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Networking Fiber Optics

There are THREE main characteristics define a specific networking fiber cable.  Determinations of all three characteristics are needed to purchase the correct Fiber Optic Cable type:

Various different connector types can be found for fiber cables.  We offer "common end types" (such as LC/LC), or "mixed end types" (ie LC/SC). There are 16 different types of networking fiber optic connectors.  The 5 most popular are below:

  • SC - connectors are low cost, simple and durable. They offer accurate fiber alignment thanks to their ceramic ferrule.  Widely accepted and found in many installations.
  • LC - connectors’ small size makes them perfect for high density environments. Found as a Single and Multi-mode. Widely accepted and found in many installations.
  • ST - connectors are still the most used in campuses and building multimode fiber applications, and use a secure BNC (Bayonet) design. Widely accepted and found in many installations.
  • FC - connectors provide more reliable real-time data transmission in high vibration scenarios.  Discontinued by most
  • MTRJ - connectors (Mechanical Transfer Regstered Jack).  Discontinued by most
  • MTB - connectors (Multifiber Termination Push-on). General used for factory commercial applications.

Within the connector types, cables are sold and defined using HOW MANY fibers, and their CORE/CLADDING diameter (##/##)

  • SingleMode Duplex - SINGLE strand of fiber, more common when running cable MILES not feet. Commonly described as “9/125”. These are fiber diameters in microns
  • MultiMode Duplex - MULTIPLE strands of fiber, ideal for short and medium distances. Commonly spec’d at “62.5/125” and “50/125”. These are fiber diameters in microns

The speed categories (OM# - or Optical Multi-mode). OM3 and OM4 are most common:

  • OM1 – 1Gb to 300 meters. Yellow. Single Mode ONLY. Discontinued by most
  • OM2 – 1Gb to 600 meters. Orange. Discontinued by most
  • OM3 – 10Gb to 300 meters. Aqua. Still used by many, and most popular for current installations
  • OM4 and OM4+ – 10Gb to 550 meters. Violet (but sometimes Aqua for OM4). Newer standard, released 2009
  • OM5 – 100Gb to 300 meters. Lime Green. Expensive, and used primary by large data centers