R&M, the Swiss developer and supplier of cabling systems, has improved the FO Field field-installable fibre-optic connector. FO Field version 1.1 is now compatible with all cable types available on the market, including rigid 900µm buffered fibres with sheathing made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
Field-installable connectors can be used flexibly, without the need to plan ahead. All the installer needs is the cables and components. Open cables are easier to feed into the ducts and cut to the required length. The FO Field product range means installers can be less dependent on fusion splicing and use their stocks of pigtails and patch cables more sparingly. Installation is also faster, with construction site work to make a connection taking less than a minute.
Users who have already put the FO Field to the test confirm that projects involving fibre optics are made considerably easier thanks to the straightforward on-site assembly. Application tests conducted by R&M customers in Central Europe revealed that the time needed to install a fibre optic outlet in residences is reduced by 30 per cent compared to splice cabling, and connection costs per subscriber can fall by up to 20 per cent.
This experience in the field prompted R&M to refine the design of the FO Field, by optimising the wire terminal to enable a wider range of cable types to be connected. The first wiring level of the new FO Field has been designed for 900µm rigid buffered fibres, while all other types of wire can be connected to the second level. It is possible to find out which level needs to be used in just a few simple steps before wiring takes place. Then after wiring, a red laser indicates to the installer whether the connection is working.
R&M has also optimised the external housing in order to make it easier and faster to rewire the FO Field SC, when necessary. In addition, R&M has introduced a wiring, testing and cleaning tool to complement the FO Field.
The FO Field is suitable for 125/250µm singlemode and multimode fibres, buffered fibres, tight buffers and semi-tight buffers with sheathing between 600 and 900µm, and cable jackets made from any material with diameter in the range 1.4–3.0mm.
FO Field components are all manufactured in accordance with R&M's stringent standards under clean-room conditions. The parts are all individually tested in full as part of the quality assurance procedure, and mechanical and optical performance matches the level of quality offered by prefabricated, factory-checked pigtails.
The FO Field LC and FO Field SC meet the requirements of performance levels Grade Cf/1 (APC) and Grade Cf/2 (PC), respectively. The insertion loss (IL) of the FO Field is typically 0.2dB and below 0.5dB 97% of the time. The return loss (RL) for the APC version is better than 60dB.