University of Hartford - CETA
Fiber Optic Data Communications Toolkit

Optical fiber technology provides very high quality data communications.  Given the now common use of optical fiber in the industry and high-end consumer electronics, the use of optical fiber should be more widely taught.  The Fiber Optic Toolkit is Free Courseware, as in the sense of freedom outlined below.

The first audience we address is our undergraduate technology students.  In a technology program less emphasis is placed on design and more is placed on analysis, or what a circuit does.  Such students learn how to use devices and are provided with extensive hands-on laboratory experience.  As such our first goals are to clearly demonstrate commonly used principles and focus more on functionality rather than elegant circuitry.  Appropriately, the design motto established for the toolkit is “let me see the functionality! 

The kit makes use of a custom adapter card that provides transmitter and receiver electronics  along with a small solderless breadboard area.  The adapter board attaches to an off-the-shelf field programmable gate array (FPGA) development board, which provides the digital aspect of the data link, fiber optic light emitting diode (LED) devices, photo diodes, and plastic optical fiber.  Please see the notes regarding the Spartan-3 development board and any issues we are aware of.

Free Courseware

The Fiber Optics Toolkit is free courseware, as in the sense of freedom of information.  All material developed for the Fiber Optic Data Toolkit is copyrighted and is distributed according to the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) or the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL).  If you did not receive copies of the licenses, they are available from the Free Software Foundation.

About Us

The University of Hartford is a private institution located in the state of Connecticut, in the United States.  The College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) provides a range of degree programs to undergraduate and master's degree candidates.

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jmhill at hartford dot edu
Revised: Wed Apr 16 20:51:37 EDT 2008