Hybrid Cable Assemblies With Copper and Fiber Conductors

By Christine Stieglitz | February 16, 2021

This week’s Product Roundup highlights hybrid cable assemblies with copper and fiber conductors, as well as hybrid cable-mount connectors with both copper and fiber optic contacts.

Hybrid Cable Assemblies With Copper and Fiber Conductors

Neutrik optical hybrid connectorsNeutrik’s opticalCON HYBRID MED Connectors are designed to deliver rugged, reliable, and user-friendly connectivity solutions optimized for medical applications including operating rooms. These high-performance connectors have a smooth, easy-to-clean surface; a D-shaped mating design, integrated sealing cover, and reliable push-pull locking mechanism that makes them easy to handle with even gloved hands; and a proven anti-kink boot design. Sold as preassembled hybrid cable assemblies to ensure peak performance and ease installation, opticalCON HYBRID MED connectors feature copper and fiber conductors protected with braided shields and TPU jackets and are terminated on both ends with PRIZM MT lensed MPO interfaces that deliver exceptional protection against dirt and dust. The connectors offer up to 16 OM4 multimode fiber channels, two power contacts, and one ground contact and transmit UHD 4K and 8K signals with minimal loss over four standard cable lengths (3m, 5m, 8m, and 10m) with a maximum diameter of 9.5mm. They also exhibit 0.65dB typical (0.90dB max.) insertion loss per connection, 28dB typical (25dB min.) return loss, greater than 500N of strain relief and 900N of locking force, and less than 45N of insertion and withdrawal force. They are rated for a maximum of 10A, 12VAC at 50Hz, and 10,000 mating cycles in operating temperatures spanning 0°C to +40°C and either 850nm wavelengths, 1,500MHz/km bandwidths, and 2.5dB/km attenuation or 1,300nm wavelengths, 500MHz/km bandwidths, and 0.7dB/km attenuation. They are also rated for a maximum tensile load of 700N, a minimum operating bend radius of 145mm, 599N/dm crush resistance per IEC 60794-1-2-E3, and UL94 V-0 flammability. Other products in the opticalCON HYBRID MED line include high-performance lensed MTP OM4 multimode breakout cables with premium, grade-A LCs that exhibit low insertion loss and chassis connectors that feature a ruggedized anticorrosive plating, two crimp contacts, one MPO feedthrough socket, and one shell ground contact for the cable shield.

LEMO hybrid copper fiber connectorsLEMO offers a full range of hybrid cable assemblies with mixed copper and fiber optic conductors and connector contacts. Designed to reliably transmit both low-voltage electrical signals and single-mode or multimode fiber optic signals, these specialized cable assemblies offer space, weight, and cost savings compared to two individual power and fiber connector solutions and are ideal for use in growing number of applications including telemetry, process control systems, data transmission, cable and closed-circuit television, and even laser signal transmission in medical equipment such as dermatological devices. LEMO’s hybrid cable assemblies are available with metal or plastic outer shells equipped with its secure and user-friendly push-pull self-latching connection system, which negates the need for plug-to-plug adapters, and are also available in watertight versions. Mixed copper and fiber cable assemblies are currently available as part of the company’s B Series, K Series, N Series, W Series, and U Series, each of which is optimized for a specific set of application and environmental performance requirements.

Axon hybrid copper fiber cableAxon’ Cable custom designs and develops hybrid cable assemblies with various compositions of both copper and fiber conductors and a range of termination options for use in harsh-environment aerospace, defense, and space applications that require high-speed, high-performance data transmission in addition to a power supply. These hybrid cable assemblies are lighter weight than all-copper cable assemblies and help ease cable routing and integration processes by combining two different types of high-performance transmission lines within a single shielded cable jacket. They also offer excellent electromagnetic immunity and can be terminated with combination connectors, fiber optic connectors (e.g., ST/FC or LC), micro-D and D-Sub connectors, and ARINC connectors. Axon’ manufactures its custom hybrid cable assemblies at its ITAR-compliant production facilities in the Champagne region of France, which are equipped to develop cables extending over 100m in length and offer UV laser marking services for ease of identification in applications with high cabling densities. Ideal applications for Axon’s hybrid copper and fiber cable assemblies include tank turrets and optronics systems in drones, helicopters, ships, and avionics equipment.

