CCTV System Selection 
“What to look for when planning a camera system…”Maybe you are responding to an issue where an ‘eye-in-the-sky’ could have saved the 
day…  Perhaps you think that a few surveillance cameras , in the right spots, would 
greatly enhance the physical security systems you already have in place…   Or maybe, 
you would like to update & enhance a camera system that already exists…
…either way, you find yourself in the same spot.  You need the ability.  Now.   
Do you feel the pinch of needing to you bring yourself  a little more up to speed on the 
vast (or is it overwhelming?) world of CCTV Camera system technology?  
…allow  to help you out!First, be rest assured that even the most basic camera systems can exceed your expectations when used 
and applied properly.  Costly features are nice, and in some cases critical…  but for now, here in the
beginning, challenge yourself to  ...  
Recognize that movies and TV shows might have slightly skewed your understanding of what you 
a modern CCTV system to accomplish for you…
Many of us have unrealistically placed expectations on how we need our camera system to 
perform.   Granted, the technology IS fantastic.   Facial recognition, license plate reading,  and video 
analytics technologies are all out there… for a price.   Making sure you  what your camera 
system needs to accomplish is the critical first step.
… you see, it is ultimately  and the folks you elect to use the system who               
will determine how successful of a security tool your camera system will be. It almost sounds too simple.  
You know the risks and where they are located better than anyone.
Plan out what images you’d like your camera system to see.  In the 
CCTV world, these ‘images’ are called ‘fields of view’.
Sketching out your plan may help here, but making good notes is 
For example, if you have an outside parking lot that you’d like to 
monitor traffic on… make a note.  
If you have a certain door securing a room of valuables... make a 
If you’d like to record who and what comes into your facility’s front 
entrance… make a note.
Don‘t worry about wide-angle lenses, lighting, and camera height just yet.   
…just make notes about what you’d like  to keep tabs on.Now the challenging part.  You know what you need, but how do you ask for what you want?
Take a minute and review the next pages.  While you are doing so, it might help to remember the 
areas you identified in Step 1.    In any case, here are a couple of helpful things to know:
In the CCTV world, this is the difference between digital and analog 
based systems.  Analog technologies have been around for many years, but IP (internet addressed) 
cameras offer the functionality to be viewable on a computer network, not just a DVR or VCR.  With 
the availability of the internet, it is possible to remotely view whatever your IP camera is seeing.this type of camera is the true workhorse of most CCTV systems in use 
today.   This type of camera remains focused on one field of view, in an unblinking and vigilant manner.
The fact that the static camera is not distracted by auxiliary movement , noise, or fatigue lends it to great 
utility in detecting very subtle activities like shoplifting or pilferage.  This type of camera is invaluable in 
maintaining constant visibility of high-risk or high-value areas.
Fixed cameras are manufactured with a variety of lens types, weatherproofed housings, and video 
output options.   
Motion detection, varifocal lenses, and local audio pickups are common features 
available today.  These are very versatile and well proven surveillance tools!an abbreviation of the 
definition ‘Pan-Tilt-Zoom’ type of camera.
This camera type allows a user to reposition the 
view of the camera using a remote interface; 
whether that is a control joystick, computer 
keyboard, or a remotely accessible web browser.
In addition, this type of camera can in some cases 
be configured to ‘patrol’ an area; constantly 
rolling back-and-forth across a predefined path.
The functionality of this camera is not a  
replacement for the common and familiar fixed or 
static cameras, but a PTZ camera located in a 
strategic spot can tremendously enhance the 
surveillance capabilities of your camera system. Area Description  -- LUX Value Area Description  -- LUX Value
Bright, summertime day
50,000+ LUX
Typical Office Hallway
300 - 700 LUX
is a measure of light intensity, or how much light is present in a given space*.
Modern cameras are manufactured to operate within a specific LUX range, depending on the 
intended location.  Listed below are some common ‘LUX Values’ for familiar areas.  Cameras that 
cover the full spectrum of light sensitivities are available, from  to  (nearly 
pitch black).
50,000+ LUX 300 - 700 LUX
Brightly lit interior space
1500 - 3000 LUX
Moon-lit night
0.3 – 5.0 LUX
Sunrise or Sunset
50 - 900 LUX
Starlight-Only night
0.001 - .29 LUX
*   ‘LUX’ = (Lumens x m2
) The ability of a camera to see in variable 
exposures to light greatly adds to the utility of 
the camera…  but what about seeing in dark?
Many modern cameras permit for an ‘IR’, or 
‘Infrared’ detection operation.  These cameras 
often have an array of IR emitting LED’s built 
into the housing so that IR illumination is 
directed exactly where the camera is pointed.
Image from camera without ‘IR’ sensitivity
Due to the nature of the IR wavelength, no 
illumination is observed by the human eye, yet 
the camera is able to use the emission with 
great results; often providing ‘eyes in the dark’ 
for a cost much cheaper than adding additional 
facility lighting.  
This feature greatly expands the surveillance 
capabilities of a camera system.
Image from camera with addition of ‘IR’ sensitivityBeing the utility basis for a CCTV system, the ability to record, 
store, and playback the video observed by the cameras is often accomplished by the system’s DVR.  
The DVR performs it’s function as a terminal clearinghouse for all the video feeds in a system.  
Determining how many days (and to which quality) video feeds need to be stored is a function of 
proper CCTV design and heavily influences the DVR selection.
DVRs will accept an incoming video feed, catalog it, time stamp it, and even perform basic video 
analytics.  Modern DVRs can be purchased as network appliances, often being fully integral with 
existing computer networks.  The features  and storage capacities available are often only tempered 
by the cost of the unit, with price points ranging from a few hundred to many  thousands  of dollars.One of the 
constant design challenges of camera systems has 
been that for every camera location, electrical power 
must be made available.
In the past, this meant running low-voltage DC power 
lines from a power supply to remote locations for use 
by the camera.  This situation added cost due to the 
materials and labor involved in the installation.
The impact of this requirement has been lessened 
somewhat by the advent of ‘PoE’ network switches 
and devices.  With this type of hardware, the electrical 
power for the device is carried by the same singular 
data cable used to take the video stream away from it.
While the impact doesn’t appear to be significant – requiring only one connection to be made 
between the camera/switch – the result is that camera system design has been greatly simplified 
and streamlined.  
Cameras can now be hung in locations previously determined to be lessthan-ideal because of the difficulty in supplying them power.  The result: 
video surveillance in surprisingly tight or physically restrictive locations.
Common type of ‘PoE’ network switchAnother widely 
configurable element of camera system 
design is the selection of which type of 
housing  (or enclosure) to choose in 
containing a camera.  Often times, this 
decision in effect determines the camera, 
as certain housings are designed to 
accommodate for specific cameras.
The design variability of housings offers a 
great number of considerations:
Will the camera be subjected to wet & 
cold weather?  Then a weatherproof 
housing with an electric heater may be in 
Is vandalism a potential problem?  Then 
perhaps a Detention-Grade housing is the 
Mini-dome styled housings are a popular choice for 
indoor applications.  The sleek styling these 
housings present often minimize the intrusion of a 
camera system into the ambient environment.  In 
addition, a smoked globe often makes it difficult to 
determine where the camera is pointed.  Effective 
deterrence, for certain!
Whatever the application, a housing exists to meet 
the need!In your busy world, who has the 
time & resources available to have an expert onsite, who is 
familiar with all of your facilities’ different physical security 
systems?  The good news is that ‘convergence’ is  making 
life much easier.  It is now quite possible to integrate your 
CCTV camera system, electronic access control system, 
and Fire/Burglar Alarm systems all tied together; into one 
singular, seamless enterprise platform…  ALL systems, in 
one place.   It is ‘force multiplication’ through technology!
…or, “matching up the old with the new”.
Already have an system of analog cameras in place?  They may 
be rock solid, good-as-new cameras, but they just lack the 
nice digital edge that the makes the newer technology so 
appealing.  Guess what?  There are many industry-proven 
methods for integrating your (old) existing cameras into a new 
digital backbone.  So you don’t lose your existing capital 
investment!    Now, take a minute to review the notes you took in Step 1.  You may find that you are able to slightly
refine or bring detail to the requirements you have already laid out.
Do you want your new camera system to integrate with your existing computer network so that it is 
rendered maintainable by your existing IT staff?  
Do you have a dark area of the parking lot you’d like monitored for those late-nights spent at the 
Would you like to not only see, but hear what events your camera is recording? 
In any case, you can apply a few pieces of knowledge to your specification, or at the least open your 
questions up a bit when asking the experts about a direction to take!      Congratulations!You’ve successfully navigated the waters of a dynamic and 
high-tech industry.  You have identified your needs, and 
you’ve begun to ‘flesh-out’ the type of system capabilities 
you are looking for.  
…but what if you have tougher questions, like how to 
integrate this new system with your old one?  …or maybe 
the most important one:  How much is this going to cost?!?
You need the experts.  Granted, you know just enough to avoid the ‘run around’ by a nefarious 
vendor, but you would really prefer to build a trusted relationship with someone not out to simply 
sell you parts…  
You’d like a partner in this project…  someone dependable, with experience in this type of thing, with
a long track record of meeting the physical security needs for clients far more than just folks with technical knowledge;  we have  , everyday 
experience with all the twist-and-turns that you deal with in securing your assets and your company. 
We’ve made a name for ourselves in providing custom tailored products and services to our client base for 
over 40 years.  Call us at  to begin the relationship with your new  .
…We look forward to discussing this new camera system with you!You can reach us in a myriad of ways:
(U-Change Lock Industries)
1640 West Highway 152
Mustang,  OK  73064
Local:         405-376-1600
Toll-Free:   800-253-5625
All pictures and content in this guide remain property of Security Solutions, unless otherwise sourced from the public domain.
All content within not embossed, flagged, or cited as copyrighted is not willfully used in violation of such protections.  
All private or copyrighted sources are cited.
All  copyrighted content and images are used with permission from sourcing organizations or individuals.
Security Solutions does not intend for this guide to be a replacement for competent professional 
security consultation, and encourages the end-user to pursue such consultation.  
Any liabilities incurred by the end-user remain those of the end-user.

