World's Tiniest Fiber Build

  • Wed 22 March 2017
  • misc

Last weekend, I finished the World's Tiniest Fiber Build - a couple hundred feet worth of buried fiber serving a pair of outbuildings (a detached garage and the mother-in-law cottage) at a friend's place. Here's a brief list of the stuff we used to do it.


The key to this project is that FTTH drop cables have become an inexpensive commodity. These are flat cables which contain a single strand of 9 micron single mode fiber. Traditional cable companies, FiOS, and the like use these cables to deliver the FTTH signal from the pedestal near your house to the CPE demarcation point at the house itself. They are suitable for direct burial when equipped with a locator wire.

These cables come pre-terminated, either with ruggedized connectors (which you don't want or need for this application) or pigtails with a standard SC or LC connector on them. Field termination of fiber is not only a pain in the butt, but it requires skills that an average FTTH technician doesn't have and expensive test equipment, so it's easier to just specify a length and the flavor of connectors on the ends.

What kind of connectors to get on the ends is a matter of personal taste. SC and LC connectors come in both PC and APC variants. PC is a 90 degree face connector such as is typically used for ethernet applications. APC has a connector face that is 8 degrees off square.

{% raw %} [root@f4-ce-46-bc-29-92 /zones/rs]# diskinfo TYPE DISK VID PID SIZE RMV SSD USB c0t0d0 SanDisk - 3.73 GiB no no UNKNOWN c1t0d0 WDC WD30EFRX-68EUZN0 2794.52 GiB no no UNKNOWN c1t1d0 WDC WD30EFRX-68EUZN0 2794.52 GiB no no UNKNOWN c1t2d0 WDC WD30EFRX-68EUZN0 2794.52 GiB no no UNKNOWN c1t3d0 WDC WD30EFRX-68EUZN0 2794.52 GiB no no [root@f4-ce-46-bc-29-92 /zones/rs]# time bunzip2 < smartos-20170105T024017Z-USB.img.bz2 | dd of=/dev/dsk/c0t0d0p0 bs=512k 0+252422 records in 0+252422 records out 2000000000 bytes transferred in 744.783529 secs (2685344 bytes/sec)

real       12m24.771s
user       1m9.163s
sys    0m9.393s
[root@f4-ce-46-bc-29-92 /zones/rs]#

{% endraw %}

and after that of course, "init 6" when the coast is clear and it won't surprise anyone to have dozens of VMs suddenly cry out in terror, and be suddenly silenced.