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Bevanj

Group buy for 613 core fiber cable

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Posted (edited)

I am interested in 10m - 20m of the 1.5mm core. I am in the UK.

My hesitation/concerns:

  • International postage/delivery costs can easily dominate the actual cost of materials
  • We can end up paying VAT and import duty on international deliveries
  • We can also end up paying more VAT on the delivery cost.
  • The courier company often has ridiculously rip-off charges for managing the VAT and import duty payment, way out of proportion to the actual value of goods.
  • The only way to be sure to not be ripped off is for a personal 'Gift' with a value less than £39.

I will need more numbers about actual cost of the spool to whoever is managing this in the US and how international shares of the order can be distributed before confirming my commitment.

Edited by JohnLiddiard

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Posted (edited)

There seem to be a few somewhat dubious beliefs about fiber optic cables circulating here. 

One is that the fiber optic cable has to have many strands for it to work; this is not so, a simple one stand cable works just fine, for example, the Toslink audio cable. 
Another is that the light conducting cable has to be well over 1 mm in diam. Not so as 1 mm  cable always triggers the flash. 
A third is that the cable has to be coiled, but no reason is given for this. In fact, the coil wastes cable length, is a nuisance to make, gets in the way and is a hazard, as i have lost coiled cables when the coil got snagged or kicked by another diver. Bye bye cable.
A fourth is that the cable has to be made of several dozen fibers. Not so, as a cable with fewer fibers or even just one fiber works just fine.

In fact, one can save time and money with single fiber, no coil, one meter long Toslink or similar, cables. I have used these cables for several years, with zero problems as they have always triggered the flash; they are reliable, touch and inexpensive. I do not waste cable trying to make a coil, I just wrap the cable around the strobe arms to keep it neat and secure. 

Here are some cable sources:

For Toslink, 50 ft $13:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015SQDW3M/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&aaxitk=8c93033b45bb44f07d093f8f99443d3a&hsa_cr_id=8431072700001&pd_rd_plhdr=t&pd_rd_r=06b506f0-1a56-40a1-82f9-f67050722ed6&pd_rd_w=Fkj9b&pd_rd_wg=uaDu3&ref_=sbx_be_s_sparkle_mcd_asin_1_img

For cable ends I use Uxcell 7 mm strain relief plugs, glue them in place with ABS plumbers glue and trim the tips with a razor, $7.50:  https://www.amazon.com/20pcs-27mmx7mmx4mm-Strain-Relief-Protector/dp/B00XBG5U82/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=uxcell+strain+relief+plugs&qid=1628258689&sr=8-4

[For multistrand cable:  https://fiberfin.com/product/1-x-2-2mm-industrial-pof-cable-19-multi-core-ul-vw-1-rated-500-meter-spool/   A bit over $ 2/m + shipping. I have not used this cable, but it may be worth a try.]

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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The application I want to experiment with is to route cables inside my loc-lube arms. That way cables can never catch on anything and are protected by the surrounding tube.

To do that, I don't need to coil the cable in the middle, straight cable will be easier to thread through. But I do need to add a bit of coil/spring towards the ends after the cable leaves the arms to allow for up/down pitch of the strobes relative to the arms.

I also need to have some tight bends where the cable leaves the top of the arms through holes drilled in the sides and to fit the cable into right angle connectors to the strobes and to the camera - because there is no point routing cable through the arms if I then have to leave big loops out to straight connectors at either end.

The 613 core cable is the only one rated with the tight bend radius suited to right angle connectors (1.5 cable, 3mm. 1.0 cable 1mm). The data sheet for 19-core says minimum 6mm. For single core toslink (which is otherwise excellent value) the minimum bend radius is way worse (about 20mm if I remember correctly).

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1 hour ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

In fact, one can save time and money with single fiber, no coil, one meter long Toslink or similar, cables. I have used these cables for several years, with zero problems as they have always triggered the flash; they are reliable, touch and inexpensive. I do not waste cable trying to make a coil, I just wrap the cable around the strobe arms to keep it neat and secure. 

I'm with Elias on this. Toslink does work well although it's not as cheap as this bulk buy plan. And I too found the coiled cable a pain. Much better I found just to route the cable through the holes in the ULCS-style arms. They weave easily in and out, are easy to remove whenever necessary and place no strain on either plug end.

I do think, as JohnL: suggests, that perhaps 613 works better than Toslink for bending and using with the Hotshot-style L-adaptors. 

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The Asahi multi-core are the most bend resistant especially compared to single core fibers. Elias and I will argue politely about this until we are both dead. A lot depends on your use. For using with a camera's built in flash and for manual mode (non-TTL) then any old fiber will mostly do especially for Inon strobes that are simple to trigger. For LED triggers then multi-core fibers do indeed work more reliably as many people have demonstrated here on Wetpixel by buying a new fiber when the old ones didn't work. For LED with TTL then multi-core gets even a bit better and if you are trying to run TTL on a S&S strobe you need all the oomph you can get. The length of the fiber connector that I use (like in the photo) is  just under 24 mm (23.8 or so) if that helps. In my hands at least I see no difference between the hand made 1 mm 613 fibers and the commercial 1.5 mm coils in terms of triggering S&S YS D1,2,3, or Inon S2000, Z200, Z240 and Z330, Backscatter mini) from the Nauticam LED trigger for the OLY Em1-II.