Audio & Video Connector Guide

Audio & Video Cables and their connectors may seem simple enough, however for the novice when you begin shopping around you can quickly discover that they vary greatly in purpose, price, and quality. This guide will hopefully help you to identify some of the most common types of cables and their connectors, and understand some of the terminology used to describe them.

Audio Cable Connectors

3.5mm and 6.35mm Connectors

The most common audio cable is the standard headphone jack. It is available in several sizes, but the most common ones used with computers is the 3.5mm mini audio jack. Also referred to as an audio jack, stereo plug, jack plug, mini-jack, mini-stereo, or headphone jack and is a common analogue audio connector.

Also known as a TRS connector (tip, ring, and sleeve) which is derived from the names of the conducting parts of the plug and is cylindrical in shape, typically with three contacts, although sometimes with two (a TS connector) or four (a TRRS connector).

TS Connector - 3.5mm Mono Male Plug TRS Connector TRS Connector - 3.5mm Stereo Male Plug

  • (1), TIP: - Left-hand channel for stereo signals, positive phase for balanced mono signals, signal line for unbalanced mono signals

  • (2), RING: - Right-hand channel for stereo signals, negative phase for balanced mono signals, power supply for power-requiring mono signal sources

  • (3), SLEEVE: - Usually ground


Originally invented in the 20th century for use in telephone switchboards and is still widely used today. The most popular sizes used are the 6.35mm (1/4”) and in its smaller versions 3.5 mm (1/8”) and 2.5mm (3/32”). In the UK, the term jack plug and jack socket are commonly used to refer to the gender of the respectively male and female TRS connectors.

The most common arrangement still remains today whereby the male plug is on the cable and the female socket is mounted on the hardware and is the original intention of the design.

Most speakers and microphones can connect to the computer with these audio cables. The microphone (input) port on your computer is usually pink while the speaker (output) port, where you insert the stereo audio cable, is coloured green. Some computers have additional TRS audio ports coloured black, grey, and gold; these are for rear, front, and centre/subwoofer output, respectively.

Computer I/O Back Panel

RCA Phono Audio

An RCA connector, sometimes called a phono connector or cinch connector, is commonly used to carry audio and video signals. The name "RCA" derives from the Radio Corporation of America, which introduced the design in the early 1940s. The connection's plug is called an RCA plug or phono plug, for "phonograph". The name "phono plug" is sometimes confused with a "phone plug" which refers to a TRS connector plug.

The RCA phono cable has a variety of uses to include but not limited to the provision of left and right audio signals when connecting DVD players, set-top boxes etc to a TV or AV amplifier. A single RCA cable can be used for digital coaxial or subwoofer connections. A twin RCA is commonly used for left and right stereo audio connections.

Twin RCA Phono Male Plugs RCA Audio Out Female Sockets

TOSLink Digital Audio

TOSLink is a standardized optical fibre connection system. Its most common use is in consumer audio equipment (via a "digital optical" socket), where it carries a digital audio stream between components such as AV Amplifiers, DVD players, MiniDisc, CD players, desktop computers etc. Designed for high end audio where you need to connect the output from a DVD player or set-top box to a home theatre system. These fibre optic cables can transmit pure digital audio through light. Some laptops and audio equipment have a mini-TOSLink jack but you can use a converter to connect it to a standard TOSLink port.

