Fiber optic cable is a large, long-distance optical signal transmission unit, by means of which we can spread out the various optical signals with low attenuation rate to meet signals transmission needs between different fields. There are more than 15.000 varieties of fiber optic cables in the telecommunication field. Choosing the right fiber optic cable is extremely important for any installation. Purpose of the cable is to protect the fibers during installation and the service lifetime. This article is written to address your concerns regarding what types of fibers do you need, where they will be installed, and where to buy fiber optic cable.
What Types of Optical Fiber Should I Choose and How Many Fibers?
It may be familiar for you that optical fibers are divided into two different mode which is multimode and single mode.
Single mode fiber has a core that is 8.3 microns in diameter. Single-mode fiber requires laser technology for sending and receiving data. With a laser used, light in a single mode fiber also refracts off the fiber cladding. Single-mode has the ability to carry a signal for mile, making it ideal for telephone and cable television on providers.
Multimode fiber, as the name suggests, permits the signals to travel in multiple modes, or pathways, along the insides of the glass strand or core. It is available with fiber core diameters of 62.5 and a slightly smaller 50 micron. 62.5 micron multimode is referred to as OM1. 50-micron fiber is referred to as OM2, OM3, and the recently added OM4. OM4 has greater bandwidth than OM3 and OM3 has greater bandwidth than OM2.
While single mode fiber has a core that is 8.3 microns in diameter. Single-mode fiber requires laser technology for sending and receiving data. With a laser used, light in a single-mode fiber also refracts off the fiber cladding. Single-mode has the ability to carry a signal for mile, making it ideal for telephone and cable television on providers. 50-micron OM3 fiber is designed to accommodate 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 300 meters, and OM4 can accommodate it up to 550 meters. Therefore, OM3 and OM4 fiber are always chosen over the other glass types. In fact, nearly 80% of 50-micro fiber sold is OM3 or OM4
Except for the fiber mode, the number of fibers is necessary to know. Usually, unless you are making patch cords or hooking up a simple link with two fiber, it is highly recommended that you include a number of spare fibers. Corporate network backbones are often 48 fibers or more. Most backbone cables are hybrids – a mix of 62.5/125 multimode fiber for today’s networks and single-mode fiber for future networks. If the slowest network planned today is as gigabit speeds, it might even be better to use the new 50/125 multimode fiber optimized for the laser sources used in gigabit networks.
Where to Install the Fiber Optic Cable? Indoor, Outdoor or Both?
Outdoor cables are designed to protect the fibers from years of exposure to moisture. Until recently, your only choice for outdoor cables was loose-tube, gel-filled cables. But now you can buy dry water-blocked cables similar to indoor designs that are easy to terminate without breakout kits, saving incredible amounts of time. In a campus environment, you can even get cables with two jackets: an outer PE jacket that withstands moisture and an inner PVC jacket that is UL-rated for fire retardancy. You can bring the cable into a building, strip off the PE jacket and run it anywhere, while normal outdoor cables are limited to 50 feet inside the building.
Indoor cables are what we called “tight-buffered” cables, where the glass fiber has a primary coating and secondary buffer coatings that enlarge each fiber to 900 microns – about 1 mm or 1/25- inch- to make the fiber easier to work with. These cables can be directly terminated.
The most popular cable for indoor use is distribution cable, which has a number of 900-micron buffered, color-coded fibers inside a single jacket. It’s the smallest and lightest cable, and each fiber is sturdy enough for direct termination. Another choice for indoor use is the breakout cable, which is just a bunch of simplex cables inside a common jacket for convenience in pulling and ruggedness.
Where to Buy Fiber Optic Cable?
Once knowing what kind of fiber optic cables is needed, last but not least is to decide where to buy your required fiber optic cables. In the actual production of fiber optic cable, materials which are wearable, radiation proof and adaptable to temperature is very important. Good core material and the external packages. When buying fiber optic cable, qualification of the fiber optic cable manufacturers should be taken into consideration, choosing qualified and professional manufacturers will ensure you quickly get the problem resolved after the sale.