Types: 1. Guided - signal is directed along a physical media. Examples: coaxial cable, twisted pair, fiber optic 2. Unguided - provide a means of transmitting electromagnetic signals but do not guide them. Examples: air, vacuum, water, light wave propagation

Transmission Media

Twisted Pair Composed of 2 insulated wires twisted with each other to reduce electromagnetic inference with other twisted wires. A thindiameter wire may range from 22 to 26 guage or 0.016 to 0.036. A number of pairs (up to 300 pairs) are usually bundled together on a protective sheath.

Common Uses

• Telephone • Private Branch Exchange (PBX) • Local Area Network (LAN)

Twisted Pair Types: 1. Unshielded (UTP) - most common 2. Shielded (STP) - used in noisy environments where the shield protects against excessive electromagnetic interference. Stranded and Solid Twisted Pair Stranded - most common and is very flexible for bending around corners. Solid - has less attenuation and can span longer distances, but is less flexible than stranded wire and cannot be repeatedly bent.

Twisted Pair Categories
1 2

Cable type


3 4 5 Level 6 Level 7


Analog voice Digital voice 1 Mbps data 16 Mbps data 20 Mbps data 100 Mbps data 155 Mbps data 1000 Mbps data

. and data rate • twisting reduces low frequency interference and crosstalk. bandwidth.Twisted Pair Properties • exhibits more signal distortion per meter thus used in limited distance.

.STP UTP shield Shielded and Unshielded Twisted Pairs The metal shield on the STP cable adds protection against external interference.

wrapped in a plastic cover.Coaxial Cable Pertains to several layers of materials surrounding a common axis. hence the term co-axis or coaxial. main wire insulation ground insulation . Contains an insulated solid or stranded copper wire surrounded by a solid or braided metallic shield. teflon. or polyvinyl chloride. The outer jacket is usually made up of one of the following: plenum.

thus magnetic fields coming from the coax is self-cancelled that is why it is less susceptible to interference and crosstalk than TP. . the braided shield is used as the return path of that current.Common Uses • • • • • carry long distance telephone signals carry long distance television transmission distribute TV signals to homes (cable TV) render short-range connections like I/O devices on computers local area networking (LAN) Transmission Properties • central conductor carries current in one direction.

a layer of kevlar fibers for strength and an outer sheath of plastic or Teflon. An optical fiber is constructed of a transparent core made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2).Fiber Optics A thin glass wire designed for light transmission. through which the light travels. This core is so transparent that you could see through a three-mile thick window made out of it. The cladding is surrounded by a plastic layer. The core is surrounded by a cladding layer that reflects light. . capable of transmitting trillions of bits per second. keeping it in the core.

.Common Uses • backbone of long-haul telephone transmission • metropolitan trunks • local area network • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) & Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) are applications of optical fiber.

. • error rate in transmitting light pulses is significantly lower than electrical pulses. • more secure.Transmission Properties • huge transmission capacity • light pulses are not affected by random radiation in the environment as are electrical pulses. because taps in the line can be detected • installation is streamlined due to the dramatically lower weight of the material compared to copper cables. • allow longer distances to be spanned without repeaters in between that regenerate fading signals.

• core diameter of less than 10 microns. making it easier to connect the light source. Singlemode fiber • used for high-speed transmission over long distances • provides greater bandwidth than multimode • smaller core makes it more difficult to couple the light source. • light rays bounce around within the core causing some distortion and providing less bandwidth •common for short distances • core diameter of from 50 to 100 microns. Multimode fiber • light can enter the core at different angles.Two primary types of fiber 1. . 2.

core cladding Multimode Singlemode .

.Fiber Strands The fibers in this picture are being prepared for splicing in a wiring closet. These few strands can collectively transmit billions of bits per second.

.Fiber Versus Copper Not only does optical fiber provide enormous transmission bandwidth. but it takes a lot less room. The single strand of fiber in the center is equivalent in capacity to any one of the copper bundles in the picture.

