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What type of fiber optic cable?

Fibre optic is a type of cable that is made up of very thin strands of glass or plastic. These cables are used to transmit data much faster than traditional copper cables. Fibre optic cables can be used for both long-distance and short-distance transmission, making them ideal for a variety of applications. As a result, fibre optic is becoming the go-to for a variety of businesses. Specifically those with a requirement for high transmission speeds. However, how do you know which fibre solution is suitable for your needs? In this article, we'll look at the main considerations when choosing a fibre optic cable.

Multi mode fibre

Multi mode fibre is a type of optical fibre that is used to transmit data over shorter distances. It is made up of two or more layers of glass or plastic that allow multiple beams of light to travel through it at different angles. These beams are then received by a photodetector on the other end which converts them into electrical signals. Multi mode fibre is most commonly used in short-range applications such as LANs and Fibre Channel.

Single mode fibre

Single mode fibre is a type of optical fibre that is used to transmit data over long distances. It consists of a single layer of glass or plastic that allows only one beam of light to travel through it. This beam is then received by a photodetector on the other end which converts it into an electrical signal. Single mode fibre is most commonly used in long-range applications such as telecommunications and cable television.

Types OF Fibre Optic Cable Connectors

Distance & Speed

Fibre is well known for it's effectiveness over long distances. There is a significant speed difference between fibre optic and copper transmission speeds. Photons travel at the speed of light, while electrons travelling along copper wire move at a fraction of the speed of light, (less than 1%). Although fibre optic cables cannot reach the speed of light, they are only 31% slower. Which is relatively much faster than copper. In addition, fibre optic cables have a longer range than copper cables. Copper's maximum speed is restricted to 100 metres whereas fibre is limited to 550 meters for 10 Gbps multi-mode cables and up to 25 miles for single mode cables.

Durability & Interference

Fibre optic cables are also much more durable than copper cables. They are not affected by electromagnetic interference (EMI) and are resistant to temperature extremes, moisture, and many chemicals. This makes them ideal for use in harsher environments. Copper cables are also prone to signal loss over longer distances, while fibre optic cables experience very little signal loss.

Cost

The initial cost of running a fibre optic cable is generally higher than that of copper. However, the long-term costs are often lower as they require less maintenance and replacements. Fibre cables also offer higher speeds and capacities which can save businesses money in the long run.

Fiber Optic Cable Maintenance & Repair

There are two ways to repair fibre optic cable:

1. Splicing: This involves cutting the damaged section of cable and connecting the two ends together using a specialised machine. This is a highly skilled task and should only be carried out by trained professionals.

2. Connectors: Connectors can be used to join sections of fibre optic cable together. This is a less invasive way of repairing fibre optic cable, but it does rely on having the right kind of connector for the job. Again, this is a task that should be carried out by trained professionals.

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