TOSLink Optical Male Plug TOSLink Optical Female Socket TOSLink Optical Adaptor

Video Cable Connectors

Video Cables are available as either analogue or digital interconnects, with the majority of analogue video interconnects being based on the same type of RCA connectors found in home theatre sound systems.

Although most analogue video cables use the same end-connectors found on audio cables, this does not imply that audio cables can replace video interconnects.

The use of double shielded interconnects using both braided copper and metal foil, with high quality 'silver-plated' inner conductors and 'gold-plated end connectors', is almost a pre-requisite in quality video cables to preserve the strength and accuracy of the original video signal.

Composite Video

A composite video connection is a direct video connection using an RCA connection. It is a very common method for connecting a variety of devices. For most home applications the composite video signal is typically connected using an RCA phono plug. The connectors are often colour-coded, yellow for composite video, red for the right audio channel and white or black for the left audio channel of stereo audio.

This trio (or pair) of jacks can be found on the back of almost all audio and video equipment. At least one set is usually found on the front panel of modern TV sets, to facilitate connection of camcorders, digital cameras, and video games consoles. In most cases, composite video cables are sold bundled with a pair of stereo audio cables for convenience. It’s superior to the RF type of connection but inferior to S-Video and Component Video.

  Composite Video Female Phono Sockets  Composite Video Male Phono Plugs


Separate Video, more commonly known as S-Video, is an analogue video signal that carries video data as two separate signals: luma (luminance) and chroma (colour). This differs from composite video, which carries picture information as a single lower-quality signal, and component video, which carries picture information as three separate higher quality signals. S-Video carries standard definition video, but does not carry audio on the same cable.

An S-Video signal is generally connected using a cable with 4-pin mini-DIN connectors. Due to the wide use of S-Video connections, they are fairly inexpensive compared to component or digital connector cables.

S-Video is commonly used throughout the world with relative popularity. It is found on consumer TVs, DVD players, high-end video cassette recorders, digital TV receivers, video recorders, game consoles, and graphics cards. It has been replaced by component video and digital video standards, such as DVI and HDMI.

S-Video I/O Female Sockets  S-Video Male Plug

Component Video

Component video provides a better picture quality than composite because the video signal that has been split into two or more components, while in the case of composite; everything is transferred through a single yellow plug. Like composite video, component video cables do not carry audio and are often paired with audio cables.

Component video is capable of carrying signals such as 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The new high definition TVs support the use of component video up to their native resolution. Although component video is inferior to the digital connections of DVI and HDMI, component video is superior to both S-Video and Composite video because it provides improved colour purity, superior colour detail, and a reduction in colour noise.

A possible source of confusion is that the word component differs from composite (an older, more widely-known video format) by just a few letters. Component video connectors are not unique in that the same connectors are used for several different standards; hence, making a component video connection often does not lead to a satisfactory video signal being transferred.

The settings on many DVD players and TVs may need to be set to indicate the type of input/output being used, and if set incorrectly the image may not be properly displayed. Progressive scan, for example, is often not enabled by default, even when component video output is selected.

Modern game systems (such as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii) use the same connector pins for both YPbPr and composite video, with a software or hardware switch to determine which signal is generated. Hence, a common complaint is that the component video signals are very green, with very dark reds and blues. This is simply because the system menu has not been changed from AV (composite) to RGB (component).

Component Video Female Phono Sockets  Component Video Male Phono Plugs

DVI (Digital Video Interface)

The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a popular form of video interface designed to provide a very high visual quality on digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays, computer graphics cards and digital projectors. DVI cables are becoming increasingly popular with video card manufacturers, and most cards nowadays include both a DVI and a VGA output port. It carries uncompressed digital video data to a display and is partially compatible with HDMI in digital mode (DVI-D), and VGA in analogue mode (DVI-A), so a simple gender changer will allow a DVI monitor to receive input from an HDMI cable. Additionally, DVI to VGA gender changers are also available to connect your new graphics card to an older style monitor that supports VGA mode only.

However DVI does not support audio signals, so a separate audio cable may be required. If you have recently purchased a new desktop computer or laptop, there's a good possibility that it may have DVI connector instead of VGA or it may even have both. A DVI cable can have up to 29 pins, although some DVI connectors may have less pins than this depending on the connector type. The long flat pin on a DVI-I connector is wider than the same pin on a DVI-D connector, so it is not possible to connect a male DVI-I to a female DVI-D by removing the 4 analogue pins. It is possible, however, to connect a male DVI-D cable to a female DVI-I connector. Many flat panel LCD monitors have only the DVI-D connection so that a DVI-D male to DVI-D male cable will suffice when connecting the monitor to a computer's DVI-I female connector.

DVI Pinouts
The DVI-I Single Link Connector is an integrated analogue and digital DVI connector that is compatible with VGA and with digital video cards. With a single DVI link, the largest resolution possible at 60 Hz is 2.75 megapixels (including blanking interval). For practical purposes, this allows a maximum screen resolution at 60 Hz of 1915 x 1436 pixels (standard 4:3 ratio), 1854 x 1483 pixels (5:4 ratio) or 2098 x 1311 (widescreen 8:5 ratio).

The DVI-I Dual Link Connector has provision for a second link, containing another set of red, green, and blue twisted pairs. When more bandwidth is required than is possible with a single link, the second link is enabled, and alternate pixels may be transmitted on each, allowing resolutions up to 4 megapixels at 60 Hz. The DVI specification mandates a fixed single link maximum pixel clock frequency of 165 MHz, where all display modes that require less than this must use single link mode, and all those that require more must switch to dual link mode. When both links are in use, the pixel rate on each may exceed 165 MHz. The second link can also be used when more than 24 bits per pixel is required, in which case it carries the least significant bits.

The DVI-D Single Link Connector is a digital only DVI connector. With a single DVI link, the largest resolution possible at 60 Hz is 2.75 megapixels (including blanking interval). For practical purposes, this allows a maximum screen resolution at 60 Hz of 1915 x 1436 pixels (standard 4:3 ratio), 1854 x 1483 pixels (5:4 ratio) or 2098 x 1311 (widescreen 8:5 ratio).

The DVI-D Dual Link Connector has provision for a second link, containing another set of red, green, and blue twisted pairs. When more bandwidth is required than is possible with a single link, the second link is enabled, and alternate pixels may be transmitted on each, allowing resolutions up to 4 megapixels at 60 Hz. The DVI specification mandates a fixed single link maximum pixel clock frequency of 165 MHz, where all display modes that require less than this must use single link mode, and all those that require more must switch to dual link mode. When both links are in use, the pixel rate on each may exceed 165 MHz. The second link can also be used when more than 24 bits per pixel is required, in which case it carries the least significant bits.

The DVI-A Connector is an analogue only DVI connector that is compatible with VGA. The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video connector designed to maximize the visual quality of digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors.

