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Can I run a single Corning 12-strand armored fiber cable to a series of security cameras?

I don't know the details of fiber installation, so I'm wondering if strands can be split off along the way (can't see in my mind how this would work). I want to avoid daisy chaining, but I also wouldn't want a separate armored fiber cable for each camera.

Example of armored fiber: http://catalog.corning.com/opcomm/en-US/catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?cid=tight_buffered_indoor_outdoor_cables_web&pid=9231&vid=10363

While I'm at it: anyone have experience on what brand of ethernet-to-fiber media converters are respected in the industry?

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  • I find some of the small MicroTik switches with an SFP slot to be both less expensive than many "media converters" and far less shudder-inducing than some other brand names I associate more with consumer junque. I do use them, I'm not associated otherwise. In general an SFP in a switch beats a media converter 8 days a week for my humble opinion; even if it leaves you with 4 empty jacks you'll typically have an extra 50 dollars in your pockets and manageability to boot.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 21 '15 at 4:15
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I have worked with this type of cable quite a bit. I would say this is not impossible, but impractical. The interlocking armor in the product you link to is quite strong and difficult to remove. You'll need to remove at least a few feet of armor at each tap point. To remove it you'll have to unravel it, pulling apart the interlock. Doing this repeatedly without nicking the fiber at any of the tap points is not likely to work. It will be difficult to get a bushing around the sharp edge of the armor midspan.

In this case I would say you're better off installing conduit if you need the protection from damage.

Regarding the media adapters - I haven't seen any functional difference between brands, unless you need manageable devices.

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  • I'd agree - possible but impractical. +1 Use flexible metal conduit and a more easily accessed cable type for similar flex to install and protection in a more practical manner.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 21 '15 at 4:20
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In regards to pulling off fiber as the run goes, yes that is possible, a pain dealing with the armored cable but is done by many people. A fusion splicer would also not be needed, a box like this (for example only, not promoting this style or company, there are a few to pick from):

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiS9LOT-uXJAhVE7yYKHRN-AcsQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alemsan.com%2FFiber_Optic.html&psig=AFQjCNE5W0wIUu0y8otnYvnJi2Qt3XYOBg&ust=1450546809899736

Would allow you to "peel off" a strand or two. Then you would just need to put an end on the fiber, which you can do with pre-made ends that have the gel and everything you would need built in, you strip the fiber back exposing the "glass" then insert that into the premade jack and snap it together. This would give you the end to plug into the above box on the inside. You would then need to purchase a fiber patch to plug into either the cameras or into a media converter to convert it to copper.

For example (5 strands shown below) the first strand is terminated early in the run, the second strand a little further down, and the others keep going until terminated even further or kept as spare:

-------------------MDF Splice Tray--fiber patch--camera/converter

----------------------------------MDF Splice Tray--fiber patch--camera/converter

------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

You would not need to cut each strand every time you need a camera along the run, that would put to many splices on the last strand (to many being an arbitrary number, depends on quality of splices, distances, etc), presumably you would have 11 splices for the 12 strand before it got to its ends device.

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I don't know the details of fiber installation, so I'm wondering if strands can be split off along the way (can't see in my mind how this would work). I want to avoid daisy chaining, but I also wouldn't want a separate armored fiber cable for each camera.

As I understand it to make a tee you pretty much have to cut the whole cable so you can put both ends plus your branch cables into a splice case and terminate them properly. Inside that splice case you can then fusion splice the individual fibres together in whatever combination you want.

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  • That isn't the case, you can remove the jacket without cutting the whole cable - in fact you have to do this to remove a few feet of armor at the end. Doing it midspan is the tricky part. Dec 20 '15 at 12:31
  • At least the outdoor splice cases i've seen seem to be designed so you have to thread the whole cable through a gland. I guess you could possibly thead the whole cable in and out again but on a long cable it would be a massive PITA. Dec 20 '15 at 15:35
  • that's what I think - such a PITA and no room for error, I wouldn't try it. You'd have to use something like this aimedia.co/media/images-small/LPCG50.jpg and it doesn't protect the fiber from the armor. Dec 20 '15 at 16:09

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