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Fiber Optic Training

This passage is a fiber optic training article written to help you have a quick learning of the fiber optic products most sold currently in online market and the related basic knowledge of fiber optic communication systems. This fiber optic training passage is suitable for beginners, online resellers and end users who buy fiber optic products on the net. If you are engineers or if you already are familiar with fiber optic products and systems you can skip it.

The fiber optic products most sold online may be the various fiber optic cable assemblies and related components. This will include fiber optic patch cables, fiber optic jumper, fiber optic pigtails, fiber optic loop backs and fiber optic splitters. Generally all the fiber optic products are classified by single mode fiber type and multimode fiber type so is the cable assembly. For single mode, typical is using 9/125 fiber, and for multimode, typical types are 50/125 fiber or 62.5/125 fiber. Single mode and multimode are the optical fiber types; optical fiber is the heart of the fiber optic cable so the cables are also named single mode fiber optic cable or multimode fiber optic cable accordingly. Single mode fiber sometimes is shorted for SMF, cable assemblies using SMF is PVC jacket with yellow color, multimode fiber sometimes is shorted for MMF, cable products using MMF is PVC jacket with orange color, this will help identify them more easily. Cable diameter usually is 2mm or 3mm outer diameter; sometimes 0.9mm diameter cable is also used (mainly on pigtails). Simplex fiber optic cable, duplex fiber optic cable and multi fiber cable assemblies are classification according to the optical fiber cable structure. If you cut fiber optic patch cable in the middle, you get two pieces of fiber optic pigtails; the term fiber optic pigtail is simple as that. Generally, multimode fiber cables are more expensive than single mode types based on the same structure. You may notice there are riser fiber cable and plenum fiber cables, they are different fire-resistant standards in U.S.A. if you are selling or using the products in European countries, you will need RoHS compliant fiber optic products. RoHS is required standard to protect the health of the end user and the environment. Of all the fiber cable assemblies, insertion loss and return loss are two important parameters.

As you know the famous RJ45 connectors are used in telephone networks, wherever you go in the world, it is the exactly same design. But the story is different in fiber optic area. There are many kinds of fiber optic connectors designed by different companies to use with their equipment. So the cables with these different connectors on them are accordingly many types. If you are selling products online, you may mostly encounter with these fiber optic connectors types, SC, LC, ST, FC, MU, MTRJ, E2000, SMA, ESCON and FDDI. All of them are single mode and multimode version available. Because the cable assemblies are actually cable plus the connectors, so it is necessary that you have some knowledge of these fiber optic connectors. You will encounter these words like PC UPC APC; they are different polish style of the fiber optic connector ferrules. For example, there is LC PC connectors, LC UPC connectors, and LC APC connectors.

Fiber optic adapters, someone also call it fiber optic couplers, this is a confusing name. Because sometimes when others say couplers, they may mean the splitters. Adapter is used to connect the two fiber optic connectors, if you are going to join two same style connector, for example, a LC to anther LC, you need is a female to female type which is also called mating sleeves. If you are connect two different connectors, for example a LC to a SC, you need the female to male adapter is called a hybrid adapter. Special adapters like female to male type is not widely used, meanwhile the female to male and hybrid types are relatively more expensive. Because there are too many fiber connectors’ types, the fiber optic adaptors are even more types used for linking of different connector.

Fiber optic attenuator is used to reduce the optical power of the fiber optic line while it links the two fiber optic connectors. Most widely used attenuators are SC, FC, LC, and ST, female to male style. There cost is less than USD10 for each type but you may notice many people are selling at USD 30 or more. It seems it is a profitable product and suitable to sell online considering their small size and weight.

Now we have learnt the fiber optic cable assemblies and related fiber optic components, in practical work, when you need these products, you need some fiber optic closures or management boxes to organize and protect them. That is what the fiber optic splice closure, fiber optic patch panel, fiber optic tray and optical distribution frame work for. Fiber splice closure is used with outdoor cables, which are usually used as backbones of the line, fiber tray is usually used inside the fiber optic splice closure, and the other products mentioned here are mostly used for indoor applications. These products are called fiber cable management devices.

Fiber optic converters and fiber optic video transceivers both adopt optical fiber as the media to transmit the signals. Fiber optic media converter usually is referred to the Ethernet fiber converter, which is used to transform between Ethernet and optical fiber signals, they are used to extend the working range of the Ethernet networks. Fiber optic video transceivers are used in security purpose, helping transmit signals from many monitor cameras via a single optical fiber cable, and at the other end, optical signal changed back to video signal and be displayed on the screen.

And you may also see people sell SFP transceivers and GBIC transceivers online, they may also sell XFP and SFP plus transceivers, but currently SFP and GBIC are most used. These products are generally used in switches or routers with the according slot or port. These products are also profitable for online stores and very small size and weight. There are many types of such products but generally they are designed for using with fiber optic equipment from famous companies like Cisco. As you know Cisco switches and routers occupy a lot of the world market in this area. Most of the SFP transceivers and GBIC transceivers sold online are equivalent products and without brand to avoid violation of others' legal rights.

Here we talked about the fiber optic products you may encounter on the Internet reseller shops. This fiber optic training article is free of distribution on condition that you agree to retain the links. The article is written by our engineer; if you have questions towards the fiber optic products or if you find any problems in this passage, we appreciate you let us know. Thank you.


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