Tag Archives: Optical cable

What Is an Optical Cable and Why Do We Need It?

Fiber optic communication technology has emerged for a long time. It makes data transmission faster and faster, and itself has gradually become indispensable. Our business and daily life have benefited a lot from this technology. But how much do you know about fiber optic technology? What is an optical cable? What is an optical cable used for and why use optical cable? All tells in this post.

What Is an Optical Cable?

Optical cable, also known as fiber optic cable, is a kind of cable that has strands of glass or plastic fibers inside individual protective covers. The optical cable is used for digital data signals transferring in the form of light. The fiber optic cable distance can be up to hundreds of miles. In addition, optical cable has higher throughput rates than those achievable via electrical communication cables. As for fiber optic cable types, there are two common types: single mode fiber and multimode fiber.

No matter single mode fiber or multimode fiber, the basic fiber optic cable structure contains three parts: the core, cladding, and outer jacket. The cylindrical transparent core is very thin and flexible. The cladding is transparent, too. While the material of the cladding is different from that of the core. Finally, the outer jacket (or coating), whose main function is purely to protect the core and the cladding, is often made up of a strong and flexible material.

what is an optical cable structure

Figure: Fiber Optic Cable Structure

Why Use Optical Cable?

Getting to know what is an optical cable and what is an optical cable used for in the previous text, here comes to another point – why use optical cable. The fiber optic cable advantages are listed below.

  • Long Distance – As stated above, fiber optic cable distance can be up to hundred of miles. Generally, single mode fiber distance is about 200 km while multimode fiber distance is 2 km.
  • Fast Speed – Fiber optic cable speed varies on single mode fiber and multimode fiber. Single mode fiber speed is among 100 Mbit/s, 1 Gbit/s, 10 Gbit/s, 40 Gbit/s and 100 Gbit/s, but it usually runs at 40 Gbps or 100 Gbps for the long-haul data transmission. Multimode fiber speed is typically among 100 Mbit/s, 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s, but it also can support 40 Gbps or 100 Gbps for the relative short distance.
  • Overall Low Cost – With fiber network being common, optical cable price is not as high as before. You can choose single mode fiber patch cables and multimode fiber patch cables among various fiber optic cable manufacturers. FS.COM is a nice place to buy optical cables whose optical cable price is very low compared with other cable suppliers. And most of the fiber cables are in stock and ready for shipping.


After reading this post, you should be able to get a general picture of what is an optical cable and why do we need it. There is no doubt that the future of optical communication is expected, and optical communication will bring us more opportunities and convenience. If you have not deployed optical cable network, now is the time to begin. Please remember: buying optical cables from reliable fiber optic cable manufacturer would save you lots of money and maintenance time.

Safety in Fiber Optic Installations

Fiber optic cables are now widely employed for the purpose of enhancing voice and data communication in many different applications. The flexibility of the technology is extraordinary, and advances in methods of communication have revealed even more uses for fiber optics. However, not all people, who install or maintain fiber optic cables, take proper safety precautions to avoid the hazards caused by fiber optics. Sometimes they just ignore the potential dangers of optical fiber. Unfortunately, accidents occur because of this neglect. This article will emphasize on introducing some common hazards that come with fiber optic installations and offering rules for safe installation.

Hazards of Working with Fiber Optics

The part will describe elements involved in safety protection issues when working with fiber optics. These are eye safety, bare fiber safety and other considerations for safety.

Eye Safety

Many people are concerned that the most dangerous part of fiber-optic work was the chance you might get your eyes harmed by laser light in the fiber. However, in fact, most fiber-optic systems do not have sufficient power to cause harm to your eyes and the light coming out of a fiber is expanding, so the farther you are away from the end of the fiber, the lower the exposure.

fiber optic safety

However, it’s not a good idea to look into a fiber unless you know no source is being transmitted down it. You should always check the fiber with a power meter before examining it. The real issue of eye safety is getting fiber scraps into the eye. During the process of termination and splicing, you will be continually exposed to small scraps of bare fiber. And these scraps are very dangerous. Once they get into your eyes, they are very hard to flush out and will probably lead to a trip to the emergency room at the hospital. Whenever you are working with fiber, wear safety glasses!

Bare Fiber Safety

The fibers themselves are a very serious hazard since they are small pieces of glass. If possible, use a dark plastic mat for a work surface, which will make it easier to see the fibers you are working with and handle them more carefully.

When trimming, stripping, or cutting fibers, tiny fragments can penetrate the skin and become embedded, causing a serious irritation. Ingested fibers can cause internal damage since they are light enough to float in air. Because of this, workers should not eat or drink in a fiber optic work area since a fiber scrap could fall onto their food or in their drink.

Other Considerations for Safety

Fiber optic splicing and termination use various chemical cleaners and adhesives as part of the processes. And these substances should be properly handled. Note that fusion splicers use an electric arc to make splices, so one should ensure no flammable gases are contained in the space where fusion splicing is done. Smoking should not be allowed around fiber optic work.

Fiber Optic Installation Safety Rules
  • Keep all food and beverages out of the work area in case fiber particles are ingested
  • Wear disposable aprons to minimize fiber particles on your clothing. Fiber particles on your clothing can later get into food, drinks, and/or be ingested by other means.
  • Always wear safety glasses with side shields and protective gloves. Treat fiber optic splinters the same as you would glass splinters.
  • Never look directly into the end of fiber cables until you are positive that there is no light source at the other end. Use a fiber optic power meter to make certain the fiber is dark. When using an optical tracer or continuity checker, look at the fiber from an angle at least 6 inches away from your eye to determine if the visible light is present.
  • Only work in well ventilated areas.
  • Contact wearers must not handle their lenses until they have thoroughly washed their hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes while working with fiber optic systems until they have been thoroughly washed.
  • Keep all combustible materials safely away from the curing ovens.
  • Put all cut fiber pieces in a safe place.
  • Thoroughly clean your work area when you are done.
  • Do not smoke while working with fiber optic systems.

In conclusion, the awareness of safety should be raised among fiber optic installers, and each technician must adopt the best practices for safe handling of all fiber optic components to preserve the safe environment. Hope these simple fiber optic safety rules can contribute to building a healthy and sound work space.