Bill

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I talked to the i-fiberoptics sales guy and they MIGHT put some of the 1.5 mm on sale by the meter. I have bought some of the 1.0 fiber and shipped it to a few people at USPS cost, I have no clue about VAT.

Bill

 

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Likewise, I've had bad luck with tosink cable. The only way I can get enough light through it to trigger my strobes is with my topside 580EXii tube-based camera strobe. There is absolutely no way I can get enough light transmission through it with an LED source to trigger my strobes. I have never had a problem with multi-core fiberoptics though. The refractive losses are significantly less. 

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Posted (edited)

Bill, 

Many thanks for talking to the guys at i-fiberoptics! If they do it, I'll place through an order for all the guys here locally. If I can get enough fiber to make 10x cables (with original fiber optic quality) for less than the price of a single new cable, it's a no-brainer. 

Edited by Bevanj

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Also the possibility to buy by the meter is not viable for Europe. You buy 5 m, and the ask for 150 USD for shipping. 
 

I think that this idea of group purchase is interesting but it is not so easy to operate due to the big amount of fiber it represents, the big number of different buyers it is needed and after that the process of dividing it and shipping a big amount of packaged all around the world. And even for small value packages since last July, it is much more difficult to ship it into Europe due to the VAT new legislation.

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If they sell it by the meter, I will buy a bunch and ship it to someone in Europe where VAT is manageable. Then you can parcel it out however you want. 

Bill

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I could get the 217 core 10 meters with shipping to India for $75

Which I think is a still a good buy

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 4.12.16 PM.png

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Posted (edited)
On 8/6/2021 at 10:43 AM, JohnLiddiard said:

I am interested in 10m - 20m of the 1.5mm core. I am in the UK.

My hesitation/concerns:

  • International postage/delivery costs can easily dominate the actual cost of materials
  • We can end up paying VAT and import duty on international deliveries
  • We can also end up paying more VAT on the delivery cost.
  • The courier company often has ridiculously rip-off charges for managing the VAT and import duty payment, way out of proportion to the actual value of goods.
  • The only way to be sure to not be ripped off is for a personal 'Gift' with a value less than £39.

I will need more numbers about actual cost of the spool to whoever is managing this in the US and how international shares of the order can be distributed before confirming my commitment.

 

I am with John on this one...tempted to join in, especially since one of my Nauti cables just failed, but question is, how one can get it send to EU...any ideas? Could one of the US folks re-send perhaps ?

Alternatively, I might have some way of transporting these (colleague going over soon) but question is (perhaps silly), does anybody know how big/heavy etc will 10-20 meters be once packaged?

Edited by makar0n

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21 minutes ago, makar0n said:

 

I am with John on this one...tempted to join in, especially since one of my Nauti cables just failed, but question is, how one can get it send to EU...any ideas? Could one of the US folks re-send perhaps ?

Alternatively, I might have some way of transporting these (colleague going over soon) but question is (perhaps silly), does anybody know how big/heavy etc will 10-20 meters be once packaged?

hello makar0n,

i'm in Germany and once the parcel is in EU i think the shipping to others in the EU is not that expensive. 
the size of 10-20m fibre packed is really small: i would say you can make it about 15 cm in diameter , height then 1-2 cm and weight less than half a kilo (i have another brand here packed as a 10 m roll). If you have a 3D-Printer it's like having 10 m of the 1.75 mil cable off the large spool. It's a bit more in diameter, but very similar.

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Yeah, I agree - once it's in the EU it's not a problem mailing to anywhere in the EU.

But it's getting it into the EU that is the issue. Add VAT, any duties, courier admin fees etc and it then gets quite pricey. I paid a ton of all of that to get a $100 filter holder - if I remember it was almost €65 in charges. Maybe German customs is a bit more generous than Dutch?

 

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not sure Tim. I just got a sample of 10 m (19 Core) and it just went through customs without anything. One day it was in my post box...
But that was just 10 m, not sure what happens if it is an amount of 200-300 m...

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3 minutes ago, Michael T. said:

not sure Tim. I just got a sample of 10 m (19 Core) and it just went through customs without anything. One day it was in my post box...
But that was just 10 m, not sure what happens if it is an amount of 200-300 m...

Wow, you did well! I don't think I could get a pin through Dutch Customs without getting charged VAT etc. But yeah, huge difference between 10m and 200m!

I may well be going to the the Netherlands a little later this year.....

bvanant: what sort of quantity is wanted by members in the EU? 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TimG said:

Wow, you did well! I don't think I could get a pin through Dutch Customs without getting charged VAT etc. But yeah, huge difference between 10m and 200m!

I may well be going to the the Netherlands a little later this year.....

bvanant: what sort of quantity is wanted by members in the EU? 