Some new DVD players, TV sets (including HDTV sets) and video projectors have DVI/HDCP connectors; these are physically the same as DVI connectors but transmit an encrypted signal using the HDCP protocol for copy protection.

DVI-D Dual Link Male Plug DVI Female Socket


DisplayPort is a combined digital interface cable which can support both digital video and audio. It's primarily used between a computer and its display monitor or a computer and a home cinema system. The smaller derivative, the Mini DisplayPort connector is currently used in MacBooks but we could see them in other computer systems as well in the near future. Both types of connector support resolutions up to 2560 × 1600 × 60 Hz.

Standard DisplayPort cables can be up to 3 meters long for maximum resolution, but at a lower resolution cables can be up to 15 meters long. DisplayPort connectors are available to connect VGA, DVI video, or HDMI video and audio with a DisplayPort cable or connection. Additionally, converters are available to convert Mini DisplayPort into standard DisplayPort.

DisplayPort Male Plug

In January 2008, Dell released the first monitor to support DisplayPort, the Dell 3008WFP 30-inch (76 cm), which was shortly followed in April 2008 by the Dell 2408WFP 24-inch (61 cm). In 2009, some graphic card manufacturers started including DisplayPort on their graphic cards. Other companies have announced their intention to eventually implement or support DisplayPort which includes; Acer, AMD/ATI, Apple, ASRock, Dell, Fujitsu, Gigabyte Technology, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lenovo, Matrox Graphics, NEC, NVIDIA, Philips, S3 Graphics and Toshiba to name a few.

DisplayPort & DVI Female Sockets


High-Definition Multimedia Interface is an audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It carries both audio and video signals via a single compact cable. It is an alternative to composite video, S-Video, SCART, component video, or VGA.

HDMI connects a variety of digital audio/video devices such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray disc players, personal computers, video game consoles (such as the PlayStation 3 and some models of Xbox 360) and AV receivers to compatible digital audio devices, computer monitors, and digital televisions. HDMI can support a maximum resolution of 4096×2160p (HD is only 1920×1200) with up to 8 channels of digital audio.

HDMI cable lengths can be up to 15-20 meters long which can be further increased with the use of an extender. Because HDMI is electrically compatible with the signals used by DVI, no signal conversion is necessary, nor is there a loss of video quality when a DVI-to-HDMI adapter is used, though you will have to use a separate cable for the audio.

HDMI Male Plug HDMI Female Sockets


PC serial port (RS-232 DE9) connector pinout

serial interface

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This RS232C DE-9 (usually miscalled DB-9) port is very common and available at almost any PC, some Sun (at least Ultra 5/ 10, Blade 100/150) and many other computers. Document includes description of how PC serial mouse works.

Almost each PC nowdays equiped with one/two/four serial interface (RS232C). This PC serial port interface is single ended (connects only two devices with each other), the data rate is less than 20 kbps. It's a voltage loop serial interface with full-duplex communication represented by voltage levels with respect to system ground. A common ground between the PC and the associated device is necessary.

DB-9 PinIDC internal
pin name*
11CD<--Carrier Detect
23RXD<--Receive Data
35TXD-->Transmit Data
47DTR-->Data Terminal Ready
59GND---System Ground
62DSR<--Data Set Ready
74RTS-->Request to Send
86CTS<--Clear to Send
98RI<--Ring Indicator

Note: Direction is DTE (Computer) relative DCE (Modem)
* Pin assignment of internal connector may be different for different motherboard models. Pin 10 removed in connector. Internal IDC connnector wired to external port with a simple flat ribbon cable.

PC serial port pinout signals explanations

Since PC serial port is based on RS-232 standard, you may find signal details in the RS-232 interface pinout document

Standard RS232 data packet

RS232 data usually is sent as a packet with 7 or 8 bit words, start, stop, parity bits (may be varied). Sample transmission shown on picture: Start bit (active low, usually between +3v and +15v) followed by data bits, parity bit (depends on protocol used) and finished by stop bit (used to bring logic high, usually between -3v and -15v).

Sample RS232 serial port device. How serial mouse works

Typical PC mouse controlling system has the following parts: sensors -> mouse controller -> communication link -> data interface -> driver -> software. Sensors are the movement detectors (typically optomechanical) which sense the mouse movement and button swiches which sense the button states. Mouse controller reads the state of those sensors and takes acount of current mouse position. When this information changes the mouse controller sends a packet of data to the computer serial data interface controller. The mouse driver in the computer received that data packet and decodes the information from it and does actions based on the information.

PC RS232 serial mouse voltage levels:

Mouse takes standard RS-232C output signals (+-12V) as its input signals. Those outputs are in +12V when mouse is operated. Mouse takes some current from each of the RS-232C port output lines it is connected (about 10mA). Mouse send data to computer in levels that RS-232C receiver chip in the computer can uderstand as RS-232C input levels. Mouse outputs are normally something like +-5V, 0..5V or sometimes +-12V. Mouse electronics normally use +5V voltage.

Serial device hardware implementation

PC serial mouse uses typically DTR and RTS lines for generating +5V power for microcontroller circuit in the mouse. Because typical optomechanical mouse also needs power for 4 leds in the optocoupler movevement detectors, there is not much power to loose. A typical approach is to use diodes to take current from DTR and RTS lines and then feed it through resistor to all of the (infrared) leds in the movement detectors. The positive power supply usually taken from RTS and DTR lines (just after the diodes and before the resistor going to leds). The negative supply for transmitter is taken from TD pin. Typical PC serial port mouse takes 10 mA total current and operates at voltage range of 6-15V. The data itself in sent using standard asynchronous RS-232C serial format:

              Start D0  D1  D2  D3  D4  D5  D6  D7  Stop
   Logic 0      ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
  +3..+15V     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
               |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
               |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
   Logic 1     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  -3..-15V  ___|   |___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|____

Serial mouse pinout explanation

shellProtective Ground 
3TDSerial data from host to mouse (only for power)
2RDSerial data from mouse to host
7RTSPositive voltage to mouse
5Signal Ground 
4DTRPositive voltage to mouse and reset/detection

RTS = Request to Send CTS = Clear to Send DSR = Data Set Ready DTR = Data Terminal Ready

When DTR line is toggled, mouse should send one data byte containing letter M (ascii 77) to identify itself. To function correctly, both the RTS and DTR lines must be positive. The lines DTR-DSR and RTS-CTS must NOT be shorted. Implement the RTS toggle function by setting the RTS line negative and positive again. The negative pulse width is at least 100ms. After a cold boot, the RTS line is usually set to a negative level. In this case, setting the RTS line to a positive level is also considered an RTS toggle.


RS232 serial data parameters and packet format

1200bps, 7 databits, 1 stop-bit

Data packet is 3 byte packet. It is send to the computer every time mouse state changes (mouse moves or keys are pressed/released).