Fischer hybrid cable assembliesFischer Connectors designs and develops custom hybrid cable assemblies with various power and signal combinations and all-copper or mixed copper and fiber conductors and connector contacts, depending on how much power and data the cable needs to transmit. Fischer’s hybrid cable assemblies are also designed for simplicity, ease of use, space savings, safety, reliability, and quality and are optimized to meet the unique environmental and employment demands of a given application. Application- and environment-specific cable assembly characteristics include the number and size of the contacts, the latter of which is especially critical for power contacts, as well as contact density, pin configuration, and cable construction, which is especially critical for high-speed data transmission. Additional considerations include creepage and clearance distances for medical applications and, given the prevalence of miniature and ultraminiature connectors, ensuring that the cables and connectors desired are physically compatible. Hybrid cable assemblies with both copper and fiber conductors are ideal for applications that require high-speed data as well as power and can be customized and supplied by Fischer Connectors or its industry partner FIS Blue.

Molex medispec hybrid cable assembliesMolex MediSpec Hybrid Cable Assemblies and Circular MT Receptacles deliver high-performance, mixed optical and electrical signaling designed to streamline the number of connectors required in medical applications including surgical suites, robotic surgery systems, cardio-thoracic surgery equipment, minimally invasive surgery tools, electrosurgical, neurosurgical, and orthopedic surgery equipment, and diagnostic equipment. These multifunctional copper and fiber optic connectivity solutions are available with robust, shielded metal housings or lightweight, medical-grade polymer housings ideal for MRI and PET scan applications and feature three configurable, MT-sized ports that support various combinations of standard and expanded-beam MT ferrules and two to eight electrical pin and socket interfaces per port. The copper contacts are designed to meet MIL-DTL-83513 and MIL-DTL-32129 standards and deliver 1–3A each, data transmission speeds up to 1GbE, and proven robustness for more than 500 mating cycles. MediSpec Hybrid Cable Assemblies and Circular MT Receptacles also support single-mode and multimode fiber (including 50/125μm and 62.5/125μm multimode variants), up to 24 fibers per ferrule, and 24–30AWG copper wire. Additional options include configurable cable options (e.g., a combination of MT and LC cables), hardened tubing, and electrical MicroFit 3.0, MicroClasp, and RJ45 connectors for board-level connectivity.

Hybrid Cable-Mount Connectors With Both Copper and Fiber Optic Contacts

Cinch Hybrid Cable-Mount ConnectorsCinch Connectivity Solutions’ Fibreco Senior Expanded Beam Fiber Optic Connectors are designed to deliver cost-effective, high-performance, flexible, and user-friendly optical, power, and signal solutions in the most demanding harsh-environment applications, including military tactical communications, outdoor broadcasts, petrochemical plants, mining, and offshore systems. They are available in five optical channel versions with one, two, four, six, or eight single-mode or multimode optical channels and four hybrid copper and fiber versions to satisfy a wide range of power and data requirements. Hybrid inserts are available with two optical and two power channels, two optical and two signal channels, two optical, two power, and two signal channels, or four optical and two power channels. Fibreco Senior Expanded Beam Connectors have a fully sealed, IP68 hermaphroditic construction equipped with an integrated spring and cover plate that keep terminated ferrules in place within the expanded beam housing and a patented, automatic ferrule-to-lens alignment feature that ensures easy and accurate connections. They are also field terminable and repairable using standard fiber optic termination tools and equipment. In the event of serious damage, users can replace the expanded beam insert, connector front body, and grip ring without needing to re-terminate the fibers, and often within as little as 30 minutes. The series is available in bulkhead, jam-nut bulkhead, and square-flange bulkhead connector styles with black hard anodized aluminum, nickel aluminum bronze, or stainless steel shell options and strain relief for zip-cord or tactical cable. It also offers four fiber counts (2, 4, 6, or 8), three fiber types (9/125UM, 50/125UM, or 62.5/125UM), and size 20 and size 16 MIL-C-29029/93A and /94A gold-plated electrical power contacts rated for 1,000VAC and 5A (or up to 15A short-term) and exhibits a maximum of -1.0dB to 2.0dB insertion loss depending on fiber type, wavelength, and channel count, greater than 32dB single-mode or 20dB multimode return loss, and up to 1,500N of cable retention force depending on cable construction. Fibreco Senior Expanded Beam Connectors are resistant to water immersion, free falls, vibration, bumps, corrosion, and crushing forces and are rated for a minimum of 3,000 mating cycles in operating temperatures extending from -40°C to +85°C. They are also RoHS compliant and intermateable with Tyco Pro-Bream Junior and Stratos HMA/HsMA two- and four-channel connectors.

