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Introduction To Media Conversion

Copper cabling solutions for network data are ideal for short runs within a building. However, these cabling solutions do not work well for long distance connections or connections between buildings. Fiber optic cabling solutions for network data are ideal for long distance connections or connections between buildings. Fiber optic solutions will also work for short runs within a building, but the cost of the equipment required to support those connections may be excessive. The solution to this dilemma is media conversion. A media converter will receive the electrical signals running over the copper cabling and convert the signal to a light signal capable of being run through a fiber cable or vice versa. Media converters are completely transparent to the network. They help to extend the life of non-fiber based equipment and reduce the overall cost.

When selecting a media converter, it is important to consider which type of fiber that will be used and the speed requirement of the network. Many media converters support either multimode or single mode fiber. However, some media converters will only support one or the other. If the other equipment in the data center requires a specific type of fiber cable, then the proper media converter must be selected. Media converters are typically built to support a maximum speed Ethernet protocol or a specific communications standard. The Ethernet protocols that are typically supported are Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and 10Gigabit Ethernet. Other communications standards that may be supported include ATM, T1/E1, DS3, and RS232.

Example of a typical media converter:

Example of a typical media converter


  • Complies with IEEE802.3 (10Base-T), IEEE802.3u (100Base-TX/FX)
  • Extends distances ranging up to 2 km (1.24 miles)
  • Nway auto-negotiation support on RJ45 port
  • Auto-negotiation of duplex (HDX/FDX) on RJ45 port
  • Auto MDI/MDI-X support on RJ45 port
  • Status LEDs for TX, FX LINK/ACT, POWER, 100M to easily monitor network status
  • FCC Class A & CE approved

This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.