The topic says it all; is there any hope for using multi-mode transceivers on a single-mode fiber cable?

I work exclusively with mobile setups, where I use pretty expensive fiber cables. The equipment I use is a mix of multi and single-mode, and I was hoping that I could settle on one common standard cable.

2 Answers 2


Absolutely: NO

Think about it for a second... you're firing a 62.5um (or 50um) laser into a 9um fiber. That means ~85% of the signal is gone from the very start.

(The opposite will work: SM launched into a MM fiber, but it takes good fiber, a Mode Conditioning Cable, and your distance will be compromised. But it can work.)


As Ricky has pointed out, no this will not work.

For people new to fiber, I always thought HP provided a nice visual layout in some of their documentation of the different transceiver types, the fiber they work on, and their distance limitations. You can find this chart on page four of this document for one.

Other documents have the same information, but in a more tabular format (rather than the graphic/chart). For example, you can start on page nine of this document (other vendors provide this as well, but I stuck with HP for this answer).

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