Amphenol Air LB’s GCB-M Hybrid Copper and Fiber Modular Interconnect Solutions from Ex-El GroupEx-El Group supplies Amphenol Air LB’s GCB-M Hybrid Copper and Fiber Modular Interconnect Solutions, which offer extremely flexible, high-performance solutions for power and data connectivity. GCB-M connectors have industry-standard shells with the same installation dimensions as MIL-C-5015 connectors but employ reverse-bayonet coupling mechanisms and ondular washers to support quick, easy, and secure connections and support an extensive array of removable insert modules capable of accommodating a variety of pin and socket contacts and fiber optic termini. The series also offers five shell styles in sizes spanning 32–4M, five polarization angles, six specialized backshells, and six plating materials (all but one of which are RoHS-compliant) and includes scoop-proof contact protection and integral EMI grounding fingers for enhanced shielding protection in all plugs. In addition, GCB-M Series hybrid copper and fiber modular interconnect solutions are compliant with the VG95234 standard, ruggedly resistant to water and dust ingress, high shock and vibration, and mechanical wear and tear, and rated for 500 mating cycles in standard MIL-spec operating temperatures extending from -55°C to +125°C. The modules are made of thermoplastic and overmolded silicon elastomer, include a polarization system, and meet EN4165 and VG96513 standards and accept size-23 to size-eight SAE-AS39029- and EN3155-compliant gold-over-nickel-plated copper alloy pin and socket contacts with crimp terminations, as well as single-mode and multimode Luxcis and Amphelux (ARINC 801), Elio and Lumiére (EN4531-101), and MPO and MTP fiber optic termini.

hybrid fiber and copper cable assemblies from Amphenol AerospaceAmphenol Aerospace offers a wide range of high-speed connectors and cable assemblies for military and commercial aviation, military vehicle, missile and ordnance, and C4ISR applications, including standard and custom hybrid cable assemblies that combine copper and fiber contacts and conductors to efficiently deliver both power and high-speed data. Its ruggedized, high-performance FiberQuad quadrax contacts embed fiber optic transmitters and receivers within the contacts themselves, along with the supporting electronics required to provide customers with a plug-and-play solution. These flexible hybrid contacts can operate as either transmitters or receivers, include onboard diagnostics and control features, and support many different wavelengths, modes, and protocols, including encoded and pathological data. FiberQuad contacts fit within standard Quadrax contact layouts and can be installed in plugs and receptacles designed for integration in Amphenol Quadrax 38999 connectors. They support data speeds up to 10.3125Gb/s, 1,300nm single-mode and 850nm multimode wavelengths, and 1,300nm multimode wavelengths for legacy protocols such as 100-BASE-FX and are rated for use in operating temperatures extending from -40°C to +85°C. Supported protocols include Ethernet, Fibre Channel, ARINC 818, PCIe, InfiniBand, SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-HD-SDI.

Like this article? Check out our other articles about fiber optics, cable assemblies, power and signal transmission, and connectivity in the medical and mil/aero markets, or click through our 2021 and 2020 article archives.

Christine Stieglitz
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