So you need a fiber optic cable that may not be an “off the shelf” type at the website that you are used to buying cables from. Here are all the questions you need to answer in order to communicate exactly what specifications you need to get the cable you need, correctly and quickly. This should give you a road map to follow based on our own experiences asking and answering questions over time.
What fiber core do you need?
There are five types of fiber cores that you can choose from:
OM1 This is short for 62.5/125 micron, and is multimode with an orange color jacket.
OM2 This is short for 50/125 micron, and is multimode with an orange color jacket.
OM3 This is short for 50/125 micron, multimode and laser optimized with speeds up to 10GB. With a distinct aqua blue jacket, this is used in data centers.
OM4 A faster version of OM3, it can transmit signal up to 450 meters.
OS1 This is short for 9/125 micron, and is singlemode with a yellow jacket. It is made for long distance transmissions.
What connector do you need?
You can choose from the following commonly used ones, and they can be ordered in almost any combination, depending on your equipment.
E2000, MU and other special order connectors
What’s the jacket diameter?
Usually the choices are between 2mm and 3mm. 2.0 mm, also known as “thin” are favored by most Data centers since they are smaller, and more can fit in high density patch panels and racks. 3.0 mm jackets are also known as “thick,” and old style, and do not offer any more reliability, which is why they are being phased out by most manufacturers.
What color jacket do you need?
We at Cables.com offer many color choices, including Aqua, Blue, Orange, White, Green, Red, Black, Violet, Grey, Rose, Brown, and Yellow. All five jacket core types are available in multiple colors.
What is your fiber strand count?
Example – 2,4,6,8,12,24,up to 144 strands
What’s your desired fiber type?
A pretty specific question, but perhaps the most important one. Some options are:
Distribution Tight Buffer (900um) – used for Premise
Loose Tube (MicroCore Distribution – 250um) mainly used for long haul or splicing
MTP Ribbon (mainly used with MTP Connectors)
Armored- used for outdoor, rodent and weather resistant
Duplex Zipcord- mainly for indoor use. Most patch cables are made from this.
Aerial with Messenger (attached wire used for Support to hang outdoors – also has a Figure 8 design)
What length do you need?
Usually given in meters.
How will the fiber optic cable be used?
Will it be used Indoor or Outdoor? Most common types are Riser and Plenum. Plenum is used in crawl spaces and ceilings, and are often required by local building codes. If outdoor, you can also get gel filled for more protection against the elements.
What’s the breakout type?
Example – 2mm or 3mm furcation tubing
What’s the breakout length?
Most common are 18, 24 or 36 Inches on each side. It is a good idea to get Staggered connectors vs. Non-Staggered, since you want to be able to plug in connectors into different panels if need be that may be at different heights.
You can visit our custom cable builder to see for yourself how simple it is to find the multi strand fiber optic cable that you need. No matter the cable you need, Cables.com has the answers you need and resources to find the one that will work for you.