> The Anatomy of a Fiber Optic Cable

= Understanding the variations of Fiber Optic Cables =

Nearly everyday, new technology is discovered which overthrows one we have been relying upon for many years. It is not uncommon these days to upgrade existing devices or electronics simply because it is more efficient or economical. Here at PI Manufacturing, we are in the front line of new technology and bring to you the most up-to-date products available. Recently, fiber optics have paved a new path over the one that copper wires used to provide. Because of the huge demand of data and information, it is not surprising that a faster and more efficient way to transfer the data has been brought into the consumer market. Fiber optics provide numerous communication networks for various services like cable television, educational institutions, commercial offices, and industrial buildings. So what's the bottom line on fiber optics?

Speed: Light versus Electricity

Fiber optic cables differ from the old fashioned copper wires in that they transfer data using light pulses instead of electric, which provides a much faster and clearer transmission. But how does light travel through a wire surrounded by rubber? Unlike its copper counterpart, fiber optics are made from long, thin pieces of glass or plastic which can transmit and reflect light. Imagine a hollow tube in which the interior is made of mirrors. When light is shined into the tube, it will reflect throughout the length of the tube until it reaches the end and exits. Because light travels at higher speeds than electricity with less disturbances, the result is a quick and clear transmission of data.

Single versus Multi-modes

Now lets explain why so many different types of fiber optic cables exist in our catalogues starting with single and multi mode cables. Our single mode cables contain a single strand of glass fiber with a diameter of 9 microns. Although thinner and more susceptible to damage, it allows a higher rate of transmission as well as a greater transmission range; meaning faster and further. On the other hand, our multi mode cables contain numerous glass fibers with diameters of 50 or 62.5 microns. The larger diameter allows many light waves to travel through the cable instead of one, as utilized by the single mode. Because of the durability of this thicker cable, multi mode cables are widely used in general fiber applications although some prefer the speed and clarity of the single mode.

Simplex versus Duplex

Like most communication networks, a one-directional or bi-directional communication is needed in certain applications. Fiber optics is no exception in this aspect. The simplex fiber optic cables contain a single fiber which provides a one-way data transfer, much like a one way street. This is used in applications where a uni-directional data stream transfer is needed such as video or audio input and output. Alternatively, duplex cables consist of two fibers which are required for simultaneous, bi-directional data transfer.

Picking out a Cable

Here at PI manufacturing, we understand the many types of fiber optic cables presented to the consumers and feel that the technology should be understood in order to efficiently utilize its potential. In order to do this, we have setup an easy to follow, step by step, guide for choosing the right cable for you. 

PI manufacturing has a history of not only providing fast and friendly service, but also providing the best quality products available. In addition to the specificities listed above, our cables have even more features than your average fiber optic cable. Take a look.

We hope we have answered all of the questions you may have had about both fiber optics and our fiber optic cables. If you are still not convinced of the quality of our fiber optic cables, we encourage you to contact any of our sales representatives with any questions you may have.