Fiber optic communication with arduino?

I’m tinkering with the idea of fiber optic communication with the arduino. has anyone tried this? Any idea how this can be done? i’ve figured out that i can send across analog signals easily in the form of a pwm to a led and then read it with an ldr or phototransistor or even a color sensor… now how can i do logical data communication? i think i can time and pulse the led in a fashion for each different alphabet or something but then this is too complicated there must be an easy way…any ideas anyone? :slight_smile:

Could you not hook an LED to the serial pin and send simple serial data over the fiber?

LED’s and photoresistors have a built in “lag” they do not turn on and of momentarily. Especially the photoresistor, it can take secondds for a photoresistors resistance to return to its “normal” level after it has been exposed to light. So i don’t think they are good candidates.

But i think that you can get special modules that are made to turn digital High / Low pulses into light pulses.

EDIT : Check these links:

LEDs and photoresistors are okay for data transmission. I used some LEDs and photoresistors to play music over a wireless light beam signal, but it would work fine with fiber optics. I also had much success with phototransistors as the reciever.

I plugged in a pair of encoders / decoders that i had bought for RF transmission and it works like a breeze.

Thats so cool. I seriously thought it would be ver difficult.

Our freshman engineering students do a lab with a simple fiber link using RS232 (at 9600 baud, I think). Not a problem.

If you are looking for screamin’ data rates it may be tough, but basic connectivity should be pretty easy.


Over how long distances is this possible ?

Not sure about the distance with cheap/easy. The lab is desktop distances

I know we had a copper RS232/fiber RS485 adapter on an access control system, and I think that loop was over 1km.


Over how long distances is this possible ?

Normally anything between 0.5 Km and 5Km is standard. If you want longer you have to use repeaters. The big advantage of fiber is that you don’t get any interference pickup.

Not sure of the Distance... I bought a 1meter cable that is used for 5.1 digital home theater systems. It cost roughly 4$ (Expensive!).

Now I'm more interested in transferring light than data... Imagine if we can efficiently use it we can do a lot of natural lighting. i know there are companies out there doing it.. Any experts in light transfer out here int he forums?

Is that a so-called TOS-link cable?

mmm… I dont know what a TOS link cable is… :-/

yup… its one of those…