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With two of SparkX's newest boards releasing, we wanted to take some time to appreciate them, and industrial fiber optics in general.
Copper is soooo last year - haven’t you heard? All of the cool kids are transmitting their data over optical fiber with flashes of light! Okay, so fiber optics aren’t going to replace all copper wires any time soon, but they are hard to beat in some situations. For instance, long fiber optic lines don’t act as antennas that introduce noise to your circuit. They also won’t transmit power surges from things like ground faults or lightning strikes. What’s more, they don’t interfere with sensitive RF equipment that might be otherwise disturbed by the EMF radiation from electrical signalling.
SparkX's Serial Fiber Modem combines a CH340C USB-to-Serial bridge with a fiber receiver and emitter pair from Industrial Fiber Optics and it is the easiest way to start playing with fiber communication right out of the box. Simply insert a piece of fiber cable between the emitter and receiver, open a serial terminal at any baud rate up to 1 Mbps, and watch your messages bounce back! Connect to another Serial Fiber Modem or use it in conjunction with our other Fiber Optics breakouts to create your own fiber links.
Meanwhile, the Fiber Duplex Board can create simple fiber links to embedded devices. This board has the same pinout as our Serial Breakouts, so they will connect directly to the serial header of many development boards such as the Arduino Pro or Pro Mini. To create a fiber link between two development boards, simply connect the Fiber Duplex Breakout to each board, connect them with two pieces of fiber cable, and then use the Serial library to send and receive data as you normally would.
We've also made sure to write up a handy guide on how to start utilizing industrial fiber in projects, so make sure to give it a look over as well. The Industrial Fiber Optics line of emitters and detectors are by far the most economical way we’ve found to create a simple fiber link between two devices and we wanted to be sure that you are in the know if you'd like to be as well!