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I am having a very difficult time trying to find a simple, completely self-contained module to convert digital signals (<2Mbps) to fiber optic, that uses a robust, standard fiber optic connector (for instance, LC).

Does anyone know if such modules even exist?

I have seen lots of modules that have internal power circuitry but have unnamed fiber connectors (e.g. this). There is a strong chance I just don't know what this is used for and how it is supposed to be attached to a standard cable.

On the other hand, I have seen modules with standard connectors but require external drive circuitry (e.g. this).

Are there none that have both standard connectors and internal drive/power circuitry??

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  • \$\begingroup\$ digital signals (<2Mbps) - what kind of "digital signals"? \$\endgroup\$ – Eugene Sh. Jul 7 '16 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ TOSLINK to phono converters? \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Jul 7 '16 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also consider looking up 2mm plastic-optical-fiber (POF?) modules for short-reach optical connections. They may still require external driving components, though. \$\endgroup\$ – user2943160 Jul 7 '16 at 23:33
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That particular connector that you linked to is a Toslink connector. The name "Toslink" is a trademark of Toshiba, so you might need to google optical S/PDIF, digital-audio or optical-audio connectors. They are abundant.

Optical audio (toslink) components are good up to around 10 MHZ. They are cheap and readily available. I don't know if there are connectors and drivers integrated together, but worst case you would have one connector (which contains the LED or photodiode) and one encoder/driver chip.

Toslink, as you might imagine, is unidirectional. So for bidirectional communications you would need two sets (a set would be: driver IC, transmitter connector, cable, receiver connector, receiver IC).

One disadvantage of Toslink is that the connections are not very efficient, so you can't often get away with mid-span connections.

Here are some links:

Cable: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=2766&gclid=CjwKEAjw-_e7BRDs97mdpJzXwh0SJABSdUH0KR4_cLZI_AlFR7BGThaMl6qw8BB-a9Fm0HskSZCq9hoCRvjw_wcB

Transmitter: http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/optoelectronics/fiber-optics-transmitters-drive-circuitry-integrated/525354?k=toslink

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There is a strong chance I just don't know what this is used for and how it is supposed to be attached to a standard cable.

It looks to me like it's a toslink unit.

Toslink is a system of dirt-cheap plastic fiber used for connecting digital audio equipment. Not a bad option if you want a short optical link at moderate speed for electrical isolation but not suitable for long distance communications.

On the other hand, I have seen modules with standard connectors but require external drive circuitry

What is your reason for trying to avoid external drive circuitry. Looking at the data sheet for the avago units you linked the circuitry doesn't seem especially complicated.

Are there none that have both standard connectors and internal drive/power circuitry??

My guess would be that those who want the higher performance of glass fiber systems are not afraid of a bit of drive circuitry and it's useful to be able to customize the drive circuitry to a given applications needs (combination of drive strength, operating speed, power consumption etc).

Also the high currents involved with long distance links may make it harder to customise the drive circuitry.

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