One of the questions I often get from fiber optic cable manufacturers is: “Which specifications do I have to qualify to?” Additionally, I often hear: “Why is it that this particular specification is not good enough? Why can’t one spec fit all?” Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in today’s optical cable world.

To understand why the various specs were created, we have to go back to the basics.

In this article, I address the answers to:

  • Why were so many different specifications created?
  • Cables then and now: Why cables of 10 or 20 years ago needed different specs?
  • A global disagreement on safety requirements results in different specifications.
  • Evolving optical transmission requirements and optical hardware have impacted specifications.
  • Another reason why there are many specifications: Cable is going where no cable has gone before!
  • Which market will your cable serve?



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Wayne Kachmar

About Wayne Kachmar

Wayne Kachmar, President, Technical Horsepower Consulting, LLC Mr. Kachmar has been in the optical cable industry for over 37 years. He has participated in many innovations and seen the maturing of the industry. Over the years, Wayne has been involved in many unique projects to provide optical cable in diverse environments such as the underwater ROV that penetrated the Titanic, as well as cable that is in service sensing sub-atomic particles in the Antarctic ice. Wayne developed a number of unique concepts and products using optical fibers as both information carriers and sensors where the cable became the sensor. These have included fiber laser ring gyroscope components and distributed acoustic sensors for terrestrial and underwater applications. As a principal investigator for many government sponsored projects, he has developed methods that push the state of the art in optical cable design and manufacture. Over his career, Wayne has been able to fuse this state of the art knowledge with conventional fiber cable design to significantly cost reduce both materials and processes. With over 50 granted patents in fiber optic cables, connectors and tools and over 60 patents published or in process, Wayne’s path to TE Connectivity started when he founded and ran Northern Lights Cable, Inc. in 1988. He sold the company to Prestolite Wire in late 1997 continuing as division CEO until 2000. In 2000, Prestolite Wire was packaged with other holdings of the owner to become GenTek (a publicly held company), which also acquired Krone that year. Wayne’s position transitioned to Director of R&D, managing the RD&E center. In 2004, all Krone divisions were acquired by ADC who itself was acquired by TE in December 2010. In 2012, Wayne was named a TE Fellow in electro-optic engineering based on the length and depth of his technical knowledge and accomplishments. This is the highest technical title within the TE structure with less than 20 persons worldwide out of 8000 scientists and engineers within TE. In 2015, Wayne incorporated his consulting company Technical Horsepower Consulting, LLC. And joined Fiber Optic Center, Inc. as their Optical Cable Technical Expert. Follow @TechHorsepower