General Information NEW LIGHT OPTICS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED uses the US industry standard repeating 12-color sequence. When cables go beyond 12 units, the colors repeat but use a stripe to distinguish units.
For buffer tubes containing more than 12 fibers, there are two color schemes:
• Tubes with binder threads: A blue and orange thread binder is used to separate two groups of fibers. The blue unit has the first 12 fibers and the orange unit has the next 12 fibers. This sequence is used by UMH1A1J-24, MDS1JKT-24, and the LongSpan ADSS designs when 24 fibers per tube are specified.
• Tubes with 24 uniquely colored fibers: Fibers 1 to 12 use the standard blue through aqua color sequence. Fibers 13 to 24 use black dashes on the same 12 fiber color sequence except for fiber 20 which uses a black dash on a natural uncolored fiber. This sequence is used by the MDM1JKT-24 microduct cable family of products .
Jacket Color Code Guide
How Color Codes Are Used In Fiber Optics
When a tech opens a fiber optic cable to prepare it for splicing, they will find a colorful bundle of buffer tubes as on this armored cable.
The colors of the buffer tubes and likewise the fibers in the tubes provide the identification the tech needs to complete the splicing of the fibers as the cable plant was designed.
Color codes are especially important when making connections by splicing. Here is a splice tray in a pedestal where fibers from a 24 fiber OSP cable with 250 micron buffer fiber are spliced to pigtails with 900 micron buffer fibers. You can see the colors and if you look closely, you will see the matching colors of the spliced fibers.
Here is another example with an OSP splice closure where a 432 fiber cable is broken out to two separate cables
Standards For Color Codes
There is a color code standard in TIA, TIA-598 that addresses fiber optic color codes, which most manufacturers adopt and reference, although there are many exceptions based on customer requirements or preferences. Here is what TIA-598 recommends:
Cable Jacket Colors
Colored outer jackets and/or print may be used on Premises Distribution Cable, Premises Interconnect Cable or Interconnect Cord, or Premises Breakout Cable to identify the classification and fiber sizes of the fiber. (Outdoor cables are generally black for protection against UV light and markings are printed on the cable.)
When colored jackets are used to identify the type of fiber in cable containing only one fiber type, the colors shall be as indicated in Table 3. Other colors may be used providing that the print on the outer jacket identifies fiber classifications. Such colors should be as agreed upon between manufacturer and user.
Unless otherwise specified, the outer jacket of premises cable containing more than one fiber type shall use a printed legend to identify the quantities and types of fibers within the cable. Table 3 shows the preferred nomenclature for the various fiber types, for example "12 Fiber, 8 x 50/125, 4 x SM." Some manufacturers use black as the jacket color for hybrid or composite cables.
When the print on the outer jacket of premises cable is used to identify the types and classifications of the fiber, the nomenclature of Table 3 is preferred for the various fiber types. Distinctive print characters for other fiber types may be considered for addition to Table 3 at some future date.
1) Natural jackets with colored tracers may be used instead of solid-color jackets.
2) Because of the limited number of applications for these fibers, print nomenclature are to be agreed upon between manufacturer and enduser
3) Other colors may be used providing that the print on the outer
jacket identifies fiber classifications per subclause 4.3.3.
4) For some Premises Cable functional types (e.g., plenum cables), colored jacket material may not be available. Distinctive jacket colors for other fiber types may be considered for addition to Table 3 at some future date.
Fiber Color Codes
Inside the cable or inside each tube in a loose tube cable, individual fibers will be color coded for identification. Fibers follow the convention created for telephone wires except fibers are identified individually, not in pairs.
Buffer tubes follow the same color sequence up to 12 tubes, then tubes 13-24 will repeat the colors with a black stripe (black will have a yellow stripe), tubes 25-36 will follow the same color with an orange stripe, 37-48 use a green stripe, following the same color code sequence for the stripe. Tubes containing more than 12 fibers will use binder tape to separate fibers into groups. Ribbon cables follow this color sequence also.
For splicing, like color fibers are generally spliced to ensure continuity of color codes throughout a cable run.
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