        D7      D6      D5      D4      D3      D2      D1      D0
1.      X       1       LB      RB      Y7      Y6      X7      X6
2.      X       0       X5      X4      X3      X2      X1      X0      
3.      X       0       Y5      Y4      Y3      Y2      Y1      Y0

Note: The bit marked with X is 0 if the mouse received with 7 databits and 2 stop bits format. It is also possible to use 8 databits and 1 stop bit format for receiving. In this case X gets value 1. The safest thing to get everything working is to use 7 databits and 1 stopbit when receiving mouse information (and if you are making mouse then send out 7 databits and 2 stop bits).

The byte marked with 1. is send first, then the others. The bit D6 in the first byte is used for syncronizing the software to mouse packets if it goes out of sync.

LB is the state of the left button (1 means pressed down); RB is the state of the right button (1 means pressed down); X7-X0 movement in X direction since last packet (signed byte); Y7-Y0 movement in Y direction since last packet (signed byte)

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10 pin IDC male connector layout
10 pin IDC male connector
at the inside, at motheboard

Source(s) of this and additional information: partially by Tomi Engdahl >  RS-232 and other serial ports and interfaces pinouts listing >  Pinout of PC serial port (RS-232 DE9) and layout of 9 pin D-SUB male connector and 10 pin IDC male connector. Is this document correct or incorrect?
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should be correct

USB connector pinout

computer bus specification

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USB (Universal Serial Bus) designed to connect peripherals such as mice, keyboards, scanners, digital cameras, printers, hard disks, and networking components to PC. It has become the standard connection method for scanners, digital cameras and for some printers. Complete pinout.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a specification to establish communication between devices and a host controller (usually personal computers). An USB system consists of a host controller and multiple devices connected in a tree-like fashion using special hub devices. Hubs may be cascaded, up to 5 levels. Up to 127 devices may be connected to a single host controller. USB can connect computer peripherals such as mice, keyboards, digital camerasPDAmobile phones, printers,personal media players, flash drives, GPS, Network Adapters, and external hard drives. For many of those devices, USB has become the standard connection method. 

USB interface aimed to remove the need for adding expansion cards into the computer's PCI or PCI-Express bus, and improve plug-and-play capabilities by allowing devices to be hot swapped or added to the system without rebooting the computer.

The USB Pinout:

PinNameCable colorDescription
2D-WhiteData -
3D+GreenData +
Pin x of mini-USB connector may be not connected, connected to GND or used as attachment identification at some portable devices.

USB connectors

There are several types of USB connectors. The original USB specification detailed Standard-A and Standard-B plugs and receptacles. Nowdays there are 7 USB connectors known: Standard-A, Standard-B, Mini-A, Mini-BMicro-A, Micro-AB, Micro-B

USB pinout signals

USB is a serial bus. It uses 4 shielded wires: two for power (+5v & GND) and two for differential data signals (labelled as D+ and D- in pinout). NRZI (Non Return to Zero Invert) encoding scheme used to send data with a sync field to synchronise the host and receiver clocks. In USB data cable Data+ and Data- signals are transmitted on a twisted pair. No termination needed. Half-duplex differential signaling helps to combat the effects of electromagnetic noise on longer lines. Contrary to popular belief, D+ and D- operate together; they are not separate simplex connections.

USB transfer modes

Univeral serial bus supports Control, Interrupt, Bulk and Isochronous transfer modes.

USB transfer rates: Low Speed, Full Speed, Hi-speed.

When the new device first plugs in, the host enumerates it and loads the device driver necessary to run it. The loading of the appropriate driver is done using a PID/VID (Product ID/Vendor ID) combination supplied by attached hardware. The USB host controllers has their own specifications: UHCI (Universal Host Controller Interface), OHCI (Open Host Controller Interface) with USB 1.1, EHCI (Enhanced Host Controller Interface) is used with USB 2.0.

USB supports four data rates:

  • Low Speed (1.5 Mbit per second) that is mostly used for Human Input Devices (HID) such as keyboards, mice, joysticks and often the buttons on higher speed devices such as printers or scanners;
  • Full Speed (12 Mbit per second) which is widely supported by USB hubs, assumes that devices divide the USB bandwidth between them in a first-come first-serve basis - it's easy to run out of bandwidth with several devices;
  • Hi-Speed (480 Mbit per second) was added in USB 2.0 specification. Not all USB 2.0 devices are Hi-Speed.
  • SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) rate of 4800 Mbit/s (~572 MB/s).

A USB device must indicate its speed by pulling either the D+ or D- line high to 3.3 volts. These pull up resistors at the device end will also be used by the host or hub to detect the presence of a device connected to its port. Without a pull up resistor, USB assumes there is nothing connected to the bus. The new USB 3.0 standard, supports an extended speed of 4.8Gbit per second.
In order to help user to identify maximum speed of device, a USB device often specify its speed on its cover with one of USB special marketing logos.

USB Hi-speed devices

Hi-Speed devices should fall back to the slower data rate of Full Speed when plugged into a Full Speed hub. Hi-Speed hubs have a special function called the Transaction Translator that segregates Full Speed and Low Speed bus traffic from Hi-Speed traffic.

USB powered devices

The USB connector provides a single 5 volt wire from which connected USB devices may power themselves. A given segment of the bus is specified to deliver up to 500 mA. This is often enough to power several devices, although this budget must be shared among all devices downstream of an unpowered hub. A bus-powered device may use as much of that power as allowed by the port it is plugged into.

Bus-powered hubs can continue to distribute the bus provided power to connected devices but the USB specification only allows for a single level of bus-powered devices from a bus-powered hub. This disallows connection of a bus-powered hub to another bus-powered hub. Many hubs include external power supplies which will power devices connected through them without taking power from the bus. Devices that need more than 500 mA or higher than 5 volts must provide their own power.

When USB devices (including hubs) are first connected they are interrogated by the host controller, which enquires of each their maximum power requirements. However, seems that any load connected to USB port may be treated by operating system as device. The host operating system typically keeps track of the power requirements of the USB network and may warn the computer's operator when a given segment requires more power than is available and may shut down devices in order to keep power consumption within the available resource.

USB power usage:

Bus-powered hubs: Draw Max 100 mA at power up and 500 mA normally.
Self-powered hubs: Draw Max 100 mA, must supply 500 mA to each port.
Low power, bus-powered functions: Draw Max 100 mA.
High power, bus-powered functions: Self-powered hubs: Draw Max 100 mA, must supply 500 mA to each port.
Self-powered functions: Draw Max 100 mA.
Suspended device: Max 0.5 mA

Dedicated charger mode:

A simple USB charger should short the 2 data lines together. The device will then not attempt to transmit or receive data, but can draw up to 1.8A, if the supply can provide it.

