Know Your Cables: Fibre Patch VS Multimode

If you’re ever done anything like set up a hifi system, PC, television or home network, you’ll most likely have had to make use of a variety of cables.  And most of us will, at some point, have used two of the most common types of cable out there – multimode and single mode. But unless you buy SC fibre patch leads & cords from MCL, you might find that your cables aren’t labelled as clearly as you would like them to be.

Multimode and single mode cables can be used for many similar purposes, but they are dissimilar enough to make their uses particularly suited to different applications. And so, since using the wrong cable for the job will ultimately only lead to frustration, here are some of the most common ways in which multimode cables and single mode cables differ from each other.

About Multimode Cable

Multimode cable is made from glass fibres, which are capable of carrying multiple light modes. This means they are capable of carrying much more information than single mode cable, however they are not suited to long distance transmission. This is because the transmission quality will be reduced over time and distance.

About Single Mode Cable

Single mode cable is also made of glass fibre; however, only one fibre is used which means this cable is more suited to carrying information over longer distances. This is because the light travelling down the cable is centred, rather than bouncing off the edge of the core as happens with multimode cable.

How to Decide Which Kind of Cable You Need

Multimode cable can be used for transmission over distances of up to 10 miles, which is perfect for home or small business needs. Single mode cable, on the other hand, is capable of transmitting information over distances of 10 miles or more, and necessitate the use of costly single mode diodes. So if your cable needs are less than 10 miles; for example, with home or small office computer and telephone networks, you may find it easier and more cost efficient to use multimode cable instead.

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