Shopping for fiber optic patch cords can sometimes seem like a daunting task. With so many options these days, all one has to do to start the maddening craze is turn to Google and be bludgeoned with dozens of places to buy fiber optic patch cords. As a buyer, how can you weed through the good vs. the bad vs. the ugly when it comes to quality fiber optic patch cords?
You get what you pay for
While there are plenty of options for low-cost fiber optic patch cords that pass industry standards, you may still be surprised by the end result. Low quality could leave you with cheap connectors or bad strain relief. These could potentially lead to downtime – and no one can afford that.
Take the tour
Fiber shopping can be compared to car shopping. You, as a consumer, have narrowed your search down to two brand new cars: Brand A and Brand B. Both cars are shiny and brand new and it seems the only thing left to do is figure out which one holds the better value.
If we take this process a step further and walk the manufacturing plants of both brands, you may see some processes behind the scenes that you really like in the construction of Brand A that are missing from Brand B. Even though they both look great and have that new car shine, there may be some key building points missing from Brand B that sway your decision to Brand A because you realize more work went into it and it’s a better product.
Know the dB loss
Since touring fiber optic patch cord plants usually isn’t high on the list of awesome tourist things to do when visiting a new city, how do you make a more educated decision? Enter dB loss – the measurement of light loss in a fiber connection. Light escaping from a connection can be the result of poor quality components. The more light that escapes, resulting in a greater dB loss rating, the more vulnerable your channel is to packet loss, bottlenecks and all-around fiber shenanigans.
So how do we pick the right vehicle for the job? Most manufacturers have their dB loss published or the info is easy to obtain. The better the dB loss, the less risk of downtime you have with your fiber optic patch cord. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has standards of allowable loss for speed and it’s important to make sure you are not exceeding the loss budget for the speed of your network. This will ensure optimal network performance.
Avoid the burn
Make sure you know the dB loss of the optic patch cords you’re purchasing and don’t get burned by “too good to be true” deals.
Get the dB rating and protect your network!
If you do want to take a fiber manufacturing tour,please visit our Shenzhen factory or check out these pictures detailing our process: http://www.comnen.com/brief-introduction-of-fiber-optic-patch-cable-its-production-process/. It’s a great way to see what it looks like when a manufacturer takes pride in its assembly procedures.