Emergency fibre-optic repairs

June 17, 2011 posted by Lucas Communications

Just a quick reminder to let you know that Lucas carry out our own fibre-optic installations and repairs. We have the latest splicers and OTDR test equipment to ensure that typical splice losses of less than 0.1dBs. The accepted industry standard for a join or splice is 0.5dBs.

Not only do we provide these services direct to businesses and schools we also work with a number of partners including electrical contractors and IT companies.

Call Lee or Garry on 01706 217755 to discuss your specific requirements.

For all you techies out there – What Is OM4 Fiber Anyway?

June 17, 2011 posted by Lucas Communications

OM4 fiber is a laser-optimized, high bandwidth 50um multimode fiber. OM4 fiber is not a new fiber type. All major fiber manufacturers have been selling a fiber with an effective modal bandwidth (EMB) value equivalent to that specified by OM4 since 2005. The change is that there is now a standard that is specifically targeted at this product. Prior to the standardization of OM4, these higher bandwidth fibers were sold as a part of OM3.

OM3 and OM4 fiber are referred to as “laser-optimized” multimode fibers because they are specifically designed for optimum performance when used with low cost Vertical-Cavity-Surface-Emitting-Lasers (VCSELs).

OM4 fiber is designed to enhance the system cost benefits enabled by 850nm VCSELs for existing 1 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s applications as well as future 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s systems.

OM4 fiber supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and OIF applications, allowing extended reach upwards of 550 meters at 10 Gb/s for ultra long building backbones and medium length campus backbones.

:: Why Is It Called OM4?

Multimode fibers are identified by the OM (“optical mode”) designation as outlined in the ISO/IEC 11801 standard.

  • OM1, for fiber with 200/500 MHz*km overfilled launch (OFL) bandwidth at 850/1300nm (typically 62.5/125um fiber)
  • OM2, for fiber with 500/500 MHz*km OFL bandwidth at 850/1300nm (typically 50/125um fiber)
  • OM3, for laser-optimized 50um fiber having 2000 MHz*km effective modal bandwidth (EMB, also known as laser bandwidth), designed for 10 Gb/s transmission.
  • OM4, for laser-optimized 50um fiber having 4700 MHz*km EMB bandwidth designed for 10 Gb/s, 40 Gb/s, and 100 Gb/s transmission.

:: OM4 Fiber Standard

The TIA/EIA approved OM4 specification in its TIA-492AAAD in 2009. IEC’s document covering OM4 standard is IEC 60793-2-10 as fiber type A1a.3.

:: Bandwidth Comparison of OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4 Fibers

The following table shows the bandwidth comparison among OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 fibers.

Multimode Fiber Bandwidth (MHz * km)
OM Designation TIA Fiber Standard Fiber Type
Overfilled Launch (OFL)
Effective Modal Bandwidth (EMB)
Overfilled Launch (OFL)
OM1 492-AAAA 62.5/125 200 n/s 500
OM2 492-AAAB 50/125 500 n/s 500
OM3 492-AAAC 50/125 1500 2000 500
OM4 492-AAAD 50/125 3500 4700 500

The following table and graph shows the maximum distance different multimode fibers can carry.

Applications Wavelength(nm) Maximum Channel Length (meters)
Fibre Channel
4 Gb/s 850 70 150 380 400
8 Gb/s 850 21 50 150 200
16 Gb/s 850 15 35 100 130
1 Gb/s 850 275 550 800 1100
10 Gb/s 850 33 82 300 550
40 & 100 Gb/s 850 n/s n/s 100 125
1 Gb/s 1300 550 550 550 550
10 Gb/s 1300 220


Fibre Optic Infrastructure – Bury Grammar School

June 17, 2011 posted by Lucas Communications

Bury Grammar school occupies a large campus and required the installation of a fibre optic infrastructure to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) data traffic between communications cabinets. After a detailed network analysis monitoring data traffic the following solution was installed.

The installation of 8 core OM3 multi-mode fibre optic from the main server room to all the secondary communication cabinets around the campus. The network topology has been installed as in a star formation; this means that each communications cabinet is fed by its own back bone reducing any potential bottle necks. The fibre optic cable is duct grade corrugated steel tape that provides a high degree of mechanical protection including the prevention of rodent damage. The campus has had additional fibre optic cables installed in key areas to provide a degree of network resilience, this will protect the networks integrity in the event of a cable being cut or damaged.