9" diameter High-densit polyethylene j acket Metal armor Rip cord Inner sheath Dielectric strength member W ater-blocking tape Core tube Each of the 12 ribbons has 24 fibers . voice and data to its Manhattan subscribers. In 1996. Time Warner Cable in New York purchased 50 miles of it for transporting highbandwidth video. . singlemode cable with 288 fibers.288 Fibers in One Cable With the assistance of Antec Corporation. Lucent developed this record high-fiber-count.

It contains the split sleeve (interconnect sleeve) that holds the two ferrules . adapter sleeve A mechanical fixture within the adapter body that aligns and holds two terminated fiber connectors.panduit. ceramic or polymer. adapter A mechanical device designed to align fiber-optic connectors. visit www. a leading manufacturer of wiring and network cabling products.Fiber Optics Glossary The following terms are courtesy of Panduit Corporation. For more information. Adapter sleeve material is typically phosphor bronze.

at which the core of the fiber will accept light. attenuation The loss of signal strength (optical power) during transmission between two points.absorption The absorbing of light energy within an optical fiber due to natural impurities in the glass. measured from the fiber core axis (center of core). protection and tensile strength. It expresses the total loss of an optical system. Absorption and scattering are the main cause of attenuation (signal loss) in an optical fiber. . Also referred to as KEVLAR. which is a brand of aramid yarn. measured in degrees. A member in optical fiber cable that provides support. acceptance angle aramid yarn The angle. measured in decibels per kilometer (dB/km) at specific wavelengths.

A cceptance A ngle Core Cladding A cceptance Cone .

it is referred to as a pigtail. main and intermediate crossconnects and terminations at these locations. bandwidth buffer The information-carrying capacity of an optical fiber. When connectors are installed to only one end. Fabrication techniques include tight or loose tube buffering. It consists of the transmission media. cable assembly An optical fiber cable that has connectors installed on one or both ends. equipment rooms and the telecommunications closets. it is known as a patch cord. The protective layer that surrounds the fiber cladding. as distance plays an important role. It is measured in MHz-km and GHz-km. . When connectors are installed on both ends.backbone cabling The interbuilding and intrabuilding cable connections between entrance facilities.

The cladding has a lower refractive index (faster speed) in order to keep the light in the core. . The cladding and core make up an optical waveguide.chromatic dispersion cladding The spreading of light pulses caused by the difference in refractive indices at different wavelengths. coating A protective layer applied over the fiber cladding during the drawing process to protect it from the environment. cleave The process of scoring and breaking the optical fiber end in order to terminate a connector. The material surrounding the core of an optical fiber.

Black polyurethane outer jacket Strength members Buffer Jacket Silicone coating Cladding (silica) Core (silica) Optical fiber .

FDDI. coupler decibel A device that feeds the light from two or more fibers into the core of a single fiber. FC. D4 and Biconic. Commonly used connections include 568SC (Duplex SC). ST. core The central region of an optical fiber through which light is transmitted. attaching and decouplng the fiber to a transmitter. A unit of measure used to express the relative strength of a signal.connector A mechanical device used on a fiber to provide a means for aligning. . It has a higher refractive index (slower speed) than the surrounding cladding. receiver or other another fiber.

dielectric A material such as a glass fiber. . duplex cord A two-fiber cable used for bi-directional transmission. dispersion The cause of bandwidth limitations in a fiber. Optical fibers are not susceptible to EMI. which is not metallic and is not conductive. chromatic dispersion and waveguide dispersion. The three major types are modal dispersion. Dispersion causes the spreading or broadening of light pulses as they travel through a fiber. EMI (electromagnetic interference) The interference in signal transmission or reception resulting from radiation of electrical or magnetic fields.

main or intermediate cross-connects and telecommunications closets. plastic and stainless steel. this can be caused by improper alignment of connectors or splices. . Ferrule materials are ceramic. entrance facilities. ferrule A mechanically rigid fixture within a connector body that aligns and holds the fiber (core and cladding) within the connector. epoxy A thermosetting resin used to secure the fiber with the connector ferrule. extrinsic loss The loss that is induced in an optical transmission system by an external source.enclosure A cabinet used to organize and enclose cable terminations and splices for use within main equipment rooms. In a fiber-optic link.

