5 Factors Affecting Fiber Optic Cabling Performance

The performance of fiber-optic cables should naturally be incredible – if there are no errors or faults with them.

The major factors affecting the performances of these cables come down mostly to human error or wear and tear. This is different to PCB board manufacturing or circuit board manufacturing.

However, here’s what printed circuit board manufacturers also understand. Knowing how to spot these errors, you can ensure that any fiber-optic cables you’re working with performs optimally.

It would be such a waste if the amazing bandwidth of fiber-optic cables were hindered by these errors, so it’s well worth your while ensuring you spot and fix these errors.

Here are the key factors to look out for.

Correct specification of fiber optic cabling

Make sure you have the correct fiber optic cabling installed for the speed you wish your network to run. Without this, it’ll never reach the speed that you desire.

For 10 gigabyte speeds, the maximum cable length you can run ranges from OM1 (33 meters), OM2 (82 meters), OM3 (300 meters), or OM4 (400 meters).

If you ever exceed these distances or pick the wrong type of fiber optic cable, the speed of your network will suffer.

Quality of construction

Poorly terminated cabling with ends that are bent too sharply will either be limited or at a poor range for the transmission to be connected at all. With fusion splicing and correct terminations, standard optical fiber cabling speeds can be guaranteed.

If the cabling becomes dirty, the transmission can also be affected negatively, to the point that it stops working altogether. It’s recommended to keep the unused fiber cabling connectors covered at all times, even when not in use, in order to avoid this problem.

Cable tightness

Fiber optic cabling comes with guidelines for band radius and pulling tension installing the main runs. If the cable becomes stretched too tightly, the quality of light down the cable becomes compromised. This is another factor which results in a frustrating poor performance or even complete failure of the cable.


During the patch process, the leads can become scratched or dirty. Bear in mind that the weakest part of the link will determine the overall quality and performance of the link as a whole. It means a poor patch lead create a poor lead overall. It’s recommended for patch leads to be cleaned each time they are re-patched.

Make sure that the fibers being used are correct

If the wrong fibers are being used with these cables, they’re not going to work. This is actually the biggest reason behind a fiber optic link failure and the first fault that an engineer will check.

Professionals assembling these cables should always double-check that the patch leads are patched for the correct fiber optic cabling link. This is easily done by swapping around the patch lead and testing the link.

For more professional advice on Fiber Optic cable assembly manufacturing and to shop a professional range of components, check out the Star Engineering website.


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