Telecommunications and Telecom Transformers

What is Telecommunications?

Telecommunications is generally thought of as communication via telephones or other technologies. In reality, telecommunication simply means communicating at a distance.

While there is a long history of various telecommunications strategies being used by human beings, today the term generally refers to that area of engineering that has to do with telephone systems, computer networks and related technologies. Telecommunications technology is one of the most consistently developed areas of technology and one of the technologies upon which human beings depend the most for both ordinary and extraordinary uses.

As telecommunications technology has evolved, the term telecommunications and telecom have come to encompass a very broad range of technologies. Today's telecommunications companies are as likely to be laying fiber-optic line to improve Internet connectivity in a neighborhood, as they are to be installing a landline telephone in somebody's house. Telecommunications companies have also largely gone wireless over the years, gradually eliminating the dependence upon wired communications to transmit and receive data.

Wireless telecommunications range into the area normally thought of as radio, but these technologies are more closely related than many people may think. In fact, wireless communication was experimented with successfully at roughly the same time that wired telephone lines were coming into use and the two technologies have always been very closely linked. Today's cellular phones, in reality, simply take a concept that has been around since walkie-talkies and other portable radios were available and adds to them the functionalities of a telephone. Smartphones took that advance and went further with it, adding Internet connectivity to the devices, but these devices are still telecom products at their root and just about every service they provide is somehow related to telecom technology.

What we consider to be telecommunications today began in earnest in the early 1900s. Prior to that time, telecommunications was a much different thing.


History of Telecommunications

Telecommunications has a very long history starting in ancient times.

Among the first forms of telecommunication utilized by human beings were semaphores. These can be utilized as optical telegraphs, allowing information to be relayed as long as the transmitter and recipient were within sight of one another. Provided there was a number of recipients who could relay a message that they had received, this form of communication could carry a message for a very long distance, particularly at sea.











Figure 1

Semaphore lines remained in existence until the late 1800s. They were extremely expensive to construct and they required very skilled operators. Some of the semaphore towers still stand, however, and these early telecommunications towers played important roles in business, politics and other areas of human life.

Modern telecommunications really starts with the telegraph. Telegraphs allowed information to be transmitted for thousands of miles – eventually around the world &150; at the speed of light. Using simple codes made out of dots and dashes – Morse code – or other technologies, telegraph operators could, with the assistance of telegram delivery services, get messages to just about anywhere in the world at impressive speed. While modern telecommunication technology makes activities such as online gaming, instant messaging and other applications possible, even in the days of telegraphs operators sometimes played chess and other games with one another during slow times at their stations, constituting the first instances of online gaming. Gossip was also commonly transmitted between operators.

It wouldn't be until the late 1800s that the first telephones were developed, setting the stage for modern telecommunications. The Bell Telephone Company was the first telecom company established in the United States. AT&T is a descendent of that company that is still in operation today.

Today's telecommunications technology has evolved at a breakneck pace. Even up until the 1980s, multiline phone systems were about the most sophisticated systems that offices used to communicate, unless those offices happened to be extremely advanced technologically speaking. By the 1990s, facsimile machines, a method of transmitting data over telephone lines, had become fast enough and cheap enough that just about every office already had one.

By the time the late 1990s rolled around, telecommunications had largely evolved into what it is today. Fiber-optic lines carry computer communication across the globe, offices are wired with LAN systems that allow the very fast communication of data and landline telephones have largely been displaced by cellular telephones, which afford owners a great deal more freedom and the ability to take a telephone number with them when they change locations, something which was much more difficult in the past and virtually impossible if someone happened to be moving between areas with different prefixes or area codes.

However complicated today's telecommunications technology may have become, it still relies upon the basic elements of telecommunication listed below. All of these systems take information, transmit it over a long distance and allow it to be received and decoded by the recipient. These are the hallmarks of any telecommunications system, whether it happens to be a pair of tin cans connected by a string, a telegraph line that spans the Atlantic Ocean or a wireless communications system that allows individuals to receive emails that may have been sent from clear across the planet, no matter where they are.


What are the Basic Elements of Telecommunications?

From the most ancient to the most modern telecommunication systems, three elements define what really makes one of the systems what it is. The first is a transmitter. The transmitter is the element in the system that takes information and converts that information to some sort of a signal. In a modern cell phone, the transmitter takes voice information, converts it into an electrical signal, converts that to a radio signal and then the process is reversed further down the line. In an ancient system, the transmitter may have been a semaphore signaler who stood on the bow of the ship using flags that represented a code that could be used to send the signal.