 

Guess Dutch are like Belgians...can be serious pain in the backside customs wise. Ordered once something to Belgium, that was 26 USD (so 1 USD over the limit)...ended up paying like 30+ Euro customs...lesson learnt and from there on i ship it all to my German address...even 60-70 USD goes unnoticed ;)

 

As for the the order, I would happily go for the 25m @ 85 USD (if we have 20 people that is), either 1.5 or 1mm, as long as its the solid Asahi 613 core one.

....And I am very close to NL ;)

 

Depending on the possible package size and weight, I could also get some over mid October - as mentioned, my colleague will be coming back around that time, the question remains re size/weight of the cable package (so she agrees to carry it over...). If small enough could also get a few over, then distribute within EU.

Edited by makar0n

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2 hours ago, Michael T. said:

hello makar0n,

i'm in Germany and once the parcel is in EU i think the shipping to others in the EU is not that expensive. 
the size of 10-20m fibre packed is really small: i would say you can make it about 15 cm in diameter , height then 1-2 cm and weight less than half a kilo (i have another brand here packed as a 10 m roll). If you have a 3D-Printer it's like having 10 m of the 1.75 mil cable off the large spool. It's a bit more in diameter, but very similar.

Hi Michael - sorry, somehow missed your post.

Yeah, once its over, its rather easy, German post is definitely one of the cheapest as well. Just getting it over is a bit of a hassle.

But good to know the package is small..then i could definitely "convince" my colleague she needs to take "something" back :D

 

@Bevanj

How are we doing on the people numbers? Or is the i-fiberoptics by meter option now a preferred one ?

 

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3 minutes ago, makar0n said:

Hi Michael - sorry, somehow missed your post.

Yeah, once its over, its rather easy, German post is definitely one of the cheapest as well. Just getting it over is a bit of a hassle.

But good to know the package is small..then i could definitely "convince" my colleague she needs to take "something" back :D

 

@Bevanj

How are we doing on the people numbers? Or is the i-fiberoptics by meter option now a preferred one ?

 

Hi makar0n,

i just took out the kitchen scale and 13 m (that's what i have left) are about 60 grams. The weight isn't really a problem then ;-)
Even 500 m without spool are "just" 2.3 (+ a little) kg then, 200 m less than a kilo.

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9 minutes ago, Michael T. said:

Hi makar0n,

i just took out the kitchen scale and 13 m (that's what i have left) are about 60 grams. The weight isn't really a problem then ;-)
Even 500 m without spool are "just" 2.3 (+ a little) kg then, 200 m less than a kilo.

Great, thank you fro the detailed measures..in this case one can really fill in the suitcase with that :D

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The real issue of course is getting 500 Meters of the stuff. A 500 meter spool is $1785 and with shipping here in the States will be about $1900 or $3.80 per meter. I just sent some of the 613 core material to Michael in Germany and 5 meters cost me I think $14 to ship. I marked it as a "sample" to try to avoid VAT/Custom issues. If anyone is coming to the states in the near future I could buy a spool for you to take home, but I am not up for making 50 individual shipments ( I would rather be diving).

 

Cheers

Bill

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1 hour ago, bvanant said:

The real issue of course is getting 500 Meters of the stuff. A 500 meter spool is $1785 and with shipping here in the States will be about $1900 or $3.80 per meter. I just sent some of the 613 core material to Michael in Germany and 5 meters cost me I think $14 to ship. I marked it as a "sample" to try to avoid VAT/Custom issues. If anyone is coming to the states in the near future I could buy a spool for you to take home, but I am not up for making 50 individual shipments ( I would rather be diving).

 

Cheers

Bill

Fair point, Bill!

How many EU customers are there? And how much cable is involved? Do you have a broad idea?

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Hi guys would love to join this, but shipping/customs in India is one big major headache, therefore can't. 

Did manage to get 20 meters of cable 10 meters 213 core and 10 meters 19 core. They still charged me duty even on this ! With duty cost of cable and shipping, it cost me about USD 90 in total. of which the cable cost was just USD 21

Have just made two cables of the 213 core (coiled though) and they work perfectly. 

Rolled the cables on a wooden pencil and kept a rubber band on each side to secure the coils so they don't unravel. Then dipped the pencil in warm water, just getting to boiling point in about two minutes holding the two loose ends of the cable. Kept it in there for about 45 seconds. After that with the cable still in the water, put the entire vessel with the pencil still dipped in, under a cold water tap. Let the water pour till it became the same temperature as the tap water. Be careful that the dry part of the cables don't touch the vessel, cause they will start to melt.

It worked really well, thanks to all you guys at WP.

Here is an image of the cables. One with the ends without any connectors and one completed.

Thanks to Tim, got the connectors from the place suggested by you on this thread,

IMG_20210828_191124.jpg

Edited by diggy

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Nice work, Diggy. They look great!

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On 9/1/2021 at 4:51 PM, TimG said:

Nice work, Diggy. They look great!

Danke Tim...:-)

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