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fiber optics fun

years ago in school I got to work with industrial grade plastic optical fibers, the 1000um A.K.A. 1.0/2.2mm cables.
it dawned on me lately while looking for my nearly 20 year old school project, Do they still make this stuff?
the answer is yes they do, and the cost is still very reasonable! http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?KeywordSearch&FV=ff...
such low cost parts are fun for things, like say a 500 Meter serial link or intercomm!

My Dad worked at RCA in the

My Dad worked at RCA in the 60's and brought me home some fiber-optics he came across in the course of his business, probably a promotional kit.  It had the thicker lightpipe stuff and the very fine "bushy" fibers.  Within a couple of weeks there were broken fibers all over the carpet, true glass as it turnes out.  One time I could see about an inch of a fiber sticking out of my foot and pulled twice the lngth out of my skin, it was so small and sharp it worked it's way in. 
I was given a mandate to get rid of the fiber optics.  :(    This was  back when the larger LED numerical displays were really plastic lightpipe stuff.

I've seen a plastic lightpipe

I've seen a plastic lightpipe in my LinkStation NAS when I opened it last time to add an external I2C connector. Looks like it was cheaper for them to create a bizzare looking transparent plastic octopus for light-connecting SMD-LEDs on the main PCB to the case, than to create an extra LED PCB.

I've seen a plastic lightpipe

[delete me]

Ya with SMD LED's much

Ya with SMD LED's much cheaper.  At one time the panel mount/bulkhead mount LED's had an additional cost for the "post solder assemply" of the long lead LED's whetehr they extended from the PCB or used wires, so soldering at the same time as the other componetes wasnt done anyways half the time.
In the old days a .5" or .75" didnt have a light emitting surface big enough, hence the pipe.  Also for combining LED's for brightness. 
Heh, back then controlling the frequeny/tintof the Green LED was hard (until gaseous phase epitxial deposition I remember the HP guy saying) and there was no such thing as Blue.

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