Figure 2

The transmission medium is the second element of a telecommunications system. This is the physical channel over which the transmission is made. In a semaphore system, light is the transmission medium, as color, shape and patterns of movement dictate the message being sent. In a telephone network, the media may be copper wires, radio signals are whatever other medium is used.

The third element in a telecommunications system is the receiver. The receiver is the element in the system that takes the signal and converts it back to the original message. This could be the telegraph operator who takes dots and dashes and converts them back to letters or it could be a computer that takes a series of electronically transmitted ones and zeros and converts them into an email that you can read.

This basic arrangement can be found in any telecommunications system. In fact, the three elements combined are what define a telecommunications system to a significant degree. A message has to be encoded, transmitted and decoded and, if all three of those requirements are met and the transmission and decoding take place across a distance, a viable telecommunications system is in use.

Telecommunications systems, like all other technologies, are susceptible to issues with security. Over the years, securing telecommunications has become one of the most important goals of telecommunication systems providers and of the consumers that rely upon the systems to transmit information, some of which they may rather keep private or which may actually have some serious implications for the individual sending the information, if that information was to be intercepted.

Digital technology has largely been responsible for introducing the level of complexity that makes enhancements such as encryption possible. Older telecommunications systems are sometimes referred to as 1FB or FB systems, which is a reference to the copper wire that those systems utilized. Today's systems are largely digital, with new lines being able to be added to systems in a matter of seconds rather than requiring an entire other copper line to be laid.

In the end, the basic elements of a telecommunications system reveal that a telecommunication system does not have to be particularly sophisticated to merit the name. In fact, a telecommunications system could be nothing more than two people within line of sight with lights that enable them to transmit messages to one another. In today's world, however, things are much more sophisticated and, at the same time, very much the same.

One of the most significant advances in modern telecommunications technology has had to do with the medium by which the message is transmitted. Today, fiber-optic cables have largely displaced metallic cables and made data transmission much faster and more reliable than it has ever been. While the first telecommunications systems may have relied upon the light reflected off of a flag to transmit a message and may seem comparatively simple relative to a smartphone, it's important to keep in mind that, even in telecommunications, advances are sometimes not a matter of inventing a new resource but a matter of utilizing a new resource in a very inventive way.


Which Role do Telecom Transformers Play?

Telecom transformers can serve various roles. They can function as isolation transformers, preparing the voltage before transmission across the lines or adjusting the voltage so that it is suitable for the low voltage application in the home.

Like other electronic components, telecom transformers are sold with important specifications listed right up front. These include inductance, mounting style and other specifications that, to a large extent, dictate whether those devices will be appropriate for a given application or use in a given device. There is a wide variety of telecom transformers available and they are one of the most basic technologies that telecommunications required to work in our era and that were required in the past.

Other solutions – resistors and capacitors – are sometimes utilized to achieve the same goals that a telecom transformer achieves. These are not always quite as suitable for the purpose, however, and are not as commonly used for that reason. The transformer remains one of the most vital components in any telecommunications system, whether it was devised in the early 1900s or it was devised a week ago.


Who Produces Telecom Transformers?

Some of the companies that produce telecom transformers include:

·         Bourns

·         Murata

·         OEP

·         Wurth Elektronik

Figure 3


What is the primary inductance of telecom transformers?

The primary inductance of a telecom transformer is specified in the datasheet for the device. It describes the inductance, measured in Henries, from the primary coil.


What is the Primary and Secondary DC Resistance of Telecom Transformers?

In telecom transformers, the primary and secondary coils are measured for resistance using direct current. The primary DC resistance describes the resistance of the primary coil in the device and the secondary DC resistance describes the resistance in the secondary coil of the device. These ratings are generally specified as maximums.


What is Considered to be the Insertion Loss?

The insertion loss on a telecom transformer is measured in decibels. This measure describes the ratio between the power the device outputs and the power that device receives. The power division factor is excluded in this calculation.


What Does the Turns Ratio Define?

The turns ratio defines how many windings are in the primary winding relative to how many windings are in the secondary winding. This term is sometimes written as the "turn ratio", though turns ratio has become a term of preference.


What Mounting Types Exist?

Telecom transformers are available in designs that are surface mounted and in designs that are mounted through the holes in a breadboard.


What Does the Leakage Inductance Define?

Leakage inductance is a result of an imperfectly couple transformer. In such an arrangement, the windings behave as self-inductance constants wired in series. The principal implication of leakage inductance is that it causes changes in voltage that result from different loadings. It can be used for specific purposes, however. It can control the amount of current flowing through a transformer, for example. Low and high inductance leakage transformers are both used in specific applications.