USB voltage:

Supplied voltage by a host or a powered hub ports is between 4.75 V and 5.25 V. Maximum voltage drop for bus-powered hubs is 0.35 V from its host or hub to the hubs output port. All hubs and functions must be able to send configuration data at 4.4 V, but only low-power functions need to be working at this voltage. Normal operational voltage for functions is minimum 4.75 V.

USB cable shielding:

Shield should only be connected to Ground at the host. No device should connect Shield to Ground.

USB cable wires:

Data: 28 AWG twisted
Power: 28 AWG - 20 AWG non-twisted

Data: 28 AWG non-twisted
Power: 28 AWG - 20 AWG non-twisted

Power GaugeMax length
280.81 m
261.31 m
242.08 m
223.33 m
205.00 m


Is there anything to be corrected? Edit this page!

Source(s) of this and additional information: USB FAQUSB Implementers Forum
USB Specification v1.0 at USB Implementers, "USB in a Nutshell",
Contributor: Chris Angelico (Rosuav), Austin Young, William Andrew, Rob Sudberg, Robert >  Buses and slots connectors pinouts >  Pinout of USB and layout of 4 pin USB A or USB B plug connector and 4 pin USB A / USB B / mini-USB jack connector. Is this document correct or incorrect?
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should be correct
Last updated 2010-10-17 22:40:25. Edit this page.
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(Single-mode multi-mode)

a Tutorial       transparentwebjpeg



• SPEED: Fiber optic networks operate at high speeds - up into the gigabits
• BANDWIDTH: large carrying capacity
• DISTANCE: Signals can be transmitted further without needing to be "refreshed" or strengthened.
• RESISTANCE: Greater resistance to electromagnetic noise such as radios, motors or other nearby cables.
• MAINTENANCE: Fiber optic cables costs much less to maintain.

In recent years it has become apparent that fiber-optics are steadily replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of communication signal transmission. They span the long distances between local phone systems as well as providing the backbone for many network systems. Other system users include cable television services, university campuses, office buildings, industrial plants, and electric utility companies.

A fiber-optic system is similar to the copper wire system that fiber-optics is replacing. The difference is that fiber-optics use light pulses to transmit information down fiber lines instead of using electronic pulses to transmit information down copper lines. Looking at the components in a fiber-optic chain will give a better understanding of how the system works in conjunction with wire based systems.

At one end of the system is a transmitter. This is the place of origin for information coming on to fiber-optic lines. The transmitter accepts coded electronic pulse information coming from copper wire. It then processes and translates that information into equivalently coded light pulses. A light-emitting diode (LED) or an injection-laser diode (ILD) can be used for generating the light pulses. Using a lens, the light pulses are funneled into the fiber-optic medium where they travel down the cable. The light (near infrared) is most often 850nm for shorter distances and 1,300nm for longer distances on Multi-mode fiber and 1300nm for single-mode fiber and 1,500nm is used for for longer distances.

Think of a fiber cable in terms of very long cardboard roll (from the inside roll of paper towel) that is coated with a mirror on the inside.
If you shine a flashlight in one end you can see light come out at the far end - even if it's been bent around a corner.

Light pulses move easily down the fiber-optic line because of a principle known as total internal reflection. "This principle of total internal reflection states that when the angle of incidence exceeds a critical value, light cannot get out of the glass; instead, the light bounces back in. When this principle is applied to the construction of the fiber-optic strand, it is possible to transmit information down fiber lines in the form of light pulses. The core must a very clear and pure material for the light or in most cases near infrared light (850nm, 1300nm and 1500nm). The core can be Plastic (used for very short distances) but most are made from glass. Glass optical fibers are almost always made from pure silica, but some other materials, such as fluorozirconatefluoroaluminate, and chalcogenide glasses, are used for longer-wavelength infrared applications.

There are three types of fiber optic cable commonly used: single mode, multimode and plastic optical fiber (POF).

Transparent glass or plastic fibers which allow light to be guided from one end to the other with minimal loss.

Fiber optic cable functions as a "light guide," guiding the light introduced at one end of the cable through to the other end. The light source can either be a light-emitting diode (LED)) or a laser.

The light source is pulsed on and off, and a light-sensitive receiver on the other end of the cable converts the pulses back into the digital ones and zeros of the original signal.

Even laser light shining through a fiber optic cable is subject to loss of strength, primarily through dispersion and scattering of the light, within the cable itself. The faster the laser fluctuates, the greater the risk of dispersion. Light strengtheners, called repeaters, may be necessary to refresh the signal in certain applications.

While fiber optic cable itself has become cheaper over time - a equivalent length of copper cable cost less per foot but not in capacity. Fiber optic cable connectors and the equipment needed to install them are still more expensive than their copper counterparts.

Single Mode cable is a single stand (most applications use 2 fibers) of glass fiber with a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns that has one mode of transmission.  Single Mode Fiber with a relatively narrow diameter, through which only one mode will propagate typically 1310 or 1550nm. Carries higher bandwidth than multimode fiber, but requires a light source with a narrow spectral width. Synonyms mono-mode optical fiber, single-mode fiber, single-mode optical waveguide, uni-mode fiber.

Single Modem fiber is used in many applications where data is sent at multi-frequency (WDM Wave-Division-Multiplexing) so only one cable is needed - (single-mode on one single fiber)

Single-mode fiber gives you a higher transmission rate and up to 50 times more distance than multimode, but it also costs more. Single-mode fiber has a much smaller core than multimode. The small core and single light-wave virtually eliminate any distortion that could result from overlapping light pulses, providing the least signal attenuation and the highest transmission speeds of any fiber cable type.   

Single-mode optical fiber is an optical fiber in which only the lowest order bound mode can propagate at the wavelength of interest typically 1300 to 1320nm.

jump to single mode fiber page


Multi-Mode cable has a little bit bigger diameter, with a common diameters in the 50-to-100 micron range for the light carry component (in the US the most common size is 62.5um). Most applications in which Multi-mode fiber is used, 2 fibers are used (WDM is not normally used on multi-mode fiber).  POF is a newer plastic-based cable which promises performance similar to glass cable on very short runs, but at a lower cost.

Multimode fiber gives you high bandwidth at high speeds (10 to 100MBS - Gigabit to 275m to 2km) over medium distances. Light waves are dispersed into numerous paths, or modes, as they travel through the cable's core typically 850 or 1300nm. Typical multimode fiber core diameters are 50, 62.5, and 100 micrometers. However, in long cable runs (greater than 3000 feet [914.4 meters), multiple paths of light can cause signal distortion at the receiving end, resulting in an unclear and incomplete data transmission so designers now call for single mode fiber in new applications using Gigabit and beyond.  

