Everything you should know and a little more. 

FAQ. We took the most searched questions about fiber optic and we answered. To ALL of them! If you’re curious about the use of fiber optic in the business world or you have absolutely no idea about what cable you should buy, read on!

FAQ 1. What is fiber optic?

The fiber optic technology refers to the process of transmitting light down the thin glass (sometimes plastic) strands. Fiber optic cables transfer the information from one end to another. One end of the fiber connects to LED or laser that sends information; the other end is connected to a device designed to recognize the incoming light. Most often used in communication, medicine, aeronautics, or broadcasting, fiber optics have been commercially introduced in the early 

FAQ 2. What is multimode?

Multimode fibre allows light to travel down multiple paths and has a large diameter, typically 50-100 microns. Over medium distances, multimode fibers give high bandwidths at high speeds. Light waves are dispersed into numerous paths, or modes, as they travel through the cable’s core typically 850 or 1300nm. In cable runs longer than 914,4 meters, the multiple cable pats can cause distortion at the receiving end, resulting in an unclear and partial data transmission. Multimode cables are considered to be the “domestic” fiber as they are used for local-area network, as an example, they can be used in FTTH. Multimode can reach up to 100Gbps Ethernet.

FAQ 3. What is single mode?

Single mode cables are designed to carry light directly down the fiber. It is a single strand of glass fiber and has a diameter of 8.5-10 microns. Because it has one mode of transmission, it will propagate 1310 or 1550 nm. Compared to the multimode fiber, the single mode patch cords carry a higher bandwidth, but it requires a light source with a narrow spectral width. The single mode gives a higher transmission and up to 50 times more distance than multimode. The core from a single mode cable is smaller than one from a multimode. Single mode is a vital part of broadband networks. It was designed to transmit data over long distances, thus making it perfect for cable television networks or college campuses.

FAQ 4. Simplex and Duplex cables – What is the difference between them?

Simplex cables consist of a single strand of glass fiber and is widely used when a single transmit/receive line is required between devices.  Duplex cables consist of two strands of glass fiber and are used in situations where separate transmit and receive lines are required. 

FAQ 5. Do single mode connectors work on multimode cables?

True, you can use single mode connectors on multimode, but not the other way around. 

FAQ 6.  What can OM5 do to cover my bandwidth needs?

OM5 cabling was designed to benefit the data centre and to meet the bandwidth challenges. OM5 fiber is optimized for short division multiplexing and supports at least four wavelengths in the 850-950nm range.

It enables optimal support of merging SWDM (Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing) applications that reduce parallel fiber count by at least a factor of four, to allow continued use of just two fibers for transmitting 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s and reduced fiber counts for higher speeds.

The main advantages of OM5

Distance – OM5 can extend its reach to 150m.

Compatibility – The cabling is designed to support all the applications at least as well as OM4 and is fulling compatible with both OM3 and OM4. OM5 is also compatible with the legacy applications that already exist in the data centre infrastructures.

Cost  – compared to single mode cables, multimode fibers are more price-friendly. Moreover, as we mentioned earlier, OM5 supports the emergence of SWDM applications which reduce the number of fibers needed for high-speed transmission from eight to two.

FAQ 7 .  New installations – What type of multimode should I use?

OM4 is generally the most recommended multimode fiber for all new installations. OMF provides a level of future-proofing as data rates continue to rise. 

FAQ 8.  Existing installation – what type of fiber should I add?

When the existing installations are being extended through connecting fibers together, the same fiber core is recommended. But, if the existing fiber does not have the capacity to handle signals due to the upgrade, it may be necessary to install OM4 or better cable.

FAQ 9.  Why does multimode cost more than single mode?

It’s all about manufacturing costs.  The multimode fiber has a graded-index core with tight performance requirements that implies more costs, compared to the single mode fiber which has a step-index core. 

FAQ 10.  What types of fiber optic connectors are available on the market?

The common types of fiber optic connectors are ST, SC, FC/PC, FC/APC, and LC. The most popular connector is LC due to its high performance, small size, and ease of use. 

FAQ 11.  Can I install a different connector than the existing fiber infrastructure?

If we talk about legacy fiber installations, then ST and SC might be the best solution, as they have been standardized for legacy fiber. For newer installation, LC connectors are recommended due to the self-locking feature, compact size and alignment capability. It’s best to terminate the cable with appropriate connector types. If that’s not possible, then adapters can be used to convert from one type of connector to another. 

FAQ 12.  Should I clean fiber optic connectors?

YES! Dust is fiber optic worst enemy. Dust particles could block the optical signal completely. Here’s something impressive: the core of single mode fiber is equally sized or actually smaller than a dust particle.

FAQ 13.  When and how should clean fiber optic connectors?

It is recommended to clean both ends before mating. There are special solvents, wipes and swabs for cleaning them, but is always best to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. 

FAQ 14.  Can I bend the fiber optic during installation? If yes, how far?

Usually, the manufacturers indicate the recommended bend radius. But if there are no specifications, then the rule of thumb is that the minimum bend is 20 times the cable diameter for standard fiber optics. If you go too far, the bend can cause a loss in the signal and possibly permanently damage the fiber. 

FAQ 15.  Broken fiber – what to do?

Commonly, repairing the fiber implies fusion splicing, mechanical splicing or connector splicing. It all depends on the application type, the available equipment, the skills of the technician and so on. 

FAQ 15.  Broken fiber – what to do?

Of course not. Fiber optic is for EVERY business out there. Just give us a call

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