RJ45 connectors for about $50 each. And for very short links, you can get what are called DAC (direct attach copper) modules which come with a fixed length of copper cable with SFP+ modules on the ends, intended to be used like a patch cable between nearby devices.

$154-$160 per pair is too much for 10G modules in my opinion. Cheaper modules which utilize two fiber strands cost a lot less. Here is one that uses two single-mode fibers with LC connectors: http://amzn.com/B07QXP6YW5

Modules for single mode fiber tend to cost a little more than modules for multi mode, but since you have single mode cable that limits you a bit.

upload_2019-8-12_8-11-40.png
 

bp2008

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FYI by far the cheapest way to get 10 gigabit connectivity added to a PC is to buy older used PCI-E cards from ebay. That is what I intend to do when I eventually upgrade my network backbone to 10G.
 

cage771

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Greatly appreciate all the knowledge! I decided to not split the cable - it's too risky so I'll just have to have all six fiber(s) terminate on the North wall.
Good call on not splitting the jacket. I would get another cable to run to the headed (or jump into the North wall location) and patch from there. A bit more money, but it will accomplish what you want. I'd love to have put fiber in my house (separate head ends on each floor) but it would be overkill....as if what I currently have isn't already! Added 4 more CAT6 drops to the first floor last night which brings the total for that floor to 14 (15 out of 24 ports used and still haven't added the ones I want in the dining room and breakfast bar areas). Still need to add at least 4 more to my living room.

Nonetheless, good call planning ahead!
 

Type2

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@Type2

You are right, it can be a bit of a struggle figuring out which modules are compatible with which switches. As with other things like RAM sticks, compatibility lists provided by manufacturers are never close to exhaustive.

"SFP+" (with a plus sign) indicates 10 gigabit support. Here is a similar mikrotik switch with 2 SFP+ ports and 24 RJ45 gigabit ports: http://amzn.com/B0723DT6MN -- This isn't even a bad deal if you don't need the SFP+ ports :) This and the one you linked are the cheapest switches I know of capable of 10 gigabit connectivity.

You can't really find switches with LC ports directly built-in. There are so many different kinds of SFP and SFP+ module that if they simply picked one to embed in a switch, it wouldn't be a very flexible product. The only truly standardized connector/cable type I know of is RJ45 (cat5e, cat6, etc) so you can find that on some switches, high-end motherboards, and PCI-E cards. You can also get SFP+ modules with RJ45 connectors for about $50 each. And for very short links, you can get what are called DAC (direct attach copper) modules which come with a fixed length of copper cable with SFP+ modules on the ends, intended to be used like a patch cable between nearby devices.

$154-$160 per pair is too much for 10G modules in my opinion. Cheaper modules which utilize two fiber strands cost a lot less. Here is one that uses two single-mode fibers with LC connectors: http://amzn.com/B07QXP6YW5

Modules for single mode fiber tend to cost a little more than modules for multi mode, but since you have single mode cable that limits you a bit.

View attachment 45881
Thank you for the links. I appreciate the detailed information, now I totally understand the SFP and the thought process behind it. It actually makes sense and allows for compatibility for all different types of fiber technologies. That's really comforting in the event the LC cables I went with go out of fashion and something snazzier comes along.

I really like that 24 port switch --- too bad it's not POE! I plan on running 8-10 POE IP cameras and would like a one-stop-shop for a router. I've been using multipleTP-LINK 8-Port Gigabit Easy Smart Switch with 4-Port PoE switches to power my IP phone for the office and IP cameras and other things.

I think since I have 6 strand LC fiber cable the cheaper 10G duplex may just be the way to go. I can't imagine I'll really use all 6 strands, so cutting back to 3 connections is not a bad idea, especially if it saves me $120 per connection. In fact, that actually makes me want to just test out the fiber first when I get my office finished.

I can go with your idea - and search eBay for some old PCI-E cards and slap one of those in my PC and feel the full fury of 10G lol...

Good call on not splitting the jacket. I would get another cable to run to the headed (or jump into the North wall location) and patch from there. A bit more money, but it will accomplish what you want. I'd love to have put fiber in my house (separate head ends on each floor) but it would be overkill....as if what I currently have isn't already! Added 4 more CAT6 drops to the first floor last night which brings the total for that floor to 14 (15 out of 24 ports used and still haven't added the ones I want in the dining room and breakfast bar areas). Still need to add at least 4 more to my living room.

Nonetheless, good call planning ahead!
Thanks! Once I saw how teeny tiny the little fiber strands were I was like, hell no I'm not even touching this!

I started with two Cat6 in my office - finished up fulling four more plus the fiber. North and West wall will have two jacks and then an IP camera on West and East wall. Plus fiber on North wall.

Again - many many thanks!!
 

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cage771

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Thanks! Once I saw how teeny tiny the little fiber strands were I was like, hell no I'm not even touching this!

I started with two Cat6 in my office - finished up fulling four more plus the fiber. North and West wall will have two jacks and then an IP camera on West and East wall. Plus fiber on North wall.

Again - many many thanks!!
No problem and you're welcome! I am going to suggest that you double up on your drops. You might think right now that you only need 2 CAT6 in a given location....until you move in and find yourself needing more and then adding a switch. Think about wherever you might want a desk.....and put in 4. Or 3 and a RG6 connection. Or an HDMI connection so that you can bounce video to a monitor on another wall.

