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Identifying Cables: A Guide to Fiber Optic Cable Color Code

fiber optic cable color code

Looking at a large amount of fiber optic cables without any guidance can be confusing. The fiber optic cable color code helps to know how to approach these cables identifying them in an easy way.
If you want to understand more about this color system, this article will help you on that mission.

Why is fiber optic color coding important?

To know with which fiber optic cables we’re working with, it’s important that we have a way to identify them visually without having to physically manage them, as that can even lead to unnecessary damage to the cable.

Fiber optic color coding is a way to do that, as a technician can identify the fiber optic cable type without having to touch it since the color tells us what type of cable it is visually.

This helps to have a more organized visualization of the cables, which leads to a more proper managing of these.

How are fiber optic cables typically color coded and how many colors exist?

There are three ways of using fiber optic cable color coding.

One of the ways color coding can be used is inside the cable. As loose tubes can have up to 12 or 24 fibers inside of them, the color of the fiber tubes indicates the position of the fiber inside. This code varies depending on the country and fabricator.

Patch cords/pigtails can also be identified with color coding, as they can have different colors on their outside depending on what type of fiber they carry. The most common used colors to code these are:

  • Orange or Slate for OM1;
  • Orange for OM2;
  • Aqua for OM3;
  • Violet or Rose for OM4;
  • Lime for OM5;
  • Yellow or Green for OS2.

Another part of cabling that can use color coding is the connector. These colors can help with knowing which connectors should be used for certain fiber types too:

  • Blue connectors are for Single Mode PC/UPC type fibers;
  • Green connectors are for Single Mode APC type fibers;
  • Beige connectors are for OM1 or OM2 type fibers;
  • Black connectors are for OM2 type fibers;
  • Aqua connectors are for on OM3 type fibers;
  • Violet/Rose connectors are for OM4 type fibers;
  • Lime connectors are for OM5 type fibers.

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