Fiber Optic Cable Types & What They Are Used For

fiber optic cable types

What are Fiber Optics Cables Used For?

Fiber optic cables (also known as optical fiber cable) are network cables that contain many strands of fine glass fibers known as optical fibers, which are kept well-insulated within the body of the cable. These cables are created for the use of long-distance, high-performance data networking, and telecommunications. Signals are transmitted through these cables by firing pulses of light through these optical fibers.

In comparison to a copper-wired cable, fiber optic cables transmit data over a much longer distance easily in lesser time than a wired cable does this is because they have higher bandwidth.

Fiber optic cable is much reliable for data traveling than any other cable. Although they have a high upfront cost, they have a lower maintenance cost than copper-wired cables due to their high reliability.

These cables resist heat well and hence can keep itself relatively cool. As fiber optic cables do not carry the electrical charge (it uses light instead), optical fiber cables are not affected by Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) or Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). These means the data can move through the wire without distortion and disturbance, or the need for any wire connectors.

Purchasing and understanding the differences between the optical fiber cables can get pretty confusing for certain people especially those who are used to the standard cabling systems or in general know nothing about the cables. However, as soon as you will get to know about the benefits of fiber optic cable you will not be able to resist yourself buying a more reliable solution to the networking and the telecommunication.

To keep on track with what kinds of fiber optic cables there are and what different modes the cables come in, we will explain here and will also discuss the main elements that are specific to the fiber optic cables. Before buying an optical fiber cable you must be aware of these elements as these cables are expensive with the high cost of installation.

The two main types of fiber optic cables are single mode (or mono-mode) fiber optic cable or multimode fiber optic cables. Let’s jump right into the different types of fiber optic cables.

Fiber Optic Cable Types

Single Mode Fiber (Mono-Mode)

Single Mode Fiber have a single strand of glass fiber, single-mode cables have a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns which has one mode of transmission, they have a narrow diameter which would transmit 1310 or 1550nm in one mode.

Carrying a higher bandwidth in comparison to a multi-mode cable even though they would need some sort of light source.

Though the price on a single-mode is much higher whereas the body of the cable is much smaller and prevent any distortions from occurring.

Not only that but the transmission rate on a single-mode fiber increases by 50 times more distance than a regular multi-mode cable.

Multimode Fiber Optic Cable

Multimode Fiber Optic Cable have a high bandwidth making the speed high (10 to 100MBS- GB equivalent to 275m or 2km) going over medium distances. With the use of only 2 fibers in the applications which makes the diameter of the cable even bigger.

Longer cables will result in multiple paths of the light being made that could affect in ways by creating a signal distortion or unclear data being transmitted.

Fiber Patch Cord

A fiber patch cord (also known as the fiber patch cable or the optical jumper) is much needed for indoor uses for server rooms or even a data center.

It is a length of fiber that ends with fiber optic connectors connected at each end. With the connectors it allows the patch cord to connect to an optical switch, it is very reliable with its security and adaptability.

Single-mode cables are known as OS1 and OS2, they have the exterior color yellow whereas the multi-mode (OM1 and OM2) are orange and (OM3 and OM4) aqua or violet which is used with some vendors for OM4.

Finally, a blue-colored patch cord is usually used to designate polarization-maintaining optical fiber.

An SMF patch cord (single-mode fiber) will have a diameter of 8-10 µm this will allow a single mode of transmission to occur and result in signals being carried at a much faster speed without the need to force it.

Basic Elements of Modes Cable

There are three basic elements of a fiber optic cable

  1. Core: Starting with the core, it is the area light transmission that occurs in the fiber, being either glass or plastic. With a large core, more light will be transmitted within the cable.
  2. Cladding: It is used to provide a reflection within the core of the cable, this will help the light waves transmit through the fiber.
  3. Coating: Like any other coating, it is used to be multi-layers on the cables to help preserve the strength of the fiber, as well as absorb shock and extra fiber protections needed.

The coats come in various amounts from 250 microns to 900 microns.

Through reading this article I hope it helped you have a better understanding of what fiber optics are and knowing the modes the cables come in, whether it is being single or multi-mode and each property that it holds in their mode.

As well as with the various colors from yellow, orange and so that is used to differentiate each mode of the cables.

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