Plan ahead and think of not only what you want, but what someone else might want down the road. Cable is cheap and doing it now is easy. Pulling cable in a 100+ year old house is not.......
 

bp2008

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I decided to go ahead and order parts to upgrade my LAN backbone between my main PC and server closet to 10 gigabit. I ended up buying used PCI-E network cards on ebay. Mellanox MHZH29-XTR. ~$20-25 each. This brand came well-recommended by other users, and I'm fairly confident I can make them work in both my FreeNAS and upcoming unRAID boxes. They are dual port cards, but only one of the ports is the common SFP+ connector.

I also went with used SFP+ modules. Finisar FTLX8571D3BNL. $8 each. They work with multi-mode fiber, although ebay has similarly priced modules for single mode fiber. Multi-mode basically has 4 grades, OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4. I chose OM3 because it was more cost-effective than OM4 while still being rated for 10 gigabit ethernet. I ordered a small assortment of plain duplex OM3 (LC-LC) patch cables from fs.com, but got http://amzn.com/B07JHKKCVY for the longest and most vulnerable run because fs.com wanted way too much for shipping their armored cable (evidently it isn't eligible for free shipping).
 

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@Type2

$154-$160 per pair is too much for 10G modules in my opinion. Cheaper modules which utilize two fiber strands cost a lot less. Here is one that uses two single-mode fibers with LC connectors: http://amzn.com/B07QXP6YW5

Modules for single mode fiber tend to cost a little more than modules for multi mode, but since you have single mode cable that limits you a bit.

View attachment 45881
I'm curious - if I want to go the "cheap" route and go duplex, can I order two of those LC 1310nm SFP+ Transceivers you linked - one for each end or do I need to use the ones from FS.com? The one from FS.com has both a 1310nm & 850nm.

I read the "SR" (short range) SFP+ module is 850nm and almost always for Multimode (which I do not have) and the "LR" (long range) 1310nm SFP+ module is usually for Single Mode... so I probably just answered my own question lol but wanting to make sure. Thinking of pulling the trigger.

I decided to go ahead and order parts to upgrade my LAN backbone between my main PC and server closet to 10 gigabit. I ended up buying used PCI-E network cards on ebay. Mellanox MHZH29-XTR. ~$20-25 each. This brand came well-recommended by other users, and I'm fairly confident I can make them work in both my FreeNAS and upcoming unRAID boxes. They are dual port cards, but only one of the ports is the common SFP+ connector.

I also went with used SFP+ modules. Finisar FTLX8571D3BNL. $8 each. They work with multi-mode fiber, although ebay has similarly priced modules for single mode fiber. Multi-mode basically has 4 grades, OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4. I chose OM3 because it was more cost-effective than OM4 while still being rated for 10 gigabit ethernet. I ordered a small assortment of plain duplex OM3 (LC-LC) patch cables from fs.com, but got http://amzn.com/B07JHKKCVY for the longest and most vulnerable run because fs.com wanted way too much for shipping their armored cable (evidently it isn't eligible for free shipping).
Exciting! Did all the this fiber chat push you over the tipping point? :) I pulled up an eBay search for the Finisar FTLX8571D3BNL and will do a bit more research before I move forward.

Again, much thanks.
 

bp2008

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Exciting! Did all the this fiber chat push you over the tipping point?
Yes, pretty much.

I'm curious - if I want to go the "cheap" route and go duplex, can I order two of those LC 1310nm SFP+ Transceivers you linked - one for each end or do I need to use the ones from FS.com? The one from FS.com has both a 1310nm & 850nm.

I read the "SR" (short range) SFP+ module is 850nm and almost always for Multimode (which I do not have) and the "LR" (long range) 1310nm SFP+ module is usually for Single Mode... so I probably just answered my own question lol but wanting to make sure. Thinking of pulling the trigger.
This site explains a bunch of the transceiver module standards pretty well: Confused by 10GbE optics modules?

You could try your luck with ebay searching for "10GBASE-LR SFP+" or just go with amazon or fs.com (Generic 10GBASE-LR SFP+ Transceiver Module). I honestly don't know how likely there are to be compatibility problems. FS.com does have little buttons for different brand compatibility but I doubt most of them do anything.
 

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Okay - I've done more research and this is what I believe I've settled on:

Office switch: $136.00 (1ct) MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+in Switch 1x Gigabit Ethernet Port and 4X SFP+ 10Gbps Ports, RouterOS or SwOS

Main switch: $249.00 (1ct) MikroTik 9-Port Desktop Switch, 1 Gigabit Ethernet Port, 8 SFP+ 10Gbps Ports (CRS309-1G-8S+IN)

SFP+ Transceiver(s): $23.99 (6ct - 3 in office, 3 for main switch) 10G SFP+ Module LC Single-Mode Transceiver 10GBASE-LR

Office Wall Plate #1 (1ct) RiteAV - 2 Port LC Fiber Singlemode Duplex Decorative Wall Plate - Bracket Included

Office Wall Plate #2 (1ct) RiteAV - 1 Port LC Fiber Singlemode Duplex Decorative Wall Plate - Bracket Included

LC Duplex patch cable(s) (3ct) LC to LC Fiber Patch Cable Single Mode Duplex - 3m (9.84ft) (2 Pack)

Still looking at SFP+ PCI-E cards - MUST support windows 10 and Windows Server 2016
 
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