Fiber optic cables are used in different areas including: telecommunication, music, and medicine.
Types of optic cables
There are two main types of optic cables: single mode and multimode fibers. The difference between the two is in the size of the core. Multi-mode fibers have wider cores thus allow multiple modes of light to propagate. Single mode fibers, on the other hand, have narrow cores that allow only a single mode of light to propagate.
The multi-mode fibers are designed for use with cheaper light sources such as less precisely aimed lasers. The fibers also reduce tolerance requirements for alignment of connectors. While the cable work effectively with the light sources, their main flaw is that the wide core allows multiple modes of light to propagate and this brings about modal distortion which severely limits the distance at which light travels. In most cases, the light is limited to 20-500 meters depending on the signal type.
The single mode fibers have a small core size that allows them to support light transmission over long distances. In most cases, the distances can be up to several thousands of kilometers. While this is the case, the units require more expensive and coherent laser light sources for them to work.
How to maintain fiber optic fibers
For the fibers to continue working effectively for long you need to take good care of them. One of the ways of maintaining them is through regular inspection. When working, the fibers can develop a number of problems such as failure of the cables to transmit light among many others. To be certain that the units are in top working condition you should regularly inspect them for problems. The cool thing is that there are plenty of tools that make the inspection work easy. Some of these tools include: fault locator, optic power meter, optical identifier and many others. All you need to do is to ensure that you use the tools properly.
Another way of taking good care of the cables is by regularly cleaning the ferrules and connectors. The best material to use to clean the units is alcohol. When cleaning, take caution that you don’t touch the ends of the cables. This is to avoid contamination. You should also avoid leaving the alcohol on the cables after cleaning.
Different types of fiber optic cables are ideal for different applications. As rule of thumb ensure that you use the right cable for the right application.