Fiber Simplex Breakout

This board is actually a pair of boards! We wanted to design a product that gave you the bare minimum amount of support circuitry for playing with these modules from Industrial Fiber Optics. This product is for people who might not be connecting their fiber modules directly to a UART, and instead want to interface with them simply as an LED and a photodetector. Using a pair of pliers, the two sides of the Fiber Simplex Breakout can be snapped apart along the perforated line to create a one-way fiber link. Both the receiver and transmitter have four pins: VCC, Ground, Signal, and Inverted Signal. See the Hookup Guide for information about each signal.

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. The IF-E97 emitter is literally just a superbright red LED in a fancy plastic module that makes it easy to insert a piece of optical fiber and lock it in place. On the other end, the IF-D96F is a 5v TTL phototransistor in an identical enclosure. Connect the two with a piece of fiber and you have, basically, the simplest possible fiber link. Speaking of fiber, while you can certainly use glass fiber (in the proper jacket) to connect these modules together, we recommend PMMA plastic fiber! It’s cheap, it’s not at all fragile, and you can cut it with scissors. In our experience, it requires no polishing at all, simply cut it with scissors and jam it into the connector.

We've tested these modules at baud rates up to 1Mbps and distances up to 50 meters with no transmission errors.

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  • Easily create fiber serial links between embedded devices
  • Supports Serial Baud Rates up to 1Mbps
  • 5V and 3.3V compatible

Fiber Simplex Breakout Product Help and Resources

Industrial Fiber Optics Hookup Guide

January 20, 2021

Learn how to get started with our fiber optics breakout boards


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • WimL / about 3 years ago / 1

    Are these compatible with the common optical spdif (toslink) transceivers? Could I connect to audio equipment with them?

    • jma89 / about 3 years ago / 2

      These are "raw" modules that don't do any sort of formatting, so you'd need to "bit-bang" TOSLINK for that to work.

      A quick glance over the wiki page: You may be able to use old versions of the standard, as it originally ran at 3.1 Mbps, but the current gear runs at 125 Mbps, which is far too fast of a signal mode for such simple modules as these.

      Hack-a-day has a few articles that may prove educational and inspirational:

Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

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Seems to work well

Seems to work well for me in limited testing.

I needed to transport encoder data across a very noisy environment. This breakout works great for that.