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Thanks to our experience gained at the manufacturing of the fibre optic cables as well as based on our copper cable military harness assembly capability, we are able to manufacture hybrid solutions that combine two worlds: fibre optics with the military copper harnesses. A mix of fibre and copper signal within one cable and one connector, opens complete new areas for the user, that is now able to supply power to remote sensors or appliances that require power and which transmit high speed or high capacity signals, without any EMC concerns. It is possible to power and control the remote robots and installations, and the signals from their cameras can be sent in the real time to the data collection and control centres. And everything in one cable.The hybrid cable is a solution of extreme convenience, especially for the mobile installation where fast and unproblematic deployment is a crucial issue. One cable is much easier to maintain than two or more cables. And there is no hazard of messing two or more cables. Only the one who tried to undo the mess of cable of few hundreds meter long, know what we mean…The complex solution is completed with the broad range of hybrid connectors terminated at the cable, also available in the expanded beam versions.

Hybrid cables:

ependant on the lengths, the hybrid cables can be produced as a serial production (above 300m) or hand made, similarly to the military cable harness assembly technology (up to 100m). Practically, there is no standard product when the hybrid solution is concerned. Every hybrid cable is a customer designed, tailor made products, although, to reduce the cost for the customer, we try to apply standard elements and components from the existing product range of our suppliers. We also offer the components of the hybrid harness as the separate sales items. The customers are more than welcome to purchase the hybrid cable and prepare the termination on their own.

Structure of the hybrid cable

The hybrid cable can have both the distribution as well as the breakout structure. For instance, cables for HDTV cameras usually base on the distribution structure that provides high flexibility with small diameter and low weight. The cable used for underground mining applications will use the breakout structure for better protection against mechanical tensions and working forces.

  Image   Image  
  HDTV camera hybrid cable. Visible optical fibres (yellow and blue),screen braid and electrical wires (red, green and black) and fillers (white).   Industrial hybrid cable, breakout structure.  
  Cross-section of the hybrid cable   Cross-section of the breakout type hybrid cable  


The combination of the diameters and gauges of the copper wires or types of the optical fibres is virtually unlimited and depends entirely on the customer needs and requirements. The copper wires can be employed to carry electrical signals or supply the power, so there could be a whole variety of copper cables like wires, twisted pairs, coax, triax, etc.

Physical contact hybrid connectors

The easiest solution for the hybrid connector is to employ MIL-C-38999 military grade connectors (for example, STARTOP series by Amphenol) and to use the appropriate fibre optic contacts that replace standard electrical contacts. The solution requires to apply special back-shells at the rear side of the connector to attche the connector properly to the cable. The solution is designed to maintain the multimode transmission, using standard elements. When employing single mode option, the fibre optic contacts need to be precisely chosen and qualified for much higher accuracy of the mechanical connection. The biggest drawback of the solution is a limited possibility to maintain the optical elements (especially heads of polished fibres) in a reasonable if not perfect cleanliness, the lack of which can lower the parameters or even stop the optical transmission. The issue becomes especially harmful and problematic when considering the fast deployable systems. In that case, the solution is to use the expanded beam hybrid connectors.

  Hybrid MIL 38999 connector cable plug. (Pins C and D are fibre contacts)  

Hybrid expanded beam connectors

Employment of the lenses helped to raised the level of transmission reliability. The avoidance of the direct contact between the connectors make the connection resistant to the dust, dirt and sand. It not only helps to keep and maintain the transmission, but also protects the connector against the permanent physical damage. Due to their durability, the expanded beam connectors are easy to maintain and clean, using really simple and fully available tools (like tissues or cotton cloth). The expansion of the light beam to the diameter more than hundred times larger that the standard beam makes the system immune to the mechanical particles gathered occasionally in the expanded transmission beam. Another important feature of the expanded beam hybrid connectors is the fact that most of the are hermaphroditic, that allows daisy-chain system extensions (compare section: special applications).


Expanded beam hybrid connector.




Jacek Rzeźnicki