Comparing Color Schemes to Fiber Optic Cabling

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People around the world use color to identify different types of things and almost any person could name at least 10 colors. Now fiber cabling, not everyone knows a lot about the color schemes and how they are identified. I mean many people most likely have it in their house or even around the neighborhood. Color and fiber cabling have something in common and that is there color-coding schemes. Find out more about this in the blog post below!

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Color is all around us, it is probably one of the most important things in nature because we use it every day to identify everything around us. Average people can see that the grass is usually green, or that a pineapple is yellow. Through the eyes of a fiber technician, different strands of fiber are identifiable through there different colors.

There is a variation of fiber types that match with a certain color. There is single mode which is yellow while multimode is orange and is usually 62.5/125-micron OM1. Now orange can also stand for 50/125 OM2 fiber so as a fiber tech must be careful to check the jacket to ensure they are installing the correct fiber. Then going up the ladder, aqua cables are laser-optimized 50/125 OM3 or OM4 fiber which once again brings up the importance of knowing what type of fiber you are using. Finally, OM5 fiber is a lime green type of color, but with the standard only being a couple years old there hasn’t been much implementation of it.

Connectors on fiber cables also have their own color. Multimode connectors consist of being beige for OM1, black for OM2, and Aqua for OM3 and OM4. Single-mode connectors have two separate colors, blue which has to do with the ferrule being a physical contact, and green which has to do with the ferrule being an angled physical contact. As Jim mentions in his blog, “you want to be sure not to mix these up as mating two different types can damage the ferrules on both.”

Color coding is extremely useful for making the cabling process easy. But while color coding is an industry standard, any customer can request the cable to be a certain color. Meaning you could technically see orange being used for single mode fiber. While rare this could happen.

Fiber technicians see color of fiber cables like how a kid sees a set of crayons and the different colors they possess. Just go out and ask a local fiber tech and see what they say!

Inspired by: Jim Hayes EC Magazine

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