Fiber Ferrule fiber .

. graded index A fiber designed to be slower in the center of the core and faster toward the outside. and the difference in refractive index bends them inward. which allows the light waves to travel faster. fiber optics Information transmitted through optical fibers in the form of light. Contrast with "step index" in this list of terms. The refractive index of the outer area is lower than the center.fiber A thin filament of glass optical waveguide consisting of a core (inner region) and a cladding (outer region) and a protective coating. This type of fiber reduces modal dispersion and provides high bandwidth capabilities. fusion splice The joining of two fiber ends by applying enough heat to fuse or melt the ends together to form a continuous single fiber.

index of refraction Same as "refractive index. It is always used for singlemode fiber and certain highbandwidth multimode fiber such as used with Gigabit Ethernet. The loss due to inherent traits within the fiber. laser diode An optoelectronic device that produces light with a narrow range of wavelengths. for example. absorption (light energy is absorbed in the glass) and splice loss (mismatched numerical aperture). ." insertion loss or injection loss intrinsic loss The loss of light that results when two fibers are joined at a connection point.

Bending causes imperfect guiding of light which will exceed the critical angle of reflection. .LED (light emitting diode) An optoelectronic device that produces light with a wide range of wavelengths. Macrobending loss can be reversed once the bend is corrected. mechanical splice Joining two fiber ends together by a temporary or permanent mechanical method in order to maintain continuous signal transmission. macrobending The loss due to large scale bending (extrinsic loss). loose tube The protective tube surrounding one or more fibers. This is usually found in cables used for outdoor installations. LEDs are typically used with lower-bandwidth multimode fiber.

Used to express the geometric dimension of fibers.5 ¦m core within a 125 ¦m cladding. modal dispersion The spreading of light pulses along the length of the fiber caused by differential optical path lengths in a multimode fiber. mode The light path through the fiber.microbending micron (¦m) The loss of light due to small distrotions in the fiber. not usually visible to the naked eye. multimode An optical fiber in which light travels in multiple modes. One micro-meter or one millionth of a meter. It typically has a 62. .

5µm 125 µm Coating Cladding .250 µm 62.

nanometer A unit of measurement equal to one billionth of a meter. . OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) An instrument that measures optical transmission characteristics by sending a short pulse of light down a fiber and observing backscattered light. It is the ratio of the refractive index of the core to the cladding. Used to measure fiber attenuation and evaluate optical transmission at splices and connectors. numerical aperture (NA) A number that expresses the light gathering capability of a fiber.multiplex Combining two or more signals into a single bit stream that can be individually recovered. OFNR (Optical Fiber Non-conductive Riser) A type of optical fiber.

An optical fiber. . PC (Physical Contacting) patch cord pigtail Refers to the type of fiber-optic connector that makes actual contact of two terminated fiber ends. optical waveguide A system that can carry light. A specific length of optical fiber cable with terminated connectors on each end. A specific length of fiber-optic cable with a terminated connector on one end. Used for connecting patch panels or optoelectronic devices. keeping signal losses to a minimum. The bare end will usually be spliced to feeder cable. photodiode A device that receives optical power and changes it to electrical power.OFNP (Optical Fiber Non-conductive Plenum) A type of optical fiber.

.polishing paper Also known as lapping film. polishing puck receiver (RX) reflection A device used to hold the connector during the polishing of the fiber. An optoelectronic device that converts optical signals into electrical signals. it is a paper with a fine grit used to remove any imperfections in the fiber end surface that may exist after cleaving. The process that occurs when a light ray traveling in one material hits a different material and reflects back into the original material without loss of light. Fiber ends terminated within a connector are polished flush with the end of the ferrule.

