Using fiber optic cable

Hi guys;

I have this fiber optic and the connectors. I was planning to use them for serial communication between PC and Arduino, using an USB -TTL breakout board or RS232 using a MAX232 chip ← Maybe both ?

The problem is : Avaibility. The cable and the connectors ( photo-transistor / photo-diode combo ) are 20 years old, I am sure they work <— I will test them. And I got them at Radio-Shack. Maybe some of you remember this. But today, where can I find the same setup ( fiber, connectors ) ? I hope it is low price.

Some help will be nice.

Here a picture of what I have.

Those look like IFO (Industrial Fiber Optics) connectors:

They distribute through Digi-Key so you shouldn't have trouble finding their products. For example:

-- The Ruggeduino: compatible with Arduino UNO, 24V operation, all I/O's fused and protected

We use the same fiber connectors in many of our handheld photometer instruments. They're not particularly cheap depending on wavelength, but they're widely available on digikey as RuggedCircuits suggested.

Thank gentlements...


thank for the links.

OK...So Digikey sell the connectors for under $4 us....Hum...what about the cable ?

I have 6 connectors ( 3 transmitter / 3 receiver ) and a limited lengh of fiber cable. That is good enough for my experiments. But if I want to impliment a larger project ( house system for example ) I will need longer cable.

I find those parts - MFOE71 and MFOD72 at The search engine show me the site but the price at littledoide are about $20 US. A site at Quest is about $10, but only MFOD72.

I am still searching for the cable to fit them.

Ok guys;

I just finish my test using fiber optics to send data from a PC to an Ardiuno. I use the Ardiuno code and the Processing code from this tread →,76586.0.html I just change the pins numbers of the LCD display inline with my DIY LCD shield.

Here the experiment :

I use a USB - TTL breakout box, connect the +5, gnd and tx. The Tx line was connected to a simple transistor circuit controling the part MFOE71. The transistor is a 2N3904 and the limiting resitor is 68 ohms. I test the circuit and to “see” the IR at the fiber optic, I use my cell phone camera to “see” the IR.

Connect the USB cable, add this line in the void draw() —> myport.write(“this is a test”); for continious loop to test my receiver circuit. My receiver circuit is simply the example circuit from the datasheet for the part MFOD72. Instead of the 74LS132, I use a 74LS14. I even try the combo → +5 - 220 k resistor — opto-receiver - gnd. ← That did not work. I was “force” to use the datasheet example. I try again, I got a nice waveform on my scope. I connect the Ardiuno / LCD shield, conect the output of the NOT gat to the RX of the Ardiuno ( pin 0 ) and … Not working…Humm…I look again at the chip… "I forgot a gnd !! " Connect the gnd to the chip and …Work just fine… :smiley:

Here some pictures of my setup.

Still need to find the fiber cable…

I find the cable. I check the site that RuggedCircuits sudjested, and I check the distributors listing… And I found a local distributor. :smiley: It is They carry the cable that may fit the connectors that I have and I intend to buy. The price : $1.00 ca / Foot <— :grin:

Thank guys for helping me out.

If you don't mind bare fiber (no external black cladding), and if the size is right - Electronic Goldmine has the following on sale:

150 meters for $49.95 USD...

You'd have to supply your own terminations and such, though (man - I've got some sweet multi-modal stuff that was sold to me at 10 cents a foot or something crazy like that; got about 200 feet of it - but I can't afford the termination tools or other parts for it; not sure what, if anything, I'll do with it).



Thank for the link. That look like a great site for shopping for electronics. About the sale… over on Feb 14th, 2012… :frowning:

I don’t think I will have enough money to buy it at this time…sorry. 50 us - close to the same in canadian dollar. ( Can is almost at par with the US $ ) and that not included shipping.

Thank anyway.

Techone: @cr0sh

Thank for the link. That look like a great site for shopping for electronics. About the sale... over on Feb 14th, 2012... :(

I don't think I will have enough money to buy it at this time...sorry. $50 us - close to the same in canadian dollar. ( Can $ is almost at par with the US $ ) and that not included shipping.

Thank anyway.

Save up your money; that item is a fairly new item, and I don't expect a lot of takers, so it might still be available when the next sale comes around...

I agree. It the $50 + shipping I have a problem with. I was tempted to buy it using my visa, ← it close to the limit :frowning:
hope it will go through. I did check the size : 3 mm. My cable I have : 1000 um with platic coating : dia 2 mm. 1 mm to big and have no coating… and I don’t need that much.

So I decide to check, I check on-line, they have the cable I have ; 1000 um with coating. They are located in Toronto, 401 / Dufferin Street near Yorkdale Mall. Just 15 min drive. I did go today around 4:30 PM after work, and drive in rush hour traffic, :0 Took me 20 min. But to come back home was … :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Bad.

I bough 10 meter of it. ( sold in pack of 10 meters ) The price was not $1.00 / foot. It was $1.75 / meter. Opps…Total cost : About $20 with tax ( 12 % ) not 15 %…Ops…again… :roll_eyes:

About the connectors. They did not have it, so I will go on-line with DigiKey and hope my visa will go through. :roll_eyes:

Than I will be testing com link with fiber optics ( PC <–> Ardiuno ) And using the FDTI board with fiber optic & opto-coupler to load my sketch program into the Ardiuno.

Thank again guys.

Thank guys.

Update :

I just finish a new setup to test a longer fiber optic cable, re-do a circuit that work “fairly” well - transmitter and receiver.

I use the MFO-E71 transmitter and the MFO-D72 for the receiver. Under my test, the max baud I try is 57600 baud. ( scope test ) and the lenght of the cable is 10 Meters. Not bad in my opinion. And that is the best I can do. Unless I have better fiber transmitter and receiver.

Here the test code in Processing.

import processing.serial.*;

Serial myport;

int portindex=5;
int myspeed=57600;

void setup()
   println("Connecting to "+Serial.list()[portindex]);
   myport = new Serial(this,Serial.list()[portindex],myspeed,'N',8,1); 

void draw ()

And I included a schematic and the setup.

Is it necesary to use that kind of connectors? Is it possible to have a PCI connection in the arduino? You could actually use a portable PCI card with a SC or ST connector and then use a patch cord of fiber optics to comunicate with the arduino.

Prices are not that high. the top 5 cards for your proyects are...

Cheers! LC