The use of fiber-optics was generally not available until 1970 when Corning Glass Works was able to produce a fiber with a loss of 20 dB/km. It was recognized that optical fiber would be feasible for telecommunication transmission only if glass could be developed so pure that attenuation would be 20dB/km or less. That is, 1% of the light would remain after traveling 1 km. Today's optical fiber attenuation ranges from 0.5dB/km to 1000dB/km depending on the optical fiber used. Attenuation limits are based on intended application.

The applications of optical fiber communications have increased at a rapid rate, since the first commercial installation of a fiber-optic system in 1977. Telephone companies began early on, replacing their old copper wire systems with optical fiber lines. Today's telephone companies use optical fiber throughout their system as the backbone architecture and as the long-distance connection between city phone systems.

Cable television companies have also began integrating fiber-optics into their cable systems. The trunk lines that connect central offices have generally been replaced with optical fiber. Some providers have begun experimenting with fiber to the curb using a fiber/coaxial hybrid. Such a hybrid allows for the integration of fiber and coaxial at a neighborhood location. This location, called a node, would provide the optical receiver that converts the light impulses back to electronic signals. The signals could then be fed to individual homes via coaxial cable.

Local Area Networks (LAN) is a collective group of computers, or computer systems, connected to each other allowing for shared program software or data bases. Colleges, universities, office buildings, and industrial plants, just to name a few, all make use of optical fiber within their LAN systems.

Power companies are an emerging group that have begun to utilize fiber-optics in their communication systems. Most power utilities already have fiber-optic communication systems in use for monitoring their power grid systems.

 jump to Illustrated Fiber Optic Glossary pages


by John MacChesney - Fellow at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies

Some 10 billion digital bits can be transmitted per second along an optical fiber link in a commercial network, enough to carry tens of thousands of telephone calls. Hair-thin fibers consist of two concentric layers of high-purity silica glass the core and the cladding, which are enclosed by a protective sheath. Light rays modulated into digital pulses with a laser or a light-emitting diode move along the core without penetrating the cladding.

The light stays confined to the core because the cladding has a lower refractive index—a measure of its ability to bend light. Refinements in optical fibers, along with the development of new lasers and diodes, may one day allow commercial fiber-optic networks to carry trillions of bits of data per second.

 Total internal refection confines light within optical fibers (similar to looking down a mirror made in the shape of a long paper towel tube). Because the cladding has a lower refractive index, light rays reflect back into the core if they encounter the cladding at a shallow angle (red lines). A ray that exceeds a certain "critical" angle escapes from the fiber (yellow line).



STEP-INDEX MULTIMODE FIBER has a large core, up to 100 microns in diameter. As a result, some of the light rays that make up the digital pulse may travel a direct route, whereas others zigzag as they bounce off the cladding. These alternative pathways cause the different groupings of light rays, referred to as modes, to arrive separately at a receiving point. The pulse, an aggregate of different modes, begins to spread out, losing its well-defined shape. The need to leave spacing between pulses to prevent overlapping limits bandwidth that is, the amount of information that can be sent. Consequently, this type of fiber is best suited for transmission over short distances, in an endoscope, for instance.

GRADED-INDEX MULTIMODE FIBER contains a core in which the refractive index diminishes gradually from the center axis out toward the cladding. The higher refractive index at the center makes the light rays moving down the axis advance more slowly than those near the cladding. Also, rather than zigzagging off the cladding, light in the core curves helically because of the graded index, reducing its travel distance. The shortened path and the higher speed allow light at the periphery to arrive at a receiver at about the same time as the slow but straight rays in the core axis. The result: a digital pulse suffers less dispersion. 

SINGLE-MODE FIBER has a narrow core (eight microns or less), and the index of refraction between the core and the cladding changes less than it does for multimode fibers. Light thus travels parallel to the axis, creating little pulse dispersion. Telephone and cable television networks install millions of kilometers of this fiber every year.



1 - Two basic cable designs are:

Loose-tube cable, used in the majority of outside-plant installations in North America, and tight-buffered cable, primarily used inside buildings.

The modular design of loose-tube cables typically holds up to 12 fibers per buffer tube with a maximum per cable fiber count of more than 200 fibers. Loose-tube cables can be all-dielectric or optionally armored. The modular buffer-tube design permits easy drop-off of groups of fibers at intermediate points, without interfering with other protected buffer tubes being routed to other locations. The loose-tube design also helps in the identification and administration of fibers in the system.

Single-fiber tight-buffered cables are used as pigtails, patch cords and jumpers to terminate loose-tube cables directly into opto-electronic transmitters, receivers and other active and passive components.

Multi-fiber tight-buffered cables also are available and are used primarily for alternative routing and handling flexibility and ease within buildings.

2 - Loose-Tube Cable

In a loose-tube cable design, color-coded plastic buffer tubes house and protect optical fibers. A gel filling compound impedes water penetration. Excess fiber length (relative to buffer tube length) insulates fibers from stresses of installation and environmental loading. Buffer tubes are stranded around a dielectric or steel central member, which serves as an anti-buckling element.

The cable core, typically uses aramid yarn, as the primary tensile strength member. The outer polyethylene jacket is extruded over the core. If armoring is required, a corrugated steel tape is formed around a single jacketed cable with an additional jacket extruded over the armor.

Loose-tube cables typically are used for outside-plant installation in aerial, duct and direct-buried applications.


3 - Tight-Buffered Cable

With tight-buffered cable designs, the buffering material is in direct contact with the fiber. This design is suited for "jumper cables" which connect outside plant cables to terminal equipment, and also for linking various devices in a premises network.

Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often are used for intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.

The tight-buffered design provides a rugged cable structure to protect individual fibers during handling, routing and connectorization. Yarn strength members keep the tensile load away from the fiber.

As with loose-tube cables, optical specifications for tight-buffered cables also should include the maximum performance of all fibers over the operating temperature range and life of the cable. Averages should not be acceptable.

