Determine What Fiber You Need

The Acronym TANGLE will help you to remember all of the important attributes the next time you "TANGLE" with a fiber request.

  • T – Type of Cable
  • A – Armoring requirements
  • N – Number of Fibers
  • G – Glass performance
  • L – Lengths required
  • E – Environment

T: is for Type. The Type of cable type is either Tight Buffer or Loose tube and is determined by the customer for their intended use. Indoor fiber backbone and computer rooms are most suited to Distribution styles. Loose tube cables are cost effective and better for long haul, connecting a campus, or in a region requiring performance over a wider temperature range.

A: is for Armoring. Armoring offers additional benefits. It may be either Interlocked Aluminum or Steel Clad type. Armoring increases cable life, crush resistance, cut through, and pull strength. Interlock armor is often specified as a replacement for inner duct or conduit that is typical for fiber installations. Outdoor burial types call for OSP (Outside Plant) loose tube, and perhaps armored constructions. Armor Types: None (All Dielectric) Steel Corrugated Armor (SCA) Aluminum Interlocked Armor

N: is for Number of fibers. This is important particularly since it is more economical to buy existing standard fiber counts than custom or non standard counts. 2, 4, 6, 12, & 24 are common. Odd numbers of fibers are not.

G: is for Glass. Glass performance is either Single Mode (OS2) or Multimode. Multimode comes in four common grades: OM1, OM2, OM3, or OM4. All of these are multimode types, but have very different performance.

L: is for Lengths. The rule of thumb for cable length is to buy lengths that are as long as possible so that no more splices are required than absolutely necessary. Splices are costly and time consuming.

E: is for Environment. The location of the cable or environment will determine whether a cable will be indoor rated, outdoor rated, or possibly even both. Cable rating (OFNP, OFCP for plenum, OFNR, OFCR for riser) will have an impact on the cost and could also affect availability. In other words, some designs are not available for any rating requested.