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Fiber Optic Cables

Many are familiar with the generic blue cat5 Ethernet patch cables that are generally used for home networking. But what do you do when you have a much larger application that requires massive amounts of data to be transferred as fast as possible with minimal interference? That’s where fiber optic cables come into play.

Fiber optic cables, to put it perhaps too simply, are bundles of optic fibers that allow for the transmission of light over a distance. These fibers are wrapped into a protective jacket that protects the bundle from potential interference and damage.

Fiber optic cables have several advantages over traditional copper wire a few of them to consider being: a higher potential bandwidth (allowing for faster data transfers), less interference, and lighter construction. That being said, fiber optic cables tend to be more expensive to deploy and are generally less resistant to abuse compared to copper cable, making them a better fit for stationary installations where the networking infrastructure won’t generally move.

Fiber optic cables come in single mode or multimode varieties. Single mode fiber optic cables possess a narrower core which only allows a single wavelength of light to pass through. Multimode fiber optic cables possess a thicker core which allows multiple wavelengths of light (and potentially more data) to pass through the fiber.

Fiber optic cables can be terminated with a number of different types of fiber connectors to allow a cable to interface with different kinds of networking equipment, below are a few examples as well as nifty chart we include in the Fiber Cables section of our website.

Color CodeFiber Type
Non-Military Military Mode Performance Code Core/Cladding Dia.
Yellow Yellow Singlemode OS1/OS2 8~10.5/125um
Orange Orange Multimode OM2 50um/125um
Orange Slate Multimode OM1 62.5um/125um
Aqua Undefined Multimode OM3/OM4 50um/125um

Fiber Connector Types
Short Name Long Form Coupling Type Ferrule Diameter Standard
FC Fix / Ferrule Connector Screw 2.5 mm IEC 61754-13
FDDI Fiber Distribution Data Interface Positive Latching Mechanism 2.5 mm ANSI
LC Lucent / Local / Little Connector Snap 1.25 mm IEC 61754-20
MTRJ Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack Snap 2.45 x 4.4 mm IEC 61754-18
MU Miniature Unit Snap 1.25 mm IEC 61754-6
SC Subscriber / Square / Standard Connector Snap 2.5 mm IEC 61754-4
SMA Sub Miniature A Screw 3.14 mm N/A
ST Straight Tip Bayonet 2.5 mm IEC 61754-2

Fiber optic cables are everywhere with installations as simple as connecting pieces of equipment in a home entertainment system, to connecting buildings at a university campus, and even connecting countries as is the case with the massive undersea data cables that lay at the bottom of many of the world’s oceans.

For more information on fiber optic cables and any general networking questions, please contact us or stop by any of our 9 retail locations across Texas.