Fiber Optic Cable - 3.25mm (5m)

Replacement: None. We are no longer stocking this fiber optic cable. This page is for reference only.

Fiber optic cable is a bundled cable of super fine transmissive fibers that act as a waveguide to transmit light. Simply put, you shine a light into one end and it comes out of the other. It can be used in aesthetic applications when lit at one end with an LED or other light source or used to connect an emitter and receiver to transmit data. This particular cable is composed of 64 plastic resin fibers jacketed in polyethylene and is sold in 5 meter lengths. The cable can be easily cut with normal scissors to the desired length.


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  • Kevin Vermeer / about 12 years ago / 1

    3.25mm is a strange cable size to carry; 1000um (1mm) is much more common.
    You'll want to have some transmitters and detectors for this cable, and I've had good success with i-fiberoptics parts before. Digikey carries them, although I'd love to see a Sparkfun kit that used them.
    Do you have transmitters and receivers for this cable?

    • Kevin Vermeer / about 12 years ago / 1

      Ah, I see from the new product post that the intended driver/receiver is a 3mm LED attached with heat shrink. Neat hack! I still maintain, though, that the i-fiberoptics parts with their screw-on clamping housings are better.

  • bdodds / about 12 years ago * / 1

    It doesn't look like glass fiber, but if it is, then people who buy this should be WARNED that woking with glass fiber can be very dangerous to your eye sight. If when cutting glass fibers, small pieces of the fiber get into your eyes, they can penetrate with almost no effort and cause irreparable damage to your vision.
    EDIT: I see now it's listed as resin fiber in the description.

  • emihackr97 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Does the light leak from one fiber to another? i mean, can I use it as 64 separate fibers, with 1 tansmitter/receiver each? or can it only be used as a single fiber?
    It might seem like a dumb question, but thats what makes my decision.

    • Techmonkey / about 12 years ago / 2

      If you make a bend in the cable too tight, it may allow loss. There is usually a spec on fiber optics showing a minimum bend radius.

    • dattaway2 / about 12 years ago / 1

      Each fiber holds its light due to internal refraction. Otherwise, it would be too lossy.

  • EliTheIceMan / about 12 years ago / 1

    I know light doesn't leak out the sides of the fibers but is it possible to put light in from the sides and have it come out the ends? I would assume not but curious. I'm thinking if you wove fibers around clothing they could receive signals from say an IR laser and a single receiver could be at the end.

    • EternityForest / about 12 years ago / 1

      Im pretty sure light going in the sides wont go along the fibre and out the end, If it was that easy we wouldnt need those special light concentrating fibres that some university is doing for cheap soar power supposedly

    • Brodie / about 12 years ago / 1

      you could do that and it would be very cool,
      you were right in saying that the light wont "leak" out the sides, its called complete internal reflection (don't quote me on that, it's been 10 years since high school physics)
      The only thing you would have to make sure is that the fibres are still completely enclosed, as they will pick up light from the side and pass it on to the ends, effectively jamming your signals

  • Azayles / about 12 years ago / 1

    If you crush the ends of the fibres with pliers, the light diffracts out in a very pleasing manner. Handy if you wanna make one of them fibre optic decoration things.

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