Cladding (low refractive index) Fiber jacket light Silica Glass Core (high refractive index) .

refraction The bending of light rays as they pass through a transmission medium of one refractive index into a medium with a different refractive index.0 as the base reference. scattering A property of glass that causes light to deflect from the fiber and contribute to losses (intrinsic attenuation). It typically has an 8-10 ¦m core within a 125 ¦m cladding. the slower the speed of the lightwaves. refractive index The ratio of the velocity of light in a vacuum to the velocity of light in a specific material. Using 1. singlemode An optical fiber in which the signal travels in one mode (path). . riser A pathway for indoor cables that pass between floors. the higher the number.

250 µm 125 µm 8-10 µm Coating Cladding .

splice A method for joining two optical fiber ends. . splitter A device that takes the light from one fiber and injects it into the cores of several other fibers. splice tray A container used to hold. split sleeve The part of a fiber-optic adapter that aligns the ferrules of two terminated connectors. splice closure A container used to hold and protect splice trays. Fusion splicing and mechanical splicing are the two types. organize and protect spliced fibers.

. durability. tight buffer A protective coating (typically 900 ¦m) that is extruded directly over the primary coating of fibers. A transmitter and receiver combined in one device.step index A fiber in which the core has a single uniform refractive index. Contrast with "graded index" in this list of terms. ease of handling and termination. It is usually an LED or laser diode. transmitter (TX) transceiver An optoelectronic device that converts an electrical signal to an optical signal. Provides high tensile strength.

such as from crest to crest. The wavelengths of light used in optical fiber communications are measured in nanometers. . Common wavelengths are 850. Wavelength determines the nature of the various forms of radiant entry that comprise the electromagnetic spectrum.wavelength The length of a wave measured from any point on one wave to the corresponding point on the next. 1300 and 1350 nm.

flexible Ease of Insta.10Mbps over rate Flexibility 100 meter flexible Coaxial Fiber Optic 10Mbps over 100Mbps over 500 meter stiff 2km.COMPARISON OF LAN TRANSMISSION MEDIA Twisted Pair Transmission.very easy llation Cost Reliabilty Inexpensive Good relatively easy difficult Moderate Good Expensive Excellent .

Factors to consider in selecting transmission media reliability ease of installation and maintenance flexibility (ability to be reconfigured) cost conditions of use maximum transmission rate  security of data  resistance to interference .


is in meters. This speed is related to the frequency and wavelength by c =  f • no other wave or object can be faster than the EM wave . speed of light) is 3 x 108 m/s. Its speed c (a. or the wavelength .Electromagnetic Waves (EM) • the energy that exists in all things produced by oscillating electrons • composed of sinusoidal electric and magnetic fields that are perpendicular to each other • the number of oscillations per second of the wave. . no matter what its frequency is the limit.k. or its frequency is expressed in Hertz (Hz) while the distance between two consecutive wave peaks. • travels at a constant speed in vacuum.

visible and infrared portions are used to transmit signals. and are not satisfactorily propagated through walls. • Ultraviolet. • Parts of the radio spectrum are still unasigned. . x-ray and gamma rays are not used because they are difficult to modulate. microwave. are dangerous to human beings.Electromagnetic Spectrum • A broad range of EM waves with varying frequencies. but will eventually be used for some commercial communications purpose. • Radio.

