Fiber Optics: The Basics

Many commercial and industrial environments present electrical noise and ground differential challenges, especially over long distances. Fiber optic links solve those problems, providing high bandwidth connections that are impervious to noise and ground differentials. B&B Electronics has fiber optic solutions that support point-to-point and networked systems. We also provide the couplers and cable assemblies needed to put the complete system together, and we can manufacture custom length plenum-rated simplex cable. If you have questions, give our Technical Support team a call. They can help.

Quick Facts

Optical fibers propagate light signals by the principle of ‘total internal reflection’. Signals introduced into the fiber, stay in the fiber, refracted by the difference in refractive index between the core and cladding of the fiber. Graded index multimode optical fibers are manufactured with a gradual change of refractive index from core to cladding, They provide better cost/performance than step index fiber while still maintaining relatively large core diameters, which are easier to couple.

Tech Tip: It is important to check fiber optic cables for continuity both on the roll and after installation. B&B Electronics’ DXL10 Fiber Optic Cable Continuity Test Tool connects to one end of a fiber optic cable, projecting light into the cable that is bright enough to be seen at the other end, but won’t hurt your eyes.

Fiber Type Used: Multimode (graded index)
Fiber size (core/cladding) 62.5/125 um
Bandwidth in MHz/km: up to 500
Coupler type used: ST

Benefits of Fiber Optic Links:

  • large bandwidth
  • low signal attenuation
  • inherent signal security
  • low error rates
  • noise immunity
  • lightweight
  • small diameter
  • electrical isolation
  • safe in hazardous areas
  • no crosstalk between conductors