All fibre-optic cores were terminated on site using a Fitel fusion splicer and factory polished ST/SC or LC pigtails. On completion of the terminations each core was fully tested using a Noyes OTDR with typical splice losses of less than 0.1dBs, the accepted industry standard for a join or splice is 0.5dBs.

School Multimedia installation in East Lancashire

June 17, 2011 posted by Lucas Communications

Mount Carmel Roman Catholic School, Specialist Science College

The task was to install an inter-active whiteboard, IWB, with an ultra-short throw projector that would be a useful teacher aid for their year 8.

We carried out a free site survey to establish the school’s requirement and to assess the classroom size that the proposed the AV installation was intended for. After the site survey a decision was made to install a Promethean Activboard+2 87” wide screen. With the accompanying free software including ActivInspire the classroom has been transformed into a fun and useful interactive experience.

Wireless Network installation – Clitheroe Lancashire

June 17, 2011 posted by Lucas Communications

The brief was to install a wireless (Wi-Fi) network that would seamlessly cover a 3 storey Georgian property allowing multiple users’ access to the main server to stream multimedia including movies and music. After a free on-site wireless survey the following solution was proposed;

  • To install a 6 x NetGear  ProSafe dual-band access points supporting wireless N and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)
  • 1 x NetGear ProSafe 16 AP Wireless Management System, this will manage all the access points from a central location.
  • 1 x NetGear FS108P – 8 port 10/100 switch with 4 ports PoE to power 3 of the access points from a lofted area.
  • 1 x NetGear GS724TP – 24 port rack-mount Gigabit Switch with PoE to power the other remaining APs.

Major WiFi installation in schools

September 15, 2009 posted by Lucas Communications

Lucas were recently awarded a major contract to install NetGear ProSafe Wireless equipment into a number of schools in Lancashire. A number of NetGear ProSafe WFS709TP Smart Wireless Controllers and in excess of 100 NetGear ProSafe WAGL102 POE access points were installed during the schools downtime over the summer period. Supporting services included the design and installation of the Cat5e network cable required to support the wireless infrastructure.

Fibre Optic ups the cabling stakes

February 13, 2009 posted by Lucas Communications

Fibre optic cable, once the preserve of long distance cable runs and high-speed server backbone connections, we have recently been asked by one of our customers to quote for a fibre-to-desk solution in their quest for the ultimate in performance.

The proposed Category 7 will involve the use of shielded rather than unshielded twisted pair copper cabling. The switch will help achieve data rates of over 1GB. However, it may be that installing fibre is the only way to future-proof an office currently being fitted with a network.

Proponents of fibre to the desktop point out that, despite the advances in signalling technology that have allowed data rates over copper to rise from 10Mb to 100MB and now to 1GB, there are intrinsic limitations on the capacity of copper cabling. As data rates begin to approach 10GB, the cost of the transmission equipment will begin to rise rapidly and the transmission distances possible fall equally rapidly. If so, multi-mode fibre optic cables could become more cost effective than copper for horizontal networks.

Welcome to the new website!

February 12, 2009 posted by Lucas Communications

Welcome to our new site !!!  Please contact us using the link on the right or by adding a comment below !

Primary School wireless network

February 12, 2009 posted by Lucas Communications

WhitehillLucas Communications recently installed a new wireless network at a large primary school in Halifax. The school was surveyed by one of our senior engineers to manage the unique issues associated with wireless networks in schools; for example a classroom full of children may require wireless access instantly. This issue was resolved by the careful placement of access points and correct wireless power setups in place.

The project also required integrating multiple Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches into the existing infrastructure to power the wireless access points as well as PoE injectors where that was not possible. The wireless security was set to WPA-PSK2 to ensure full security, essential in an academic environment.

Groundwork Merseyside

February 10, 2009 posted by Lucas Communications

GroundworkWe were recently asked by one of our trade partners (NCS Support Services Ltd) to assist them in relocating the head office for Groundwork Merseyside from Wirral to Liverpool. (Groundwork Merseyside is an environmental charity delivering social, economic and environmental benefit across the sub-region). Our part in this project was to specify a structured wiring solution based on 200 network points capable of running Gigabit Ethernet speeds over 3 floors and to implement a secure wireless solution (Based on Zyxel NWA-3160 PoE Wireless Access Points), also across all 3 floors.

John Shaw (Director, Finance & Resources) commented “Groundwork Merseyside is grateful for the advice, expertise and professional approach from all at Lucas / NCS which ensured that a difficult job was completed on time and within budget.”