Q: Are any tia/eia (Arlington, VA) standards committees currently developing a standard for the mini-style fiber connector? We are planning to use Panduit`s opti-jack because of its size and compatibility with the Mini-Com Outlet, and we want to be sure that this style of connector will be compatible with any new standard.
A: The answer to your question is "yes." The TR-41.8.1 Fiber Optics Task Group, chaired by Tony Beam of amp Inc. (Harrisburg, PA), is working on such a standard. The group has outlined an aggressive schedule, and we can expect results in February 1998.
The assurance you seek, however, is not in the standards arena. I wouldn`t bet on anything until the ink is dry. I have personally witnessed a number of eleventh-hour changes to the proposed standard, and not all of them have had engineering merit. While Panduit is well-represented in the Fiber Optics Task Group, I am unclear as to whether the group intends to write mechanical and transmission specifications that many different connectors currently in production could meet or simply pick one representative connector to be the standard, as they did with the SC connector.
Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a bicsi registered communications distribution designer (rcdd). Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713; tel: (512) 471-0112, fax: (512) 471-8883, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.