10GB ST fiber link

Posted on 2013-06-18
Last Modified: 2013-06-26
I apologize in advance my fiber cabling knowledge is pretty novice.

I have an existing fiber link between two buildings that is currently terminated with ST connectors that go into a Transition Networks J/FE-CF-03 100baseFX to 100baseTX media converter on each end. We are in the process of purchasing some new Cisco 3560X switches which have 1GB SFP or 10GB SFP+ capable modules. I would like to make the link between buildings 10GB, however the SFP+ modules are LC not ST. Is it even possible to do 10GB links with ST and if so how might I go about this in my particular situation. I was thinking maybe a ST-to-LC adapter cable if such a thing exists.
Question by:microdome7
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39256100
Yes, you can get fiber cables with different connectors on either end. The important part is that you use the same type of fiber as is going between buildings... 62.5um MM, 50um MM, SM, etc..

The above link is for a single mode cable, but you will be able to find any other type.

Author Comment

ID: 39256309
If I use something like that I would need a gender changer for the ST side as well correct? My concern is that by using a ST/LC adapter cable and a ST male/female gender changer that it might not be capable of handling 10GB. Of course if I can only do 1GB that would be better than the 100MB media converters that are currently in place.
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

rauenpc earned 250 total points
ID: 39256376
Most fiber runs go to a patch panel of some sort so you shouldn't need to connect a terminated fiber cable (non-patch panel) to another fiber patch cable to do the gender conversion. Either way, fiber cables can be made any way you want including with female ends. In fact, if you speak with a local cabling company they can probably make that for you. The company I work for can make custom fiber cables as it's a requirement when doing infrastructure runs.

If it still comes down to using a gender changer, you will still be capable of running 10G as long as the fiber is able to run 10G. The gender changer will add some db loss to the signal which could make 10G difficult or impossible, but the gender changer isn't necessarily a 10G show-stopper. If you want to be sure of things, have a cabling company come in, make the connections, and run a special fiber tester that can verify your ability to run 10G on the fiber.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 39257307
You could also consider having a certified fiber optic installation vendor remove the ST ends and put on the connectors you want.  Properly connected, it will be cleaner than gender changers and they can give you an end-to-end certification of its performance level.

Author Comment

ID: 39263113
Ok sounds like I need to look at the physical cable itself to see what kind it is. Is there anything specific I should look for on the cable itself. The good news is it sounds like regardless I will at the very least be able to upgrade to 1GB uplinks which by itself is going to be an upgrade over the 100MB currently being used.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

JRSCGI earned 250 total points
ID: 39264406
almost all fiber cables are clearly labeled (printed onto the jacket) with the manufacturer's code that you can then look up to determine its specifications and capabilities.

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