Troubleshooting and Auto-Negotiation Features for Media Conversion Products


Media converters make the critical connection between different types of media, ensuring seamless integration of new equipment in legacy networks. Media converters simply provide the electrical-to-optical conversion, and cost-effectively bridge the gap between copper and fiber optic media types.

Media converters are low-level OSI protocol stack products that connect one type of networking media or product to another.No networking packet delays or data loss are introduced because there are no packet store-and-forward functions or retiming of data. Media converters are completely transparent to the network. There are no MAC or IP addresses to consider. Media converters can be placed anywhere in the LAN without concern for data degradation. These features make media converters extremely inexpensive and easy to use.  These same features, however, can also make media converters the “missing link” of the network, so to speak. Because many media converters are transparent devices and/or are often located at remote sites, when problems occur with cabling, troubleshooting can be difficult for network managers. In addition, network managers often upgrade some equipment and/or deploy 10/100 Mbps hardware in attempt to future-proof their networks. Compatibility issues can sometimes occur when using media converters.

B&B Electronics recognized these issues, and therefore implemented several troubleshooting features. Additionally, we've added Auto-Negotiation functionality into our media conversion products. This paper discusses link integrity, and explains each of B&B Electronics’ troubleshooting features.  These features include: Link Loss, Fiber Alert and Link Fault Detection, which help locate "silent failures" on your network.  This paper also discusses Auto-Negotiation, a feature that minimizes compatibility problems. It is vital that you understand exactly how these features work, and how they will react in your network configuration, before attempting to install your media converter(s).

Installing media converters without understanding the effects of Fiber Alert, Link Loss, Link Fault Detection and Auto-Negotiation can cause perfectly functioning units to appear flawed or even dead.

To read more please download our .pdf version below.