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When considering the lengths of the optical fibre jumpers that measure a few hundreds of meters and need to be effectively reeled and unreeled for many times, there comes an issue of a cable drum. This simple appliance, very often underestimated, could easily become a weakest point of the system, when wrongly chosen and designed in.
A good and proper cable drum is not only a reel to simply stock the cable. It has to have the necessary dimensions, not to damage the cable during stocking, and not to be damage during deployment. The standard situation is when the cable is already tight to the equipment on one side and the crew is unreeling the cable on the other side. It is similar we the cable is reeled back – the few hundred meters cable is strongly pulled towards the drum. In both cases, the cable is exposed to powerful tensile strengths.
To avoid this, the proper drum should have two sections - the main section that accommodates the major part of the cable and the supporting section, with smaller part of the cable. Such combination enables to unreel the smaller section and connect it to the transmitting unit and unreeel the main section without applying such tensile strength.
Another important element is mounting of the connector itself. It needs to protect the connectors during transportation, as well as to protect the connector in the supporting section when the unreeling drum starts to rotate with the speed of few revs per second. The reel needs to be mounted in the solid rack, that is also a stand, a carrying device and a brake that protects against unwanted unreeling. The good drum should also be equipped with the simple crank shaft to facilitate reeling the cable back.
Radiotechnika Marketing offers the appropriate solutions for cable management. They were all designed by people that gained many years of the field experience. Feel free to share their knowledge and experience.

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CTOS cable connection unit an the Amphenol CD1 drum. Maximum capacity: 150m.   The reel from the CD1 drum – visible crank shaft and CTOS connector taken from the mount. Support section as three metal hooks on the outer surface, hosting support part of the cable.   Complete “TOx” cable drum system by Amphenol. Visible two-section reel with the CTOS jumper, fabric cover, crank shaft, drum support and hand grip.


Fibre optic rotary joints

We mention this products here because to mount the joints in the drums seems to be their most common and simplest application. For the applications that need permanent connection during reeling and unreeling the cable, this seems to be the only solution.
Another important application is the connection between the body and the turret of military vehicle. The turret needs to rotate within the range of n*360 degrees and cannot be limited by any cable connections. Any connection needs to be transmitted through the rotary joint.
The rotary joint connectors are expensive and tailor-made applications. We do not quote any specific examples of such applications in this section, but we are ready and willing to assist our customers when such need and issue appears.


Jacek Rzeźnicki