Connector Types

Gruber Industries
cable connectors


here are some common fiber cable types

Distribution Cable
Distribution Cable (compact building cable) packages individual 900µm buffered fiber reducing size and cost when compared to breakout cable. The connectors may be installed directly on the 900µm buffered fiber at the breakout box location. The space saving (OFNR) rated cable may be installed where ever breakout cable is used. FIS will connectorize directly onto 900µm fiber or will build up ends to a 3mm jacketed fiber before the connectors are installed.
Indoor/Outdoor Tight Buffer
FIS now offers indoor/outdoor rated tight buffer cables in Riser and Plenum rated versions. These cables are flexible, easy to handle and simple to install. Since they do not use gel, the connectors can be terminated directly onto the fiber without difficult to use breakout kits. This provides an easy and overall less expensive installation. (Temperature rating -40ºC to +85ºC).
Indoor/Outdoor Breakout Cable
FIS indoor/outdoor rated breakout style cables are easy to install and simple to terminate without the need for fanout kits. These rugged and durable cables are OFNR rated so they can be used indoors, while also having a -40c to +85c operating temperature range and the benefits of fungus, water and UV protection making them perfect for outdoor applications. They come standard with 2.5mm sub units and they are available in plenum rated versions.
Corning Cable Systems Freedm LST Cables
Corning Cable Systems FREEDM® LST™ cables are OFNR-rated, UV-resistant, fully waterblocked indoor/outdoor cables. This innovative DRY™ cable with water blocking technology eliminates the need for traditional flooding compound, providing more efficient and craft-friendly cable preparation. Available in 62.5µm, 50µm, Singlemode and hybrid versions.
Krone Indoor Outdoor Dry Loose Tube Cable
KRONE’s innovative line of indoor/outdoor loose tube cables are designed to meet all the rigors of the outside plant environment, and the necessary fire ratings to be installed inside the building. These cables eliminate the gel filler of traditional loose tube style cables with super absorbent polymers.
Loose Tube Cable
Loose tube cable is designed to endure outside temperatures and high moisture conditions. The fibers are loosely packaged in gel filled buffer tubes to repel water. Recommended for use between buildings that are unprotected from outside elements. Loose tube cable is restricted from inside building use, typically allowing entry not to exceed 50 feet (check your local codes).
Aerial Cable/Self-Supporting
Aerial cable provides ease of installation and reduces time and cost. Figure 8 cable can easily be separated between the fiber and the messenger. Temperature range ( -55ºC to +85ºC)
Hybrid & Composite Cable
Hybrid cables offer the same great benefits as our standard indoor/outdoor cables, with the convenience of installing multimode and singlemode fibers all in one pull. Our composite cables offer optical fiber along with solid 14 gauge wires suitable for a variety of uses including power, grounding and other electronic controls.
Armored Cable
Armored cable can be used for rodent protection in direct burial if required. This cable is non-gel filled and can also be used in aerial applications. The armor can be removed leaving the inner cable suitable for any indoor/outdoor use. (Temperature rating -40ºC to +85ºC)
Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH)
Low Smoke Zero Halogen cables are offered as as alternative for halogen free applications. Less toxic and slower to ignite, they are a good choice for many international installations. We offer them in many styles as well as simplex, duplex and 1.6mm designs. This cable is riser rated and contains no flooding gel, which makes the need for a separate point of termination unnecessary. Since splicing is eliminated, termination hardware and labor times are reduced, saving you time and money. This cable may be run through risers directly to a convenient network hub or splicing closet for interconnection.


What's the best way to terminate fiber optic cable? That depends on the application, cost considerations and your own personal preferences. The following connector comparisons can make the decision easier.

Epoxy & Polish

Epoxy & polish style connectors were the original fiber optic connectors. They still represent the largest segment of connectors, in both quantity used and variety available. Practically every style of connector is available including ST, SC, FC, LC, D4, SMA, MU, and MTRJ. Advantages include:

• Very robust. This connector style is based on tried and true technology, and can withstand the greatest environmental and mechanical stress when compared to the other connector technologies.
• This style of connector accepts the widest assortment of cable jacket diameters. Most connectors of this group have versions to fit onto 900um buffered fiber, and up to 3.0mm jacketed fiber.
• Versions are. available that hold from 1 to 24 fibers in a single connector.

Installation Time: There is an initial setup time for the field technician who must prepare a workstation with polishing equipment and an epoxy-curing oven. The termination time for one connector is about 25 minutes due to the time needed to heat cure the epoxy. Average time per connector in a large batch can be as low as 5 or 6 minutes. Faster curing epoxies such as anaerobic epoxy can reduce the installation time, but fast cure epoxies are not suitable for all connectors.

Skill Level: These connectors, while not difficult to install, do require the most supervised skills training, especially for polishing. They are best suited for the high-volume installer or assembly house with a trained and stable work force.

Costs: Least expensive connectors to purchase, in many cases being 30 to 50 percent cheaper than other termination style connectors. However, factor in the cost of epoxy curing and ferrule polishing equipment, and their associated consumables.

Pre-Loaded Epoxy or No-Epoxy & Polish

There are two main categories of no-epoxy & polish connectors. The first are connectors that are pre-loaded with a measured amount of epoxy. These connectors reduce the skill level needed to install a connector but they don't significantly reduce the time or equipment need-ed. The second category of connectors uses no epoxy at all. Usually they use an internal crimp mechanism to stabilize the fiber. These connectors reduce both the skill level needed and installation time. ST, SC, and FC connector styles are available. Advantages include:

• Epoxy injection is not required.
• No scraped connectors due to epoxy over-fill.
• Reduced equipment requirements for some versions.

Installation Time: Both versions have short setup time, with pre-loaded epoxy connectors having a slightly longer setup. Due to curing time, the pre-loaded epoxy connectors require the same amount of installation time as standard connectors, 25 minutes for 1 connector, 5-6 minutes average for a batch. Connectors that use the internal crimp method install in 2 minutes or less.

Skill Level: Skill requirements are reduced because the crimp mechanism is easier to master than using epoxy. They provide maximum flexibility with one technology and a balance between skill and cost.

Costs: Moderately more expensive to purchase than a standard connector. Equipment cost is equal to or less than that of standard con¬nectors. Consumable cost is reduced to polish film and cleaning sup-plies. Cost benefits derive from reduced training requirements and fast installation time.

No-Epoxy & No-Polish

Easiest and fastest connectors to install; well suited for contractors who cannot cost-justify the training and supervision required for standard connectors. Good solution for fast field restorations. ST, SC, FC, LC, and MTRJ connector styles are available. Advantages include:
• No setup time required.
• Lowest installation time per connector.
• Limited training required.
• Little or no consumables costs.

Installation Time: Almost zero. Its less than 1 minute regardless of number of connectors.

Skill level: Requires minimal training, making this type of connector ideal for installation companies with a high turnover rate of installers and/or that do limited amounts of optical-fiber terminations.

Costs: Generally the most expensive style connector to purchase, since some of the labor (polishing) is done in the factory. Also, one or two fairly expensive installation tools may be required. However, it may still be less expensive on a cost-per-installed-connector basis due to lower labor cost.

jump to Calculating fiber loss and distance

jump to related fiber optic equipment pages

 jump to Telebyte Fiber tutorial pages
(very good write up)

2. The Fiber Optic Data Communications Link For the Premises Environment
    2.1 The Fiber Optic data Communications Link, End-to-End
    2.2 Fiber Optic Cable
    2.3 Transmitter
    2.4 Receiver
    2.5 Connectors
    2.6 Splicing
    2.7 Analyzing Performance of a Link

 jump to The Complete Telebyte Fiber tutorial pages



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