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RF Over Fiber Optic Cable


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Doc- there are a couple different classifications for fiber optic cables to consider...  


I think the ones best suited for the demands of production film / TV would be the 'tactical' and 'armored' types.  The lowest cost fiber cables work really well for installed systems but don't hold up as well to multiple deployments because of the jacket construction.  I know one field expert in fiber for wireless audio that has been using the same armored cable for years without any degradation.  It's also just much easier to work with than stiff coax.  


Keep in mind there is also a wide ranging and frankly confusing variety of terminations for fiber optic cables, as well as many types of multimode cables for duplex applications or for remote video that are overkill for audio.  We are working to simplify this platform and tailor them for the needs of wireless audio to make it highly cost/performance competitive with typical coax-based distributed antenna systems.  We will be supplying tactical, armored, and plenum rated cables for this new product series, which we are also integrating directly onto the antennas themselves with a remote DC power + fiber composite cable option to avoid the need for local power at the antenna position.  Demos should be available over the next few weeks for anyone interested in taking them for a spin.   


Chris Regan

RF Venue

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I need to remote my sharkfins and am currently tossing up between the rf optix and an amplified version of the sharkfins I have. Has anyone got some real world experience with the rf optix in the field? Would love to hear from you...


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how far do you need to remote your sharkfins?

if its several hundred metres or more, look at RFoF, if its a few hundred feet, it will be far cheaper to get amplified sharkfins for probably the same effect.


i havent used the rf optix system, but i do have a RFoF project that i really ought to get sorted out.

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I probably only need to extend around 70 metres. Actually, I've priced both systems up (here in Australia) and there is a negligible difference in price between buying the rf optix, and upgrading my sharkfins to the amplified version. The rf optix has a lot of other advantages too, so on paper it's the way to go, I've just never used it and don't know anyone who has

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one thing to bear in mind is the cost and replacement if / when a cable gets damaged. fibre optic cable is not so easy to re-terminate, and is not always an off the shelf item. whereas 50ohm BNC is slightly easier to come by.


the concept of RFoF is great, ive found it a bit of a learning curve compared to copper cable, and have found quite a few things that dont work so well with the system i have been trying to get set up.


if you do go for the rf optix, a few things to bear in mind. 

make sure you get the right connectors with your link cables. if you get angled connectors and the system is designed for straight connectors, you will loose a lot of signal.

also, when connecting the fibre cable to the boxes, make sure they are properly seated - a friend got a system, and didnt realise that the locking key wasnt properly seated even though he could screw it in and the few millimetres it moved the connector out lost him over 50dB of signal.

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Hi Trevor

If you're looking for a cheaper way of upgrading your shark fins to amplified versions, just use the Lectro UFM230 amp at the antenna.

An ALP620 with a 30cm (or shorter) 50ohm BNC cable is the same as an ALP650. The internals inside the UFM230 are identical to the internals in the ALP650.

If you already own ALP620, you don't really need to go and buy ALP650.

Send the UFM230 antenna bias (power) from the Venue or Bias T and your good to go. This way you don't need DC power at the antenna end for the UFM230 directly, it's powered from the other end where you have power accessible.

Look at the Lectro website to calculate cable loss and set the jumper inside the amp accordingly.

Remember the RF amp is to make up for cable loss. It does not give more range, the antennas specs take care of that.

Amplifying at the receiver end will only amplify the noise from the cable loss.

Give me a call if you want to discuss.


Peter Mega

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Hey Pete, how are you?

That was the first thing I looked into. The UFM230 landed in Aus, at our current exchange rate is close enough to what I can get an ALP650 for to not make that worthwhile. I think the difference was less then $100. So for 2 650's (or UFM 230) and 2 of those really chunky low loss bnc cables, the damage was close to 2k. That brings the rf optix into the picture. I figure with the rf optix I'll actually have a better signal at the receiver end because I'm not using an amp to compensate for cable loss.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been using the rf Optix on s job for a couple of weeks now and have to say I love it and it's working perfectly. It's being run over distances of 50m, but I'm guessing by its very nature a meter is as good as a mile. As Rich said make sure the connectors are correctly in their groove as it makes a world of difference.

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