Fiber Patch Cords: Types and How to Choose?

fiber patch cords

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What is Fiber Patch Cord?
Fiber patch cords are often called fiber patch cable, fiber jumper or fiber patch lead. It is a length of fiber cable that is terminated with fiber optic connectors (LC, SC, MTRJ, etc ) at each end. The connectors allow fiber optic patch cords to be rapidly connected to an optical switch or other telecommunications computer device. Fiber patch cord is generally for indoor use, like in server rooms or in data centers.

Types
Fiber Cable Mode: Single-mode and Multi-mode
The mode of fiber patch cables indicates how light beams travel within the fiber. There are two fiber cable modes- single mode and multimode. Generally, single mode fiber patch cord is yellow jacket. Multi mode OM1 and OM2 are orange color and OM3 is aqua blue color, OM4 is rose red color.

singlemode-multimode

  • Selection Suggestion
    In general, single-mode fiber jumpers need to be used with single-mode optical modules, and multi-mode fiber jumpers need to be used with multi-mode optical modules. In addition, indoor and short-distance applications are mostly based on multimode optical fiber patch cords, and outdoor and long-distance applications are mainly based on single-mode optical fiber patch cords.

Number of Fiber Strands: Simplex and Duplex
According to the number of fiber strands, there are simplex and duplex fiber patch cords.

simplex duplex fiber jumper

  • Selection Suggestion
    Simplex patch cords have only one interface at both ends, while duplex patch cords have two interfaces at both ends. Simplex patch cords are suitable for a one-way data transfer application such as an interstate trucking scale that sends weight readings back to a monitoring station. Duplex patch cords are usually used in various duplex communication applications, such as workstations, fiber optic switches and servers, fiber optic modems, etc.

Connector Type: FC, LC, SC, ST or others
According to connector types, there are FC, LC, SC, ST or others fiber patch cords. The external strengthening method of the FC fiber optic connector is a metal sleeve, and the fastening method is a turnbuckle. SC type optical fiber connector is a connector for connecting GBIC optical module. Its outer shell is rectangular, and its fastening method is plug-in and bolt-type, without rotation. The shell of the ST fiber optic connector is round, and the fastening method is a turnbuckle. The LC-type fiber optic connector is connecting SFP modules, which are made with an easy-to-operate modular registered jack (RJ) latch mechanism.

SC FC LC ST connector fiber

  • Selection Suggestion
    FC fiber optic connectors are generally used on the ODF side, and are most commonly used on distribution frames. SC-type fiber optic connectors are most commonly used on router switches. ST-type fiber optic connectors are often used in fiber optic distribution frames. For 10Base-F connections, the connector is usually ST type. LC type fiber optic connectors are commonly used on routers.

Jacket Type: PVC, LSZH and OFNP
PVC and LSZH are the common jacket material of fiber patch cords. Fiber patch cables covered with PVC jackets are flexible at normal temperatures. Compared with PVC patch cords, LSZH patch cords are more rigid and less flexible but they contain the flame retardant compound that does not emit toxic fumes if it burns. OFNP jackets have the highest fire rating and no other cable can be used as a substitute.

jacket application

  • Selection Suggestion
    PVC patch cable is used for horizontal runs between the table. It also works for vertical runs if the building features a contained ventilation system running through the ductwork. LSZH patch cable is typically used in poorly ventilated areas such as aircraft or rail cars. OFNP fiber jumpers can be installed in pipes, plenums and other spaces for building gas streams. It is suited for runs between floor and data center.

Polishing Type: PC, UPC and APC
Fiber optic connectors are designed and polished to different shapes to minimize back reflection, which is particularly important in single mode applications. According to these connector polished types, there are PC, UPC, APC fiber patch cords. Nowadays PC polish type has been replaced by UPC type whether you choose UPC or APC depends on your actual application.

PC-UPC-APC-connector

  • Selection Suggestion
    Since APC provides less insertion loss than UPC, APC fiber patch cables are more applicable for high bandwidth applications and long distance lengths, such as FTTx, PON(passive optical network) and WDM(wavelength division multiplex) whereas UPC fiber patch cords apply to optical systems that are less sensitive to insertion loss such as digital TV and Telephony.

Summary
Now you would have a general idea about fiber patch cords types as well as what optical fiber jumpers you want for your project. Fiber optic jumpers are available with a variety of jackets, connectors, lengths, and cable types. The main thing is to consider your key requirement and choose the correct cable according to that to make the most out of it. If you have other doubts about optical communications, please contact us.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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