Friday, September 27, 2013

SMPTE Camera Cables

 Fiber-Optic Tri-Loc camera connectors are compatible with all connectors in the field (LEMO, Canare, etc.), making them ideal for high-end, live-broadcast productions.

 Extremely rugged and reliable, the connectors are comprised of the heaviest gauge stainless steel available on the market. They also feature a low-loss Telcordia® GR-326 fiber-optic endface geometry, perfect for today’s most demanding cinematic and broadcast productions. With industry-standard options such as a quick disconnect push/pull self-latching system and ARIB/EBU and ANSI/SMPTE compliancy, the SMPTE 304 Connectors are among the highest-performance options on the market.
The composition of our SMPTE 304 / 311 camera cable assemblies make them perfect for use in broadcast trucks and studios and at sports stadiums.  The steel construction provides the durability necessary for continuous use in the field, while the fiber optic connectivity interfaces with today’s digital cameras. Both of these features put Major Custom Cable's SMPTE 304 connectors at the top of their class. 
Customers can choose between Belden-, Furukawa- or Major Custom Cable-brand wires for a complete cable system. 

Custom reel options also give the user control over how and when to deploy the cable system.  Major Custom exlucsively stock Schill brand reels.
Need rack mount patching solutions.  Major Custom Cable has a variety of both custom and standard off the shelf solutions or in rack distribution of SMPTE connectivity.

SMPTE 304, while the traditional camera interface, is not the only option.  Major Custom Cable is not just the first Certified OpticalCON Assembler in North America, but also the largest.  Our large state of the art facility located in the central United States allows for quick deliveries to either the east or west coast.

Neutrik's preferred test and repair center in North America, we offer a host of both off the shelf, and custom designed solutions.  Patch cords, reels, and custom OpticalCON patch bays.
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Expanded Beam Fiber Optic Cables

Expanded Beam fiber optic connectivity has been around for decades.  Over the past few years the water shed of connectivity solutions from the military sector have filtered down in to industrial and especially into broadcast deployments.

Expanded beam simply means that the fiber optic connector end face has been manipulated in some way to over size the launch and receive point of the optical transmission to increase fault tolerance.  Most commonly, this is done through the use of a spherical glass lenses embedded in the connector causing a non contact surface as opposed to the tradition ferrule to ferrule contact we see with traditional fiber optic connectors.

Expanded beam connectors come in many different flavors of connectors and termini.  Some examples are versabeam from Molex, ProBeam from Tyco, HMA from Stratos, Winchester E1 and the like.

These connectors are typically IP68 rated when in the mated condition.  This means they seal out not only dirt and other contaminants, but they are also completely submersible when mated.  Stratos shows us how their HMA holds up to the abuse of extreme field use.
When these connector system are combined with the rugged tactical grade cables currently on the market, cable assemblies become suitable for almost any application.  OCC (Optical Cable Corp) is our primary supplier of tactical cable.  This video shows us why.

Expanded beam connectors are perfect for high and low temperatures, desserts, marine use, staging and lighting, broadcast and other mobile deployments, and where high volumes of mating cycles occur.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Harsh Environment Category 5e

Harsh Environment Category 5e.
First of all, what defines harsh environment?  Harsh environments for cabling typically have excessive levels of petrochemicals, acids, bases, direct impacts, torsional stress, tensile load, electro magnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI).  Once these environmental stresses become higher than what a commercial grade category rated data cable can handle, application specific jackets, shielding, or special construction tactics must be used for ensure the life of the cable assembly.

11.)    Jacketing Material
All jackets have pros and cons.  The 3 primary choices are poly vinyl choloride or PVC (for commercial riser installations), polyvinylidene fluoride PVDF (for commercial plenum installations, thermoplastic elastomer TPE (more robust applications), and polyurethane PUR (normally the best choice for harsh environments).  Here is a simply breakdown of how commercial, TPE, and PUR jackets relate.

22.)    Shielding
Shielding comes in a few traditional flavors.  The first is overall foil shielding.  As the name implies it in a solid aluminum mylar wrap, typically grounded to an uninsulated ground wire that runs longitudinally thru the length of the wire and is ground to the foil throughout.  This wire is typically referred to as a drain wire.  Foil shielding is the best for stopping EMI ingress.  The second is overall braid shielding.  This type of shielding is a woven barrier of small gauge strands of metal that cover a percentage of the overall diameter of the wire.  Typical percentages range from 50% to 95%.  Because the braid shield has so much surface area, the need for a large ground conductor is required.  All of the braid should make contact with the point of ground on terminated ends, whether it be a shielded RJ45 plug/jack, or the braid could be twisted into a conductor and grounded to a telecommunications grounding busbar.  The third option is to combine the two options for maximum effectiveness.   Here is a simple drawing showing the different types of shielding.

33.)    Connectors come in a wide variety of configurations.  Both metal and plastic.  Coupling mechanisms that are threaded, bayonet latching, or push-pull.  Each can be custom configured to the application.  Here are a few examples.

M12 and M8 connectors can also used in industrial environments but are less popular than the more traditional RJ45 connectors (as seen above).

44.)    What should one consider when selecting the correct harsh environment category 5e solution?
1.)     Shielded or Unshielded?  EMI foil vs RF braid.
2.)     Solid or Stranded?  Flex cycling vs permanent install vs distance limitations
3.)     Installation Stress?  Pull force vs minimum bend radii
4.)     Oil Resistance?
5.)     UV Sunlight Resistance?
6.)     Weld Splatter Resistance?
7.)     CMX Outdoor UL Rating?  Drop cable vs permanent install
8.)     Burial?
9.)     Gasoline Reistance?
10.)   Low Smoke Zero Halogen?
11.)   MSHA?
12.)   Excessive Temperature Extremes?
13.)   600v UL AWM Rated?
14.)   PLTC (power limited tray cable) Rated?
15.)   Interlocking Armor?

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