Saturday, April 18, 2009

Industry: Winchester Electronics

In our continuing series on Industry operating in Franklin, I find this press release about Winchester Electronics. HD refers to "high definition". The new parts being announced would be used by the likes of Verizon, Comcast, and carriers of the HD signal until it arrives in our homes.

Winchester Electronics introduces KINGS(R) Brand Passive Optical Fiber Video Patching System

The new EL Series(TM) provides the missing link to realizing an all fiber broadcast facility. Networks no longer have to convert HD signals into copper for patching. The optical jackfield provides the same functionality and look and feel as a full normal copper jackfield.

LAS VEGAS, Apr 16, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- At the National Association of Broadcasters Show, Winchester Electronics takes the wraps off its EL Series(TM) of optical fiber broadcast cable connectors and components.

According to Jerome Farnan, Director of Fiber Optic Technology at Winchester Electronics, the EL Series optical fiber video jacks and patch cords are based on an expanded light beam connection technology that replaces existing coaxial copper components or traditional ferrule-based fiber connectors.

In addition to lower costs, smaller diameter fibers, larger carrying capacity, lower signal degradation and lower power requirement, the new EL Series connector components eliminate reliability issues associated with dirt and scratches common with traditional fiber connectors.

The expanded beam fiber connector technology is based on a non-contact method of mating optical fibers that reduces the possibility of handling damage, as well as making blind mating of components simple to do.

In this new approach, when the light beam carrying the video/audio/data enters the connector a spherical optical lens converts the light beam into a series of parallel rays that pass through a mechanical gap. The transmitted beam is then focused down on the receiving fiber end of the connector.

"The advantage of this design is that the optical fiber ends are easily maintained and more resistant to contamination in harsh environments than standard fiber optic interfaces," said Farnan. "Also, the large diameter of the light beam at the separable interface minimizes the effect of any dirt or debris on the optic surface."

Totally signal agnostic, the EL Series is equally adept at carrying HD SDI, Ethernet IP, Analog Video or any other data format traveling along the fiber.

A key design decision made early in the development of this new family, said Farnan, was to incorporate the push/pull style of mating used in previous Winchester copper connectors to allow technicians to connect and disconnect in a simple, quick, three-step process. Because the EL Series Quickconnect scheme is similar in function to that used in Winchester's copper interconnect components, the shift to optical connections is virtually transparent.

Most HD capable professional broadcast equipment is now available with optical transceivers, so the ability to switch fiber optic signals directly eliminates the need for electrical to optical conversion for long distance runs. Using fiber frames designed for telecommunications does not fit with the workflow of the broadcast environment. When there is a problem with a live-to-air signal, the technician wants to route the signal immediately, with no concern for a scratched fiber end, or fiber cable bent too tightly. The EL system allows routing in a passive manner using a fiber jackfield with the look and feel of a copper jackfield using rugged fiber patch cords made from bend insensitive fiber with expanded beam connectors.

"Just like a copper jack, when inserted into the front of the EL Series optical fiber jack, the EL Series connector will automatically switch the optical signal being routed through the back of the video jack to the front connectors," said Farnan.

In a broadcast studio environment, the EL Series DINconnect patch cord is similar in function to the traditional BNC to BNC copper wiring terminated to the rear of a copper jackfield. The patch cord has an EL Series connector on one end and an industry standard LC, SC, FC, ST, (or any single or multi-mode) fiber connector on the other end.

The EL Series Optical Fiber Video Jack's small 1.85 by 1.62 by 0.38 form factor allows easy integration into existing patch bays, up to 32 per jackfield. It uses a rear DIN 1.0/2.3 style mechanical latching for security of the Normal path. Because it is an optical rather than copper mechanical switch, the connector components require no power and are designed for 10,000 mate/unmate cycles. Customer termination of installed fiber is possible with the splice-on version of the EL connector, where a factory terminated expanded beam insert is attached to the fiber using fusion splice technology.

The EL Series Patch Cords are made from nickel plated brass, while its optical alignment pin is made of gold-plated stainless steel capable of 10,000 cycle performance without any signal degradation. The optical insertion loss is 1.5 dB typical for either a patched or a normal connection. Return loss is 55 dB typical and 45 dB minimum. Mechanical withdrawal force on the patch cord is 0.5 pounds minimum, while the pull force on the rear side is 20 lb. minimum.

Available in sample quantities, the EL Series evaluation kits contain optical fiber video jacks with associated patch cords.

Winchester Electronics Corporation, a 68-year old Connecticut-based company, is a leader in designing and manufacturing electronic connectors and interconnect solutions. In addition to its headquarters in Wallingford, the company maintains a global manufacturing and engineering network, and operates manufacturing facilities in Wallingford, CT; Franklin, MA; Rock Hill, SC; Nogales, Mexico; Suzhou, China; and Penang, Malaysia.

SOURCE: Winchester Electronics Corporation

Winchester Electronics Corporation
Denise Johnston, 203-741-5491
Howard Geltzer, 212-362-9067

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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