5 µm 3 x 10 .4 x 10 10 .1 nm 14 10 . FM. taxis.5 µm .2. TV. aeronautical.10 10 . AM ) Frequency range (Hz) 10 .10 < 3 x 10 11 13 1 mm .10 17 4 . aircraft.25µm > 1 mm larger wavelengths lower frequencies Electromagnetic Spectrum .Type Gamma rays X.7.400 nm 14 1 x 10 .10 15 17 20 24 Wavelength range <10 -12 m higher frequencies smaller wavelengths 20 1 nm .750 n m 25 µm .5 x 10 14 750 nm .10 11 13 14 2.1 pm 400 nm .rays Ultraviolet VISIBLE LIGHT Near-infrared Infrared Microwaves Radio waves (amateur radio. cellular phone.

microwave 300 kHz – 3 MHz Medium Frequency commercial AM radio . And sat. terr.Radio and Microwave Bands Frequency range 30 – 300 kHz 3 – 30 MHz 30 300 MHz 300 MHz – 3GHz 3 – 30 GHz 30 – 300 GHz Name Low Frequency High Frequency Very High Frequency Ultra High Frequency Super High Frequency Extremely High Frequency Popular applications navigation shortwave radio (SW) VHF TV and FM radio UHF TV. microwave terr.

Common Uses • AM • FM • VHF • UHF • SW radio • Packet radio . They easily penetrate walls and can reach long distances. including satellite and line-of-sight microwave. Although radio is often thought of as only AM or FM. all airborne transmission is radio. Radio transmitters are omnidirectional. meaning the signal is transmitted in all directions from the source.Radio The transmission of electromagnetic energy (radiation) over the air or through a hollow tube called a waveguide.

• at high frequency radio waves have the tendency to travel in straight lines and bounce at obstacles. • at low frequency it passes through obstacles but the power decreases with distance from the source. the biggest disadvantage of using radio is the low data rate it can offer because radio waves have low frequency.Transmission Properties • has longer wavelengths which keeps it free from so much attenuation. • quickly absorbed by rain. . • in data communications. • subject to interference from motors and electrical equipment.

Microwave covers a part of the UHF and the whole SHF band. Microwaves are the transmission frequencies used in communications satellites as well as in line-of-sight systems on earth. • applied to short links between buildings. wireless hifi speakers. Parabolic dish antennas can be used to focus narrow microwave beams and aimed to the other antenna along a (straight) line-of-sight. microwave ovens. Electromagnetic waves above 100 MHz can travel in straight lines. • cordless phones. . Common Uses • voice and television transmission • used for long-haul telephone transmission before the introduction of fiber optics.Microwave (Terrestrial) An electromagnetic wave that vibrates at 1GHz and above.

Transmission Properties • antenna height determines the maximum distance between two antennas without any obstacle in between. and rainfall. The higher the antenna. . • amplifiers are inserted between points to be linked when distance is beyond maximum. the longer the maximum distance between two antennas. the wavelength. • Signal attenuation depends on the distance between the antenna.

(Photo courtesy of AT&T.Early Microwave Tower This microwave radio relay station was installed in 1968 at Boulder Junction.) . Colorado.

.Satellite Transmission (Microwave) A radio relay station in orbit above the earth that receives. amplifies and redirects analog and digital signals contained within a carrier frequency.

Geostationary (GEO) satellites are in ordbit 22.000 miles above the earth and revolve around the globe every couple of hours. 3. The downlink from GEOs back to earth can be localized into small areas or cover as much as a third of the earth's surface. See Teledesic. DSS.282 miles above the earth and rotate with the earth. 2. DirecPC and bent pipe architecture. Iridium. and multiple LEOs are required to maintain continuous coverage. thus appearing stationary. They are only in view for a few minutes. . Medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites are in the middle. Low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites reside no more than 1.Three kinds 1. taking about six hours to orbit the earth and in view for a couple of hours.

By the 21st Century. .Communications Satellite There are hundreds of commercial communications satellites in orbit providing services for both industry and consumers. it is expected that Internet access via satellite will be popular.

Broadcast Satellite .

Point-to-point Satellite .

• private business network Transmission Properties • most common frequency used for satellite communications is the 6/4 GHz 14/12 GHz bands (uplink/downlink). . extremely useful for those airborne or at sea.Common Uses • television broadcast distribution • long distance telephone transmission.

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