Fiber optic connection has greatly simplified security camera setups in a number of ways to achieve high-speed data transmission. But powerful as it is, it can’t deliver power to the edge device as the PoE does. Is there any possible way to solve this problem? Today, we’re gonna introduce a more organized way to send power in parallel with the data to the edge devices, integrating fiber management with power supply into one unit.
Why Use Fiber Optic Communication in Security Camera Systems?
Fiber optic communication provides an ideal solution for mission-critical applications like surveillance camera systems. A fiber optic cable can carry optical/light signals over long distances only with little signal degradation. It should come as no surprise that it is the fastest choice to deliver data at a transmission rate of 2/3 the speed of light. Most fibers today can offer 1 Gigabit and some can even support 10 Gigabit per second, which is hundreds of times faster than the legacy networks. And the maximum length of the fiber cables ranges from 10km to 80km depending on different manufacturers. Considering security cameras are oftentimes scattered in different places for comprehensive monitoring, fiber technology offers great versatility and flexibility for deployments in different scenarios to overcome the geographical challenge of the standard PoE (100m/328ft).
Moreover, they are immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI), eliminating the problem of re-transmission caused by significant attenuation. As opposed to copper cables, fiber cables are a worthwhile investment with a prolonged service life of 30-50 years without regular maintenance or replacement. It offers a reliable data connection over the long cable runs for its strong resistance against tapping or other security issues. Additionally, in the point-to-point topology, fiber networking has shown an absolute symmetry in both uploading and downloading speed (same bandwidth), which is crucial for surveillance camera systems.
Fiber Termination Box: Fiber Management System
As the number of connected devices increases, the distribution and management of fiber cables become more and more difficult. To address this problem, the fiber termination box (FTB) was created to manage the incoming and outgoing cables. Also named optical terminal box (OTB), FTB generally refers to a fiber distribution box specially designed for fiber cable management. It offers a cost-effective method to organize multiple strands of fiber cables in a budget-friendly way. Considering fiber optic cables are more susceptible to physical damages caused by bending, folding or pinching than copper cables, extra protection is needed to facilitate better installation and operation. For more information, please continue to read 101 Guidelines for Fiber Termination Box.
It integrates termination, splicing, distribution, storage and management of fiber optic cables all in one unit. Featuring a compact design for wall or rack mounting, it provides a space-saving solution to facilitate fiber optic installation in situations where large-sized terminal hubs seem infeasible. An ordinary termination box is composed of three parts: outer housing, internal components and fiber connector protection element. The internal is well-encapsulated in an IP-rated housing that is made of impact-resistant materials against damages during placement. The outer casing is dust-proof, watertight and anti-corrosive for long-term outdoor deployments. And the internal components include the following parts: a supporting frame (the main body of the internal structure), a fixed fiber tray and fixtures. The fiber connector is normally shielded by a heat-shrinkable tube or clip for better protection.
FTB with Power Management-Power in parallel with Fibers
Though fiber optic connection does bring revolutionary changes to the Internet Age in all possible ways owing to its inherent advantages, it still has a minor drawback that it doesn’t carry electricity which increases the difficulty of powering remote devices in places where no power is present. Building new electrical infrastructures is without doubt costly. Installing an electrical outlet will cost you nearly $185. Is there any way to power the edge device while still taking advantage of the fiber optic connection? Recently, Fastcabling has introduced an upgraded version of FTB with power management to leverage the benefits of each medium (power and optic cable) to deploy powered devices at any location without relying on local power supplies, which helps you save a large amount of money provided no additional power infrastructure is required.
The new Fiber Termination Box with DC Power (2/8 LC Adapters) from Fastcabling allows the fiber and power cables to run alongside each other without getting in each other’s way. It is an excellent “best of both worlds” solution to realized both fiber and power management, leveraging the same benefits that PoE can provide but with improved network performance (more consistent and easier to manage). The technical difficulties of powering remote devices will be reduced by running a separate power cord from the control center. Separating data and power allows the copper cable to deliver power at the higher output with less power loss and voltage drop at greater distances. And given that the transmission speed of the fiber cable is impervious to DC resistance, it can still remain at high throughput when it reaches the remotely powered devices.
Compared with the hybrid fiber cable that combines fiber optic and copper-based transmission modes into one unified path (in the same jacket), this FTB is obviously a safer option to deliver both power and data to the terminal devices at high speeds, for fire hazards and power failures are possible when the hybrid fiber cables overheat. Worse still, the whole hybrid fiber cable has to be replaced when the inner fibers are broken, while the FTB offers a convenient platform to maintain or replace the broken units/cables.
The FTB with DC power launched by Fastcabling is a useful tool to set up a power-over-fiber system in a more organized way. Encapsulated in a rugged metal housing (IP68-rated and impact-resistant), it comes with a lock to prevent potential vandalism. It includes a fiber tray for mounting LC fiber adapters to remain the fibers in an orderly manner. A removable splice tray is located to accommodate fused fibers. Additionally, a power terminal block (1-in-1-out or 1-in-2-out) is pre-installed inside the box to connect two independent power cords and deliver power to the edge devices. And the power output is totally manageable by deploying different sized power cables or higher-wattage power sources.
How to Set up a Security Camera with the FTB
The FTB plays a significant role in distributing and managing both fiber optic cables and power cords to help its users set up a systematic and methodical power over fiber system. There are two main approaches to provide the power supply to the edge device in the fiber optic communication system, namely local power and remote power solutions. First, you’ll need to prepare some basic networking devices beforehand: a router, two PoE/regular media converters (copper-to-fiber conversion), fiber termination box(es), pre-terminated fiber cables and power cords, and most importantly the PTZ camera. Moreover, to set up multiple devices, an 8-port Fiber Optic Switch and more media converters are needed.
1) Local power (front end)
This power solution is more suitable for deployments in situations where there is an existing power supply eliminating the long cable runs of the power source from the control room. To set up more than one security camera, it’s highly suggested to deploy a fiber switch to realize centralized management. First, connect the two FTBs with pre-terminated fibers: 1) run the pre-terminated cables through the gland, circle them around the curvature and plug them into the LC adapters; 2) plug the other ends of the fiber cables into the LC adapters in the second termination box. Connect the router with the 8-port fiber switch with a patch cord, insert the SFP transceivers into the fiber switch and use the pre-terminated cables to connect it with the first termination box (use cable ties and wire saddles to organize the cables). On the other side, connect the PoE media converters with the second FTB with pre-terminated cables and then connect them to the security cameras with Ethernet cables. Power up the PoE media converters with the local AC power to pass through the power to the security cameras.
2) Remote Power (back end)
This power solution is ideal for powering IP devices in hard-to-reach places where there is power present or in situations when installing new electrical infrastructure is not plausible. The first and foremost thing is to set up the wired connection between two termination boxes: 1) set up the data connection between two termination boxes as previously mentioned; 2) run a power cord into the FTB and fix it in the power terminal block; 3) connect it to the second termination box as well. Then, connect the media converter to the router and take a second pre-terminated cable to connect the converter and the FTB (plug it into the LC adapter as well). Use another media converter and pre-terminated cable to connect the PTZ camera and the second FTB. Lastly, power up the media converters to realize digital-to-optical signal conversion with the DC 12/48V Waterproof 60W Power Supply and run another power cord into the first FTB to inject the power into the power cord between two termination boxes.