Broadcasting Forum
Fiber Runs
Fiber Runs
by Wyatt Keel on May 7, 2012 at 6:45:18 pm

I am looking into buying new cable spools for live events that we do at my company. We currently have about a 250 foot and a 500 foot cable spools that have two XLR and two BNC lines running in them. We do about two to three live events per year and the venues we use have finally made the jump to HD screens. And with the event we just did last week we ran into the problem of cable length for HD-SDI runs. I am assuming that with long runs fibre is the best way to go. Is there any brand that anyone suggests, and is there a special type of fibre cable that can be used for runs like this; meaning layed out and then pulled back up, like an industrial strength cable. I know that with fibre it is not good to bend and is somewhat fragile. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Fiber Runs
by Mark Walleman on May 8, 2012 at 3:33:45 am

You want "Tactical Fiber" my friend! Single-Mode.

I've used it for years. Specifically, if you're going to use it regularly, I'd recommend a "Tac-4" (What I use). This has 4 separate strands of fiber optic cable, bundled in a about 1/4" cable.

Termination is usually in "ST" connectors. But you can have it terminated with any type of optical connector that will work for you.

Depending on where you're located. There's a company near Chicago that bundles a Tac-4, with copper audio lines for powered intercom and IFB.

I've also purchased tactical fiber from:, and

I'd certainly recommend the "clear-curve" or otherwise called "bend-optimized" fiber optic cable. It's much more resilient to bends and kinks.

The BlackMagic Optical-SDI converter boxes work well for about $450 per end. Come to think of it, I've used every version of SDI to Optical converter out there. Most do pretty much the same thing. Obviously, the Rattler or Bullet converters will usually run around $1k per end.

I've sent 1080i through over 6 miles of tactical fiber before. Depending on the send/receive unit, you can send a signal up to 20+ miles. So yes... 250ft, 500ft, 1000ft cable runs are a breeze.

Mark D. Walleman
Relay House Inc.

Re: Fiber Runs
by Wyatt Keel on May 9, 2012 at 8:12:23 pm

That was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much